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Default Risen 2 - Review Roundup

April 25th, 2012, 03:06
I didn't have time to post these Risen 2 reviews yesterday, so here's a bit of a catch-up. By far the most informative is Brother None's six-page review at GameBanshee, so I'll focus on that and line-list the others.
GameBanshee finds the setting well implemented but, being unable to join a faction for the first time in a Piranha Bytes game, lacks consequences. Overall, it's a positive article - "two steps forward and one step back" is still one ste forward:
But it's all pretty minor. The main focus seems to be on having each island be an isolated classic Gothic/Risen-style map in itself, where each time you explore with fresh eyes and have to uncover secrets and solve quests to progress. Piranha Bytes did this part fairly well. While the game has a number of main quests you have to do, the way you can approach them does vary somewhat based on your specialization as a voodoo magician or a gunslinger or swordmaster, and while there are some "fetch" and "kill" quests, a large portion of the quests have more depth and often offer multiple paths. One example would be in the Inquisition city of Caldera, where you need some information from the archives that are inside the Council's Buildings, which you can't just barge in to. There is also a discussion in the Council whether to sign a treaty with Mara (your main antagonist) or not, which you can get involved in or choose to ignore. The gain access to the building, you either accept a nobleman's help to dress up as a messenger and steal a signet ring from one councilman to forge a letter, or you use your voodoo skills to take over the mind of that same councilman, in which case you have a much easier time finding the info you're looking for, breaking into his own office for incriminating info, and you can even decide to call a council meeting and vote against the treaty with Mara.
Neoseeker - 9/10, one of the highest scores, they obviously enjoyed the gameplay. Curiously, they note difficulty with the lock-picking mini-game, which Brother None says can't be failed. Like GameBanshee, they note performance problems.
Hooked Gamers - "I’m excited for a new RPG and personally think that Risen 2 can bring piracy back in a fun (and legal) way".
Inside Daily Gaming - 6/10, "If you love exploring, walking shouldn’t be a big chore, as you’ll come across many beautiful environments — but after you’ve seen the same waterfall, beach, or forest twenty times, you might find yourself pretty bored or annoyed."
RPG Fan - 58% (25% for Gameplay!), "Risen 2 isn't any fun to play, and what could be more unlike the life of a pirate? The deluge of chores, the tedious combat, the lack of progression – these things should not exist in the pirate's world, a place of high adventure and constant action."
Strategy Informer - 6.5/10, "The acting is generally above-par and the writing can be both snappy and amusing, so I was eagerly anticipating every new conversation. Animation on characters, on the other hand, is laughable, with ridiculously over-exaggerated hand moments."
More information.

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April 25th, 2012, 03:06
Love the mix of reviews. It's typical of PB games as they hit a certain niche, and it makes sense here since Risen 2 is so hit and miss.

RE: lockpicking. Since you can't run out of lockpicks or get caught (the game freezes, if someone is watching you they'll only turn aggro after you looted the chest rather than while you're lockpicking), there's no way of failing…unless you give up. And yes, those 10-teeth sequences can take a bit to figure out, but I wouldn't call them really hard or anything, just takes a bit of patience since it's trial-and-error.
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April 25th, 2012, 03:12
Cool. Still very much looking forward to it, though I admit I'd forgotten the lack of joinable factions, which I think is a real bummer.

Waiting for the unlock in a couple of days. Stupid international release dates.

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April 25th, 2012, 05:10
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Cool. Still very much looking forward to it, though I admit I'd forgotten the lack of joinable factions, which I think is a real bummer.

Waiting for the unlock in a couple of days. Stupid international release dates.
It's available on the 27th for the majority of buyers in NA and EU. If someones playing it now it's either an advance or review copy.

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April 25th, 2012, 06:02
GameBanshee's review makes me feel a lot better about the game. Still, I think I'll let this one cook a little longer by waiting for a patch or two to come out.
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April 25th, 2012, 07:44
Heh people really have mixed opinions about the game, some that completely contradicts.. For example someone said that the islands are quite unique, another reviewer saying all islands look exactly the same. One reviewer saying the voodoo magic is the game's strongest point, that it's a complete must to go that path, someone else saying it's the most disapointing aspect of the game..
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April 25th, 2012, 09:14
According to Gamebanshee review (only review I give credit for in this bunch) PB streamlined some parts of the game in order to please mainstream media and gamers. Which is a shame, because in the end nothing changes, they continue to bash PB games like there's no tomorrow. Only ones who was affected by this decision is us, niche gamers. Believe me, if there was a Bethesda or Bioware logo in the intro instead of Piranha Bytes, gaming media would award Risen 2 with game of the year, decade, all times, universe, etc…

Note: I'm not a Bethesda or Bioware hater. I'm still playing Skyrim and played-finished DA2 (enjoyed the story and characters). I'm only trying to point out the injustice in the mainstream media and gamers. No offense meant.

