Risen 2: Dark Waters - All News
Risen 2: Dark Waters - 80% Off on Steam
Risen 2: Dark Waters is the next RPG to be sold for 80% off on Steam for the next thirty hours. I always find out about these sales a little late so I apologize.
Set several years after the end of Risen, raging titans have devastated the world and pushed humanity to the brink of existence. Subsequently, monstrous creatures have risen from the watery depths of the sea and their attacks have brought all seafaring to a grinding halt. The hero, now a member of the Inquisition, is sent out to find out how to stop the chaos caused by these creatures from the deep. His quest begins with rumors that the pirates who frequent the southern islands are the only ones who know a way to get rid of the creatures once and for all and end their reign of terror.
With an all-new pirate-based theme, Risen 2: Dark Waters aims to combine the most loved classic RPG gameplay mechanics of the original Risen with a fresh theme and setting on a huge variety of themed island locales. A third-person role-playing game set in a dark and gritty universe, Risen 2: Dark Waters maintains the most immersive features of the original Risen, with multiple approaches to every challenge allowing players to shape the game world based on their own decisions. These choices will serve to unlock new paths, features and additional skills for the character. Together with a highly interactive environment and a full day/night-cycle affecting countless aspects of the game world, Risen 2 will be set in the most immersive RPG game world so far.
They also offer a Risen collection for $7.99 on the same page.
Risen, Risen 2: Dark Waters, Risen 2: Dark Waters - A Pirate's Clothes DLC, Risen 2: Dark Waters - Treasure Isle DLC, Risen 2: Dark Waters - Air Temple DLC
Risen 2 - Now Available on GOG
GOG.com is now selling Risen 2 Gold Edition for $11.99. The game contains all the DLC so it's the perfect time to finally buy the game. Thank you for the link SpoonFULL.
Release: Risen 2: The Dark Waters - Gold Edition
Risen 2: The Dark Waters - Gold Edition, the pirate-themed open-world action-RPG from Piranha Bytes--the makers of Gothic--complete with all the expansions: Treasure Isle, Air Temple, and A Pirate's Clothes, is available 60% off on GOG.com. That's only $11.99 for the next 48 hours! You can also get the standard edition, without the expansions, for just $7.99.
Risen 2 - Xbox 360 and PS3 Versions Released
Risen 2: Dark Waters can now be found on PS3 and Xbox 360 in both the US and in Europe. To look at the trailer for the console version, please go here.
Risen 2 - Bestiary Trailer
With the X360 release of Risen 2 coming up at the end of the month, a new 4-minute bestiary trailer has been released.
A compendium named "Bestiary of Arborea" now allows a deeper knowledge of the hideous monstrosities that infest the world of Risen 2: Dark Waters.
Since the Titan Lord Mara unleashed her dark powers, fearsome beasts have invaded the world of Arborea. These fiends endanger sea travel and trade routes, cutting off the supply of vital goods for the population of each island. From gigantic Leviathans, nasty sand devils to drowned undead seamen, these monsters lurk everywhere and will make a pirate's life one deadly adventure!
Risen 2: Dark Waters is already available on PC and will be released on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and the PlayStation®3 on July 31, 2012 in the USA and Canada and on August 03, 2012 in European countries.
Risen 2 - Review @ RPG Codex
RPG Codex has posted a review of Risen 2, calling the game "Risen 2: FedEx Waters". In general, it's quite negative with a litany of complaints from the combat to the questing to the exploration, with the writing and humour being the only real high points:
The island design goes from decent to horribad. The Sword Coast is probably the best one overall, with two settlements and a sizable chunk of stuff to explore. Caldera is another good one, if only because it’s composed only of a city, without any wilderness, which means you can forget, at least for an hour or two, about the clumsy combat. But then you get to Maracai Bay, which can only be described as “corridor island” because the whole damn area is made of nothing more than corridors carved out between huge, impassable mountains. And after that you get to corridor island’s revenge, otherwise known as the Isle of the Dead – this island is actually doubly disappointing because it’s the only one in the game that looks nice. Once you’ve been to the first island, Tacarigua, you’ve pretty much seen them all – they are all rather generic-looking jungles, that differ only with the shades of green used for vegetation (such as Tacarigua Happy and Maracai Grimdark). Meanwhile, when you land on the Isle of the Dead, you see those large, distressing mountains, a huge jade portal leading to the inner sanctum, and everything has those bleak and depressing colours. Inside, the island is made to resemble an Indian city carved out in stone. But then you get a map of the place and realise it’s nothing other than 2 corridors joined at the entrance, filled with undead and one fetch quest. Sigh.
Risen 2 - Releases on X360, PS3 August 3rd, Mood Trailer
Deep Silver has released a mood trailer called Sunset in Arborea. Alongside with this, Deep Silver has released a press release stating that the Xbox360 and PS3 will get their version of Risen 2. Link to the mood trailer at Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Lc3C_Df8D1I
Courtesy of Gamebanshee, an excerpt of the press release from Deep Silver announcing this:
Sunset in Arborea as Risen 2: Dark Waters draws closer to shore on console
Wednesday 27th May 2012 – Hampshire, UK/.. Deep Silver today released a new trailer revealing the beautiful sunset over Arborea in the Southern Seas as seen in the stunning game world of Risen 2: Dark Waters. The glittering waters, lush forests, blazing sunshine and crashing waterfalls set the calming scenes of the Southern Seas. But as the pirate adventure unfolds, the tranquility of this beautiful and intriguing land will surely not last. Risen 2: Dark Waters is out now on PC and comes to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on 3rd August, 2012.
To read the full press release, please visit this link:
Risen 2 - Demo Available
There's a demo available for Risen 2: Dark Waters at Steam. http://store.steampowered.com/app/40390/
The demo allows players to experience the beginning of the game - the world is in turmoil, the Titans have devastated everything in their path with unstoppable force. Only the city of Caldera, where the headquarters of the Inquisition are located, offers a place of refuge for the people. It is repeatedly attacked by sea monsters, and supply ships are sunk en route. Nobody knows how long the walls will hold; food and weapons are gradually running out. The nameless hero sets out on a mission to put an end to the sea monsters once and for all.
Link to GameBanshee where you can read the full press release.
Risen 2 - ModStarter v2.0 Released
If you want to play Risen 2 mods you definitely want the ModStarter v.2.0.
Main Risen 2 - Mod Starter features:
- Mods Online DB*
- Providing short text info and image-preview for every mod.
- Installing few mods (in any combinations) at same time.
- Deleting installed mods by clicking on one "Delete" button.
- Supporting all Risen 2 language versions (recompiling strings.pak)
- Steam Patches compatible**
- Automatic R2MDS updater (version checker & updater).
- SaveGames manager***
- Integrated Tools****
- Multilanguage interface (RU/DE/EN/UA/IT/PL/CZ/ES).
* You are able to download/upload new mods from/to InetDB.
** If new patch will rewrite any of already installed mods,
then on next R2MDS launch, it will automatically delete all
untouched mod files and will ask user to reinstall mods to
make them works again.
*** Changing SaveGames locations on request, optionally making
SaveGames from different mods combinations not compatible/
**** Risenaut, RisenPAK, RisenTAB, RisenCSV, Risen 2 Tune, FNT
Editor. In "...\R2MDS\Readme\" folder you can find all
readme files for any of this tools.
Grab it on World of Risen.
Risen 2 - Air Temple DLC Trailer
A trailer has been released for Risen 2's Air Temple DLC, which you can watch at Gametrailers.
Risen 2 - Review Roundup
Readers have sent in a handful of Risen 2 reviews over the last week or so, so I'll collect them here.
Thrasher notes PC Gamer's review, which is rather negative and carries a score of 61%:
Fetch quests are endemic to Risen 2. The store-guarding frog man of that example asked me to collect six smashed boxes washed up on a beach from a wreck, to recover the most important parts of the ship. I stepped over perfectly useful anchors and oars in order to collect all six boxes, each as arbitrary and seemingly useless as the last. Filler quests don’t get much more thrilling as the game goes on, either. Mooching around a tribal village, I was asked by a woman stirring a pot to collect offerings for a festival from four people. Three of those people stood no less than ten paces away from her. The fourth was 30 seconds up the road. Whatever was in that pot, it must have been incredibly important.
Daniel points out the German-language review at GBase, with a score of 8/10.
Newman sends word of the review at GamesDot.org, with the rather high score of 88%:
Either way, the game you will finish as it will never manage to bore with uninteresting stuff you like many other AAAAA++ titles from big studios these days. Piranha Bytes produced a fun to play well polished pirate-adventure-rpg mix bred game which will bring back fond memories of games such as Ultima Ascension, Monkey Island and Gothic at least but still come fresh and piratey. Which is hard to do if you think about it. Also no bugs invaded my game this time around and neither did they in the previous Risen so this does away with the other meme about Piranha Bytes.
...and I'll thow in the Zero Punctuation review, with the usual humour.
Risen 2 - Facebook Treasure Hunt
We received the following press release for a Risen 2 treasure hunt on Facebook:
Treasure hunt for Risen 2TM: Dark Waters starts on Facebook today!Tuesday 29th May 2012 – Hampshire, UK/.. Set the sails and lift the anchor! The Treasures App for Risen 2 will start on Facebook today and will allow aspiring pirates and sailors to immerse themselves into the world of the Southern Seas from the game Risen 2: Dark Waters.
Participants in this treasure hunt are even able to recruit a loyal crew out of their Facebook friends and obtain a ship to find the legendary treasure of the old pirate captains!
A wealth of other booty awaits them along the way, but if they are bold and cunning enough to face and master the tasks and adventures that await them, they will get the chance to find the greatest of all treasures - a sailing trip for them and their crew in the Caribbean!
Risen 2 - Air Temple DLC Released
Nikus points out the Air Temple DLC for Risen 2 is now available on Steam for $9.99 - here's the blurb:
Gargoyles have infested the world of Risen 2: Dark Waters. Explore the mysterious Air Temple to uncover the mystery that surrounds it as you embark on an extensive new quest. Explore and discover an additional island with new characters, quests and enemies with up to 8 hours of additional playtime.
Risen 2 - Reviews @ RPS, Shacknews
While we build up to another Risen 2 review roundup, I thought we'd mention Alec Meer's Wot I Think at RPS. Alec struggled with the game, enjoying it despite himself, but unable to recommend it to others:
So, a bit of a mess but it’s got charm and brains underneath it. It is inventive and it is trying to avoid genericism, and even though its conversations are far too numerous, far too long-winded, full of the same animations, faces and bodies and occasionally lumbered with characterisation that might cause some upset (I’m going to decline labouring that point, mind), the voice-acting and to a lesser extent the writing isn’t half-bad. The major lesson Risen 2 needs to learn is the value of brevity.
How many hours?’ has become a lazy benchmark for the perceived quality of many games, but RPGs especially, and Risen 2 proves that such a sweeping generalisation is a dangerous one. It’s an enormous game, but I could count the number of honestly memorable moments on the fingers of Captain Hook’s hands. Cutting the number and length of the conversations in half would do it the world of good, and the same again for the side-quests. It’s a big game, but it takes a long while to get anywhere and a lot of it feels like padding. At one point, where simply getting onboard a ship involves completing five separate quests, even your perma-snarky character comments upon what a chore it is. If the game’s makers were aware they’d let things get too flabby, I can’t agree with the sentiment that making it into a joke was the best way to resolve it.
