It's more of an action game than an RPG, but with that said, there's many options to customize your character and how they play out. It's hard to compare it to anything, because it's relatively original. I definitely recommend Dark Souls II over Risen 3, Risen 3 has very poor combat, but is more traditional as an RPG. It has leveling up that gets your learning points, which you can use to increase your skills through trainers. I will say, if you somehow saw the merits of Risen 2's combat, it would be worth it, as the world is very nice looking and atmospheric. But if you haven't played it, or value combat, I'd go with Dark Souls II. --- Steam ID - Jaxxxson
If you want character interaction, moral choices and a more sandboxy feel, go for Risen.
If you want methodical combat and exploration, go for Dark Souls.
You probably already know, but Dark Souls 2 has no pause or quicksave/quickload to carry you along the game, if that's an issue. --- "Now go ahead and leap ignorantly to the defense of wealthy game companies who don't know or care about you."
Save your money, buy a cheap game for $5-15 and wait for a Steam sale. Incredible games, but it will be even more rewarding when you get a 70 hour (Infinite until boredom basically) game for 10 bucks. I bought Dark Souls 2 because a friend wanted to play with me, I had a good time. Without him though it wouldn't have been as fun.