The original Risen was pretty well-received when it came to the PC version. The Xbox 360 port? Not so much. Piranha Bytes is well aware of that, so it is developing the PC and console versions of Risen 2 side by side this time around.
The sequel is a full-on pirate role-playing game with pirate-y things everywhere, but it features the same protagonist from the first game. Risen 2's world is still the same as the first one, but set in the southwest region where a tropical climate holds sway over the coastal lands and islands that dot the map.
Risen 2 (PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
Following the events in Risen, you are an Inquisitor soldier who goes undercover as a pirate, only to become disillusioned with the Inquisition and subsequently fall in love with the pirate lifestyle.
Accompanied by the pirate wench Patty, who was a side character in Risen, you start your adventure proper at the island town of Puerto Sacarico. The island is one of many in the game, and while slavery is accepted and everyone is either a landlubber or a scallywag, the society there still has its own structure and rules.
Going around the island, talking to NPCs and doing quests, you slowly progress towards the goal of finding Patty's father, a pirate captain named Steelbeard who left her behind when she was but a child. After father and daughter are reunited in a true pirate fashion, your protagonist is accepted as a crew member on Steelbeard's ship.
Since the Risen games are about player freedom, the skill and leveling system from the first game makes a return in Risen 2. You'll slash, block, and kick enemies in melee combat, or throw magical javelins at giant monsters. This time around, you'll also be able to wield firearms to blast your foes to smithereens.
The pirate theme goes all the way to the RPG elements in Risen 2. Some offensive and defensive skills can only be unlocked by fulfilling quests for certain characters, who will then let you train with them. For instance, you can learn the "Silver Tongue" perk (a Persuasion skill) from a whore and pickpocketing from a scallywag. Animals are useful, too -- you can transform into a monkey, or even throw your parrot companion at enemies.
While the first game was set on one big island, the sequel now features multiple islands and shoreline areas to quest on. You can use instant transport methods to get around an island, but when travelling between islands, you'll have to take your pirate ship.
Your ship isn't just a mode of transport, though; it also acts as a hub for a melting pot of creatures and companions. One of the criticisms of Risen was that characters popped in and out of the story without making the player feel like there was a lot of cohesion and progression in his path. Piranha Bytes wanted to remedy that by making such characters become a part of your life on the ship.
You'll still insta-travel between islands, however, so there is no naval combat between pirate ships as Piranha Bytes feels that plenty of other games do that already and the focus for Risen 2 isn't on the elements of those kinds of games.
The morality system works along the lines of player freedom, allowing you to make choices in the dialogue and quests. Unlike games like Mass Effect, pissing people off royally will make it really, really hard to complete your quests, since everyone will hate you and attack you.
With a larger area, 33% more quests, and a ton of pirate stuff to mess around with, Risen 2 looks like it's shaping up to be a great and pure pirate RPG for fans of both pirates and Risen, or haters of ninjas. Even for console owners, Risen 2 could be worth keeping an eye on.
|2:00 AM on 04.23.2012|
Review: Risen 2: Dark Waters
The original Risen was a curious little beast. In a genre so used to empowering the player, letting one live out heroic fantasies in a world full of treasure, choice, and magnificent deeds, Risen was quite prepared to strip y...more
|8:00 PM on 04.20.2012|
Console versions of Risen 2 hit with a delay
The PC release of Risen 2: Dark Waters is nearly upon us and it's being followed, for once, by the console versions rather than the other way around. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 editions was originally slated for late May,...more
|10:00 AM on 04.03.2012|
Risen 2: Dark Waters is looking cheery in new screenshots
I'll say one thing for the Risen series -- it's not afraid of a little color. The pirate-themed sequel might be violent and gritty, but at least its violent grittiness will get a tan, thanks to the bright sun and tropical col...more
|9:00 AM on 03.28.2012|
ESRB censors the red on Risen 2 box art
The ESRB has made Deep Silver remove a red stain from Risen 2: Dark Waters' box art. This stain will go from red to turquoise, owing to the North American rating board's stance on cover imagery that could represent blood.&nbs...more
|8:00 AM on 03.27.2012|
More piratey goodness in latest Risen 2: Dark Waters vid
The gang at Deep Silver sure do have a flair for the dramatic when it comes to their trailers, as evidenced once again by the most recent promotional video for Risen 2: Dark Waters. There's so much intrigue and adventure sug...more
|4:30 PM on 03.19.2012|
Preview: What to expect from Risen 2's Treasure Isle DLC
"Aaaargh!" is an exclamation often associated with pre-order and "day one" bonus downloadable content. You end up with an extra character, skin, or a weapon or two, often followed by Internet outcry when some of that content ...more
|4:45 PM on 02.28.2012|
Sailing the high seas in Risen 2: Dark Waters
Ahoy matey! This here be a videogame about pirates, ARRR! OK, I promise I won't any more pirate jokes, but it's going to be difficult. Risen 2: Dark Waters brings the well-crafted role-playing of Risen into a Caribb...more
|12:15 PM on 08.10.2011|
Risen 2: Dark Waters gets a really epic teaser trailer
Here's a really nice teaser trailer for Risen 2: Dark Waters. This minute-and-a-bit of footage is more exciting than anything I found in my first (and only) hour of the first game. So, that's a good start! I'm pretty keen on...more
|9:00 PM on 05.21.2013|
Guild Wars 2 sheds a little off its price
Despite not playing as much Guild Wars 2 as I'd like to, that's okay -- it's not costing me anything. I can continue not playing free of guilt, which is the only way I can do MMO gaming any more, I've realized. ArenaNet has k...more
|7:30 PM on 05.20.2013|
Penny Arcade's Rain-Slick 3 is free on Steam today
The final installment of Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness quadrilogy is set to release on June 9. To celebrate the completion of the series that seemed doomed when Hothead dropped it in 2008 af...more
|3:00 PM on 05.20.2013|
Jimquisition: Guns Blazing
Dark Souls 2 is all about going in, guns blazing, and hoping to God it works. Oh dear. Namco Bandai's PR chief recently shone a spectacular light on the broken mentality of "AAA" publishers, describing the promotion of ...more