I just completed Risen 2: Dark Waters. It was released in the spring of 2012 and is developed by Piranha Bytes, the same developer that was behind the Gothic series 2001 to 2006.
I liked the first Risen very much. It had good graphics, its performance vs hardware ratio was much improved over Gothic 3 and the setting was nice. Risen 2 builds on the same game mechanics but it is transferred to a world more like our carribean of the 17th century even though the gameworld is the same as in Risen. The story has almost no connections at all with the first installment and the skills and attribute system is totally reworked. This time you start out working for the inquisition - one of three factions in the game - and you are given orders to hunt down a pirate leader to get a powerful weapon in order to kill your real adversary, Mara and the Titan Lords. You will travel together with Patty, an NPC female whose father is the famous Steelbeard pirate captain. Together you will need to gather four artifacts that will make up the weapon to defeat Mara. I won´t spoil more of the story here.
|If you are lucky you could find treasure maps that leads to buried treasure chests|
You will have a need to return back and forth from previously visited islands partly because you will need skilltrainers and partly because merchants stocks differs at different islands. Equipment wise there seems to be quite much items at first glance. There are two sword types in the game like rapiers using the piercing skill and sables for slashing skills. There are different kind of them. The same goes for pistols, shotguns and muskets. For your own defense you could buy clothes from head to toe where the more expensive ones gives you bonuses. The only problem I had was that in the last third of the game when you finally have enough gold to buy something expensive, there are no really unique and expensive items to buy.
I really like the attribute, skill and talents system of the game. There are a lot of options to build you character. You could for example forge your own swords, firearms or create potions. I never did that but there are schematics lying around for it.
Having played CRPGs for the past 18 months I was struck by how easy and helpful todays RPGs had become. You have quest markers on the map and full dialogue history which makes it hard not to find what you are looking for or what to do next. Being used to hard, unforgiving CRPGS, I never spend my glory points until I felt I had to in order to achieve my objectives. So in the end I had 50.000 glory points unspent. I used most of them prior to my last fight but I am sure I wouldn´t have needed them.
|You can buy maps that shows where you are and where your objectives are.|
Typical for modern RPGs to get that kind of help
|Lock picking in the game requires you to successfully|
solve this locking mechanism.
The roads are full of dangerous beasts but you will have to kill most of them because there are few ways around them. When you complete quests or killing beasts you are awarded glory points with which you could increase your base attribues. There are five of them: Blades, Firearms, Toughness, Cunning and Voodoo.
The first two are combat related attributes, toughness gives you protection abilities and cunning thievery abilities like stealth or lockpicking. Voodoo is just another name for magic. You start with level 1 in each of them but you could buy more points with aquired glory points which represents your experience points. The first point cost you 1.000 glory points and becomes gradually more expensive.
|This is my character with myh talents for each attribue.|
Note the Glory points which is used to buy increases in attributes.
The graphical and story execution of the game is pretty and that is not to say the story in itself is anywhere near originality. My major problems with the game is the inmature dialogues. The game is clearly meant for teenagers. The dialogues either is very cliché or blending modern views into this time period which is just pathetic. Still there has been something with this game that has made me stay to the end. The feel when completing quests is top notch and you have the right feeling of constantly wanting to improve your character. You cannot be good at everything - which is good. Too bad the game is a bit too easy.
|The natives are the experts in Voodoo.|
|You will not always be alone|
|You could use dirty tricks like the skill kicking to good effect against these crabs|
- Beautiful and varied graphics and well executed quest system.
- Performance efficient
- Stable and fast loading times
- Good implementation of attributes, talents and experience (glory points)
- Good character building with a lot of options
- Good economy balance to the last third of the game.
- Large game world and lots of quests. It took me 40 hours to complete the game.
- Poor voice acting
- Poor dialogues. Feel very inmature, naive and childish at times
- Very few dialogue options
- Not possible to screw up dialogues
- Exploration not rewarding enough
- Few - if any - options to solve problems
- Never any moral decisions.
- Repetitive quests.
- You could save the game in the middle of fights - even the end fight.
- Too easy. I had over 50.000 glory points saved until my last encounter.