...and I'll throw Shacknews' review in here as well:
Risen 2: Dark Waters offers a lot to like taken in its parts. A competent story, a good amount of player-driven choices, and beautiful locations to explore make it one of the best (and only) pirate RPGs out there. But it fell short for me when it came to other mechanical things like combat and character development. Fans of previous Piranha Bytes titles will likely have an easier time getting going, because familiarity with the developer's particular style game systems takes some of the sting out. However, I can't wholeheartedly recommend it at the end of the day, because the stew of gameplay mechanics it contains—particularly the bread-and-butter combat--just didn't hold up for hours on end.
Risen 2 - patch #1 released
After starting Risen 2 last night on my PC, Steam updated the game with a 50MB patch. The official Deep Silver boards have a German changelog, which improves some aspects, fixes some issues and, most importantly, the infamous filckering of distant objects on NVidia is gone. Couldn't find English changelog so far, so here's the German text:
- Spieler kann nun die meisten Angriffe von Monstern blocken (Player can block most monster attacks)
- Spieler verfügt über einen "Ausweichen"-Move im Kampf - doppeltes Drücken der Richtungstasten bei gehaltener rechter Maustaste / im Parade-Modus Y + Stick rechts/links/hinten bei Controller (Player can dodge in combat)
- Es werden nur noch maximal zehn Autosaves angelegt
- Verbesserung im Angriffsverhalten der Monster KI
- Verbesserung im Angriffsverhalten wenn Charactere von hinten angegriffen wurden
- Verbesserung in der Darstellung der Vegetation
- Verbesserung der Sichtweite für Gegenstände
- Verbesserung der Darstellung des Geländes
- Kanonen sabotieren in Puerto Isabella ist jetzt wesentlich einfacher
- Händlerin an der Schwertküste verkauft jetzt auch Rum
- Exploit beim Schießen-Minispiel entfernt
- Lebenspunkte von Mara erhöht
- Stahlbarts Hut kann nun nicht mehr verkauft werden
- Bäume in der Entfernung flackern nun auf NVidia Karten nicht mehr
- Probleme mit Grafikkarten im SLI Verbund gelöst
- Absturz bei Verwendung eines 7.1 Soundsystems behoben
- Selten auftretenden Absturz beim Klettern behoben
- Fehler bei "Rückkehr zum Schiff" Option behoben
- Fehler bei Regen in Innenräumen behoben
- Crew-Mitglieder können nun nicht mehr von Monstern getötet werden
- Spieler erhält nun das Item-Narrensaft nach dem Brauen
- Fehler beim Erlernen von bestimmten Fähigkeiten behoben
- Diverse Exploits entfernt
Edit - English notes:
- Most monster attacks can be blocked now
- Player has the ability to dodge during combat
- Fixed issue with flickering trees in far distance
- Fixed issue with SLI graphic cards
- Fixed a crash with 7.1 sound system configuration
- Fixed a crash during climbing
- Fixed issue within return to ship option
- Fixed rain in interiors
- Crew members can't be killed by monsters anymore
- Player get the cunning potion after he crafted it
- Fixed issues with skill teachers
- Maximum amount of automatic saves was limited to 10
- Improvements in monster combat AI
- Improvements in character AI if they get attacked from behind
- Improved vegetation rendering
- Improved object view distance
- Improved terrain rendering
- Simplify cannon sabotage in Puerto Isabella
- Merchant on Sword Coast sells Rum and Grog
- Removed exploit for shooting game
- Mara's health increased
- Stealbeard's hat can't be sold anymore
Risen 2 - Dev Diary #6, Decisions
The sixth and last The Making of Risen 2 video covers both decisions the developers made and in-game choices and reactions. Here's the press release:
Episode #6 of The Making of Risen 2: Dark Waters - Decisions9th May 2012 - Hampshire, UK... Deep Silver and Piranha Bytes today released the sixth and final episode of the six-part making of series for the game Risen 2: Dark Waters.
This time, the developers from Piranha Bytes elaborate on:
- how they approached the creation of a game by first designing the game world and the reasons why inhabitants live in certain locations as a basis to create believable storylines and quests
- how the NPCs react to players choices in dialogues and how the 150.000 spoken words craft the personalization of the game
- why they decided to change the character development in contrast to the first Risen game
- and why they believe that a hero with a fixed history allows for better and deeper storytelling than a custom character created from scratch.
Risen 2 - Anti-Warp Mod Released
Thanks to vurt for letting us know that the phenomenon many players consider Risen 2's biggest technical issue can now be removed with a new mod. I'm still not sure if it's a bug or a feature. The thread at WoR has the details:
AntiWarp is a Risen 2 modification that increases the high quality view ranges for SpeedTrees, thus enhancing the game's graphics and getting rid of the "warping"/"morphing" effect (in the original game, bushes and trees seem to grow when the camera approaches them). Optionally the mod also increases the absoulte view range for SpeedTrees.
There are four different versions of AntiWarp, intended to provide a good balance batween performance and graphics quality for every user.
Risen 2 - Treasure Isle and Pirate's Clothes DLCs for Sale
With Risen 2 released, the preorder bonus DLC Treasure Isle transitions to a paid DLC and A Pirates Clothes is also available for sale. Here's the press release:
Story DLC “Treasure Isle” and “A Pirate’s Clothes” for Risen 2TM: Dark Waters now available for purchase on PCCast off! Experience an exciting new storyline in the pursuit of Captain Steelbeard’s treasure or get some cool pirate clothes27th April 2012 - Hampshire, UK:- Deep Silver today announced that two DLCs for the pirate RPG “Risen 2: Dark Waters” are available for purchase on PC.
The “Treasure Isle” DLC offers exciting new adventures in the world of Risen 2: Dark Waters. The player will embark on an additional story questline to uncover Captain Steelbeard's legendary treasure – a quest that will continue a plot element from the first Risen game and finally bring it to an exciting conclusion. The story of the DLC revolves around Harlok, a cook on Steelbeard’s ship Elenor, who stole the secret clues that lead to the pirate captain’s hidden treasure. However, it is only with the help of the player that Harlok is able to find it. This quest will take the hero and Patty, Steelbeard’s daughter, to an unknown island that offers new environments to explore with many puzzles to solve, treasures to loot and mysteries to unravel. The player will discover a legendary item (only available in this DLC) - offering his character a permanent stat boost. This DLC will be available for a price of £7.99.
With the DLC, “A Pirate’s Clothes”, having a price of £2.49, the hero can be equipped with impressive looking pirate items that include a hat, boots, trousers, a pistol and a special ring that will boost his ability to gain experience points by 5%.
Risen 2 - PC Version Released
No doubt many of you are playing Risen 2, which has unlocked in many (all?) regions on Steam - thanks to everyone who wrote in. Here's the official press release, which was sent out yesterday:
Risen 2TM: Dark Waters on PC drops anchor tomorrow26th April 2012 - Hampshire, UK/... Pirate treasure awaits – Risen 2: Dark Waters will be released on PC tomorrow! Explore dense jungles, encounter ferocious monsters, man your own pirate ship, search for hidden treasures – and fight the giant Kraken! Live a pirate’s life in Risen 2: Dark Waters!
Risen 2: Dark Waters will be released via digital distribution for PC.
On consoles, Risen 2: Dark Waters will anchor on 3rd August 2012 in the UK and will include the additional episode “The Air Temple”. Console versions will be released on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and the PlayStation®3.
About Risen 2: Dark Waters
In Risen 2: Dark Waters, the Inquisition dispatches the hero to seek a remedy against the monstrous sea creatures that are interfering with the shipping lines, thus cutting off the islands' supplies. The pirates seem to know how to deal with these critters... but they are hardly cooperative.
New gameplay elements add to the diversity of Risen 2; for example, players can also use firearms now and, being pirates, adventurers can also employ special new skills called Dirty Tricks, allowing them to confuse or attack enemies in combat.
Official Website: http://www.risen2.com
Risen 2 - No Further DLCs Planned
Moriendor sends word of a comment from Deep Silver rep 'FrauS' on the World of Risen forums. As translated by Mo:
We currently do not have any plans for further Risen 2 DLCs.
Risen 2 - Venturo Revealed
Venturo is the last Risen 2 character to be revealed at the official site:
Venturo is a former farm laborer, but since the trade with natives began, he lost his job.
He always longed for a higher purpose, and an offer from the Inquisition seemed to be perfect for him. He was recruited as a marksman, in the hopes that he would find what he always wanted – to become a savior of humanity!
In the ranks of the Inquisition, he and his superiors realized that he was a talented sharpshooter with remarkable skills and nerves of steel.
Venturo was eager for the chance to become closer to his goal.
But his superiors saw a potential danger in his pursuit and refused him his earned and promised promotion, claiming that he was naive and lack of discipline . It is in this moment that Venturo meets the nameless hero.
Can the nameless hero help Venturo become a savoir of humanity?
Risen 2 - Review Roundup
I didn't have time to post these Risen 2 reviews yesterday, so here's a bit of a catch-up. By far the most informative is Brother None's six-page review at GameBanshee, so I'll focus on that and line-list the others.
GameBanshee finds the setting well implemented but, being unable to join a faction for the first time in a Piranha Bytes game, lacks consequences. Overall, it's a positive article - "two steps forward and one step back" is still one ste forward:
But it's all pretty minor. The main focus seems to be on having each island be an isolated classic Gothic/Risen-style map in itself, where each time you explore with fresh eyes and have to uncover secrets and solve quests to progress. Piranha Bytes did this part fairly well. While the game has a number of main quests you have to do, the way you can approach them does vary somewhat based on your specialization as a voodoo magician or a gunslinger or swordmaster, and while there are some "fetch" and "kill" quests, a large portion of the quests have more depth and often offer multiple paths. One example would be in the Inquisition city of Caldera, where you need some information from the archives that are inside the Council's Buildings, which you can't just barge in to. There is also a discussion in the Council whether to sign a treaty with Mara (your main antagonist) or not, which you can get involved in or choose to ignore. The gain access to the building, you either accept a nobleman's help to dress up as a messenger and steal a signet ring from one councilman to forge a letter, or you use your voodoo skills to take over the mind of that same councilman, in which case you have a much easier time finding the info you're looking for, breaking into his own office for incriminating info, and you can even decide to call a council meeting and vote against the treaty with Mara.
Neoseeker - 9/10, one of the highest scores, they obviously enjoyed the gameplay. Curiously, they note difficulty with the lock-picking mini-game, which Brother None says can't be failed. Like GameBanshee, they note performance problems.
Hooked Gamers - "I’m excited for a new RPG and personally think that Risen 2 can bring piracy back in a fun (and legal) way".
Inside Daily Gaming - 6/10, "If you love exploring, walking shouldn’t be a big chore, as you’ll come across many beautiful environments — but after you’ve seen the same waterfall, beach, or forest twenty times, you might find yourself pretty bored or annoyed."
RPG Fan - 58% (25% for Gameplay!), "Risen 2 isn't any fun to play, and what could be more unlike the life of a pirate? The deluge of chores, the tedious combat, the lack of progression – these things should not exist in the pirate's world, a place of high adventure and constant action."
