Risen 2: Dark Waters Interview

Article Index

Eschalon: Book II

Publisher:Deep Silver
Developer:Piranha Bytes
Release Date:2012-04-24
  • Role-Playing
Platforms: Theme: Perspective:
  • Third-Person
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With a beta version of Risen 2: Dark Waters making its way to Steam next week (we're actually downloading it for a preview as I type this), I figured it would be a great time to fire off some questions to the team in order to get some last-minute answers before we go hands-on with the RPG sequel. And helping me make that happen is Piranha Bytes project director Björn Pankratz, who was gracious enough to answer the questions in short order:

GB: Where does development of Risen 2 stand at the moment?

BP: We are quite far into the development already, and are just fine tuning the game and removing the last of the errors before it will be released in April.

GB: Please give us a quick overview of the sequel's character creation process, as well as what sort of progression options will be at our disposal as we level up. What differences will there be from what we saw in the first Risen?

BP: This time, the player will become a pirate and learn a pirate's skills, such as fighting with a cutlass and using dirty tricks, e.g. throwing sand in someone's face. They will also be able to decide whether to play for the Inquisition and specialize in firearms, or whether to play for the natives and learn to use their voodoo magic.

GB: Tell us about the work you've done to expand the skill selection in Risen 2. Are there more non-combat skills this time around or any skills that are particularly pirate-y? Will any skills, attributes, or any of our previous deeds affect our dialogue options in the sequel?

BP: We've made some big changes and additions to the skill system this time. For example, players can now visit instructors to learn a lot of different perks linked to their skills. The dirty tricks you can learn could be considered pretty "pirate-y".

Aside from the thieving talents, there will also be other non-combat abilities, e.g. monkey trainer, silver-tongue, or intimidate. Of course, the latter skills will also be available as dialog options once the player has learned that particular talent.

GB: Special combat maneuvers have been implemented in the sequel in order to expand our options during battle. What more can you tell us about these? How many combat maneuvers will there be, how will they be learned, and how will they be executed?

BP: Special combat maneuvers can be learned from combat trainers. They give players more ways of combining punches and kicks, or parrying blows. How they are executed in a fight depends partly on whether you throw a punch or press the appropriate key at the right moment.

GB: You've stated that we'll be the captain of our own ship in Risen 2, and that it will be a "central" part of the game. Can you break down how ship customization and travel will function? Will there be on-board combat scenarios and upgrade options to make the ship more powerful/faster?

BP: The player's ship can moor at all islands and the mainland, so long as the player has discovered their location. To travel, the player can use a travel map to tell the helmsman on board where to go; the ship then casts off and makes for the chosen destination. On board, the player can walk around on deck and talk to crew members, or enter the captain's cabin to rest. How to acquire a ship in the first place is something you should find out for yourselves...

GB: How linear or non-linear would you say the game is Once we move to a new island, do we have the option to return to previous islands we've visited to make use of trainers, tackle side quests, and that sort of thing?

BP: The world will be open, as usual, and as a rule it will be possible to return to places you have already visited later in order to trade, learn, or complete quests. In Risen 2, the world opens up more and more - while the player can only explore one island to begin with, once he/she has a ship, any location can be reached.