by Lisa Thrasher
previewed on PC
A seaside stroll may lift your spirits
You walk languidly through the luscious green jungles of the island. The cicadas are singing loudly, the rushing sound of a waterfall invades your ears as a salty sea breeze wraps around you, kissing your skin. You close your eyes to drink it all in...
I’m afraid that this small slice of heaven is not to be had for long in Risen 2: Dark Waters. If you lose yourself in the beauty of the world, someone is sure to take advantage of your lowered defenses, whether with a bullet or a spear. No, this is an experience full of the need to be alert and pay close attention to everything going on around you.
The game begins a few years after the first Risen with the same nameless protagonist, but now Titans have been fighting over the land and have brought humanity to the brink of extinction. Your character is now a Lieutenant in the Inquisition, though apparently you’ve been slacking off on your job. One of the first cut-scenes you’ll see is an underling telling you you’re “a shame to the uniform” and that your superior wants to see you. This should go over well.
Unleashing the Kraken
As you trek through a rainstorm and approach your commanding officer, he looks through a telescope and tells you a ship is coming near. As you observe the boat getting closer, a great sea beast suddenly emerges from the water, crushing the vessel with its giant tentacles. The Kraken-induced shipwreck kills everyone on the crew, save an old friend of yours named Patty, who washes up on shore.
And now the real story begins. The monster is destroying every ship approaching the island, effectively cutting off all trade routes and lowering the chances of survival. Your superior tells you that you must find a weapon to destroy the Kraken once and for all and save the citizens. Lo and behold, rumors come your way that there are some people that know how to acquire this weapon: Pirates.
You are now tasked with going undercover and trying to keep your identity a secret as you pursue the ultimate weapon. You are left on the island of Ticarigua, with nothing but pants and a sword, and it’s up to you to figure out how to infiltrate the pirate band led by Captain Steelbeard. In order to find them, you need to buy a map. In order to buy the map, you need to find a shirt or else you can’t even talk to the man that will give you the map.
The vaguely familiar open road into uncharted territory
Risen 2 does essentially no handholding for the player, leaving you with no mini-map, no quest markers and only vague directions from NPC’s on where you need to go to progress your mission. This may be made even more confusing to new players who haven’t played Risen because there is little understanding of where you are and why. Thankfully you will slowly be given the pieces to the puzzle from talking with NPCs.