Strategy Informer - 6.5/10, "The acting is generally above-par and the writing can be both snappy and amusing, so I was eagerly anticipating every new conversation. Animation on characters, on the other hand, is laughable, with ridiculously over-exaggerated hand moments."
Risen 2 - Reviews @ AtomicGamer, Mash Those Buttons
Here is another pair of Risen 2 reviews and, once again, the results are mixed. AtomicGamer complains that Piranha Bytes needs to make their games more accessible (which our readers may take as a positive comment) on the way to a score of 7/10:
Serious pirate-themed games only come once every few years or so. Sometimes the gimmicks the theme brings are welcome additions, and other times games feel bogged down with half-baked swashbuckling gags and silliness. Luckily, Risen 2: Dark Waters is one of the former, but it seems that Piranha Bytes refuses to learn their lesson about making games accessible, so you can expect your first few hours with the game to be quite frustrating as you learn (or re-learn) the peculiar way that the developers want you to play it.
Mash Those Buttons finds the game "inconsistent", though again our readers may enjoy some of the oversights. Score: 3.2/5:
Piranha Bytes gained recognition for the hardcore Gothic series and Risen, while more accessible, still has some of the same uncompromising attitude toward player guidance woven throughout. It’s important to pay attention to what NPCs tell the main character because there’s not much hand holding in quests. A quest log helps keep things organized and can show prior conversations relevant to individual quests since NPCs don’t usually repeat themselves. Quest markers can be placed on the map in the menu, but here again inconsistency shows up. The location of a mundane NPC in town that needs to be spoken to might not be marked, but a quest marker may show the location of every individual piece of cargo on different beaches for a side-quest. The lack of markers for things like legendary items scattered throughout the world make perfect sense – the hunt is part of the accomplishment – it’s the occasional missing marker that is baffling.
Risen 2 - First Reviews
The first Risen 2 reviews have been spotted by our forum members, along with a couple via Google for good measure. The early results are mixed, with IGN finding the game "watered down", while others think Risen 2 is quite difficult.
From IGN, with a score of 6.5/10:
Following the overly ambitious and buggy mess that was Gothic 3 in 2006, Piranha Bytes and the Gothic franchise split ways. For its next project under publisher Deep Silver, Piranha Bytes created a new fiction in Risen, retaining many of the elements that made Gothic great: open-world freedom, rewarding exploration and a gritty, believable world. Though flawed, Risen represented a distilled version of the Gothic formula – a smaller chunk of explorable terrain with more focused objectives and slightly less punishing combat. Piranha Bytes continues the trend of making its signature style of role-playing more digestible in Risen 2: Dark Waters, though in the process thins out too much of the series' fascinating density.
Risen 2: Dark Waters is a difficult game to review, because I want to express how much I enjoyed myself in spite of the mountains of criticism that it quite rightly deserves. It's unnecessarily mean-spirited, it demands an immense amount of the player's time before it hits its stride, and the whole thing's potentially offensive to boot. All that said, when it finally opens up and lets the player have fun, Risen 2 has hours upon hours of legitimately enjoyable gameplay on offer. The frustration of getting trapped in the corner by a faster opponent never lets up, but once players get strong enough to soak it up and hit back, the feeling of relief and vindication is remarkable. All told, you'll get over thirty hours of pirate-flavored silliness that will brutalize you, then make you feel good inside.
For me Risen 2: Dark Waters was a nice change of pace from the fantasy or space RPGs we generally see. Playing as a pirate was a blast. The game’s RPG mechanics like the quests were fairly traditional to the genre, but at least it does not take away from the game. The one thing I did get frustrated with at times was the game’s pacing. It was slow. You start off with only the ability to do a simple attack with your sword. As you earn experience you can then trade that experience in to upgrade your different attribute categories of sword fighting, bugs, toughness, thievery and magic. However, upgrading these areas does not immediately grant you the new abilities associated with that level. Once you rank up the level you need to then talk to someone who will train you on the abilities related to that level. A few times someone will train you on a specific area for free if you help them but most of the time you have to pay gold to be trained. I found this frustrating as I was constantly short on gold. I never had enough to train my character in all the abilities that I had access to for my level and buy the best equipment. Even simple tasks like sneaking, you have to pay someone to train you. The more advance the task the more you have to pay. Early on I invested in the sneak, lock pick and pick pocket abilities so I could have more money. This did help some as I stole pretty much everything I could get my hands on in the game and then sold it. But, this dual process made the progressions too slow for my liking. It would make more sense to be able to unlock new abilities by either upgrading or paying someone to train you to do them, not both. The one benefit of this dual unlock requirement was that I did a majority of the side quests in the game for the extra gold. This really helped fill in the story and game world for me.
...and The Controller Online, also with a score of 8/10:
I did, however, enjoy exploring the islands in Dark Waters. Since there is no mini map or waypoints, and most quests aren’t marked on your map you’re left following verbal direction from quest givers or simply exploring the jungle on your own. I found this gave a real sense of accomplishment when you found something interesting or completed a quest. Dark Waters may not grab you right away, but it is one of those games that will find you looking at the clock and realizing that it’s suddenly four hours later.
Risen 2 - Delayed till August!
But only the console versions! ;)
Publisher Deep Silver announced that Risen 2: Dark Waters will be pushed back to August 3rd on consoles because more development time is needed.
Risen 2 - Temple of Air Confirmed
Moriendor writes in with confirmation from a Deep Silver rep on their forums that Temple of Air (we'll have to see exactly what the English title is in due course) is indeed the third Risen 2 DLC, counting Treasure Isle (preorder bonus DLC) and the CE special items. For German readers, Moriendor writes:
It has also been confirmed that the German special edition (not the CE but the more expensive SSE) is going to include that DLC via the "secret handwritten note" that is supposed to be included in the box and that was a mystery item until today.
Risen 2 - Fighting and Dirty Tricks Video
From the Risen 2 site:
Deep Silver and Piranha Bytes today released the fifth episode of the six part making of series that will become available over the course of the next months.
In this episode, the developers from Piranha Bytes discuss the different fighting options in the game and explain:
- how fighting is just one of the options allowing players to progress in the game, and how avoiding the fight can solve quests too
- different fighting styles available
- allowing players to utilize blades, firearms and voodoo
- how much swashbuckling swordfights from classic pirate movies influenced the fighting styles in the game
- how dirty tricks, such as parrot distractions or sand throwing, complement the 'pirate way of fighting' and create unique variations in fighting styles.
Risen 2 - Tomb Spider Bestiary Update
The Tomb Spider has been added at the Risen 2 site:
The Tomb Spider lives in dark caves and dungeons below ancient ruins of Arborea. This monstrous creature digs into the hard earth of the endless of tunnels and maze corridors, waiting for their prey.
As soon as a potential and unsuspecting prey passes by, the Tomb Spider breaks out of the ground and faces the surprised victim with their massive body and long legs. The monster rips open their wide mouth with razor-sharp teeth and welcomes their future meal.
The Tomb Spider can parry attacks with their long hairy legs occupied with claws as well as attack surprisingly well from multiple directions at the same time.
Therefore, the Tomb Spider is not only a frightening enemy, but a deadly and unpredictable opponent!
So beware when you explore the world beneath the surface of Arborea, this is where the Tomb Spider lurks!
Risen 2 - Third DLC Uncovered
We already knew from gamers digging in Steam's database that three Risen 2 DLCs were expected. After Treasue Isle and (likely) the exclusive CE in-game items it looks like the third is titled The Temple of Air, according PC Games.de (translation linked). Nothing else is known at this stage, so we'll just have to wait for more information.
Risen 2 - Too Much Blood On the Cover
Huh, Kotaku reports the ESRB asked Deep Silver to tone down the blood on the Risen 2 box cover:
The upcoming Risen 2: Dark Waters has been asked by the ESRB to change its front cover, because there was simply too much of the ol’ claret splashed across the box art.
The body places limits on the amount of violence that can be shown on marketing materials, and as a result the marketing team has had to swap out the blood with some bluey greeny…stuff.
Risen 2 - Hope Emerges Trailer
A new trailer for Risen 2 has been released, titled Hope Emerges. Catch it via the link and here's the accompanying press release:
23rd March 2012 - Hampshire, UK/... Deep Silver today released a new trailer for the forthcoming pirate RPG Risen 2™: Dark Waters.
A world in chaos and a war that seems to be almost lost.
Monsters have risen from the sea and the titans have ravaged the world, endangering all that live.
But there is still hope: one man, a nameless hero, takes it upon himself to save the world.
Only the fearless pirates seem to know a way to deal with these beasts from the deep.
Will he succeed in obtaining their secret artefact?
Risen 2 - Steam Preorders Open
I know a number of readers are waiting for Risen 2 preorders to open on Steam - well, they are now available and include the preorder DLC, Treasure Isle.
Risen 2 - Bones Profile
Deep Silver sent us this profile of 'Bones' from Risen 2:Deep Silver introduces Bones...
21st March 2012 - Hampshire, UK/... Today Deep Silver revealed another character from the epic pirate RPG Risen 2: Dark Waters, due for UK release April 27th 2012 on PC and May 25th on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
As the former ship's doctor and a talented distiller, Bones has heavy hardships behind him.
He was betrayed from his shipmates and friends and left to rot on a small island, for no reason.
After a long period of loneliness, hopeless wandering and the constant struggle for survival, he was finally found by the natives of Maracai Bay.
They tried to return him to good health, but succeeded only with his body. His spirit could not be made whole again.
Infected by the madness and jungle fever Bones suffers from persistent paranoia, visions, fear of death and choleric temper tantrums.
Since then, he lives out his life among the residents of Maracai tribe and hopes to release his wearied soul.
Will the nameless hero help the unfortunate pirate and free his soul? Can he win Bones over to become a valuable team member?
...and you can also read about Maracai Bay at the official site.
Risen 2 - Firebird Bestiary Update
The Risen 2 site has a bestiary update for the Firebird:
Mysterious screams and dangerous rustlings encompass the jungles of the new world. The natives have already recognized that these screams can only come from one being – the Firebird!
To the natives, the creatures have been feared for generations and have been attributed with magical powers.
To outsiders, the Firebirds are strangers and a new danger, especially since the expansion in the Southern Sea. It is very rare for an explorer to survive a confrontation with a Firebird unharmed.
Risen 2 - Let the Music Play
The 4th Risen 2 "Making of" video is now online, looking at the creation of the music in the game. From the official site:
Deep Silver and Piranha Bytes today released the fourth episode of the six part making-of series that will become available over the course of the next months until the release.
The developers from Piranha Bytes this time describe what kind of music works best for games:
- how a soundtrack for a game gets created even though the game itself is too early to be used as an inspiration
- how the different music tracks get placed in the different areas of a game world
- and how music can convey different moods and emotions in a game.
Risen 2 - Console Release Officially Delayed
This has been talked about on the forums but Deep Silver has officially announced a small delay to the console releases of Risen 2. Despite some suggestions, it's clear the PC version is not delayed. From the Risen 2 site:
Risen 2: Dark Waters will be available on April 27, 2012 for Windows PC, on May 22, 2012 in the USA and Canada and on May 25, 2012 in European countries for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation®3.
Risen 2: Dark Waters will be available via digital distribution for PC, and for both PC and consoles as a retail version, as well as a Collector’s Edition in certain territories.
Thanks to Sin for a similar submission.
