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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Risen 2 - Preview Roundup # 2

Default Risen 2 - Preview Roundup # 2

February 27th, 2012, 22:14
More previews has been written for this game. A hands-on preview can be found at Official Xbox Magazine. A quote about the combat:
The combat is reminiscent of Fable, as properly timed button presses unleash more devastating attacks. And you’ll be able to spec your character however you like, with primary attack methords revolving around swordplay, firearms, or voodoo. You’ll collect allies to help you on quests and in battle, too — simply return to your ship at any time in order to swap followers. Finally, we were damn impressed at the lack of loading times within the island, no matter if you’re indoors or out. If it gets the layer of polish that its predecessor didn’t, we could be in for a whale of a pirate-y good time.
A 3 page-preview can be found at CVG. A quote on the rpg improvements:
Deep Silver has clearly improved the classic RPG side of the game in comparison with its predecessor: Brolly explained that Risen 2 contains far more equipment for players to collect, each item of which improves different attributes, and through the skills you learn from NPCs, you can specialise, for example in throwing or slashing weapons, or different types of muskets. You can also pick crew members - who might specialise in melee attacks or healing - to accompany you on trickier missions. The swordfighting has also been rendered much more controllable, with stick movements determining the direction of your slashing, so it's much easier to take on multiple enemies in Risen 2 than in the first game. The hands-on consisted of exploring two areas of Tacarigua, with the starting points defined by launching pre-saved games. The first put us in a village occupied by pirates, with our mission being to infiltrate our way onto Captain Steelbeard's crew by doing the sort of things that pirates do - that is, drinking, fighting and pillaging.
Other places that have previews:

Strategy Infomer

Capsule Computers


Evil Source Gaming


The Controller Online


Xbox 360 Achievements

More information.
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February 27th, 2012, 22:14
God, I hate "specialized" press.
"Improved RPG elements" equals to "there are more items to equip" apparently.

Anyway, I played the press beta myself a few weeks ago, so luckily I don't need to listen to this bullshit to have an idea of how things work in this sequel.
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February 27th, 2012, 22:28
It's been depressing to see all the negative reviews of the beta from players :/ But i'm still hoping they're all just Negative Nancies
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February 27th, 2012, 23:27
Originally Posted by vurt View Post
It's been depressing to see all the negative reviews of the beta from players :/ But i'm still hoping they're all just Negative Nancies
There are flaws, indeed, and pretty much every thing they changed from the first one is a change for the worst, with few exceptions… But the game overall still is amazing and the press beta left me craving for the full game.
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February 27th, 2012, 23:59
I have no doubt some people will be disappointed and others will love it. They changed things and not all is for the better.

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February 28th, 2012, 00:17
Originally Posted by Tuco View Post
There are flaws, indeed, and pretty much every thing they changed from the first one is a change for the worst,
I haven't been keeping up with Risen 2 news. What have they changed that is for the worse?

If I'm right but there is no wife around to acknowledge it, am I still right?
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February 28th, 2012, 00:30
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
I haven't been keeping up with Risen 2 news. What have they changed that is for the worse?
For some feedback from the watch's beta test colleagues:

http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16344

and some recent preview from Game Banshee:

http://gamebanshee.com/news/107085-g…s-preview.html

Change seems to be inevitable; whether it is good or bad depends on one's previous experience with PB games and/or expectations.
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February 28th, 2012, 01:43
Originally Posted by vurt View Post
It's been depressing to see all the negative reviews of the beta from players :/ But i'm still hoping they're all just Negative Nancies
On the contrary, I'm really psyched for Risen 2 after playing the Beta.

There were a few changes that I didn't care for, but it still has that classic Piranha Bytes atmosphere.


The swordfighting has also been rendered much more controllable, with stick movements determining the direction of your slashing, so it's much easier to take on multiple enemies in Risen 2 than in the first game.
Hmm.. I didn't get that impression at all from the Beta. Melee combat seemed disappointingly simplistic, and I wasn't able to determine the direction of my attacks. Hopefully that was because it simply hadn't been implemented in the Beta, or maybe because my character needed to learn a certain skill.
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February 28th, 2012, 02:21
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Hmm.. I didn't have that impression at all from the Beta. Melee combat seemed disappointingly simplistic, and I wasn't able to determine the direction of my attacks.
I'll second that. Fighting groups of enemies is pretty terrible in the beta. You attack one enemy and all of a sudden your character makes a 180°C turn to fight the enemy behind you or another enemy to the side. It seems completely random. Or seemed… I've seen one preview say that the hero automatically switches to the nearest enemy but now that this other preview here mentioned moving the stick (on the Xbox 360 controller presumably) I'm beginning to have a suspicion that this might also be a sensitivity issue on the PC where even a small movement of the mouse might make you switch targets.
Whatever the cause may be, they need to fix it. It's stupid like it is. You are about to take out one enemy… he's down to 10% health… and all of a sudden your dude turns around to start attacking another guy who is still at 100% health while the 10% health guy starts throwing spears at you doing 100% damage, of course.

I'd say that the AI in general needs a few fairly generous finishing touches until April 24/27.
They obviously don't have the time (or the inclination) to improve the animations or any stuff that would involve a lot of work on a feature or asset creation level but a few hours of "just" solid AI coding would definitely seem like a worthwhile investment.

Edit: By the way if anyone is interested in a combat video with a group of enemies then check here on YouTube. Among other things mentioned before, you can nicely see here that at least humanoid enemies are waiting in line during combat.
Last edited by Moriendor; February 28th, 2012 at 02:32.
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February 28th, 2012, 04:00
A Deep Silver rep wrote at WOR that kicking isn't included in the beta.
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February 28th, 2012, 04:27
The melee combat (against humans) was great in Risen, I thought, but there wasn't enough of it. Most of the time you were hacking away at giant birds, etc, which got old fast. And that sums up Risen for me - the fundamentals were there, but they weren't used to full effect.

