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?"