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Default Risen 2 - Preview Roundup

June 17th, 2011, 04:21
Here is a small roundup of three E3 Risen 2 previews.
GamingNexus, with a snip on companions:
The most intriguing aspect of Risen 2 is its theme and setting. Pirates are abound in Risen 2, and you will even eventually come to own your own pirate ship complete with your own crew. Based on your decisions up to this point, your companions will be determined. If you favor the inquisition, for instance, one of their members will choose to retain their friendship with you and aid you in your journeys. Each companion has his own abilities that can help you in battle, but you’ll have to gauge your priorities in selecting them.

Furthermore, I was told that companions will have a much larger role in Risen 2 than they had in the first title. While Risen 1 fostered no emotional attachments to your companions, Risen 2 will see them have a deeper involvement in both dialogues, as well as progression in the game. During the E3 demo, we saw companions take the lead and direct our protagonist to key points of interest that we might not have chosen to explore otherwise. You can even ask them for advice if you’re feeling stuck. This kind of autonomous involvement is definitely appreciated in Piranha Bytes’ sequel.
RPGamer talking about skill progression:
Perhaps the most interesting and unique aspect of the gameplay in Risen 2 is the skill tree or lack there of. The skill tree in this game has been moved out into the game world and is represented by various teachers. I was told that the goal was to have learning new skills be more of an emotional experience and be tied directly to the choices you make and the relationships you form in the game. For example, there are always different options to solve a quest. In one scenario, you can persuade a bouncer blocking a door to leave or you can simply beat down the guy to move past him. Things get interesting if that guy is a mentor in the world and could potentially teach you a new skill. If you beat him up and he hates you, then he may not want to train you. Similarly, if you start doing quests for shady people, you will start learning rogue-like skills from them. Rather than clicking on an icon in a menu when you level up, the choices you make in the game have a direct impact on how you grow as a character.
Joystiq thinks it's all too complicated, which is probably a good thing:
The one major change we got to see was that Pirahna Bytes has abandoned the sword-and-shield idea, and instead gone for a dual wield setup, letting you put a gun in one hand and a sword in the other. But even that isn't really necessary — the whole point of a game like this is that you can do what you want, so if you want to just hack and slash or just shoot from a distance, that's viable as well.

Which sounds good in theory, but in practice, Risen 2 seems to fall back down to the realities of game development. While the graphics look better, the gameplay still looks as frustrating and inaccessible as all of these other hardcore RPG titles, with various monsters assaulting you as soon as you step out into the world, and lots of complicated mechanics with not a lot of direction.
Thanks to World of Risen for spotting these.
More information.
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June 17th, 2011, 04:21
Haha. That previewer from Joystiq sayinig that R2 looks hardcore sounds good to me…
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June 17th, 2011, 04:51
Joystiq hating something usually means it's good.
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June 17th, 2011, 06:55
So it's not just me, then…the Joystiq snippet sounds good to me as well.

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June 17th, 2011, 07:53
I think Joystiq gave Fable 2 game of the year a couple years ago. They are very console-focused and extremely on the side of accessibility and streamlining. One of their top editors was on the giantbombcast last week for E3 and he spent most of that time making fun of European developers and saying no one has ever heard of PC exclusive franchises.

In short I do not like Joystiq (or Destructoid, who are just as bad). Kotaku is alright.
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June 17th, 2011, 08:00
Can we get the addition "accessibility options" in game menues soon so reviewers do not have to give scores based on a game not scaling to their level?

Joke aside, accessibility means no learning required, which fqor those who take pleasure in comprehension and achievement in mastering shouldnt respond.

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June 17th, 2011, 09:06
When the mainstream media whines about having to make an effort to invest themselves in a game - I take that as a very good sign.

I sometimes wonder if the mainstream audience intends for gaming to be a passively digested experience. Like movies, perhaps? Battles should be hypnotic automated things, where you simply press buttons and feel like you're the one overcoming enemies?

There was a time when I would have thought it a universal concept to enjoy the cerebral challenge of investing oneself in the experience, and learning from observation and deduction. The sweet satisfaction of understanding and evolving the mind.

Guess not.
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June 17th, 2011, 09:06
Perhaps the most interesting and unique aspect of the gameplay in Risen 2 is the skill tree or lack there of. The skill tree in this game has been moved out into the game world and is represented by various teachers. I was told that the goal was to have learning new skills be more of an emotional experience and be tied directly to the choices you make and the relationships you form in the game. For example, there are always different options to solve a quest. In one scenario, you can persuade a bouncer blocking a door to leave or you can simply beat down the guy to move past him. Things get interesting if that guy is a mentor in the world and could potentially teach you a new skill. If you beat him up and he hates you, then he may not want to train you. Similarly, if you start doing quests for shady people, you will start learning rogue-like skills from them. Rather than clicking on an icon in a menu when you level up, the choices you make in the game have a direct impact on how you grow as a character.
This RPgamer quote on skill progression tied to teachers sounds interesting. Thats a concept I have been thinking about since a while back for my "game I'll never make". Will be interesting for me to see how close the implementation is to what I had in mind and how the idea works out in practice.
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June 17th, 2011, 09:25
Actually, that's how Gothic originally worked - at least in part. You had to find trainers yourself and get them to train you. The character screen was incredibly basic - and didn't have anything like talent trees.

The trainer aspect was probably not as sophisticated as they're talking about with Risen 2 - but it sounds pretty similar.

