Monday, 20 August 2012

VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Risen 2 - Deep Silver

Release Date: 03/08/12


Many horrible years have passed since the Gods abandoned the world and the titans rose from the confines of their prisons. They devastated everything in their path with unstoppable force.

However, there is a place on the southern tip of the Old Empire which still seems safe from the clutches of the Titans – the “Crystal Fortress” in Caldera. It is the headquarters of the Inquisition and 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, devastated by the developments on Faranga, now drowns his sorrows in rum in the harbour town Caldera. As the situation grows more and more dire due to the shortage of food, he sets out on a mission to put an end to the sea monsters once and for all.

Experience a totally unique, tropical fantasy setting in an open world complete with firearms, dirty tricks and a brand new magic style
Vastly improved graphics, brand new weather, water and light/shadow effects.
Shape your own game experience and even the game world itself depending on your actions and choices. Every decision made has a consequence.
Several unique islands, all lovingly designed by hand with no copy and paste set pieces.


OK, I haven’t played the first Risen game so I didn’t know quite what to expect but there are a few things that need to be addressed straight away, firstly you will die a lot. It’s not a case of how much skill you have with the console, it’s not a matter of having the best weapons that money can buy, it’s just that period, death will be your constant companion so you will have to use what many would call the “paranoid” save. (It’s not paranoid when you see how often you die.)

Add to this a game where the graphics feel blocky and clunky against a number of other games out there and for many this will be a very short adventure as they could well be turned off. That said, I did persevere with the game and as I levelled up and my skills got better I didn’t die as much, I learned what style of gameplay suited me and for an RPG it’s an OK offering. The game is big and you will spend quite a bit of time sailing between islands in order to try to pick up additional pieces of booty as you develop the ability to capture them.

However if you’re expecting the full pirate adventure you’re not going to get that, money was hard to come by (you couldn’t capture ships for the cargo to sell) with the only real income coming from whatever you could find and the odd bit of robbing of people’s homes or pickpocketing. With the worst bit being after killing a certain pirate captain you couldn’t even take his ship or grab anything from it to sell. (And let’s face it cannons are a licence to mint gold.)

Other than that my only real complaint was to do with the level of swearing within the game, I felt a lot of it was unnecessary (with the f-bomb being dropped every few lines) and as such detracted from the game. Yes on the whole it has flaws but the deeper you get, the more you’ll get form this adventure and as such I feel that perhaps many will give up a little too early and lose out on a solid bit of fun.

If there is to be a Risen 3 I would like to make a few suggestions to be implemented, firstly that they have some sea battles (such as the ones to come in the forthcoming Assassin’s Creed 3), that you can tailor the sub skills to suit you (IE if you put it in Cunning you the get some sub points that you can choose how to spend in the following skills, pickpocketing, lock picking or Silver Tongue. This will allow the player to tailor the game more for their own personal preferences and would allow the player to add skill sets quite quickly that they feel would enhance their own enjoyment. Finally I’d like to recommend a different clothing style allowing the player to have multiple layers such as shirt and waistcoat, jacket, trousers, boots that could be done in a similar style to Daggerfall.

All in this is perhaps a game you may want to wait to reduce in price before purchasing but on the whole I did have fun and I did enjoy levelling up to see what else I got for my skill points. So yes, I would think it was worth picking up but if you get frustrated quickly and hate having to repeat due to forgetting to save then this won’t be the title for you.

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