We said in a previous article that Risen 2 can be compared to “The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim”, but it can better be compared with the other RPG hit, The Witcher 2.
Similarities? Some fights, mostly the one from the end of Risen 2, the level of maturity that we see in both games, harsh language, violence. It is obvious that Risen 2 is more casual friendly where The Witcher 2 is hardcore all the way.
Our same nameless hero becomes a pirate in Risen 2, Piranha Bytes managing to cut all the wrong things that we saw in the first Risen and only create the fun parts we saw also in the first game of this series.
Creepy dungeons, very hard mobs? All gone, Risen 2 is more casual friendly, we can even get companions on our side that will help us through the fights. The player can also choose to fight alone. The NPCs pathfinding is not an issue in this game.
The combat system was simplified, no more 2 handed weapons, 1 handed weapon and shield, no shields in Risen 2. Just the same 1 handed saber that our hero will learn to use. There are a few new options for weapons though. We can use slashing, piercing weapons, spears that work pretty different, and finally, riffles that are replacing the old bows.
There are no levels, the player will get glory (experience) that is used to increase his main stats. At a first look, it might seem that gold is very precious and is highly required to learn new skills, moves.
This is true, what matters is that the system is well balanced, don’t expect to get tons of gold until late in game.
The fighting style, more fun than in the first Risen and far better than the one from Gothic 3 as some players said when the game was in the beta state.
The story.. is not comparable to a Final Fantasy game even though the main goal is to save the world from Mara, the sea goddess, it is pretty simple and well built. It is just there so the game to have some sort of progression.
Most fun parts from Risen 2? Obviously the level of maturity that Piranha Bytes managed to create, Risen 2 will satisfy the old fans that enjoyed Gothic 1 and 2, the dialogues are both fun and mature and most important, the game has feeling.
What Piranha Bytes didn’t managed to do?
The game becomes superficial at some point and it feels that PB rushed. There are the same dialogues that some of us will lack the patience to listen, some superficial environments on a few islands, some mobs that just don’t fit in this game.
It is still amazing what Piranha Bytes managed to do in this virtual world, on small maps, how they added quests, mobs, NPCs, creating most of the time some very realistic environments.
Piranha Bytes did it again or not? It is certainly not another Gothic 3, it is far better than Risen 1 on some aspects.
Is not at the same level as Gothic 1 even though this comparison is not right as many years are separating these games. The answer is yes, Piranha Bytes managed to create a great game but the fans expected more.
To conclude, the waiting for Risen 2 was painful, the game is sweet and now we need to wait again a few years until Piranha Bytes will release another gaming jewel.