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Risen 2: Dark Waters

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GF Rating
4.9

636 ratings

Critic & User Reviews

GF Rating
7

Good

Take a Swig or Back Away From the Bar

posted by hisownsidekick (GLENCOE, MO) Feb 1, 2013

Member since Feb 2013

4 out of 4 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

Risen 2 is exactly like the rum so popular with its pirate characters: bitter, strong, sweet, and unrefined. Do not go into this game expecting a Mass Effect or a Skyrim. Don't even go into it expecting an Amalur. This is a different beast, as anyone familiar with Piranha Bytes, the developer, can tell you. Ever since 2001's Gothic, this German team has been making hardcore, open-world, Western-style rpgs. And yes, every word in that sentence is necessary, doubly so the word "hardcore."

This is one of those rpgs where you begin the game getting shamed by weak enemies. You can easily wander into an area far beyond your current strength. If you want to gain new skills and level up certain abilities, you don't go into a menu and press a button; you seek out a trainer and pay them to instruct you. You start out shoeless and in rags. You have to put a good 10-20 hours into the game before you get your pirate ship and even then, you sail it with a skeleton crew until you can recruit more.

In addition, the game has nowhere near the budget or team size of a Bioware or Bethesda hit. It has bugs and you're going to want to save often and keep multiple save files. Combat is fun but janky. Some things aren't explained well; some aren't explained at all (Google is your friend). Graphically, it looks nice but a bit rough and overall it's fairly unimpressive.

So if you've been paying attention, you know I've covered the "bitter," "strong," and "unrefined" parts. What are the "sweet," then? Combat has a lot of interesting options from voodoo to sabres to dirty tricks to muskets with bayonets. Objectives have multiple approaches as well; thief around, use magic, or browbeat and duel to get what you want. The soundtrack is beautiful, the story is decent, the voice acting is great, the exploration is rewarding, and come on... you get your own pirate ship and crew.

If this sounds like a fun time to you, have some patience and you'll be right. If not, better look elsewhere.

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GF Rating
5

Fair

Ok game but remember to save atleast every few min

posted by sandman441 (ANCHORAGE, AK) Aug 4, 2012

Member since May 2007

2 out of 2 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

so this game is ok, a few bugs and it shoulda been beta tested a bit more but I liked the story and it was atleast interesting though it wasn't piratey enough. I'm only sending the game back because the autosave sucks and didn't feel like replaying the 2 hours of game that I lost by not saving when I should have. Also when loading a game for the first time or if you die and reload a save, the game takes like 2 minutes to load it's pretty annoying.

I'm still waiting for a open world pirate game.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

Lightyears ahead of the first one!

posted by DigitalSky (OAK PARK, IL) Sep 10, 2012

Member since Apr 2006

8 out of 10 gamers (80%) found this review helpful

People will ache and moan about these kinds of games (action RPGs from small developers) but the simple fact is that this game is good if you're willing to deal with only a few minor issues.

WHAT'S GOOD?

- The leveling system from the first game has been tossed out in favor of a much simpler and more effective XP system. It's WAY better.

- The graphics are noticeably better. The player models may not blow you away, but they've definitely improved the world you move in. From beaches to caves to towns, the graphics are more refined and pleasant to look at.

- Gameplay is more focused. They've narrowed down melee to two types, slashing and stabbing. This makes things magnificently simpler, and IMO, better. It lets you decide more easily whether to focus on melee or ranged.

- Companions. You could have temporary help in the first game, but in this game, there's an entire companion system. Choose who you like from who you've recruited, and let them help you wherever you go. No more getting nailed in the back by a gang of enemies!

WHAT'S BAD

- In my 30 hour journey to the end of the game, I experienced about half a dozen crashes. It can be a real bummer :( The game autosaves pretty frequently, but it was still really annoying.

- It's old school. They build the game, then let you loose in it. If you don't pull yourself together, it will kill you. Don't expect any hand-holding. It's not truly a hard game, it just doesn't do a lot of the modern game, "assistance," that many gamers have become used to. You may need to check out some FAQs to advance at a few stages.

SO!!!

I'd recommend a play through. It's a good game with a fun story and fun game play. It reminds me a lot of the huge improvements made from the 1st and 2nd games in the Two Worlds franchise. Don't let the soft-skinned haters turn you away from it!

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