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April 27th, 2012, 15:09
Originally Posted by booboo View Post
Hm. I played for about 80 minutes - I think the game-play is fine (although so far I have too little gold/glory to afford decent skills). the graphics are not really a step up from Risen though - the popping is really bad and shadows don't look good either. I can't believe they tested this on a PC really - I have everything maxed, and there are still major popping artifacts. objects pop in right in front of you too - logs, some barrels etc. Some foliage seems to 'dimenion-warp' in (!) - that must be a bug. It looks like a billboard scaling up for some reason. Its pretty distracting. Combat is confusing with the camera angle - seems to lock onto arb opponents. Since I do not have a manual I don't know if there's a way you're supposed to manage combat better. Anyway, not bad, but they could have done more to fix things.
I've also played it for a couple of hours but my impressions are different.

Also everything maxed (GTX560 and latest beta driver) but in my case I don't see any popping objects or whatsoever.
Instead of popping objects there is something else but I don't think it's a bug. While moving through the jungle, plants seem alive and are shrinking as you approach them, but are growing back into a thick mass while you're moving away. Plants are not alive of course, and this "trick" only improves visibility of the nearby area, and if you ask me it's a great feature. Honestly I don't remember seeing this in first Risen, but then again my rig was very old back then and I played it on lowest settings.

I had no problems with combat nor camera, actually it seemed pretty much straightforward and easy - except the duels/training. But you see there that your opponents in duels are using moves you still didn't unlock, so it's logical to lose those early game.
Mobs on the shore and in the jungle are pretty easy to kill and I actually thought about setting the game on hard. But then a jaguar jumped on me and I died in 3 seconds. Reloaded the game, got the party member back (not spoiling everything!) and somehow we managed to kill that "beast". And it wasn't easy. But then a mere spider jumped out in a cave and practically nailed both of our arses with two hits! I'm definetly leaving the setting on normal, obviously there are and there will be many challenges.

Now some more things not mentioned by booboo…
The vocabulary is "dirty" enough to meet my taste. And I want to hear more of it!
I've seen in some reviews a minus for non-existing minimap, but honestly you don't need one (you can get a sketch map of the island you're exploring and check your position on it anytime you want).
Also some reviews give a minus because the game lacks of "MMO for dummies" quest giver/location/trigger/target pointers, but I really don't see the reason to include those in this game. Not only that, I feel that if those were added, it'd ruin exploring experience, so actually not adding those to the game is only a plus. If you're unsure into something however, you may always consult your log.
booboo noticed first and I confirmed, Steam version doesn't have a manual included. It's not bad as it looks, inside the game you can see details about pretty much everything you want to see.

I'm on the second island the game looks very promising, interesting and I like it. The ambients are pinpointed good enough that all the time I just expect Jack Sparrow jumping out from a corner any time.
Please keep in mind that things I've posted are only initial impressions, dunno about later game stuff.

It's true that graphics could get some improvements, but c'mon let's not be nitpickers spoiled with "billions invested in" EA games and such. In fact I like the looks.
It really wouldn't be fair to compare this game with Skyrim or The Witcher 2 - if there is a game to compare this one with it's Sea Dogs and a number of it's spin-offs. And if you tried one of those Akella pirate-sim games, Risen 2 looks as Sea Dogs on steroids with better graphics, better sounds, better story, better everything only there are no ship fights here. But who knows, maybe some future DLC adds exactly that?
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