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Risen 2: Dark Waters Preview @ Gamebanshee
Preview - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Mon 27 February 2012, 22:51:45Tags: Piranha Bytes; Risen 2: Dark Waters
Gamebanshee penned a preview of Piranha Bytes' upcoming cRPG Risen 2: Dark Waters. Despite noting some simplification in certain areas, like the character system, the overall impressions seem quite favorable.
This demo kind of cut off at the wrong moment to get a good impression of the advanced voodoo and firearm mechanics, so most of it just felt very similar to the early Risen gameplay. But it does improve even on that, with better quest design and a more unique and equally well-executed setting.
The voodoo mechanics, especially the voodoo doll cursing, has a great potential to be creatively used later in the game. Guns are relatively less interesting, but they should add more variety to combat. Tantalizingly, in the first two areas you can use cannons, and enter a first-person turret mode. Though there was nothing to shoot at for those cannons, I'm curious to see what they'll do with this mechanic later.
Sequentially unlocking areas is a little different from and more linear compared to earlier Piranha Bytes titles, though we've seen similar things before (locking off the old island early in Gothic II, for example). It means you won't be as badly overmatched when stumbling onto the wrong monster as you were in older PB games, but don't think you can just run around freely on the unlocked areas either, you will still run into significant challenges you might want to put off until later. The advantage of this approach is that you regularly enter new towns and meet new NPCs, which in my opinion is always the best part of any Piranha Bytes game.
Based on the preview areas, the sequel appears to be a solid improvement on Risen, despite the disappointing simplification in character system. It is a challenging and addictive experience, and the number of hours I poured into it just leaves me wanting for more. As long as it avoids declining into a dungeon slog as its predecessor did, this should make for an excellent addition to the Piranha Bytes library.