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Risen 2: Dark Waters PC Preview - -


Review Date: Mar 2012
Piranha Bytes
Edwin Millheim


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 skill.

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
Edwin Millheim
Impulse Gamer


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