Fuck. Fucking. Fuck-off. Fucker. Fuck-all. That sure is a lot of f-bombs right there, and it doesn’t help that they’re packed tightly into a small space. Strictly speaking, that pretty much sums up this entire game. No joke.
In Risen 2 you will hear the f-bomb a lot -whether that be from cutscenes, in-game dialogue, or your own mouth- there’s no doubt about it. That’s not to say it’s a bad game at all, just be prepared for it.
It’s one of those titles that takes the “mature’ moniker and kind of stretches it a bit too far, at least where language is concerned. At some point it stops being serious and becomes excessively comical. Then again, Risen 2 never tries to be wholly serious anyway. You see, Risen 2 is intrinsically centered around pirates.
Yes, that means it’s an open-world RPG with pirates as the central focus. Trust me, I understand your enthusiasm wholeheartedly. As a fantasy-fiction lover, there’s something about that idea that tends resonate within your core.
Pirates, you say? Swordplay? Leveling? Traveling the high seas? Fucking fantastic!
The RPG mechanics are much of the same, with support to level your character, outfit him with legendary equipment, and purchase skill points. Yes, said equipment often provides a stats boost.
As a side note: the main character is always predetermined as male. However, you do get to travel with female character companions throughout the game.
Unfortunately, because it can be too over-the-top at times, Risen 2 has the potential to seem a tad silly here and there. Don’t get me wrong, there are very dark and mature subjects explored in the game, and there’s plenty of vulgar language (that’s for damn sure), but something about it just seems- adolescent.
Personally, I don’t consider that to be a setback in the grand scheme of things. I’m of mind that you need to accept a game for what it is, and then approach it with a calm and collective attitude. That is, don’t let your expectations get the better of you.
What is Risen 2?
Risen 2 is a delightful game, but it’s not for everybody. The combat and controls can be a bit stiff at times (especially in the early game), the dialogue is not without it’s share of head-scratchers, and the plot is… well, let’s just say it could use some work.
Still, throughout my time with the game I enjoyed it immensely. Of course, this is coming from someone who tackled games like Gothic, Two Worlds, The Witcher, and various other core-focused titles. What I mean by “core-focused” is that they seem to be developed from the ground up by RPG enthusiasts, exclusively for RPG enthusiasts. It’s not a cookie-cutter offering like Skyrim that everyone can jump into and enjoy.
Before you flip shit, don torches and pitchforks, and storm my humble abode it’s relevant to note that my heart belongs to Skyrim, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s elementary when it comes to RPG gameplay and mechanics. No, I’m not saying Risen 2 or the other titles I mentioned are superior. I’m just stating that Skyrim was designed to please a much larger audience, while the aforementioned games are more niche oriented.
Risen 2 scratches an itch [niche]
Risen 2 is without a doubt one of the most niche titles out there, but it’s a brilliant one at that. I say brilliant because I can appreciate what the developers were trying to do with the game. Instead of broadening the scope too much by choosing multiple themes, thus diluting the impact, they chose to stick with one. It works out well, and the “pirate” experience is more than enjoyable- it’s immersive. By the end of the game you find yourself ready to consume more and more of the pirate elements. This is surprising, especially since Disney brutally murdered the idea of pirates with thirty fucking movie spin-offs. You would think all the avenues had been explored by now.
Unlike Guild Wars 2, which has an alarming focus on the underlying pirate theme you don’t feel like it’s out of place in Risen 2. Instead, you get the impression that everything fits in the world, right down to the caribbean style environments.
If you’re a fan of RPGs, this one is certainly worth checking out. I would advise that you stick with it and push through the first few sections of the game, because they can be a bit… well, brutish.