GDC11: Risen 2 Looks Arrrrr-right So Far

By Allen Park

March 4, 2011

Yesterday I got a chance to look at some pre-alpha footage of the sequel to Deep Silver’s 2009 action RPG Risen. I didn’t know much about the first game, as it seemed like one of those titles that was quickly forgotten for whatever reason, but apparently it was a decent game.

And so far, Risen 2 looks like it has the potential to be a fun game. Having pirates doesn’t hurt.

Risen 2: Dark Waters actually takes place in a different land. The plot elements are the same, with a vast land being ruled by elemental forces called Titans, and humanity being on the brink of destruction because of these horrible creatures. The setting and protagonist, however, are completely different. This time, you’re a pirate, in a pirate land, full of pirate villages and other various pirate paraphernalia. Apparently your character this time around is a more dejected individual, resigned to heavy drinking due to the many attempts (and subsequent failures) to take down some of the Titans.

There wasn’t much to see gamewise, as it was a pre-alpha build, but we were shown an expanse pirate village that looked quite impressive, especially in scale and detail. There looks to be a persistent night and day mechanic, with the usual patterns that follow such environmental changes, and the adjustments in lighting from day to night are solid, especially for a game that’s still early in development. The creatures in the game look equally striking, with a couple of them looking terrifyingly intimidating. The TombSpider, for instance, is not something I’d want to come across.

Not much else was really shown, but there were reassurances that this time around, the console versions wouldn’t suffer such technical problems. The main complaints of the first game were that the 360 version was bogged down with bugs, glitches, and things of that nature. This was due to the hasty decision to port to consoles with only six to eight months before launch. This time around, they’re building the console versions from the ground up alongside the PC version, so the game should run smoother. Along with that, they’ve done some clever things to increase the efficiency of the cached and stored data on consoles and fully utilize the processing capability.

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As a whole, Risen 2 definitely does look to be an improvement over the original, and it really looks like the developers are putting their blood, sweat, and tears into a game that they enjoy creating. When asked for a release date, they exclaimed, “When it’s done,” and would probably solidify one four months before the actual date. It should be available for all HD consoles and the PC, and when happens, we should be covering it.

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Allen Park

Allen is an utter whore of a gamer; he's completely open-minded to all games, be they AAA blockbusters or $5 casual children's games. His focus is on indie games specifically, valuing gameplay and ingenuity over sparkly visuals and ridiculous gimmicks. When he's not geeking out over the newest art game, he's out toning his sexy, sculpted shoulders while surfing epic 1.5ft waves, or having a good time with local, high-gravity microbrews.

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