Risen 2 - Official 3D Support
From the Risen 2 site:
Deep Silver today announced that the PC version of the pirate RPG Risen 2: Dark Waters will fully support the 3D Vision technology from Nvidia.
Never before has a world of pirates and monsters, of sailors and gnomes, of good and evil, been experienced on a PC screen to this extent – bring the pirate world of Risen 2 to all new depths – with an effect so real you can almost taste the rum.
Risen 2 - Preview Roundup # 4
More previews for this game has been written. I'll quote from two of them and list the rest.
Inc Gamers has a preview. A quote on the concersations:
Perhaps the most important of these to learn and master is the way conversations are handled and how they tie into the game's navigation. Like the majority of expansive RPGs nowadays, Risen 2 comes packed with conversation options that both progress the story/mission and offer a deeper insight into the world around you. Unlike the majority of expansive RPGs nowadays, Risen 2 does away the likes of a mini-map, in-game 'Fable-line' and other navigational aids. Therefore, it's vital that you take notice of what you're being told in conversations. When you embark on a mission NPCs will usually give you some verbal info about where to go and what to do, and that's the only hint you will get. Helpfully, conversations are recorded word for word in a tab within your inventory screen for future reference if you get lost.
IGN has a preview as well. A quote on how the game needs polishing:
It's evident that Risen 2 has numerous things to recommend it: an interesting setting, rum-soaked characters full of personality and sound RPG elements. But it really, really needs to be polished, at least on console, if it's to have any chance of appeasing frustrated fans of the first game or attract a wider audience to its lush tropical islands. It makes a lot of sense for Piranha Bytes to avoid areas that it doesn't feel it can do justice, such as sailing and ship combat, and focus instead on spinning a feisty yarn of swashbuckling and raucous bawdiness – but there's still more work to do in order to deliver on its potential. Failure to do address its technical limitations may have fans using language that would make a pirate blush.
Risen 2 - Preview Roundup # 3
More previews has been coming for this game. I'll quote from two of them and list the others.
First, RPGfan, about the handholding in the game:
Risen 2 does little handholding, which I admire, particularly today. This is a difficult game in more ways than one. Killing an alligator may be challenging, but quest objectives can be elusive and obscure as well. This encourages players to really listen to NPC conversations. Fortunately, an amusing script makes this a rather entertaining task, even despite the patchy translation. There are some goofy moments, but the game never takes itself very seriously. Expect naughty language and tactless jests by the kegful in this land of pirates.
From what I played of Risen 2, it seems to tick all the old school RPG boxes. I doubt it will be a game to convert non-RPG fans, but I think anyone looking for a traditional role-playing game about pirates could find something to like when the game comes out- and if you’re a console gamer looking for more of this type of game it will likely work for you too. There’s also a shitload of pirate-themed content, so perhaps if you’re just mental about sea criminals, Risen 2 will be for you.
These sites also have previews:
Risen 2 - Two More DLCs?
Poking around the Steam database, a World of Risen reader has noticed entries for three Risen 2 DLCs. One is presumably Treasure Island, leaving (possibly) two more DLCs already planned. Of course, this could represent almost anything so we'll keep an eye out.
Risen 2 - Preview @ GameBanshee
Brother None has penned an extensive 4-page preview of Risen 2 for GameBanshee - certainly one of the more detailed articles out there to date. An early snip:
The setting has a good consistency and is applied well, the factions are unique and appropriate, with the natives well-executed in accent and language, as is the look of the settlements and items for natives, pirates and Inquisition. If there's any problem, it's that the game doesn't really explain the change from Risen to Risen 2, why the Inquisition suddenly has muskets where before they did not. It's a jump of at least a few decades, if not a full century, and would have worked better had they set this years later in the decade's time line, with a new player character. But even though this is a little jarring, the setting itself is easy to get in to, and the atmosphere of the game is very well executed.
Risen 2 - Hands-on @ RPS
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has some short impressions from Risen 2:
After the necessary scene setting you land on the jungle island of Ticuragua, shirtless for reasons of plot, and have to get yourself some clothes before your mission can be pursued in earnest. While this seems a bit silly, the game does seem to be trying to teach you without the iron-shackles of a typical tutorial. Freedom is there within twenty minutes, but it’ll take longer to really make use of it. There are some appealing touches from the off: you have to obtain maps of specific areas, as a pirate would be inclined to do, rather than having a magical mini-map to everywhere you visit. This makes up one of the early missions, and I suspect it will provide for later missions, too. I tried running off into the jungle immediately, of course, but got lost and then was eaten by a spider.
The spider-death is indicative of the kind of RPG that Risen 2 is. It retains that notion of baddies too tough to kill being just down the road, demanding that you spend a bit of time buffing up in the local area before you set off on your quest. After last year’s Skyrim and The Witcher 2 I found this a little awkward, but I imagine the effect will wear off after a while.
Risen 2 - Preview Roundup # 2
More previews has been written for this game. A hands-on preview can be found at Official Xbox Magazine. A quote about the combat:
The combat is reminiscent of Fable, as properly timed button presses unleash more devastating attacks. And you’ll be able to spec your character however you like, with primary attack methords revolving around swordplay, firearms, or voodoo. You’ll collect allies to help you on quests and in battle, too — simply return to your ship at any time in order to swap followers. Finally, we were damn impressed at the lack of loading times within the island, no matter if you’re indoors or out. If it gets the layer of polish that its predecessor didn’t, we could be in for a whale of a pirate-y good time.
A 3 page-preview can be found at CVG. A quote on the rpg improvements:
Deep Silver has clearly improved the classic RPG side of the game in comparison with its predecessor: Brolly explained that Risen 2 contains far more equipment for players to collect, each item of which improves different attributes, and through the skills you learn from NPCs, you can specialise, for example in throwing or slashing weapons, or different types of muskets. You can also pick crew members - who might specialise in melee attacks or healing - to accompany you on trickier missions. The swordfighting has also been rendered much more controllable, with stick movements determining the direction of your slashing, so it's much easier to take on multiple enemies in Risen 2 than in the first game. The hands-on consisted of exploring two areas of Tacarigua, with the starting points defined by launching pre-saved games. The first put us in a village occupied by pirates, with our mission being to infiltrate our way onto Captain Steelbeard's crew by doing the sort of things that pirates do - that is, drinking, fighting and pillaging.
Other places that have previews:
Risen 2 - Leviathan @ Official Site
From the Risen 2 site:
In the monster section, the ultimate fighting machine- the Leviathan arises! This beast of terror to sailors and fishermen is a mix of different creatures from the ocean depths. He was bred for the sole purpose of bringing evil and war from the sea to land!
Risen 2 - Video Interview @ Game Zone
A video interview for this game be found at Game Zone. Topics include how they've tried to appeal to the hardcore audience, the pirate-y things we'll be able to do in Risen 2: Dark Waters, what our primary goal will be in the game, and much more. You'll get to see some exclusive ingame footage as well.
Risen 2 - Steam Page
For those who like to use Steam, a Risen 2 page is now up. You can't preorder yet (at least, not in my region) but April is coming fast...
Risen 2 - Sword Coast
The Risen 2 site has a new entry in the World section for the Sword Coast:
On the south coast of Arborea lies the hardly explored Sword Coast.
The Shaganumbi tribe has been settled in the jungle not far from the beaches for generations. The great temple ruins that adorn the area are remnants of the culture and the ancestors of the clan and were built on the sources of the natives' magic. The Shaganumbi experienced the Inquisition and founded the military base off the Sword Coast, "Puerto Isabella", while their expanding further into the South Sea.
From this base, the Inquisition tried to monitor the fabled temples. Observations and expeditions of the temple lead to long awaited findings and draw conclusions about the appearance of the Titans.
Because of the natives, Arboreas, the temples are sacred places, the presence of the Inquisition leads to tension with the native people. But the Inquisition is not the only invader in this patch of earth; it seems like something else is stirring it's safety.
While we're on Risen 2, Worthplaying has a handful of hopefully new screens.
Risen 2 - Gamespot Video Interview
A five minute video interview with Pete Brolly, Deep Silver's brand manager, can be found at Gamespot. The video interview contains new gameplay footage as he talks about that'll we'll be able to make our own rum in the game as well as the game will have the exploration and quest depth that we find in other games from Piranha Bytes. The game will also be two times bigger than the first game and the world be handcrafted in the action pirate rpg.
Risen 2 - Interview @ Gamebanshee
Buck from GameBanshee talked to Björn Pankratz, the projector director at Piranha Bytes. You can view the interview here - you can dins two quotes from the interview below:
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......
GB: The general consensus seems to be that the PC version of Risen provided a better game experience than the Xbox 360 port. What steps are you taking this time around to ensure that the console versions are on par with the PC version, and what roadblocks did you have to overcome in order to add a PlayStation 3 version to the mix?
BP: For Risen 2, we are developing the game for PC but it the console versions are also very important to us. We took the necessities of console development into consideration from the beginning of the development, and the time planning was a lot more generous than before. Also, we now have experience in that area and we are therefore confident that this will be reflected in the quality of the product.
Risen 2 - Chani Profile
Deep Silver sent us a profile of the Risen 2 character "Chani":
Fourth Character Revealed From Risen 2: Dark WatersDeep Silver introduces the courageous and proud Chani...
16th February 2012 - Hampshire, UK/... Today Deep Silver revealed another character from the epic pirate RPG Risen 2: Dark Waters, due for UK release April 27th 2012.
Courageous and full of pride, Chani is the daughter of the chief of the Shaganumbi tribe.
Chani has spent her entire life in the village of the Earthclan, and despised the expansion plans of the Inquisition, and the appearance of marauding pirates in her home.
As a strong-minded voodoo witch with a gift in magical talents, she is dedicated to the protection of her people. She defends with the strength of the people of her tribe against the dangers and rise of evil within and outside the community.
The nameless hero meets Chani on his travels; she shows him that "savages" are perfectly able to defend themselves against invaders!
Chani is torn between seeing the nameless hero as a threat to her and her people and deciding if he is her only hope in helping her stop the evil that lies ahead.
Quote: "Shall I jinx him?"
Risen 2 - New Videos
Three new videos are available for Risen 2, with Gametrailers offerings a "Guts, Glory and Grog" video interview with Brand Manager Pete Brolly and another titled Animals Gone Wild Gameplay. Over at G4TV, Pete Brolly pops up again for a walkthrough video.
Thanks, World of Risen.
Risen 2 - Preview Roundup # 1 and QA
Previews start coming from this game and as such previews can be found at Destructod, IGN and G4 while at RPGamer a short Q&A with Björn Pankratz, the game's project director, can be found. A quote from the Q&A at RPGamer:
You've stated in a prior Q&A that choices have more of an impact on skills and who will help you. Could you elaborate on this? Does this mean that there is no branching storylines at all?
Björn Pankratz: The player's decision which guild to play for influences a lot of things, such as the skills, the hero's companions, and the storyline, which increases the game's replay value. For example, the player may hear about a certain island, or some NPCs might be friendly or unfriendly. However, you should really discover for yourselves which events develop differently.
