Risen 2: Dark Waters Review
Risen 2: Dark Waters Box Art
System: PC
Dev: Piranha Bytes
Pub: Deep Silver
Release: April 27, 2012
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Blood, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol, Violence

The graphics are another low point. The pop-in is horrific, some of vegetation seems to magically grow and shrink as you move in relation to it, the character models are a little creepy-looking, and despite installing new beta drivers, I wasn't able to get the game to work smoothly with the SLI feature of my graphics cards. There are some enchanting lighting effects, and the worlds you explore are big enough that the lack of detail could be forgivable in a better game, but if you're expecting gorgeous visuals to offset the maddening combat, think again.

Risen 2: Dark Waters Screenshot

What makes all of this such a shame is that the storytelling in Risen 2 is genuinely good. Your hero is a lazy, smart-mouthed drunk, and it's hilarious to watch him babble his way through conversations. The support cast is well-acted, and the story this game tells is epic enough to fill roughly twenty hours. The music and sound effects are good as well, capturing the pirate theme with panache. It's clear that some serious talent and some serious work went into perfecting every aspect of the tale and the delivery—all of which is rendered irrelevant by the fact that the game the story is attached to is practically unplayable.

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Essentially, Risen 2 feels rushed. With more time to spend, the developers could probably have fixed the combat, cleared up the most annoying graphical glitches, and implemented a better navigation system. Instead, they released a half-completed game. It's possible that further patches will help matters—other reviewers have pointed out that The Witcher 2 had similar combat problems until a patch overhauled the system. But barring some serious improvements, Risen 2 is an obvious candidate for the "do not buy" list.

By
Robert VerBruggen
Contributing Writer
@RAVerBruggen
Date: May 8, 2012

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.0
Graphics
A lack of detail and a variety of glitches place Risen 2 well behind the competition.
2.0
Control
Long animations make it impossible to control your character in combat.
4.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Great voice acting and good music.
2.8
Play Value
The story is wonderful, but the combat is so bad it makes the game hard to play.
3.0
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • With an all-new pirate theme, Risen 2: Dark Waters aims to combine the most loved classic RPG gameplay mechanics of the original Risen with a fresh setting.
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • Screenshots / Images
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