Haha very funny guys...now can you please make Gothic 5?

User Rating: 8 | Risen 2: Dark Waters PC
So Risen 2...where do I begin. Well I'll start out by saying overall I like the game. Everything from the music to the voice acting and dialogue makes it feel like a Piranha Bytes game and they have been one of my favorite game developers since I first found myself controlling 'Nameless' with my right hand on the arrow keys and my left hand on the control key years ago. At this point I'll go over what I feel are the strengths and weaknesses of the game and then finish up with what I hope to see from them in the future.

So there are plenty of things that I would consider strengths for this game. Overall I'd say the graphics are very good and the world of Risen 2 is certainly easy on the eyes. The quality of the quests you are given is also very good and there are definitely consequences for the choices you make, which has always been the case with titles that this developer has produced and gives them great replay value. There are also a good amount of weapons and armor. I'd also say the combat is good and it is nice to see the developers continuing to improve on it over time. I realize there are others that have complained about the combat, but I think it is better and actually liked slashing away at enemies and throwing a gunshot from my pistol in the middle of it all. And the overall feel of the game is similar to previous Piranha Bytes titles. For example, people will get mad if you walk into their home and start stealing stuff and not simply sit there and let you rob them. You can also fast travel in this game. I liked this feature but after reading some of the other reviews I see there are others that do not to them I say that's fine if you don't like it don't use it...problem solved.

Now for the things I did not like. Please note this is going to be a long list but this only shows how much I really liked previous Piranha Bytes games and does not mean I think this game is a bad game. It is just missing some things that have been included in previous titles. Like a big open world, for example. Unlike previous releases, Piranha Bytes has very much limited where you can and can't go. In Risen 2 you can't just jump into water and start swimming. In fact, you can't even swim at all and if you try the screen just goes black and then puts 'Nameless' back on land. They also put up mountains everywhere so you are basically limited to staying on the paths that they have laid out for the most part. There are some areas that aren't directly connected to the main plot that you can go explore if you like, but overall the world of Risen 2 is much more linear than the world in the previous Gothic games or even the first Risen and this is pretty much my biggest complaint about the game. Another thing that was dumbed down was the alchemy. In Gothic 3, for example you could spend days just fooling around making potions however in Risen 2 the amount of ingredients and ultimately potions that 'Nameless' can make is limited. Even the character leveling system has been dumbed down. You basically just put your experience points into one of five traits and then that automatically upgrades the skills that fall under that trait. I would much rather see large character trees with tons of different combinations that you can choose to customize your version of 'Nameless' as you see fit. Magic is also missing in this game and has been replaced with 'Vodoo' which could have been ok, but in reality I pretty much determined it was weak and a waste of time. Fortunatley this led me to focus on slashing weapons using a pistol occasionally which turned out to be a good experience for me.

So that's pretty much it in terms of what I liked and didn't like about the game. I waited until it was on sale for $30 on Steam and that's exactly what I'd say it is worth. Overall it was a fun ride but not quite the epic adventure that some of Piranha Bytes previous titles were. They recently got the rights to Gothic back and I can only hope they finished this game early so they could begin working on Gothic 5 and making it their masterpiece. I hope they don't follow the trend that I see happening with other developers and dumb their future games down because they are also going to be on consoles. Skyrim was one of the most successful titles of all time. To be honest I thought Oblivion was better but also enjoyed it. But I think the reason Skyrim is so successful is Bethesda has earned my (and many other gamers) trust and continues to focus on making huge games that you can get lost in for months. Having said that I will also say that I am currently playing Gothic 3 Enhanced Edition (which is simply Gothic 3 with a community patch that was created by fans) and I happen to think that it is a better game than Oblivion and turning to be one of my favorite games of all time. I think Gothic 3 and Skyrim were both released in a buggy state and both released a bit earlier than they should have been because the people that made them needed to make money. And to be honest that's fine and I understand completely and look forward to playing Skyrim again a few more times once more content is added and the bugs are fixed. So what I'm trying to get at (if anyone at Piranha Bytes ever happens to find themselves reading this) is I think you guys should make Gothic 5 and you should make it the best damn game in the Gothic franchise (especially after your former publisher released the abomination that was Gothic 4). Fantasy themed RPGs may have been done several times, but good ones are still hard to come by, and the success Skyrim saw shows that people still really want them. They just want them to be good. So it's fine if with me if you release Gothic 5 early and it still has some bugs and issues to work out I would much rather see you do that than give me something that is stable but dumbed down and linear. If you are going to give me dumbed down and linear you might as well make Risen 3 and make it a ninja themed game and I'll see you when I pick it up in the bargain bin on Steam for $5 and you are still sitting there wondering why you can't seem to make something that is as successful as Skyrim was. Having said that, based on what I've seen with Gothic 1-3 (and to some extent the original Risen) I think you have the potential to make something greater than anything Bethesda or anyone else has ever produced.