PC performance is mostly where it should be, but the console version is a bit rougher. Both had framerate issues, but the console one looks months behind, with jagged visuals and a lot of missing or somewhat broken animations. The final months of every game's development cycle are for cleaning up issues and addressing bugs, but the skeptic inside comes out due to the developer's pedigree. Pirahna Byte's Risen had its share of technical gremlins, but Gothic 3 was an utter mess. A representative can talk till their blue in the face about how this is unfinished code, but it takes time to rebuild faith after releasing broken products.
Risen 2 has a lot of traditional PC RPG aspects, yet its abandonment of the medieval setting that has become so ubiquitous makes it feel surprisingly fresh. The lush, tropical environments are pleasingly vibrant, made more dynamic by some nice mood lighting and the day and night cycle. The characters are crass, affable, and oftentimes humorous -- it’s a nice break from stuffy fantasy dialogue. Everything about Risen 2: Dark Waters just feels so adventurous. I really hope my positive experience with the game is indicative of the final product, because I could really use a new, good pirate game.
G4 tell us about the game using a quest as an example. Spoilers ahead, so read at your own risk:
For example, in the demo level Deep Silver showed off for us, we walked though a seaside town filled with rickets-laden sailors and wooden buildings, on a quest for a sacrificial knife. This is done through helping a captain break a trade embargo in order to supply a ship to sail off to get the knife. In order to get drinking water for the ship, you have to take care of a boss named “Butch,” who is so ineffective; he can’t convince his workers to load barrels for him. You can either convince Butch to accompany you deep into a cave, where you summarily murder him in cold blood (pirates were not saints, after all), then order the men to get to work, or you can be a bit more devious and use voodoo to take care of old Butch. Should you choose the ancient magical art/religion of voodoo to help you, you fashion a voodoo doll of Butch, then take control of his character. You then walk over to the water carriers and browbeat them into moving some damn barrels, post-haste. Problem solved.
Risen 2 - Beta Testing Soon
World of Risen has news the early-access "beta test" for Risen 2 is coming very soon:
Buyers of the Collector’s Edition of Risen 1 might remember that an access code for a “beta test” for the next game by Piranha Bytes was part of that box.
This “beta test” is now entering its next stage. Those who registered their code with Deep Silver received an e-mail today in which Deep Silver announced that the “beta test” will take place from February, 20th to March, 2nd. The e-mail recipients are asked to register again on the website betatest.risen2.com with their personal access code.
Risen 2 - The Sand Devil
Head to the Risen 2 site for a profile of the Sand Devil:
These disgusting creatures emerge from the hidden depths of the sea and lie in wait for their prey, primarily in sandy terrain. They are not particularly large, but what they lack in size they make up for in numbers by appearing in packs. Once a victim is surrounded by a group of Sand Devils there will be no escape. The helpless prey is wrestled to the ground via lightning-fast attacks and mercilessly slaughtered by the bloodthirsty pack. Even for the most experienced of fighters, these stubborn beasts are a real threat who must be encountered with great caution and determination.
Risen 2 - System Requirements
World of Risen has announced the system requirements for Risen 2. As is usually the case on cross-platform titles, the requirements are quite modest:
- Operating system: Windows XP (with Servicepack 2)
- CPU: dual core with 2.1 GHz
- Memory: 2 GB system RAM
- Disk space: 5.5 GB
- Graphics adapter: AMD Radeon 3870 or NVidia GeForce 8800 GTX (512 MB VRAM)
- DirectX: version 9.1c
- Sound: DirectX compatible sound chip
- Input: keyboard/mouse or gamepad required
- Internet: connection for online activation required
- Operating system: Windows XP (with Servicepack 2), Vista (with Servicepack 1) or Windows 7
- CPU: dual core with 3 GHz
- Memory: 4 GB system RAM
- Disk space: 5.5 GB
- Graphics adapter: AMD Radeon 4890 or NVidia GeForce GTX260 (1 GB VRAM)
- DirectX: version 9.1c
- Sound: DirectX compatible sound chip
- Input: keyboard/mouse or gamepad required
- Internet: connection for online activation required
Risen 2 - Collector's Edition Detailed [Update]
Deep Silver sent us news of a Collector's Edition for Risen 2 - as usual, we receive the Euopean version of any press releases (UK, in this instance) but I'm sure a similar edition will be released for NA:
A Pirate’s Treasure: UK Collector’s Edition of Risen 2TM: Dark Waters RevealedLimited collector’s edition for pirate RPG by developer Piranha Bytes offers a boat load of content6th February 2012 - Hampshire, UK/... Deep Silver today announced the limited Collector’s Edition of Risen 2: Dark Waters for consoles that will be released in the UK on April 27th 2012 alongside the standard edition.
The Collector’s Edition will have the following additional content:
· Making of DVD – interviews with the developers from Piranha Bytes who delve deeper into the production of Risen 2
· Soundtrack CD – The gripping tunes of the Risen 2 soundtrack will immediately absorb the listener into this fantastic pirate world
· double-sided poster – a large sized map of the game world on one side and an epic artwork featuring the hero and his crew on board their impressive ship
· Pirate Flag – with the skull motif from Risen 2
· Amulet – a pendant that every pirate and Risen 2 fan will be proud of
· The Art of Risen 2: Dark Waters – an exclusive collection of art cards on high quality-paper
· Three Risen 2 stickers
The Collector’s Edition of Risen 2: Dark Waters will be available for a price of £69.99 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
The Collector’s Edition of Risen 2: Dark Waters will be available for a price of EUR 69,99 on PC and EUR 79,99 on consoles.
Risen 2 - Animations Video
A new Risen 2 "Making Of" video developer diary has been released that looks at the animations. Watch it at VG247.
Risen 2 - Pre-Order DLC Bonus - "Treasure Island"
Deep Silver sent us a press release announcing a pre-order bonus DLC for Risen 2 titled Treasure Island. Those who pre-order from "selected territories at participating retailers" before the April release will get Treasure Island for free, otherwise worth 800 points / equivalent in real money:
Story DLC “Treasure Isle” exclusive pre-order bonus for Risen 2TM: Dark WatersAhoy, mates! Free booty for all pirates! Experience an exciting new story in the pursuit of Captain Steelbeard’s treasure in the pre-order bonus for pirate RPG by developer Piranha Bytes31st January 2012 - Hampshire, UK/... Deep Silver today announced a special pre-order bonus that will be available for free for everyone who buys the engrossing pirate RPG Risen 2: Dark Waters before its release at the end of April.
The DLC with the fitting name “Treasure Isle” offers exclusive additional content for the intrepid adventurer. The player will embark on an extra story questline to uncover Captain Steelbeard's legendary treasure – a quest that will continue a plot element from the first Risen game and finally bring it to an exciting conclusion.
The story of the DLC revolves around Harlok, a cook on Steelbeard’s ship Elenor, who stole the secret clues that lead to the pirate captain’s hidden treasure. However it is only with the help of the player that Harlok is able to find it.
This quest will take the hero and Patty, Steelbeard’s daughter, to an unknown island that offers new environments to explore with many puzzles to solve, treasures to loot and mysteries to unravel. The player will discover a legendary item (only available in this DLC) - offering his character a permanent stat boost.
This exclusive pre-order bonus DLC with a value of £8.00 / 800 Microsoft Points, will be made available in selected territories at participating retailers.
Risen 2 - Interview @ Hooked Gamers
Piranha Bytes' Björn Pankratz has been interviewed at Hooked Gamers, offering some general background on Risen 2:
Hooked Gamers: One of the major drawbacks of Risen was its awkward combat system (not a strength of the Gothic games either). The automated target selection felt like it was in the way more often than not, often causing you to attack different enemies than intended. How does combat work in Dark Waters, has this been improved?”
Björn Pankratz: The combat system has been totally reworked for Risen 2. As we have added muskets and pistols and completely changed the magic system, combat will be very different. For example, muskets are two-handed ranged weapons, and pistols can be used left-handed while wielding a cutlass in your right hand.
Risen 2 - Interview @ RPGamer
After the huge sandbox world from Gothic 3, Risen was a return to the more focused, story-driven design seen in Gothic 1 and 2. Risen 2 appears to be much the same way. Would you ever consider making a game as large and open-ended as Gothic 3 again?
BP: We have always tried to learn from the experiences we made with our past games. We could imagine designing a world with a similar size to that of Gothic 3 again, and we almost did so for Risen 2. We believe that we can now tell a more captivating story by gathering the threads at certain points and adding twists. For that reason, we created an open world, but also implemented many more story elements this time.
Spotted at Ultima Aiera.
Risen 2 - Patty Steelbeard Bio
A short bio for Patty Steelbeard can be found at the game's official site. At Gamebanshee you can look at their updates screenshot gallery. A sample from the Patty Steelbeard bio.
To help in her search, she follows in the footsteps of her father and earns her living as a pirate bride. She has certainly managed to hold her ground in the male-dominated pirate world and has earned the respect of her male counterparts. To help survive she has developed a rough and sassy manner.
The bio for the Nameless One is here. And here's a sample from his bio:
After the events on Faranga there was not much that you could do. Alone, in a world without hope, you joined the Inquisition and fled the Titans with them.
You had every hope that you could evade the Titans.
Risen 2 - Interview @ PCR
There's an interview for this game over at side called PCR. They've talked to Daniel Oberlechner from Deep Silver. Not much new info about the game - so here's an interesting statement.
What do you think the market holds for PC games?
Traditionally, creating games is taking a bet that a specific group of people (aka the target audience) will buy your product when it lands on the shelves. You’ve got to have a certain product quality to be able to charge a specific price point, which in turn makes it necessary to look for a publisher to invest into you and your idea. Depending on the case, the publisher provides also deeper insights into the market with market research and experience (very much like a business angel advises on how to manage a startup). Nowadays, small developers are not required to hit the entry barrier of the retail market anymore because the internet and big content delivery systems like Steam or iTunes enable them to get into direct contact with the consumer without the middle man. This fosters experiments and created the wave of indie games we’ve seen lately. Brand loyalty is a direct consequence of knowing the people behind the product – it’s very hard to be loyal to an anonymous brand without a face, which is why even bigger companies have to step into social media and engage with their consumers.
Source: RPG Codex
Risen 2 - Antigua @ Official Site
The news at the Risen 2 site is promoting a page for Antigua, so I assume this is new content at the official site:
Antigua is firmly in the pirate hands. On this picturesque island in the Southern Seas, the pirates have built up a main supply harbour that they use as a base for attacking the Inquisition and unsuspecting trade ships and raiding them for booty. So it’s no wonder that the trade office is the largest building in Antigua.
Risen 2 - Factions Video
A second "Making Of" trailer has been released for Risen 2, discussing the development of the factions. Watch the video at Gametrailers an here is the accompanying press release they sent to us:
New Episode Of The Making of RisenTM 2: Dark Waters Sets SailFactions detailed in the second episode of The Making of RisenTM 2: Dark Waters21st December 2011 - Hampshire, UK/... Deep Silver and Piranha Bytes today released the second episode of the six part making-of series that will become available over the course of the next months.
This time, the developers from Piranha Bytes talk about the different factions in Risen 2: Dark Waters:
- the Inquisition and what the disappearance of magic from the world has meant for them
- the Natives in their natural habitat, the jungle, and their suppression as slaves in this world
- the Pirates who play a central role in the story of Risen 2
- and finally, the Gnomes and their enhanced role in Risen 2, their culture of collecting all things which aren't nailed down and a special mention of the gnome Jaffar who will help the player through his quest.
