When German developer Piranha Bytes released Risen in 2009, it received decent critical acclaim on the PC for being an imaginative, core RPG. I played the Xbox 360 port (it’s all about the cheevos, man!), which was a clunky, ugly affair that did its best to hide a solid RPG experience. I love an RPG where you can take one turn down a sidepath, away from your quest target, and, an hour and a half later, you find yourself hacking through the ruins of a castle. Risen provided a consistently fun, rewarding exploration experience, in addition to a good story and tons of sidequests and content.
Information on 2012’s sequel, Risen 2: Dark Waters, has been scant up until now, but nothing says “We’re real serious about this,” like having Anthony Hopkins narrate your trailer. (If that is not Anthony Hopkins, it’s the best impression I have ever heard, and I want him on my answering machine.) It looks as if the game has undergone a huge graphical upgrade, with far more details in environment and characters. They also mention Captain Steelbeard, a sidequest character from the first game, which confirms the game is set merely a few years after the events of the first game. It’ll be interesting to see what else Piranha Bytes has in store for Gamescom. All in all, the trailer has certainly piqued my interest.
Risen 2: Dark Waters does not yet have a firm release date, but it is set for 2012 for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.