There once was a brave and bad ass guy that served with the inquisition. His bad boy attitude and slightly attractive drinking problem made him the perfect candidate to go undercover and bring down the beast of the ocean and its master. His swagger made him irresistible to every one he met and he was always fashionably dressed.

He set a sail with a woman whose courage and wit was only exceeded by her beauty. Her thick black hair gently brushing her fair skin in the wind while she secretly wishes for the love of this man. He sailed into the sunset to become a pirate and woke only to find out that his clothes had been chucked overboard, but never the less, he has enough tiger blood in his veins to walk around half naked and own it even though the sea breeze is as cold as Alaska itself. Our hero embarks on an epic journey where he survives what seem to be endless and daunting tasks and trials and finally, he slays evil and everything is well in the world of pirate role-playing games.

Only, he wasn’t a bad dude with a tough guy attitude, he didn’t have any swagger and sucked at absolutely everything he did and made no money at all. This is the story of Risen 2: Dark Waters. After watching the videos and knowing what the game was about, I was really excited. You see, I love RPG’s almost as much as the most important things in life, like eating. But this game was probably the worst experience I’ve ever had across all genres. I was promised the time of my life and instead started wishing some one would actually just take my life instead of me playing this game. Risen 2 scored a lowly 48 on Metacritic by reviewers and 3.9 by users for a reason.

The first sights I saw looking into the distance when I first started the game gave me hope. The colours were beautiful, the ocean looked enchanting. Yeah, that didn’t last long. I almost don’t know where to start. The lack of good physics, controls mapping and horrible combat combined with just plain ugly graphics caused me unimaginable anguish, it was hard to endure playing this game, it really was.

The lonely streak of boredom that could possibly make you lose your mind

When playing an RPG I generally enjoy those the most that give me a feeling of becoming the hero or the character I am playing. Experience what he or she is going through and having an emotional connection. The protagonist in Risen 2 only has one tone – boring. I’m pretty sure that event robots have more emotions and deviations in tone when they “speak” than this guy. Everything he says is just, mild and unimpressive. I don’t think he could scare a zombie apocalypse victim even if he dressed as a zombie with half a baby hanging out of his jaw.

When he opens his mouth, this guy is just bland. It’s really a shame because in some cases even the NPC’s have more personality than he does and would have made better protagonists.

Combat is pretty much straight forward; you mash one button and hope to hit something before it viciously kills you as its way more awesome and strong than you are. Sometimes, you can throw coconuts at your target with little to no effect and well, you can always opt for the running away option. If you want to be a better fighter, you have to somehow magically make money that you’ll have an extraordinarily hard time to come by appear and pay your buttocks off to train just once, never mind the other five or six things available to train at that one NPC and excluding the number of other things you’ll have to train with other trainers.

There’s a tip in the game that says: “Save regularly.” It isn’t a lie! Do it as much as you possible can because you don’t when a trap that you can’t see will jump out of the ground and kill you or when you’ll accidentally draw your weapon in a town causing everybody to attack you, after which you try to run away and them run into a creep and then die, again.

Risen 2 is not without its profession features either, you can make swords, brew stuff and gather plants. You’ll also be able to spend “talent points” to unlock new skills and learn to do voodoo, that’s right, voodoo. You need to buy better gear to be able to survive attacks and buy better weapons to beat your foes. That’s assuming that you’ll have the gold to do so, which you won’t.

Risen 2: Dark Waters had ample potential to be an epic RPG that would take gamers’ breath away but didn’t deliver on even the simplest of things. The only thing left to say is, that I’m really glad it’s over.


Gameplay: 4/10

Sluggish, uninventive gameplay make for a monotonous experience. Absence of any kind of companionship even though you have “people” around you create a lonely an boring atmosphere. If their was a role to play, I don’t think any one noticed it.

Design and Presentation: 4/10

Frame stuttering and bad graphics are not easy on the eye, dull colours and surroundings don’t add any kind of ambiance to where you are.

Value: 4/10

Risen 2 provides as much game time as most RPG’s, players can easily enjoy 20 hours or more of the game, should you enjoy the game. There are ample quests to do and professions to learn.

Overall: 4/10

Risen 2: Dark Waters is a disappointment on almost every level. The whole experience is unpleasant and feels like one continuous chore instead of an adventure.

[Reviewed on Ps3. The PC version is much, much better]

Last Updated: September 27, 2012

Risen 2: Dark Waters

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