Risen 2 - Pirates @ Official Site
The official Risen 2 site has a profile on Pirates:
The pirates of Arborea’s Southern Seas are bold and daring buccaneers. But the return of the Titans is threatening to bring maritime trade to a standstill, which would also put sailors’ livelihood at risk. That’s why the sailors are either joining up with one of the last five pirate captains and hoping to win themselves fame and glory on the raids against the Inquisition, or they’re turning their backs on the sea once and for all and trying to make a living on land. You’ll find these scoundrels and cutthroats everywhere on the Southern Seas, particularly in Antigua, the pirates’ main supply harbour. Rumour is that they’ve already built up another stronghold in Tacarigua, and that the rum there is the best you’ll find anywhere in the Southern Seas.
Risen 2 - April Release Date
Risen 2 has been officially dated - April 24th for NA and April 27th for Europe:
Release Date for Risen 2TM: Dark Waters announcedPirate RPG by developer Piranha Bytes sets sail for an April 24th, 2012 release date (North America) and April 27th, 2012 (Europe)14th December 2011 - Hampshire, UK/... Deep Silver and Piranha Bytes today announced the official release date for the epic pirate RPG Risen 2: Dark Waters as April 24th, 2012 for USA and Canada and April 27th, 2012 for countries in Europe.
Both companies also revealed the final packshot of the game showing the emblematic pirate Jolly Roger (skull and crossbones) – but with a Risen 2 twist.
About Risen 2: Dark Waters
In Risen 2: Dark Waters, the Inquisition dispatches the hero to seek a remedy against the monstrous sea creatures that are interfering with the shipping lines, thus cutting off the islands' supplies. The pirates seem to know how to deal with these critters ... but they are hardly cooperative.
New gameplay elements add to the diversity of Risen 2; for example, players can also use firearms now. And, being pirates, adventurers can also employ special new skills called Dirty Tricks, allowing them to confuse or attack enemies in combat.
Deep Silver will release Risen 2: Dark Waters for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Windows PC, and PlayStation®3.
Risen 2 - Captain Steelbeard Bio
There's a short bio for Captain Steelbeard from Risen 2 over at TeamXbox. A sample:
Captain Gregorius Emanuel Steelbeard is an old-school pirate: a man of honour with no manners. With his crew and his ship, the ‘Eleanor’, he used to plunder the shores of the Lost Realms and Khorini Island back in the old days, which is how he made a name for himself among the pirates.
Thanks, World of Risen.
Risen 2 - Making of the World Video
A new video developer diary titled The Making of Risen 2 - Epsiode 1, Creating Worlds has been released. Featuring a mix of live video with the likes of Bjorn Pankratz and Mike Hoge and in-game footage, the six minute video offers a good feel for the size of the world and how Piranha Bytes approaches the world creation.
Interestingly, lead programmer Philip Krause explains the landscape is no longer hand-crafted due to the size, with a "terrain engine" implemented for the first time in PB's history.
Thanks, Kostaz and Alistair!
Risen 2 - Story Contest @ WoR
Frozen Fireball writes in to say World of Risen has a "Cock-and-bull" story contest open for the budding writers out there:
Piranha Bytes, World of Risen and Deep Silver are looking for the greatest storyteller in Caldera!
Your story starts on the coast of an almost forgotten island – the ‘Isle of Thieves’.
The Nameless Hero has been marooned on a picturesque beach on the coast of the mysterious Isle of Thieves.
The hero’s first thought of course is “How the hell do I get off this island?” and sets off to explore the beach and surrounding area, going a little deeper into the thick jungle, when he happens upon a little talking gnome who calls himself Jaffar.
This is the point at which you can start writing your story.
Write 2 to 3 pages at a font size of Times New Roman 12 and tell us your tale of what you think may have happened next with the Nameless Hero and Jaffar on their first joint adventure.
Use these words in your text: “thief”, “jip jip” (gnomish for yes), “ship”, “trip”, “hat”, “rucksack”, “sword”, “feather”.
Of course every great adventure should end with some loot and we offer the following bootie as a reward for your efforts:
1st place: Risen 2 Collector’s Edition, Risen 2 Notebook, Risen 2 T-shirt, Risen 2 Mousepad and a Risen gnome figure
2nd & 3rd place: Risen 2 Notebook, Risen 2 T-shirt, Risen 2 Mousepad and a Risen gnome figure
To enter the competition, send us your story by the 30th November 2011 via e-mail with the subject “storycontest” to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also post your story in the forum and discuss these amongst yourselves as well. The jury is made up of Deep Silver staff, World of Risen staff and members of Piranha Bytes and we will announce the winners on 19th December 2011.
You can find the terms and conditions here
Risen 2 - Previews @ Strategy Informer, VG247
Here are a couple of new Risen 2 previews...no great revelations but still worth a look. First, from Strategy Informer:
This is a very story driven game, with voiced conversations and multiple dialogue options. There's more tongue and cheek humour this time around, with swearing, innuendos and everything in between. Quests can be approach in multiple ways, each requiring slightly different skill sets. Do you want to steal what you need? Talk your way into getting what you need? Simply blow a hole in the wall? This is a party based game as well, although you can only choose one other member to come ashore with you. Sometimes a quest or a mission will grant you other NPC's that will fight with you, and companions have their own skills they can use in battle.
...and a sample from VG247, who use more of a walkthrough approach:
The island we’re shown features a number of Risen 2’s more interesting features with its day and night cycle alongside NPCs going about their business and not standing idly by, waiting for you mine them for side-quests. The hero’s main goal here is to spring the unwilling resident of the local jail-house so that he might join the crew you’re putting together for a little pirate adventure.
Happily, this task can be set about in a number of different ways and speaking to the detainee reveals information about the burly guard that holds the key to his freedom. Here, the hero is presented with the option of deploying a trained monkey – which you take control of directly – to pick-pocket the guard, though this option first requires dealing with the other guards, either quietly or with brute force. It’s also necessary to disable the numerous cannons fortifying the town so that a clean getaway can be made without fear of being bombarded once aboard the ship.
Risen 2 - A Pirate's Life @ IGN
Someone was commenting on our forums that Risen 2 news was a little quiet - here you go, A Pirate's Life at IGN with input from Daniel Oberlerchner who isn't with Piranha Bytes but publisher Deep Silver as I recall:
Or, to put it another way, you start out as a washed-up drunkard and end up as a pirate captain. Risen 2: Dark Waters is a genuine attempt at a deep pirate role-playing game. It's a mix of treasure-hunting, scimitar-wielding, rum-fuelled action in port towns and on deserted islands, and an overarching tale of supernatural world-threatening powers that will be familiar to any devotee of the first game. It's an interesting synthesis, but in moving away from the return to high fantasy that's currently sweeping the RPG genre thanks to games like Skyrim and The Witcher 2, Dark Waters is carving out a recognisably different identity for itself.
"The Witcher and Skyrim were partly the reason why we thought of another setting," says Piranha Bytes' Daniel Oberlerchner. "I mean, how many medieval RPGs do people want to play? It's hard to make something distinctive in that setting, especially as The Witcher did a really good job.
"What's cool about the pirate theme is that it's really carried through the entire game, it seeps into every core aspect. It's not just the backdrop for the story, and it's not just been slapped on to the Risen engine. It's part of the skill tree, it's integral to how you interact with people (and not just because of the swearing). We've driven it further than anyone before in terms of how detailed this re-enaction of a pirate's life can be. In most games you're limited to sailing around in a ship and doing naval battles – everybody's done that a hundred times before. We wondered: what would a pirate be doing when he's not on a ship?"
Risen 2 - 1m Initial Copies to Ship
Via Eurogamer comes news that Deep Silver will ship an initial 1m copies of Risen 2 next year, which will be a record for the company:
Deep Silver will ship one million units of fantasy role-playing game Risen 2 around the world during the first half of 2012.
That's just an initial delivery.
Georg Larch, chief marketing officer at Koch Media's games label Deep Silver, told Eurogamer's German sister site GamesIndustry.biz that he expects Risen 2 to set a new milestone in the company's history.
Risen 2 - Preview and Video @ GamingLives
There's a Gamescom preview of Risen 2 at GamingLives with the author having experimented through the German version on display. The result is some general observations on the game, without the usual input from a publisher representative or the like:
As is customary whenever I get my hands on an open world title, I like to ignore everyone and run off to do my own thing. It means that I may end up wandering into a level twenty quest location, as was the case with Vindasel in Oblivion, but it also means that I get to quickly understand the terrain and how best to approach certain aspects. It didn’t quite work out that way with Risen 2, however, as I wandered down to the beach and was immediately mesmerised by the sight of a hulking galleon (although I’m sure pedants would point out otherwise) and a mid-day sun glistening on crystal clear waters. The water in Risen was always incredible, and I remember standing at the edge of a stream in awe, watching it caress smoothed pebbles as it found its way to a frothy drop, to the point where I dragged Lorna through to show her both the realism and attention to detail. I didn’t think it could be improved upon, but Piranha Bytes have clearly tweaked something somewhere because I had that overwhelming urge to “drop trou” and dive in for a quick swim.
The combat was as intuitive as the previous game, although it could be argued that I was already familiar with the play style and was therefore geared up to switch over to muscle memory. Either way, it was a bit of a kick ass experience in more ways than one. As is touched on by Daniel, the initial island is more or less what we’ve come to know as a tutorial level by modern RPG standards in that it’s almost impossible to be killed and serves more as away to familiarise the player with techniques and controls. Having said that, I still had one or two cans of Wupass (now with no added sugar) opened up on me thanks to my lack of any real weaponry.
They also have a video interview with Senior Brand Manager for Deep Silver, Daniel Oberlerchner, on the same page.
Risen 2 - GamesCom Presentation Videos
Deep Silver's and Piranha Bytes' Risen 2 presentation from Gamescom is available on Youtube (Part 1 and Part 2). It's in German, of course, but you'll see some new footage and tidbits on the display screen - I haven't watched the whole thing but fast-fowarding through, I saw a map of one of the islands, for example.
Spotted at World of Risen.
Risen 2 - Interview @ RPGSite
During a roundtable discussion with other journalists, RPGSite.net asked questions to Daniel Oberlerchner, the game's brand manager. Here's a quote about drm:
RPGSite: What is your opinion on DRM and its intrusive behavior towards legitimate customers especially as of late and your move to Steamworks for Risen 2?
Daniel: This is an important question. The big problem we have when it comes to our financial return is with people who just pass games to each other, which causes a big dip on sales. What we like to do on a frequent basis is check the market for what tech is available to help prevent this. Risen 1 was a disc-only copy protection, and at that time Ubisoft was already moving to an online-only DRM. We feel that Steam already has a big reputation for hardcore gamers - it isn't really something focused on the casual. We also needed software that has a reputation for a stable system that does not violate people's privacy and their data. We also chose Steam for its longevitity. It also offers users another layer of service, not just with DRM, with community features that can let people chat together in real-time. It has overall become very beneficial for us.
