RISEN 2 quick review ( PC version)

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  • FortysixterUK 27 Apr 2012 13:49:36 391 posts
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  • FortysixterUK 27 Apr 2012 13:52:30 391 posts
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    SO, Risen 2 first impressions, having downloaded it from STEAM overnight.

    The engine, in my opinion, has some major issues ( Faults ). Objects "pop in" at very close range. Textures are constantly flickering in the middle to far distance, and trees and bushes change shape dramatically as you approach them.
    Character animation is very stiff, and when they speak, they seem to flail their arms around to get what they are saying over to you,
    which is probably because there is virtually no lip syncing or indeed, lip movement.

    All the characters seem a little short and squat.
    I'm running the game at 2560 x 1440, I haven't tried any other resolutions. Maybe a lower res would stretch the characters out.

    The shadows cast by buildings and trees seem "twitchy", moving back and forth in an unrealistic manner on the floor.

    The running animation is very odd. When you run, your characters torso becomes a fixed point in 3d space and does not move
    and the arms and legs flap up and down in a very limited animation style. Overall, the engine is not great.
    The engine would not have been great 10 years ago.
    I assume the company made their own instead of buying a licence for the Unreal engine or some such.
    It shows.

    The animation style is very cartoon like on the game NPCs which clashed a little bit with what is otherwise, a very nice engine visually.
    Textures are clear and sharp, buildings well defined & designed.

    The voice acting steps things up considerably. The game has been localised , very well as far as I'm concerned, by an entirely UK English speaking cast.
    All accents are either London or Cornwall based. UK slang words have been worked into the game well and used in the correct contect.
    Most of the time.
    Swearing is present and prevalent and is quite funny to hear.

    The music is simply excellent, atmospheric and fitting to the environment, helping to set the mood well. It reminds me a little of the excellent music from Age of Conan, mainly the Tortage city themes.

    The mission structire so far appears to be the usual "fetch & bring back" type, or the "chicken & egg" conundrum, in that you have a final objective but simply can't get to it without meeting certain criteria in the first place, and those criteria, also have criteria to meet.
    Standard RPG fare there then, and this will likely make the game a solid single player RPG experience.

    Combat starts out with a basic parry / slash combo , and as you level up, your earn skill points and gold to spend with trainers to improve your skills or increase your arsenal of moves.
    Exactly the same as both Risen and Gothic 3.

    So for now, is it worth 40 quid of STEAM?

    Not to the casual RPG-er, but to anyone who has enjyoed the Gothic series, Two Worlds 1 or 2, Venetica, the original Risen, or Might & Magic 6 thru 9 this will be more of the same involving and fun gameplay.

    If you think western RPGs stop with Oblivion and Skyrim, don't bother. This game will require a fair about of forgiveness ( the engine is a bit crap), but in the long run I think it will offer a lot of rewarding gameplay to the patient player.

    Note however, that no amount of fiddling with the graphics settings fix the bad pop up and texture wobbling issues.

    The game plays with mouse and keyboard OR the Xbox controller without issue.

    I'll be playing Risen 2 to the end.

    I think a score of 6/10 is fair.

    (Edited after some more gameplay, where pop up issues really came to the fore)

    Edited by FortysixterUK at 14:14:48 27-04-2012
  • BigOrkWaaagh 27 Apr 2012 14:25:01 1,996 posts
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    If I finish Amalur and Dead Souls before this comes out on 360, I'll probably get the PC version of this. I loved the original Risen, and its contemporaries, Divinity II, Venetica, TWII... Anyone know if the retail version activates on Steam? I notice Amazon has it for 25.

    EDIT: Plus delivery... oh well, can't have it all!

    Edited by midnight_walker at 14:26:23 27-04-2012

    Previously midnight_walker

  • JoeBlade 27 Apr 2012 14:41:18 2,548 posts
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    @FortysixterUK
    Is combat really identical to the previous one?

    I thought it was OK at first but very monotonous and frustrating from about halfway in onward. It's the sole reason I never finished Risen in fact, I quite enjoyed the rest of it.
    Definitely a dealbreaker in other words (at least at full price)
  • JayG 27 Apr 2012 16:04:19 845 posts
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    Combat almost seems a little worse. And at the beginning it all seems so compact when you consider that it's from the same lads as Gothic. Tiny little island where everyone you meet has 5 things to teach you. In many seems quite a step back from the previous releases. Still, I got a sexy female pirate lass who can also survive a lot better then I can.
  • Er-El 29 Apr 2012 13:00:16 1 posts
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    Very much interested in this.
  • heavy_salad 29 Apr 2012 16:21:13 724 posts
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    @JoeBlade

    The combat is worse IMO, at least when fighting non-humans, as you can't dodge or block. Fighting humans is ok though.
  • UncleLou Moderator 30 Apr 2012 10:24:15 35,578 posts
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    The combat is amazingly shit in this. For a company that is on their 5th (similar) RPG and that got it reasonably right in G1/2 (and, to a lesser degree, in Risen), this is shocking.

    They "balance" the fact that you can neither dodge nor block with insta-health potions that don't even have an animation, so yu're basically hammering the LMB and hope you can out-potion the animals.

    While this is pretty damning for an RPG, I am actually enjoying it quite a bit. The setting might be different, but it still feels a lot like Gothic, and while the engine is a bit dodgy, the world design once again is simply stellar.
  • Lexx87 30 Apr 2012 11:09:26 20,863 posts
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    Sounds like Risen really. Shocking in lots of areas but somehow still lots of fun.

    Speak the truth hussy!