I'm not sure I think it's a good thing, though. Maybe I'm too "gamey" - but I've gotten used to talent trees and what not.

It will, as with most things, depend on the implementation. I just don't hope it means I have to spend endless hours tracking down trainers for what I want. I hate having to look at walkthroughs or similar for such things, and to have a stunted character for half the game because you can't find the right trainer, is a stupid concession for realism.

Well, that's my take on it.

I'd probably prefer a guild system for this kind of realism. Something where you have to locate the guild and build your way up - and then develop yourself with increasingly talented trainers. Seems a happy medium between realism and gameplay.
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June 17th, 2011, 09:36
I know, but not quite. What I had in mind was to do this for perks / skills, while Gothic did it for skill levels. I also think it could be intergrated into the plot more. Quest givers could be trainers as well. I think a new perk would be a much cooler reward in a RPG than yet_another_item (TM) or 100 zorkminds. It would also be a nice mechanism to implement character specialization into open world sandbox games in a natural manner (if you impose some restrictions on joining factions), and to control character progression in such a game. But I digress.
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June 17th, 2011, 09:47
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I'm not sure I think it's a good thing, though. Maybe I'm too "gamey" - but I've gotten used to talent trees and what not.

It will, as with most things, depend on the implementation. I just don't hope it means I have to spend endless hours tracking down trainers for what I want. I hate having to look at walkthroughs or similar for such things, and to have a stunted character for half the game because you can't find the right trainer, is a stupid concession for realism.

Well, that's my take on it.
.
Personally I would love it to be implemented the way you describe it. I replay those things to death and I love exploring at early levels (although it gets me killed quite often) and talking to everyone before investing LPs etc…

I doubt they are gonna make it that complicated though as they are trying to make the game more accessible this time round…

Actually I doubt they are changing the basic design that much… It just seems that reviewer was unfamiliar with the previous titles…
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June 17th, 2011, 11:40
Furthermore, I was told that companions will have a much larger role in Risen 2 than they had in the first title. While Risen 1 fostered no emotional attachments to your companions, Risen 2 will see them have a deeper involvement in both dialogues, as well as progression in the game
This is music to my ears! Well fleshed out NPC are always welcome in my book!
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June 17th, 2011, 11:54
I wonder if we'll be able to sail the ship ourselves…

Would be sweet
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June 17th, 2011, 11:57
I don't think so. One of the previews mention that you have to talk to an NPC to get the ship moved to another island etc

Apparently there is also fast travel You can port back to your ship from anywhere.
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June 17th, 2011, 11:58
Oh well, it WAS a lot to hope for…
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June 17th, 2011, 12:42
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
This RPgamer quote on skill progression tied to teachers sounds interesting. Thats a concept I have been thinking about since a while back for my "game I'll never make". Will be interesting for me to see how close the implementation is to what I had in mind and how the idea works out in practice.
I agree to the point they make as "learning as an emotional experience".

This is totally unlike any other RPG I know of - and it is something I found fairly unique even in the original Gothic game - that you had to find your teachers and wouldn't know where or when you would fimnd them - and how.

What was also fairly unique was to represent increasing of character stats visually, not by numbers : For example by the graphical character representation "suddenly" having more muscles after some "Strength-training".

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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June 17th, 2011, 13:40
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I sometimes wonder if the mainstream audience intends for gaming to be a passively digested experience. Like movies, perhaps? Battles should be hypnotic automated things, where you simply press buttons and feel like you're the one overcoming enemies?
I was actually thinking about making a simple RPG (maybe for iPhone) that had only two buttons—awesome buttons if you will — Attack and Heal. Heheh. And then have random drops with automatic equipment optimise button. Could actually be strangely addictive.
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June 17th, 2011, 13:43
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
I was actually thinking about making a simple RPG (maybe for iPhone) that had only two buttons—awesome buttons if you will — Attack and Heal. Heheh. And then have random drops with automatic equipment optimise button. Could actually be strangely addictive.
Sounds like a smash to me, as long as it's pretty
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June 17th, 2011, 13:54
Joystiq complaining about Risen 2 having complex mechanics seems like someone whining about a strategy game having strategic elements.

with various monsters assaulting you as soon as you step out into the world
Why would someone even think of putting monsters in a game? Let's put enough gay characters and make it a homo porn, isn't that what gaming is all about?
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June 17th, 2011, 14:35
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Actually, that's how Gothic originally worked - at least in part. You had to find trainers yourself and get them to train you. The character screen was incredibly basic - and didn't have anything like talent trees.

The trainer aspect was probably not as sophisticated as they're talking about with Risen 2 - but it sounds pretty similar.

I'm not sure I think it's a good thing, though. Maybe I'm too "gamey" - but I've gotten used to talent trees and what not.

It will, as with most things, depend on the implementation. I just don't hope it means I have to spend endless hours tracking down trainers for what I want. I hate having to look at walkthroughs or similar for such things, and to have a stunted character for half the game because you can't find the right trainer, is a stupid concession for realism.

But I do! I loved how Gothic handled it. All part of the realism and immersion that Gothic did so very well.

Originally Posted by JonNik View Post
Personally I would love it to be implemented the way you describe it. I replay those things to death and I love exploring at early levels (although it gets me killed quite often) and talking to everyone before investing LPs etc…
Ditto.

Exitus acta probat.
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