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Preview Risen 2: Dark Waters Previewed by a Bunch of Less Prestigious Websites

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Crooked Bee, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. Crooked Bee (no longer) a wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Tags: Piranha Bytes; Risen 2: Dark Waters

    A bunch of new Risen 2 previews have surfaced for no apparent reason. You may even want to read them if you've got nothing better to do with your time.

    RockPaperShotgun have put their hands into the Dark Waters - and got them eaten off by a spider!

    There are some appealing touches from the off: you have to obtain maps of specific areas, as a pirate would be inclined to do, rather than having a magical mini-map to everywhere you visit. This makes up one of the early missions, and I suspect it will provide for later missions, too. I tried running off into the jungle immediately, of course, but got lost and then was eaten by a spider.​

    It also broke their spacebar! Well, almost.

    What hasn’t been awkward, so far, at least, is the general gist of the combat. It’s quite actiony and lightweight, somewhere between what The Witcher 2 was doing and what Amalur does, but immediately playable. Swish your sword about and hit the enemy, without any need to lock into a specific baddy. As your skills improve, of course, so your capacity to kill dangerous monkeys increases. Your companion gets stuck in, too, although I am not sure if she actually does any damage. What I am also slightly mystified by at the moment is how I supposed to differentiate between particularly baddies being tougher than others. It’s been a bit trial and error. What’s also been trial and error are the game’s traps, which you get a quick time-event style spacebar-hammering chance to avoid, and these have so resulted in my wearing my surprised face, and an instant death for the nameless protagonist.​

    Meanwhile, IGN complain about the three most condemnable problems with an Xbox RPG - BAD textures, BAD lighting and BAD animation:

    Multiple solutions to quests, pirate hi-jinks and voodoo mind control are amongst the reasons to be encouraged by Risen 2: Dark Waters. However, a lot of polish needs to be applied ahead of its April launch - otherwise players are going to have to look past an awful lot of muddy textures, poor lighting effects and choppy animation to see the fun underneath.​

    Nope, it's not Skyway, it's a "Stace Harman", and you can read his insights by clicking this link.

    Gamereactor EU, fresh from "playing countless hours of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim", have found Risen 2 to be "a rude awakening":

    The PR representative behind my shoulder advises me that there are traps in the area I'm currently exploring. Nuts to that! I carelessly wander on and a stick with spikes attached to it comes up out of the ground and whacks me over the back of my head. As it pops up I'm prompted to press the Y button on my Xbox 360 controller, but I wasn't able to gather my wits quickly enough and I die. Yes, that's right. No depletion of the health bar here, just harsh and instant death.​

    The preview also informs us Piranha Bytes have "incorporated a bit of humour into the combat", and you can read it in full here.

    Next, Atomicgamer haven't found the combat particularly appealing. It's clunky and leaves much to be desired, they dare say!

    The thing that I'm probably the most disappointed with in Risen 2 is its old-and-busted action, something that I doubt will be overhauled between now and the April release date. The developers have put together a wonderful-looking world that has all of the natural environments and organic, exploration-friendly terrain of Gothic 3 and combined it with a lighting and vegetation model that often rivals Crysis' visuals, but all of that effort sometimes feels a bit squandered once you get into the game's clunky and floaty swordfights. Sure, it's fun to use an off-hand pistol for quick and dirty strikes in mid-fight, but the blocking and counter-attack system leaves much to be desired.​

    Sure, Risen 2 is a challenging game, but...

    ...it always comes back to the awkward melee fights that I'm now convinced Piranha Bytes is doing on purpose (and, more importantly, doesn't seem to want to change). If they ever do decide to move their combat forwards, which I highly recommend, then I think they should be looking at From Software's efforts in Dark Souls as their inspiration for designing combat.​

    Who wouldn't agree with the last bit? Oh, and you can read the preview in full here.

    Finally, Destructoid turn their attention to the game's writing and characters:

    The story and writing aren't amazing, but they aren't terrible, either. It's competent enough to set a fun background for the gameplay and to motivate you to move forward. Your partner at the start of the game, Patty, is a stereotypical pirate lass with a red bandanna, tight pants, open shirt, a cutlass, and a ridiculous self awareness of being a strong woman. When she kills people, she constantly proclaims that "I might be a woman, but I can still kick your ass!"

    Her entire existence is utterly over the top and ridiculous; the other characters aren't much better. You're surrounded by drunken pirates, soothsaying voodoo villagers, and pompous soldiers. While each character on their own might be cheesy, they somehow all come together to make an interesting world. It's just campy enough to make it enjoyable. I think it's actually the best way to make a pirate game -- I would feel disappointed if I wasn't called a scurvy dog by everyone that I met.​

    They also claim that "combat is similar to the original Assassin's Creed," and you can find out what the hell they mean by that if you just click here.