I'm hoping PB can keep the fun coming for longer with Risen 2.
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February 28th, 2012, 05:12
Originally Posted by badmofo View Post
The melee combat (against humans) was great in Risen, I thought, but there wasn't enough of it. Most of the time you were hacking away at giant birds, etc, which got old fast. .
This has always been my own personal number one complaint about PB's games - way too many fights against creatures and not nearly enough fights against human/humanoid opponents; the combat system in Risen just feels more engaging when fighting humans.

In general, I personally really don't like fighting creatures in RPGs and would much rather fight human or humanoid enemies the majority of the time, as I just find combat against creatures to be dull. It's just not very believable to have creatures like wolves, bears, boars, giant birds, etc. be so aggressive when their real life counterparts typically are not this way unless provoked, and it's far more immersive to be fighting a human/humanoid enemy that has a cause for fighting you in the first place. Even if there isn't necessarily a well-thought out reason for attacking the player, I just find combat against a human more engaging and believable. If there must be combat against creatures, I would much rather fight unique creatures that - to put it simply - are powerful, almost mythical bastards like the infamous shadow beasts.
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February 28th, 2012, 06:59
I personally never had a problem with the human-monster ratios in PB's games, nor do I have any issues with the animal ai. In fact, I can't think of a developer that does it better.

Animals don't attack you without warning, and you generally have to antagonize them for a period before they charge you. I like how they make that distinction between the animals and the monsters who attack you on sight. Most games just use an ai where anything you can fight simply makes a beeline towards you as soon as you're within a pre-determined range.

Risen 1 did have an issue with variety though. It seemed to me like the bestiary wasn't as large and "mixed" as PB's older titles. I think we'll see a larger range of animals and monsters in Risen 2.
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February 28th, 2012, 08:42
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Animals don't attack you without warning, and you generally have to antagonize them for a period before they charge you. I like how they make that distinction between the animals and the monsters who attack you on sight. Most games just use an ai where anything you can fight simply makes a beeline towards you as soon as you're within a pre-determined range.
That is one of the great little touches that other long standing series in the genre have finally caught up with in their latest iteration

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Risen 1 did have an issue with variety though. It seemed to me like the bestiary wasn't as large and "mixed" as PB's older titles. I think we'll see a larger range of animals and monsters in Risen 2.
Yep and they seem to have really gone crazy with some chimeric creature design this time around. I have always been a fan of PB's creature design so I am eager to see what they have in store for us this time and how the new designs work on the gameworld.
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February 28th, 2012, 08:48
I'm going to trust PB because I've loved their games for years. And, TO BE HONEST, what do we have left, as far as AAA level RPG developers, guys? I can think of 3-4 developers still making decent big budget RPGs… no I'm not counting Bethesda, Blizzard or Bioware. Sure, the indie scene's good… but, unless kickstarter IS the second coming, we are screwed.

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February 28th, 2012, 09:00
I'm not sure why you wouldn't count Bethesda after reviving a classic setting with Fallout 3 (and then subsequently licensing the property to Obsidian for New Vegas, allowing one of the few other major RPG developers to make a big budget open-world RPG) and Skyrim, but to each their own.
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February 28th, 2012, 09:13
Why not Benthesa?

Morrowind
Skyrim
Fallout 3
Allowing Obsidian to make Fallout NW.

They are pretty cool bunch in my books

As for Risen 2. I'm excited of surely, but recent first hand impression have lowered my expectations a lot. I'm glad the breathing lively piranha bytes game world is still present, but most first hand experiences indicate that melee combat is going to be quite poor I also miss the proper magic system. And judging by the info I've gathered so far, Voodoo magic seems to be only in support role. No love for mages either.
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February 28th, 2012, 09:23
Originally Posted by Moriendor;1061129541
Edit: By the way if anyone is interested in a combat video with a group of enemies then check [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vARBKO3cZTc"

here[/URL] on YouTube. Among other things mentioned before, you can nicely see here that at least humanoid enemies are waiting in line during combat.
More like sequential single combat really. It seems this is their way of bringing difficulty down? (which they first conceived of in G3) I hope you guys give them a piece of your mind when it is time to fill those beta feedback forms
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February 28th, 2012, 09:51
Originally Posted by JonNik View Post
I hope you guys give them a piece of your mind when it is time to fill those beta feedback forms
Oh I already have a list in my mind.

The way human enemies approach in combat is not high on that list though.
To be fair, I don't see how you would survive those encounters otherwise. Humanoids have always been pretty tough in PB's games, even when you're only facing a single opponent. To be able to survive four of them attacking you at once, PB would have to compensate by just making them weaker. I'm not sure if I would find that significantly preferable.

My biggest issues are the camera, and the way you heal yourself. I obviously had issues with the combat as well, but I'm not sure if we can fairly judge that from the Beta.

I'm also not enthused about having a companion all the time. I've always liked the solo aspect of PB's games. I thought it was neat to have temporary companions for certain events, but I have the feeling we'll be traveling with one person or another for the majority of Risen 2.
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February 28th, 2012, 10:10
Hmmm, what to make of this….

Sounds like they're going towards a more mainstream approach. I'm not surprised, if that's the case - as you can only make do with a small taste of success for so long.

I'm hoping it won't affect the always wonderful atmosphere/exploration aspects - and I hope the writing remains down-to-earth and plausible.

I found Risen to have an excellent melee combat system - if a bit lacking in variety. I think Gothic 3 has the best of the character development systems, actually - even if several skills were broken or buggy.

I'm hoping they're compensating the "actiony" combat with more variety in terms of how you build your char.

BTW, was the beta access available to everyone?
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