The core story of Risen 2: Dark Waters encompasses an adventure game with role playing game elements. It uses a lot of RPG mechanics like leveling and crafting and at the same time introduces a plot that makes you think of a grand adventure.
But even though Risen 2: Dark Waters starts with a grand scheme, a lack of polish in the game makes things slow down to a crawl. When it worked, Risen 2: Dark Waters was a lot of fun, but the break of gameplay, from low framerates and a lack of direction, made the open-world game a scavenger hunt of quests.
Players take the role of a pirate who has to find a mysterious weapon to free the seas from sea monsters. Originally part of the Inquisition, he goes undercover and beings his quest. Along the way, you expand your crew and use them to scour islands and complete the numerous quests in the game.
Risen 2: Dark Waters provides a lot of choice. From the skill system, you assign points and improve different skills like swords and guns along with the necessary lock-picking skill. It does not take long to start leveling. Defeating the various animals and creatures that inhabit the different areas to other humans, the challenge of the combat gameplay is careful and strategic attacks. Risen 2: Dark Waters also has a lot of side-quests that can influence the main goals in the game.
The beginning of Risen 2: Dark Waters is slightly frustrating because of the lack of money you have and the large amount of distance you need to complete different quests. The quest system is easy to decipher; it just feels like you get a lot of quests at once. As more time goes on, the game starts to hit its stride.
Immersion is great in Risen 2: Dark Waters because of the massive amount of decent voice acting and the large amount of conversations possible. Depending on how you allocate your skill points, you can even start to influence conversations to benefit yourself.
Risen 2: Dark Waters has all the standard RPG elements with a pirate overlay.
When the game is running stably, Risen 2: Dark Waters can look amazing. The amount of detail that the game can push is impressive, but there was a large issue with an immense amount of lag, even when the settings were lowered considerably.
This problem breaks the game. It is not a big problem playing with lower details, but how slow the game would play, even after downloading a patch, was surprising. Other more intensive games had a lot less trouble than Risen 2: Dark Waters.
If you have a very high-end system, you should not have trouble, but even mid-line specs are a hit-or-miss.
Risen 2: Dark Waters has a lot of great elements that are unfortunately overshadowed by technical problems. If everything was running with a smooth framerate, the game would feel a lot less of a grind. All the gameplay elements create a decent game, even when there are some unoriginal ideas, Risen 2: Dark Waters presents a decent RPG experience.
Risen 2: Dark Waters is a game specifically designed if you love pirates and RPG games.