    There are also other previews, but like I'm gonna bother reading them, hah!
     
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  2. Monolith Prophet

    Monolith
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    Oh fuck no! :rage:

    If there's one thing I absolutely can't stomach in any game it's QTE - wtf Piranha Bytes??
     
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  3. VentilatorOfDoom RPG Codex Staff

    VentilatorOfDoom
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    Combat like Assassin's Creed? Euphemism for utter crap?
     
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  4. Excidium P. banal

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    No amount of QTE would reduce my excitement for this game. :bounce:
     
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  5. Brother None inXile Entertainment Developer

    Brother None
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    For some reason I forgot to mention the traps in my own preview. Kinda stupid, coz they really are annoying. But it's not so much a "QTE" in the way QTEs are defined now, it's just "bash the spacebar or die".
     
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  6. Brayko Self-Ejected

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    Game should be decent, though any "journalism" produced by most of those sites is hardly anything but laughable.

    Also, who gives a fuck about a QTE here and there? As long as they aren't a dominant gameplay mechanic I'm down.
     
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  7. Achilles Arcane

    Achilles
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    Yup, those are QTEs.
     
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  8. Metro Arcane Beg Auditor

    Metro
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    Derp. RPS cannot into non-level scaled monsters.

    Despite the negatives -- and there are no shortage of those, I know -- I was satisfied enough by reading Brother None's preview to gamble on a preorder when the time comes (providing there's a good discount on it). If you never hear from me again after release date it's because I decided I couldn't live in a world where PB utterly sold out. Never played any of the ASScreed games so I can't speak of the combat comparison but BN said the melee combat was pretty much the same as Risen 1 (and I enjoyed it).

    Someone who has always thought that PB games (save for Gothic 3) have had excellent melee combat?
     
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  9. Brother None inXile Entertainment Developer

    Brother None
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    Yeah, but when I say "there's a QTE", I'd assume people envision a slo-mo bit where you press movement keys and/or mouse buttons to dodge the trap. But it's just a "hit spacebar in time".

    It's pretty stupid.
     
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  10. Metro Arcane Beg Auditor

    Metro
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    One of the comments quipped it could be modded out but I don't recall seeing any mods for the first Risen (not that it really needed any). Here's hoping.
     
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  11. Kraszu Prophet

    Kraszu
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    There were few. I did use one that had removed auto locking on targets witch did improve controls allot when fighting against multiple opponents.
     
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  12. Achilles Arcane

    Achilles
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    In my opinion it's not just stupid, it's an indirect admission on the developers' part that they were unable to create genuine tension and action through normal gameplay and they had to resort to cheap gimmicks. QTE-style gameplay should have died with the laserdisc Bluth games of the late 80s. The fact that we're still being tormented by that shambling zombie of a "gameplay feature" is a damn shame.
     
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  13. Kraszu Prophet

    Kraszu
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    I highly doubt that, QTE was most likely forced by publisher, also PB never had problems to create genuine tension in exploration.
     
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  14. Brother None inXile Entertainment Developer

    Brother None
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    Yeah. Like the RPS preview mentions, in the second island, if you're not listening to friendly advice from Inquisitor watchmen, and run into the northern-most cavern, a spider will jump up and eat you, because it's just too powerful for you to beat unprepared. Sadly, I did manage to kill it by exploiting the follower mechanics, which has me worried, but point is, the tension from exploring is definitely still there.

    One thing that's kind of a shame for the Risens compared to the Gothics is that it doesn't do as much with darkness. Some of my best moments in Gothic were running around in a blind panic through the dark forest, completely lost and unable to find my way back to town.
     
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  15. toro Arcane

    toro
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    I don't know what is the fuss, but some things are really ... not bad.


    Cartographer is something that I always wanted to have in a game. As for the spiders, whatever, all games have spiders.


    Multiple solutions to quests are in. Excellent.
    As for the graphic, the devil is in the details. Neither Gothic or Risen were graphically outstanding, but I can still remember portions from the game world. That's atmosphere, something that imbecile brains cannot experience. So I don't give a shit about the graphics. Next.

    PS. But the animatios are really bad...


    NO QTE Scenario:
    Step into the trap -> Death -> Reload [the game continuity is broken]
    QTE Scenario:
    1. Step into the trap -> Press Space -> No death -> No reload [the game continuity is not broken]
    2. Step into the trap -> Don't press Space -> Death -> Reload [the game continuity is broken]

    Personally I hate QTEs and I definitely don't want to defend them, but I hate stupid deaths more. So, I think this specific QTE is bearable.

