Risen 2: Dark Waters
Back in 2010 during the press conference at
gamescon in Cologne, Germany it was announced. Risen 2: Dark Waters was
being developed. The time draws near for this game to hit market and we
got the chance to get a preview of its offerings.
Risen 2: Dark Waters steps once again in the sword and sorcery realm,
coming in full sail with Pirates and Voodoo magics. Developer Piranha
Bytes brings us something familiar in the realm of a Role Playing Game,
making it seem fresh with a pirate twist. Publisher Deep Silver did a
smart thing here and saw something in this game and we are glad they are
bringing it to players around the world.
The events in this standalone adventure take place roughly a couple
years after the events in the first game. We start our adventures in a
city, Caldera; a port city home to what may well be the last of the
Inquisitors. Being a seaside town, and on an island no less, shipping
supplies is the life line for everyone here.
That is the first thing we find out, all manner of sea monsters cause
more than a little trouble for any shipping. Many a sea faring vessel
falls victim to the creatures of the deep, supplies, people and
important equipment routinely get lost to these attacks.
Now enter our nameless hero from the first game, the first adventure
seems to have taken a great toll on him and liquid spirit comforts seem
to be the answer. We soon find out within the first few minutes of the
game that it is rumored that the pirates have found some kind of item to
enable them to sail unmolested by the sea monsters and powerful enough
to take on the Titans. During one of the sea monster attacks on a ship
that was coming in, debris litter the shore line and our hero is asked
to go check for survivors. It is here that we find an old friend Patty
from the first game; she becomes our companion on this latest adventure.
Our nameless one is tasked to infiltrate the Pirates, who are said to
have a base on an island called Tacarigua. Thus starts this island
hopping adventure, though in this preview we only got to check out the
starting point port city and Tacarigua only, though there was a goodly
amount to explore.
Fighting is straight forward and there are no fancy extra movements or
wasted movements in attack and defense. The combat system includes
Blocks, Sidesteps, Parries, Slashing and Thrusts, as well as thrown
weapons, firearms, and kicks. The system seems solid enough, and sword
fights are darn tough, so itís not just a matter of pressing the attack
button over and over and hope to score more hits than the opponent.
Strategic use of blocks, parries and movement with the attacks will get
victories, though not all of them easy, they are hard won. Which is a
good thing after all who wants the fights all handed to them?
As the game moves on, there is room for the character to advance in
skill, not all skills are available right out of the gate. No, they have
to be earned or learned. To learn them, more times than not you have to
pay for someone to teach you, so getting gold is a good idea because you
never know when you will be needed that lock picking or pickpocket
Characters, as in with most role-playing games have different stats that
can gain in points and thus make that skill or attribute more powerful
or skillful. One would expect something like strength to be in
attributes, designers here include blades and firearms as an attribute.
(As a long time role player and role playing game world writerÖ.Iíll
ignore this odd choice of stat placement.)
The game world also has professions sprinkled throughout, such as
blacksmithing, which can come in handy at making or repairing weapons.
Players can also find a campfire and any raw meat they had found, they
can cook and create rations for themselves. These consumables are used
to heal themselves when they are low in their hit points. Along the
bottom of the screen are quick slots that you can place items for quick
use and they are assigned a number key.
Controls seem very solid and I was never left scratching my head
wondering what button to press to get to a control or stat/map screen.
This being a preview, one can see there will be some tweaks to the game
before it hits the masses. At this point it is a blast to play once you
get the feel of what itís all about.
There are of course interactions with NPCs, and many of them are the
classic, well if you do this for me Iíll do this for you kind of
interaction. There were a couple of moments that it seems I did things
out of sequence and the game did not know what to do, and event was not
triggered. I went back into talk to the character mode and did the last
couple of question in the other order it must have been looking for and
it then triggered the event to move forward.
For a preview look the locations are all pleasing, lush jungles with
native ancient ruins as well as forts and buildings built from settlers.
The jungles are rife with critters, not all of them friendly or ones
that run from you. The night and day cycle transpires with a pleasing
look and the audio follows suit with night birds and insects calling out
in the blackness.
There may be some fine tuning in the games future before it hits final
market, but thatís what previews are all about. The game is a blast as
is and it can only get better. We canít wait for the full game to see
how it turns out over all.
Risen 2: Dark Waters is a piratical island hopping adventure full of
wonders and even with its basic fighting model it has just enough sword
play to please most RPG and action adventure fans.
Have fun, play games