Review Snapshot

Tons of things to do in-game, lots of character customization and non-linear paths make this a long, fun action-RPG with pretty good replayability.


This game may not appeal to casual RPG players and if it's like the first game, may have a bit of a learning curve.


If you love RPGs and pirates, this is a no-brainer. You may want to pick up the first Risen to become even more involved in the story, the game world and the happenings there but that's completely optional.

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Robert Sunset : I'm a Father of four with another one on the way in September. I'm a gamer, wr...Member Reputation 170 • 46 active Krits
Risen 2: Dark Waters from Deep Silver
Risen 2 Dark Waters Review
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Risen 2: Dark Waters detailed information
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Risen 2 : Dark Waters (PC) - FULL REVIEW

Risen 2: Dark Waters is the sequel to Risen and which is available on the PC and Xbox 360. The first Risen followed your character as he was basically tasked with locating 5 crystal disks. These disks were each a key to a different temple that you'd visit. Risen and Risen 2 are both action-RPG games that offer a rich story and a lot of character customization. The company behind the Risen series is best known for their work on the Gothic series which are very in-depth RPG games that hold a lot of esteem among RPG players. 

Risen 2 is available as of May 22, 2012 on the PC, Xbox 360 and finally on the PS3. Risen was never ported to the PS3 and the 360 version had some glitches and other issues making the PC version much more popular among critics and players alike. There is a demo available and I played it for this review.


Risen 2: Dark Waters takes place after the events in Risen. If you've played it, you know that at the end, your character receives the Inqisitor Monocle, a special item. I won't get into story spoilers because you really should play the first game before part 2 as they flow together very nicely. In Risen 2, your character has turned into a down on his luck alcoholic type and he's got an eyepatch to cover up the monocle. This all plays nicely into the pirate, seafaring world and adds some good immersion into the plot.

The main plot of the game is that you're recruited by some old friends who you'll recognize from the first game into finding a pirate who knows the secret to sailing safely. The waters of the Risen universe are swarming with creatures who want to kill you and smash your ship to bits and this causes huge problems for the citizens of the various islands. Can you help them this time around? We'll see...


Risen 2: Dark Waters plays similarly to the first game in that you can attack, parry, dodge, sidestep and incorporate these moves to develop your own gameplay style. You can learn various types of magic along the way and you'll really have to decide whether to be a fighter, magic user or some combination of both. The first game seemed easier to me being a straight mage or fighter, especially by the end. 

You will do various quests for NPCs along the way and there's a lot of opportunities for just messing around. This is one of the best things RPG games offer. If you want to just play through the story, you can do that but most people will wander the islands doing tasks and killing things in order to gain LP and rewards. The tutorial isn't too long and teaches you the basics right away.

LP or Learning Points are used to learn new skills from trainers in various areas. The first game offered players the ability to customize all sorts of things like your fighting stance, how you swing weapons and a lot of other purely cosmetic things. This ends up being a lot of fun making your character do exactly what you want. It can even give them the appearance of being either an unskilled thug or an adept swordsman even though the damage you do will be the same. Tinkering with your character will greatly appeal to customization addicts like myself. There are many subskills you can learn and level up such as lockpicking.

This game has multiple endings and choices you make throughout the game should impact future events as you play. This is a common theme these days and some games seem to pull it off ok. Let's hope this one does. The developers do a great job in this area with all their games so that's a good sign.


This game should be graphically a step up from its predecessor. If you have a PS3 or 360, you know what to expect. For a PC user, it will depend heavily on your graphics card. There are usually a lot of options if you need to run it on a low-end or older machine. I watched some HD gameplay and the cinematic trailer and on my PC, it all looked pretty amazing. I love the theme and the lighting really helps the overall mood being portrayed in various scenes. Walking around and fighting looked very similar to the first game with some slight graphical improvements on the landscape and foliage.


For PC and PS3 users, you'll be familiar with the controls right away. Think of a cross between a Zelda and a Fable. Action RPGs don't stray too far from these tried and true formulas, even Diablo games. The first game had great controls on both 360 and PC though the PC seems to be favored among review sites due to the easy to use WASD movement and easy to use hotkeys. You can still assign some things to the controllers, just not as much. Your character typically moves around smoothly, you don't get hung up on rocks or trees and it's easy to get where you're going most of the time. Risen 2: Dark Waters may feature more sailing but that hasn't been confirmed as of March 2012 completely.


Risen 2: Dark Waters has pretty good sound effects and music if the videos and trailer speak for the whole game. The music really helps set the mood, add tension and give you something nice to hear as you wander the islands questing. I did hear a lot of sword on sword sounds that could possibly get repetitive but most games do this so it's pretty standard. Some of the magic casting effects sound pretty cool. 

Critical Reception

As of March 2012, the game isn't fully released yet but reading through forums and various review sites tells us this game should get a slightly higher score than Risen which had an above average rating usually, even the lesser liked 360 version. This is a good sign. The demo is fun and RPG lovers seem to be pretty excited for release.

The Good

Highly customizable play stylesNon-linear quest linesMultiple endingsWell known and liked developerTons of weapons to useTons of skills and abilities to upgrade

The Bad

You may find some dull fetch quests (but they are optional usually)May not appeal to casual RPG fans

The Bottom Line

I love a good RPG game and Gothic 2 was one of the best RPG games of the last decade to many people simply because the options you could screw with were everywhere. You could wander around picking ingredients for potions and blacksmithing for days if you wanted to. This has the same developers behind it so you should expect tons of in-game options, weapons, skills, areas to wander in, and things to do.

Risen 2: Dark Waters definitely fills that empty RPG hole we're facing at the moment and if you like RPG games that are long and in-depth, this game is perfect to hold you over for a couple of months.
Date Reviewed: March 30, 2012, 3:06 pm
Reviewed by Robert Sunset
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Gamespot Page For Risen 2: Dark Waters
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YouTube Risen 2 HD Gameplay Video
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