  • UncleLou Moderator 30 Apr 2012 11:21:22 35,578 posts
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    I've not seen anything quite as broken or bad in Risen, to be fair, but yeah, I guess you have a point. :)

    Edited by UncleLou at 11:21:36 30-04-2012
  • StarchildHypocrethes 30 Apr 2012 11:44:02 25,917 posts
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    Even though most reports sound dreadful, particularly the combat, the lure of pirates and a new PB world to explore is tempting me...
  • UncleLou Moderator 30 Apr 2012 12:56:45 35,578 posts
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    @StarchildHypocrethes The good thing is, if you play Risen 2, you'll love the combat ... of The Witcher 2, afterwards. Risen 2 is giving a whole new meaning to the term "clunky". :p
  • StarchildHypocrethes 30 Apr 2012 13:37:18 25,917 posts
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    Hah :D

    Worst sales pitch ever.
  • heavy_salad 30 Apr 2012 14:01:53 724 posts
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    I think in a lot of ways it's worse than Risen, but it's still a lot of fun. Exploring the islands is enjoyable.
  • spamdangled 30 Apr 2012 14:02:45 27,355 posts
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    Looking forward to this. The reports of rampant racism, sexism and homophobia (including from the player character) have me a bit concerned though.

    3DS: 4055-2781-2855 Xbox: spamdangled PSN: dark_morgan Wii U: Spamdangle Steam: spamdangled

  • jakuande 30 Apr 2012 14:25:32 192 posts
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    Surely racism, sexism and homophobia are the least of a pirate's vices?
    Anyway, that's the second most interesting thing anyone's had to say about this game,the first of course being the existence of attack parrots.
  • JayG 30 Apr 2012 14:41:55 845 posts
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    If you like PB's games, you will probably like this one. Starts off very slow, and the combat reminds me of Gothic 3 at times. It is possible to get caught in a animal animation and not respond before dieing. Warthogs and the firebirds seem the worst for this. And it has the most schizo graphics I've ever seen, sometimes you would be at a swampy area where the sun goes down and it's beautiful, and there is quite a few areas like this. Other times the graphics look 10 years old. It is strange that they made such a huge effort to try to mainstream and kept in the areas that have frustrated even the most die hard fans.

    I liked the combat in Gothic 1 and 2, took patience to learn but there was some depth there. Here even the likes of riposte seem to have a slim chance of success, maybe it will get better as it goes on. Even running away from a animal can fail as the animation takes so long to get you running that you can get caught in a trap. And the save system is insane, every quick save is a permanent save, and while the autosave seems to save every minute or so, never seems to have actually saved just before I died.

    Having said all that it is still a great game. While a lot of the essence of the basic Gothic games seemed cut out earlier on, when you reach a certain village the whole thing made all the annoyances worth it. The dancing animations, lighting, and sheer atmosphere is great. And the hero's scarcasm does manage to raise a smile. So far though the 3 islands seem quite small, and exploration and trying to take out mobs way beyond my level was always a huge attraction in previous PB games. No chance of that here. And at times clearing out a cave full of nastys to only recieve 40 gold or so can be a wee bit underwealming.

    So basically this is really a case of a game only been for fans, in spite of all the mainstream elements they tried to include. Shame, but maybe they will fix this for the console version. If you have liked previous PB games though I would recommend it.
  • chub 30 Apr 2012 18:24:24 452 posts
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    I'm a bit worried how the console versions will turn out, especially as they were recently delayed until August. Just wondering if there are lots of bugs to fix, or if they are just adding 'polish'.
  • UncleLou Moderator 30 Apr 2012 18:27:17 35,578 posts
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    I just stepped into an invisible instadeath spike trap. Reloaded, looked for it extra carefully, but no, it's invisible. Bug or feature? You never can tell!
  • heavy_salad 30 Apr 2012 18:48:33 724 posts
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    UncleLou wrote:
    I just stepped into an invisible instadeath spike trap. Reloaded, looked for it extra carefully, but no, it's invisible. Bug or feature? You never can tell!
    You normally get a prompt to press Space to give you a chance to escape death I've found? Although it only gives you about half a second.
  • JayG 1 May 2012 11:01:42 845 posts
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    They are very annoying, I don't keep my fingers locked on jump, so killed me after a tough fight with 3 lads.The temples have the same thing, but there you expect them so not a issue. Just having it randomly on a path on the other hand, ARG. You would think with high thievery skills you would be able to disarm it.
  • fletch7100 1 May 2012 12:47:42 7,320 posts
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    http://www.gametrailers.com/video/review-hd-risen-2/729700
  • jakuande 1 May 2012 14:20:35 192 posts
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    Just read the destructoid review which made this sound quite charming if horribly flawed. Training monkeys to steal for you joins attack parrots in the list of interesting features.

    I think I can survive the awful combat (managed to overlook this in Risen, just about) but the invisible traps and stunlocking animals sound a bit much. Maybe one to pick up in a steam sale.
  • JayG 8 May 2012 23:11:41 845 posts
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    There's a mod here that stops the insane plants growing and shrinking effect.

    http://forum.worldofplayers.de/forum/threads/1145747-release-Risen-2-AntiWarp?p=18929976&viewfull=1#post18929976
  • byron_hinson 9 May 2012 13:56:04 1,512 posts
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    jakuande wrote:
    Just read the destructoid review which made this sound quite charming if horribly flawed. Training monkeys to steal for you joins attack parrots in the list of interesting features.

    I think I can survive the awful combat (managed to overlook this in Risen, just about) but the invisible traps and stunlocking animals sound a bit much. Maybe one to pick up in a steam sale.
    Seems the norm for their games. Flawed technically and buggy but lots of depth etc
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