Risen 2 - Preview @ Ripten
Ripten has a short preview of Risen 2, although it doesn't add much of value:
I also asked about ships. Ships will play a major role in the game and as you journey on ye quest, you’ll have the option to buy bigger and better ships for your crew. The design of the ship mechanic was heavily influenced by the Normandy from the Mass Effect series. So, you can expect it to be a place where you can change gear, look at your quests, talk to your crewmates and plot your course. Just don’t expect to be able to free sail around ala Two Worlds 2, as travel between the lush islands in Risen 2 will occur via a cutscene every time you pick a new destination. However, I don’t think anyone will complain about Piranha adopting the ship mechanic from Mass Effect, people seem to dig how it works in that series, aye?
Risen 2 - Updated Website, Trailer
Deep Silver sent us a press release announcing updates to the Risen 2 site, so head over and check it out - particularly the teaser trailer showing the first in-game footage. Here's the press release:
Yo-ho, yo-ho - pirates find new anchorage on Risen 2TM websiteExpanded online presence with extensive information on the role-playing game, including a brand new ingame teaserAs Deep Silver and Piranha Bytes announced today, the expanded website for the RPG Risen 2: Dark Waters is now online. At www.risen2.com, adventurers now receive even deeper insights into the exciting world of the long-awaited sequel to the best-selling RPG Risen™.
Apart from new details about the story and the continents, the Risen 2 website also provides background information on the nameless hero. In the coming months, the "World" and "Characters" areas will be further expanded, and descriptions of the game's different creatures will be added. Fans will, of course, also find the latest news at www.risen2.com, as well as an interesting FAQ section, screenshots, wallpapers, and the downloadable CGI video. Moreover, visitors to the website can register for the newsletter and share their impressions with other players on the message boards or via Facebook.
Brand new on the official Risen 2 website is the first ingame teaser for the game which can be watched on the site.
Risen 2 - Interview @ RPG Codex
RPG Codex caught up with Björn Pankratz from Piranha Bytes to talk about Risen 2:
6. Deep Silver's Doberlec mentioned that decisions of your character will have a strong impact on the gameworld. What can we expect?
At many points in the game the player has to make decisions that will influence the rest of the game. We already unveiled the fact that the player will have a crew on his boat. So dependent on what decisions the player makes and which paths he chooses to take other crew members will be available to him in his missions, altering even cut-scenes and other events. That’s one example of many.
7. Björn Pankratz said that the dialogue system has been improved and that we'll get more distinctive answers that will help us "shape our character". Care to elaborate? Any chance to see stat- and skill-checks in a PB game one day?
We’ve changed the character development system from ground up, and some of the skills also influence the choices the player has in dialogs. Plus we also tried to create more optional answers for each dialog giving the player the chance to ‘role-play’ a lot more with his character.
Risen 2 - Interview @ GameSpot
Daniel Oberlerchner, senior brand manager at Deep Silver, has been interviewed at GameSpot about Risen 2. He reveals they are " slowly but surely leaving the content creation phase" and entering Alpha. Here's a snip on moving around the islands:
GS: We were told in March that Risen 2 will take place across numerous islands, rather than on a single landmass, and that there would be some as-yet undisclosed means of transporting your pirate hero and his companions to and from different islands. Is it safe to assume that this method of transportation might be some sort of ship, perhaps of the pirate variety, as it were? If Risen 2 were, in fact, to have a "pirate's ship," if you will, what other purposes would it serve? Customizable housing? A quest hub? A crafting hub?
DO: Yes, you will be able to command your very own ship in Risen 2! The decision to make the ship the central means of transport in the game was based on the feedback from the fans. In Risen 1, even key characters dropped in and out of the storyline, and the players felt a bit isolated--they wanted a sense of ongoing companionship. For this reason, the ship in Risen 2 will not only get you from point A to point B, but will function as a hub for your companions where the player can talk to and get quests from them. So it helps to add the flavor of a party in an RPG without the hassle to the player of having to manage multiple characters all the time.
Risen 2 - Using Steamworks
Deep Silver rep doberlec has posted on the World of Risen forums that Risen 2 will use Steam for copy protection. It's a lengthy post, but here is the whole thing:
Hello Risen Fans,
I’d like to give you an update on copy protection for Risen 2. We know that this topic is important for you which is why we want to be as transparent as possible. As mentioned before on several occasions, we regularly evaluate copy protection systems on the market for our product portfolio. In our role as publisher for entertainment software, a set of basic requirements has to be met by the technology we deploy:
Security: The copy protection scheme in question has to be very secure for the customer as well as the publisher.
Compatibility: The technology has to be compatible with all hardware components out there.
Comfort: The protection has to add value to the player aside to its protective behaviour.
Support: The technology has to provide us the means to help customers if the product is not behaving in the expected manner.
Reliability: The scheme has to be proven stable over multiple years and many products.
We diligently reviewed many solutions in the last couple of years and in the case of Risen 2 we decided to use the Steam-Plattform from Valve on a worldwide basis.The reasons we decided to go with Steam are:
Steam offers an automated update system which allows all customers to play the latest version of Risen 2 since all patches will be delivered automatically to their PC. Steam has been running stable on millions of PCs out there, so it provides the reliability we need. The digital copy of Risen 2 will also not require two different copy protections on Steam (compared to Risen 1).
Risen 2 will be playable without a DVD in the drive if the product has been added to a Steam account (Steam accounts are free) and will be available for download on other PCs if you’re on the move and still want to play Risen 2. The Steam account itself has been further fortified by the optional Steam Guard system which adds another layer of security. Steam also offers a big array of community features: chats, game groups, achievements and the player can even upload up to 1000 screenshots to share his/her experience in the world of Risen 2. All those features convinced us that Steam offers the right package of features, reliability and security for us.
Naturally we also wanted to keep the restrictions, which are part of any copy protection, as unobtrusive as possible. You will only be required to be online once – to link your game to your Steam account and afterwards you will be able to play offline and without DVD in the drive. You will also be able to install Risen 2 from your Steam account on as many systems you like.
Risen 2 - Preview Roundup # 3
Two more previews for this game have surfaced. First up is GameFocus:
The gameplay demo ended with a visit to a beautiful waterfall. Piranha Bytes stated they want to create a living, breathing world with a variety of creatures. Areas are hand-drawn and each island only has to be loaded once upon arrival to create a seamless adventure. The graphical leap between games was apparent and the shift to a greener setting definitely helped.
In Risen 2, you'll also have your own pirate ship with crew. (Like Mass Effect's Normandy, but with sails and a mast.) Over the course of the game, you'll pick up new members of your crew, an interesting cast of characters that you can also recruit as sidekicks when going inland. I asked whether this is a full sailing sim or whether it has any elements of Sid Meier's Pirates!, but was told that no, it diluted the focus of Piranha Bytes' own brand of action-RPG, and didn't feel like it fit in the world. So the answer is that while you do have your own ship to explore and play around in, you'll likely just be clicking areas on a map to go to them.
Risen 2 - Preview Roundup # 2
More previews for this game has appeared. I'll quote from one of them and list the rest:
First up is RPGSite
It goes without saying that the developers of Risen 2 heard all the complaints that their first game received and quickly set to work completely overhauling each and every single issue that they could find that fans had problems with. Even the guy demoing the game for us admitted that even they thought that the "characters looked like shit" along with the animations and graphics. Instead of suffering from bland and muddy environments, the living, breathable world is bursting with vibrant colors, big bright skies, deep oceans, and and extremely lush vegetation thanks to the inclusion of tone mapping that makes everything pop. The game even includes dynamic lighting, weather, and creeping shadows.
And then others:
Risen 2 - Preview Roundup
Here is a small roundup of three E3 Risen 2 previews.
GamingNexus, with a snip on companions:
The most intriguing aspect of Risen 2 is its theme and setting. Pirates are abound in Risen 2, and you will even eventually come to own your own pirate ship complete with your own crew. Based on your decisions up to this point, your companions will be determined. If you favor the inquisition, for instance, one of their members will choose to retain their friendship with you and aid you in your journeys. Each companion has his own abilities that can help you in battle, but you’ll have to gauge your priorities in selecting them.
Furthermore, I was told that companions will have a much larger role in Risen 2 than they had in the first title. While Risen 1 fostered no emotional attachments to your companions, Risen 2 will see them have a deeper involvement in both dialogues, as well as progression in the game. During the E3 demo, we saw companions take the lead and direct our protagonist to key points of interest that we might not have chosen to explore otherwise. You can even ask them for advice if you’re feeling stuck. This kind of autonomous involvement is definitely appreciated in Piranha Bytes’ sequel.
RPGamer talking about skill progression:
Perhaps the most interesting and unique aspect of the gameplay in Risen 2 is the skill tree or lack there of. The skill tree in this game has been moved out into the game world and is represented by various teachers. I was told that the goal was to have learning new skills be more of an emotional experience and be tied directly to the choices you make and the relationships you form in the game. For example, there are always different options to solve a quest. In one scenario, you can persuade a bouncer blocking a door to leave or you can simply beat down the guy to move past him. Things get interesting if that guy is a mentor in the world and could potentially teach you a new skill. If you beat him up and he hates you, then he may not want to train you. Similarly, if you start doing quests for shady people, you will start learning rogue-like skills from them. Rather than clicking on an icon in a menu when you level up, the choices you make in the game have a direct impact on how you grow as a character.
Joystiq thinks it's all too complicated, which is probably a good thing:
The one major change we got to see was that Pirahna Bytes has abandoned the sword-and-shield idea, and instead gone for a dual wield setup, letting you put a gun in one hand and a sword in the other. But even that isn't really necessary -- the whole point of a game like this is that you can do what you want, so if you want to just hack and slash or just shoot from a distance, that's viable as well.
Which sounds good in theory, but in practice, Risen 2 seems to fall back down to the realities of game development. While the graphics look better, the gameplay still looks as frustrating and inaccessible as all of these other hardcore RPG titles, with various monsters assaulting you as soon as you step out into the world, and lots of complicated mechanics with not a lot of direction.
Thanks to World of Risen for spotting these.
Risen 2 - Video Interview @ Gametrailers
Risen 2 - Preview @ GameSpot
Risen 2 has been previewed at GameSpot, in a pretty perfunctory article:
While we're on the subject, the hero has a few tricks up his sleeve to turn the tide of combat. He can use his parrot to distract foes, pull off counter parries and normal parries, and even toss dust to stun foes if players choose these abilities when leveling up. We felt that every little bit of help was welcome, if the prequel's absurd difficulty curve was of any indication. Thankfully, Oberlechner said that Risen 2 will be a little easier than the first game, with the first few hours of the game introducing many incentives to power up your character and the hard parts to come in later.
It should also be noted that all of these fights took place in incredibly lush jungles with beautiful waterfall vistas. Furthermore, Oberlerchner said that the PC version need only modest PC requirements and will stick to using DirectX 9.
Risen 2 - Preview @ World of Risen
World of Risen posted a brand new Risen 2: Dark Waters preview ( and here in German). Last week publisher Deep Silver showed their E3 presentation to the German press, and it seems the embargo went up an hour ago. Expect many other previews with identical content over the next few days.
The author cuts right to the chase. His article is a good start if you want to know where the Risen series is heading.
The combat system has also been redone. Since you will not fight with shield and sword but with cutlass or pistol, one hand remains free. That can be used for different other actions. At this point the so called »Dirty Tricks« come into play. You will be able to throw sand into your opponent’s eyes. Or to confuse him with your pet parrot. The spectrum of firearms will be large. Weapons with one or more barrels, muskets, shotguns, pistols or special ammunition are supposed to provide a wide variety of firearms. Special attacks are sometimes more effective than normal attacks. By the way: The really good firearms are reserved to people who play friends with the Inquisition. As usual, the richest people have the best weapons.
