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Risen 2: Dark Waters Reviews

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Risen 2: Dark Waters Reviews

Review - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Mon 23 April 2012, 15:31:30

Tags: Piranha Bytes; Risen 2: Dark Waters

Here's another bunch of pre-release reviews of Piranha Bytes' soon to be released cRPG Risen 2: Dark Waters.

Mash Those Buttons give 3.2/5, acknowledging that the game at least tries to fullfill its potential promises (to no avail I presume).

Sword fighting against humanoids still makes for more time-consuming encounters, but there were no longer cases of attacks slipping through a defense posture. Riposting and parrying have been improved since the preview as well and now give better opportunities to retaliate against opponents. The timing for when to counter with those two tactics is unforgiving though, so it’s crucial to pay close attention to enemy attack patterns. Damage and sword fighting didn’t receive the only adjustments in combat; firearms got an accuracy boost as well, making them even more useful.

There’s still no defense against monsters other than kicking them to gain space for an attack,leaving those battles to suffer from being an exercise in dealing as much damage as possible as relentlessly as possible. Having to deal with monsters that way come across as an unfortunate design choice given how tactically the game trains the player to think about fighting in general. Even the inclusion of a dodge roll mechanic would have sufficed to keep a consistent feel to combat.
Did they forget to implement the spacebar-dodge?

VGRevolution gave the game an 8/10 and noticed that while 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, as RPG mechanics usually do.

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.
Then we have another 8/10 over at The Controller Online.

Risen 2: Dark Waters is a non-linear Action RPG that follows a, mostly, open world format in that you’ll be limited in where you can go at times, but eventually you’ll have the run of the place. Even at the start of the game, when you’re pretty much confined to the one island you’ll still have free reign over how you play the game. There are often a number of different quests that will accomplish your goal and a number of different ways to complete each quest.

The way you play Risen 2 will depend heavily on how you build your character and you’ll have to choose wisely as this game doesn’t make it easy to be a jack-of-all-trades type. Stat points are hard to come by and fall into one of five categories, so you’ll often find yourself wondering if you should up your toughness so you can stay alive longer, or your thievery so you can finally pick some of the locks you’ve been coming across.
IGN don't feel compelled to give more than 6.5/10.
The sword fighting is dull at the beginning, but gains quite a bit of depth after you've learned to kick, use powerful attacks, parry and riposte. When dueling other humans or slashing at sword-carrying sea creatures the system shines, resulting in satisfying timing-based gameplay where you block, deflect and counter-attack incoming slashes. Against monsters, however, the sword combat system is far less appealing. Creatures sometimes charge, sometimes stupidly wander about in circles while absorbing damage, and in many cases launch into irritating, uninterruptible attack sequences that make toe-to-toe fighting a mess. Wild swings in difficulty between enemy types mean you'll just as often have to rely on chipping away at health, retreating, saving, then repeating, and often reloading when combat encounters routinely break down because of factors beyond your control.
edit by Elwro: here's another one from Atomic Gamer (7/10):
Combat is just as frustrating as what we've seen in the last few Piranha Bytes games, and while your fights with humanoids will eventually allow you to block, parry, riposte, and generally use as much defense as you do offense (or at least, only after you've gained XP, called Glory here, and used it along with plenty of gold to train up the necessary skills), all of that can be thrown out when fighting the game's rather terrifyingly-designed creatures. For some reason, the developers have decided that if the enemy in front of you is of the monster variety, you cannot defend yourself at all, so your battles with the local fauna usually turn into button-spamming click fests.

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