In case you're hoping for more Risen 2: Dark Waters reviews to read look no further, as we have rounded up yet another batch of critiques for Piranha Bytes' title, which serve to cement the mixed reception even further.
Ultimately, I'm going have to be a true pirate and shoot a hole in this game's sails. There's simply not a single thing that Risen 2 does well, not its stilted combat, not its transparent towns, and definitely not its plot, which feels like something you'd come up with after passing out with the Pirates of the Caribbean DVD menu music in the background. Then again, there's nothing it does badly either, so it's no thief. Not at all. Just a ship with no star to sail by.
The true genius of Risen 2 lies in the fact that it refuses to tell you the story outright at any given point, which, while sounding a bit odd at first, works really well. The only way that you can learn anything is by talking and listening to other characters, many of whom are unwilling to speak without a few favours being done for them first. This results in the game forcing you to really engage with it and play it out as your character in the way that best suits you. This does mean that, if you are impatient and skip conversations and cutscenes, you won’t have a clue where to go for your next quest, never mind why you have to go there. But, if you do take the time to listen, then you will be drawn in ever deeper as you try to figure out just what is going on.
To every serious RPG fan out there, Risen 2 is a game I can heartily recommend, but everyone else would be better off staying away.
But the fighting and upgrade systems can't make up for a game with frustrating bugs and lackluster visuals. Although Piranha Bytes creates a rich world, the character design and animation feel robotic and clunky. No matter how smartly a developer crafts a game, if their characters move like the animatronics from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, it takes players out of the experience.
Piranha Bytes has talent and "Risen 2" has good ideas, but the lack of visual panache and game play polish makes it feel as though this game wasn't ready to set sail.
Perhaps the console versions due in August will help to smooth things out, as well as the inevitable armada of patches that are no doubt already sailing Risen 2's way. As it stands now though the game's only real achievement is to once again convince you that wouldn't it be great if they made a decent pirate game. We don't know who they are but it certainly doesn't seem to be Piranha Bytes.
While it does have some rough patches and arguable design choices, Risen 2 has something far more important: It’s just fun. Once the game starts to get good, it provide hours of excellent entertainment. Sure, the frustrations are there in spots, but the swashbuckling fun it presents out weighs a lot of the small negatives, at least in my book. At the end of the day, you’ll be glad you played Risen 2. I know I am.
Let’s be honest. Risen 2 has a lot of problems, bugs, glitches, and more. It is not a pirate version of Elder Scrolls. But despite all of the failures and short comings, I had ten times more fun playing Risen 2 than I ever did in Skyrim. Perhaps it is the engaging pirate story and feel, or the excitement of something out of the ordinary. Whatever the reason may be, I am still having fun plundering and pillaging this tropical fantasy world after 40+ hours.
HEX I guess that comes back to what we were saying before - this is a game that's a bit patchy in places - or should I say, it NEEDS a patch! Even so, I really enjoyed the repartee between the characters, and I enjoyed being part of this big pirate adventure... I think more than you did Bajo!
BAJO I just want my games - especially an RPG - to feel a bit more solidly tested and trouble free - especially if I'm expected to dedicate hours and hours to it. Risen 2 is fun, but it's got problems - and it falls short of being great.
Overall, I really enjoyed Risen 2: Dark Waters. Between the beautiful visuals, intriguing story and environments, and unique take on the RPG genre, Risen 2 should be on the radar of any RPG fan. It has an undeniable charm, and a more personal feel than many blockbuster games. It’s well worth a look.
Finally, GameSpy is offering a review-in-progress:
Our final review of Risen 2: Dark Waters is in the works. Overall, I'm pretty impressed thus far and have had fun crafting my character and practicing my swashbuckling skills, but am concerned by balance issues in the economy. If you decide to pick up Risen 2 on launch day, go straight to the Dark Side and grab everything that isn't nailed down.