Expected release date: Not before Q1/2012.
Risen 2 - Interview @ Gamona.de
The piece is well worth reading. A lot of interesting topics are covered and the interviewer keeps things flowing nicely. Here's a small excerpt:
gamona: In the times of the four-people-developer rat shop, would you have thought that “Gothic” would still be used as an example for good character behaviour ten years later?
BP: Yes. Because even back then, much was possible. Think about “Ultima Underworld” where you could do anything that is still usual today: Shoot a bow, magic, look up and down, jump around, pull a lever, summon a monster and let it fight. Everything that's typical for RPGs you could already do back then.
Now you could say: “Make a game like Ultima Underworld, it was soooo cool back then!”. Everything looks good today but the gaming part gets left behind somewhere. And that is the core of your critic, too. But not only for me as game designer but the entire business, other things are also important. Like the narrative presentation of the story. There are much more cut scenes implemented, many things are chewed for the player.
gamona: Chewed for? As in: You don't have to think for yourself?
BP: Yes, that is a trend which we as developers observe. And to find a middle way through it is the important thing. Between the stuff that is chewed for you and that where the game pulls me in, where I can explore it freely and live in it. With “Risen”, we often received the critic: “I arrive at the beach, the game starts and shortly after, I somehow lost the thread and just run around the landscape.”
To find a mixture in that matter is an art. And it is in the perception of the player whether the arc of suspense takes effect or whether he is annoyed somewhere so much that he stops playing. It is a very complex topic.
Risen 2 - Screens @ WoR
World of Risen has three new E3 screens for Risen 2.
Risen 2 - Preview @ Gamestar.de
Risen 2 continues fairly seamlessly from where its predecessor ended, towards the displeasure of our hero. He tosses and turns in his hammock, his head full to bursting with titanic monsters, doom, worries over not having enough money for Schnapps, and so on. All is truly bleak: parts of the world are ravaged, many lie slain. Following the Titan's downfall came its lackeys, chewing with disinterest on the world and then spitting it out again.
And here's something about choices:
Who we side with is our choice. But first we have to loot the place, and the guard won't budge. We try to persuade him with "Silvertongue," but his stubbornness leaves him unaffected. Either he's immune to persuasion, or our skills are lacking and need to be improved. We try to threaten him, only to have the dialogue end. What shall we do? The game proffers two possibilities. We test out the first by striking the guy down, and this works even without any sort of talent. And it gets better: after he's felled, a new option comes up: we can help the wounded boy. Thus he starts seeing us with new eyes, and decides to pay tribute to the pirates. Furthermore, he is thankful for our kind-heartedness, and lets us in.
Source: RPG Codex
Risen 2 - Five Fixes Will Make It Outstanding
Second Letter Media writes in with this short article titled 5 Fixes Will Make Risen 2 Oustanding. It comes from a console perspective and I can't say they are the same as my list but here's a sample:
4. Don't Level Cap Me - For the love of our Lord, Europe. Can you please cut it out with the Level Caps that force us to pidgeon hole our character development. If I want a character that is just as strong in magic as he is in sword play, can you please find it in your heart to let me work toward that? Please make Risen the first 360 Euro RPG to break this horrible tradition.
Risen 2 - New Screens
Deep Silver sent us a press release and screens for Risen 2. I haven't had time to upload them so check them out at World of Risen in the meantime:
12th May 2011 – Hampshire, UK /… Deep Silver today released new impressions from their upcoming role-playing game Risen 2, the sequel to the bestselling Risen™.
The new action screenshots show enemies as well as fights, including innovations as new weapons and special attacks: Risen 2 offers the possibility to tackle enemies from far away with firearms or, if the enemy moves closer, the player can switch into melee combat using piercing or slashing weapons to further weaken the enemy. Also, several enemies have a weak spot which can be exploited by the player with special attacks. Giant crabs can for example be kicked in order to turn them on their back, rendering them helpless.
Thanks also to everyone who wrote in with various links for this.
Risen 2 - "Why Risen 2 will be better" @ Eurogamer
Piranha Bytes' Michael Hoge together with Deep Silver's Daniel Oberlerchner discuss Risen 2 with Eurogamer. Let's start at the beginning with our quote:
Eurogamer: Was Risen 1 your best work?
Michael Hoge: No, absolutely not. Risen, especially the console version, was done quite poorly. It was our first console project. The PC version was all right, though. With Risen our main goal was to produce a role-playing game in time and in budget.
Daniel Oberlerchner: [Piranha Bytes] wanted to recover from the feedback they got for Gothic 3. Gothic 3 was their previous project before Risen 1. The feedback from the community and also the press was abysmal for Gothic 3 because the project lacked a lot of time and polish. It was a huge world but it wasn't really filled properly and there were many bugs.
We wanted to get rid of the bugs and polish it down for Risen 1. And I think we succeeded with that.
...and a quote on Risen 2:
Eurogamer: What is the budget for Risen 2?
Michael Hoge: The project Risen 2 is by far the most expensive project that we've done. I can't elaborate on that, sorry.
We've put much more effort into the animation by using motion capture. Also, the structure of the game: in Risen 1 we had quite an imbalance in the game chapters; as the game went on there was less and less to do, and at the end you had to run through a couple of dungeons. This gave you the feeling that the game became more boring.
What we're doing in Risen 2 is mix it all up: the dungeons will not be at the end of the game but at several points in the game.
We have a completely different travelling system. We've split the world into several islands and coastal regions, so you still have an open world, which you can explore freely, but we can force the player to solve some missions before we allow him to travel to another island. Thus we can ensure the player knows certain things when he arrives.
Risen 2 - New Video Interview
Gametrailers is hosting a new video interview which contains much of the cinematic trailer we've already seen. Nothing really new, but it is a short and interesting view.
Risen 2 - Cinematic Trailer
Yes, you called it in our forums. The Risen 2 countdown has resulted in...a cinematic CGI trailer. That said, it's pretty cool, so take a look at IGN.
Risen 2 - Teaser Countdown
Don't you love countdowns? The rather sexy teaser site for Risen 2 has a countdown with 15 hours to go as I write. No idea what will be revealed - if you have a stronger connection to the German Piranha Bytes community than I do, feel free to add something in the comments.
Risen 2 - First Look @ G4TV
G4TV has a First Look preview of Risen 2 that seems mostly based on the GDC presentation - which was a while back. There's nothing new that I noticed but here's a snip:
After the intro-movie, I got to check out a small taste of Risen 2’s gameplay. The look in Risen 2 has been improved significantly from the first game. The colors are richer and brighter and the details more highly defined. The demo level featured a pirate town, filled with makeshift pirate structures – It’s a bit like a more detailed, better looking version of World of Warcraft’s Booty Bay – lots of makeshift boards piled up and I-don’t-care-about-looks architecture.
Risen 2 - First Look @ GameSpot
Some quick impressions from Risen 2 are available at GameSpot, based on a short viewing at GDC:
Yes, islands. While the first game took place on a single landmass, Risen 2 will take place across a series of different islands. The developer isn't commenting on exactly how your swashbuckling pirate Hero will make his way between these beleaguered areas, but given that Piranha Bytes suggests that the game will be "the perfect pirate RPG," it's not hard to guess how you'll be getting from point A to point B. And you won't be going it alone, either; like in Risen, you will from time to time have companions join your side. At least one of the companions will be a mysterious woman practiced in the dreaded art of voodoo magic. This character appears in one of the game's early video trailers and rescues the Hero by means of a voodoo doll and a lit match, just as he's about to be finished off by a group of attackers.
Risen 2 - Play as a Pirate @ IGN
IGN has a preview of Risen 2 from GDC, where they got to see the game. I'm not sure if the following quote should be taken literally, but if so, it looks like firearms have replaced bows and crossbows altogether:
The combat's changing around too. Gone are bows and arrows, replaced by firearms. Throughout the journey you'll get access to pistols, rifles, shotguns and even cannon. Melee combat will be an option as well if the idea of firing bullets in a game like this doesn't sit well with you, and a magic system will exist too, though will likely wind up being different than what was present in Risen. Piranha Bytes showed off a few very limited combat sequences and Dark Waters definitely has the look of a Piranha Bytes game, though the protagonist's arcing sword swings weren't quite as awkward-looking as they were in Risen.
Risen 2 - Official Press Release
Deep Silver sent us a press release announcing Risen 2: Dark Waters.
Deep Silver reveals Risen 2TM: Dark WatersPiranha Bytes team to explore uncharted territories21st February 2011 – Hampshire, UK/… Deep Silver and Piranha Bytes today officially revealed their new game Risen 2™: Dark Waters, the successor of the popular role-playing game Risen™. With an expanded setting, a fresh story and characters and an all-new technical foundation, Risen 2 will expand the success of the Risen franchise worldwide.
Set several years after the end of Risen, raging titans have devastated the world and pushed humanity to the brink of existence. Subsequently, monstrous creatures have risen from the watery depths of the sea and their attacks have brought all seafaring to a grinding halt. The hero, now a member of the Inquisition, is sent out to find out how to stop the chaos caused by these creatures from the deep. His quest begins with rumors that the pirates who frequent the southern islands are the only ones who know a way to get rid of the creatures once and for all and end their reign of terror.
With an all-new pirate-based theme, Risen 2: Dark Waters aims to combine the most loved classic RPG gameplay mechanics of the original Risen with a fresh theme and setting on a huge variety of themed island locales. A third-person role-playing game set in a dark and gritty universe, Risen 2: Dark Waters maintains the most immersive features of the original Risen, withmultiple approaches to every challenge allowing players to shape the game world based on their own decisions. These choices will serve to unlock new paths, features and additional skills for the character. Together with a highly interactive environment and a full day/night-cycle affecting countless aspects of the game world, Risen 2 will be set in the most immersive RPG game world so far.
The eagerly-awaited successor of Risen will set sail worldwide for consoles and PC. For a first immersion into Risen 2: Dark Waters, three illustrations giving a first glimpse of the beautiful new game world can be found on the official game teaser site at www.risen2.com.
Risen 2 - First Screens!
The first Risen 2 screens have been released with PC Games.de offering three shots. In addition, the full title appears to be Risen 2: Dark Waters, based on the logo at the Deep Silver forums and the game world has clearly advanced - one of the screens shows a victim being shot with a pistol.
Thanks to Porcozaur and srabuseen on our forums.
Edit: You'll want to take a look at risen2.com, as well, where you can see the same screens - or "artworks" as the website says - and a Flash panorama.
Risen 2 - First Information Soon?
World of Risen has suddenly sprung to life with new posts suggesting Risen 2 information is just around the corner. My German is worse than rusty but the game has appeared on Amazon's listings and apparently the 19th will see subscribers receiving PC Games.de, where the game will be unveiled (if I understand correctly). The new composer is also named - Bastian Seelbach - with Kai Rosenkranz having left (which I'd missed previously, sadly).
Risen 2 - Officially Announced!
Everybody knew it was coming, now it's official. Deep Silver announced Risen 2 at their GC press conference. Risen 2 is "in development at Piranha Bytes for console and PC".
A release date has not been clarified.
Found at Golem.de.