    There was another quote, but I don't find it right now, about the unique lockpicking. That's another non issue, in both Gothic and Risen, all competent players were hoarding lockpicks. What is lost by not hoarding lockpicks?
     
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  16. Murk Arcane

    Murk
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    I'm confused by some of the contradictory comments -- combat is easy to get into and light... and clunky and busted... and similar to old PB games, based on timing and reaction... which is it?
     
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  17. Shannow Waster of Time

    Shannow
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    Played a PB(or any challenging)-game before: combat is easy to get into and light because based on timing and reaction.
    Only played popamole handholding games before: combat is clunky and busted.

    Just a guess, though. I'll wait for mods to fix this before I try it.
     
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  18. Brother None inXile Entertainment Developer

    Brother None
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    "Clunky" as in not smooth is a point of criticism that depends heavily on expectations. If you're come from the jumping and running around of the Witcher 2 or Kingdom of Amalur, this one is relatively more static. And honestly, all of us who played PB games know the problems they have when fighting monsters and animals, who just bash through your blocks so really it's just a matter of trying to kill them before they get too many hits in. But fighting against humans is the regular parry, riposte, timing-based attack thing (hence the comparison someone made to Assassin's Creed).



    Well, you'll have to wait, there's no such skill here. You just have to acquire a map of the area, which immediately shows all the outside areas of the zone.
     
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  19. Kraszu Prophet

    Kraszu
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    Not true, dodging slide move in Rise had worked great against animals. You can strafe out of they attacks and have time to counter in Gothic1-2 (for some monsters), and stepping back when they had attacked worked, in G3 you could go back, or back +left/right, and counter at the right timing.





    Start at 15 sec in to fast forward talking:


    I don't pull that off perfectly but I do much better then if I would just bash attack.
     
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  20. Brother None inXile Entertainment Developer

    Brother None
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    You really think that "Risen proper boar fight" is a good example of properly executed combat?

    In any case, you're not really contradicting my point, as my in my preview, that their animal/monster fights are typically less involved and thus less interesting than fighting against humanoids.

    I'm a huge Gothic fan, but let's not put the blinders on here.
     
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  21. Kraszu Prophet

    Kraszu
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    What is wrong with it, boar could have at least one more attack like rushing in, but other then that it is good. This isn't easy to pull off avoiding all the boar attacks. Mine didn't look like that I wasn't able to avoid everyone so I had to recoup. Also fighting against 2 or more at once makes it more varied, as you must take they positioning into account.

    If you could block animals then all fights would be too similar, and thus less interesting. I did find fights against animals pretty involving I had to be fast to react to not get stomped. I had to navigate a bit to get better positioning against multiple of them (like making one block the path between the second one, and me for a little time).

    PB combat would be improved by having more enemies with different timings, and different attacks, and more groups of enemies that have variety in they attacks, and dmg/hp rations (like mages for example that you want to take out first). I don't think that PB games are perfect but for different reasons then not having a block against animals that actually is a overall good thing about the combat.
     
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  22. Shannow Waster of Time

    Shannow
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    Anecdote:
    I never blocked and rarely dodged in G1/2. I always went with two-handed fighting style. If I hit the enemies just right when they attacked I interrupted them. Worked just as fine on monsters as on humanoids. The difference lay in humanoids sometimes blocking and animals jumping back to avoid my strikes. And monsters sometimes crashed through my hit, anyway. The challenge lay in keeping up a swinging rythm while at the same time using the fractions of seconds I had to divert from the rythm to time the strikes with my enemies' coming into reach and using the different combos effectively. Good times.
     
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  23. sea inXile Entertainment Developer

    sea
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    The most hilarious things reading these articles is that it seems like the mainstream press really don't know what makes for a good RPG. Granted, I'm not saying Risen 2 is perfect or anything, but the complaints about graphics, writing (Piranha Bytes typically have great, albeit dry writing), and clunky combat (it's not clunky, it just has a steep learning curve) really suggest to me that not only are many reviewers a bit out of touch, but also that they've specifically been trained to appreciate shitty writing and gameplay, to the point where many of them would not even be able to appreciate a good RPG even if it smacked them in the face. No romance? Graphics are worse than Gears of War 3? 2/10!
     
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  24. Shannow Waster of Time

    Shannow
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    Seems to me they are like that because they are in touch, not out of...
     
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  25. Kraszu Prophet

    Kraszu
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    The combat is disappointing, there is no way to dodge, and going back or to sides don't work against normal attack it works only when boar is charging, and that is it, so all that is left is spamming attack. Fighting against humans is better.

    Also you have to hold block to strafe otherwise you run in left or right, and when you hold a block strafing is so slow that you couldn't avoid any attack.

    btw. You can turn off the kill cam.


    On hard he killed Patty in ~5 seconds.
     
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