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Risen 2: Dark Waters Previews

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Risen 2: Dark Waters Previews

Preview - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Fri 17 June 2011, 16:14:24

Tags: Piranha Bytes; Risen 2: Dark Waters

Piranha Bytes' upcoming action RPG Risen 2: Dark Waters is subject to a few more previews.


Joystiq mourn that the game is just too inaccessible and hardcore, how droll.

The one major change we got to see was that Pirahna Bytes has abandoned the sword-and-shield idea, and instead gone for a dual wield setup, letting you put a gun in one hand and a sword in the other. But even that isn't really necessary -- the whole point of a game like this is that you can do what you want, so if you want to just hack and slash or just shoot from a distance, that's viable as well.

Which sounds good in theory, but in practice, Risen 2 seems to fall back down to the realities of game development. While the graphics look better, the gameplay still looks as frustrating and inaccessible as all of these other hardcore RPG titles, with various monsters assaulting you as soon as you step out into the world, and lots of complicated mechanics with not a lot of direction.

I was told, for example, that you'd have your own ship, with faction companions on it that would open up new skills and abilities. But even just watching the gameplay showed me that there wasn't much explanation for that. And even things like combat came across as difficult and unclear, even without a controller in my hand.

GamesRadar found that what they saw definitely showed promise and significant improvements over its predecessor.

The first Risen was a solid game, but was understandably criticized for its dated graphics and occasionally stupid allies (and enemies). Deep Silver has taken note of these problems and is taking a stab at fixing them. Graphically, the environment looks more photorealistic and the characters have also had a makeover. It’s not quite Skyrim just yet, but it’s a huge improvement over the first title.


Your shield hand from Risen now holds throwing knives, a variety of guns, or bombs. You can also throw sand in the eyes of some types of enemies to distract or enrage them. This brings us to the variety of enemies, all of whom have different weaknesses. We saw a group of giant crabs and found the best way to kill the top-heavy beasts was to kick them on their backs and stab their soft underbellies. Unfortunately, the enemies’ behaviors are all being done by hand and most haven’t been implemented yet, so the various baddies we saw mostly ran around aimlessly. But the final product should feature a deep menagerie of smarter targets, which should make combat much more satisfying.

RPGamer seem impressed with the game’s sense of freedom, its scope, and its handcrafted natur.

Each crew member has a role on the ship and each fits into various character archetypes when they join you on away missions. For example, you can recruit a melee fighter who doubles as the ship’s cook, or you can recruit Betty, the navigator, who you talk to move from port to port. You can also take a crew member with you on shore leave to help you in combat. One of the great things about your companions is that you don’t have to manage or babysit them in any way. You don’t have to level them up or give them items to heal them. The intention was to have them help you rather than be a burden. You are not stuck with a companion when you land on an island. At any time, you can fast travel back to your ship and switch your companion with another crew member. For example, when you are in a wide open area, you may want to take your favorite musket-wielding crew member to pick off enemies in the distance, but when it’s time to venture into a more confined dungeon, you’ll want to take your melee-focused swashbuckler to better deal with close quarters combat. You can also opt to bring along a healer to support you from the sidelines. A lot of the fun and strategy in the game will revolve around recruiting crew members and deciding who to bring with you in any given situation.

Spotted at: Gamebanshee

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