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April 25th, 2012, 10:45
well I am a hater, think about how that makes me feel

Can't wait to play it "at my mother's" to figure out its worth. But I doubt its 50$
Last edited by borcanu; April 25th, 2012 at 11:04.
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April 25th, 2012, 10:51
As always, I'm going to have to play it myself to figure out what it's really like
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Default Risen 2: Night of the… Parrot?

April 25th, 2012, 16:24
Perhaps PB will do a hardcore version, similar to Gothic 2: Die Nacht Des Raben
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April 25th, 2012, 16:37
Not perhaps but for sure. Only it'll be called DLC and not add-on.
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April 25th, 2012, 17:11
vurt: well, some of that is about focus. I note how much the isles differ in density and story structure, while another reviewer will note they're visually very similar, and that's certainly true. Voodoo magic is more befuddling, but you could certainly argue guns just make the game simpler while voodoo adds some complexity and options.

Originally Posted by Gokyabgu View Post
According to Gamebanshee review (only review I give credit for in this bunch) PB streamlined some parts of the game in order to please mainstream media and gamers. Which is a shame, because in the end nothing changes, they continue to bash PB games like there's no tomorrow. Only ones who was affected by this decision is us, niche gamers.
Well. To me, the bigger problem is not that they streamline, I enjoy casual RPGs for what they are when they're well-made, the thing is Risen 2 is so much in between some of the modern conventions from more accessible RPGs, and PB ended up implementing this stuff so half-heartedly. And then had a lot of neat ideas without the clout to really implement them all in a meaty version. It's not a great mix. But it could be worse.
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April 25th, 2012, 17:48
Is the pop-in really as bad as it looks in that neoseek video ? It looks horrifuckbad.
I hope it can be increased, if not ingame, at least via some tweaks.

Also that gamebanshee review was nice and detailed, good job BN.
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April 25th, 2012, 17:56
Originally Posted by rocknrollos669 View Post
Perhaps PB will do a hardcore version, similar to Gothic 2: Die Nacht Des Raben
… Which I always evaded because of it being so much "hard core" …

But everyone here already knows this, just had to bicker about it …

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April 25th, 2012, 18:40
I like the fact that it's colorful, but that's about it. The Neoseeker comment about stuttering performance really turns me away.

Never really got into PB games though. Tried a few times.
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April 25th, 2012, 18:49
@Brother None

Really nice review. I loathe most (as in, not all, but most) internet-only reviewers as they spend most of their energy trying to show off what vocabulary they have with pointless and many times inaccurate commentary that serves only to reveal the short time they spent with the game while masquerading as the game's judge and juror. My all-time "favorite" was a review of Morrowind where the reviewer accused Bethesda of not letting players save their game at any time. Hmmm.

Add to that a touch of the usual MTV-ization that many online reviewers inject into the article and I'm left quickly tyring to find a place to barf.

Your review really talks about the game and it's strengths and weaknesses which are backed up with examples. I also enjoy how you refrain from criticizing the game based on features that were never advertised or unrealized fan-made expectations that were never promised. Really good job and I read every word of your review which I almost never do with online reviews.

My one teeny-tiny criticism would be that there were a number of what I'd consider small spoilers that I would have rather not known about. But after reading a few of them early on in your article, I do acknowlege it was my choice to keep on reading so I take some of the blame myself.

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April 25th, 2012, 19:53
Yes, BN, your review is the best of the bunch. Lots of good facts in there, and the opinions are well-couched. Cheers!
Last edited by Thrasher; April 25th, 2012 at 20:38.
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April 25th, 2012, 20:01
Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
I like the fact that it's colorful, but that's about it. The Neoseeker comment about stuttering performance really turns me away.

Never really got into PB games though. Tried a few times.
I wrote the review. Definitely don't let the performance turn you away. I have high standards in that department and it's still very much worth buying despite the performance. It's not that it performs terribly, it's just not super smooth like it should be.
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April 25th, 2012, 20:11
Originally Posted by chautemoc View Post
I wrote the review. Definitely don't let the performance turn you away. I have high standards in that department and it's still very much worth buying despite the performance. It's not that it performs terribly, it's just not super smooth like it should be.
Well written review. Thanks.
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April 25th, 2012, 20:15
So which is the most *enjoyable* path? Guns or voodoo? I need some fun right now.
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