Japanese RPGs – and then there are German RPGs, the kinds we’ve come to expect
from Piranha Bytes. Best known for its work on the Gothic series and the original
fantasy-themed Risen, Piranha Bytes’ RPGs are known for their realism and
difficulty. In Risen 2: Dark Waters, we see the studio depart from its usual
fantasy fair, setting sail for a piratical RPG full of all the swashbuckling,
grog, and treasure hunting you’d expect from a salty sandbox world.
As you play through Risen 2’s story, your unnamed hero will uncover various
clues leading you to a legendary treasure. With the Treasure Isle DLC, you’ll
be able to continue that investigation as you lie, cheat, and fight your way to
Captain Steelbeard’s well hidden stash.
As with the Gothic series and the first Risen, Risen 2 is not for the faint of
heart. Piranha Bytes continues to avoid many of the hand-holding tropes common
RPGs in favor of a more realistic approach. There will be no giant exclamation
marks highlighting NPCs of note and no flashing signs pointing you to your next
goal. Instead, you’ll have to listen (and we mean really listen) to what NPCs
say to you. You’ll need to take note of landmarks that come up in
conversations, use your compass to stay on the right track, and keep your eyes
and ears open at all times for subtle clues.
You’ll also need your pet monkey, because in addition to taking role-playing super
seriously, Risen 2 is also incredibly silly. This is the kind of game that
doesn’t give you map to start with on one hand and has you using a pet monkey
to scout for you on the other. Check out some video footage from the Treasure
Isle DLC for a taste at some of the shenanigans in store for would-be pirate
who have pre-ordered Risen 2 are already set to receive the Treasure Isle DLC
as part of the Risen 2: Dark Waters Special Edition, which will set sail later
this May for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The PC version is scheduled to
ship later, this April.