Similar to past RPG titles, including the first game in the series, Dark Waters will require you to do a series of quests from one point to the next in order to proceed. As expected, there are a plethora of quests that you can do and most of them will take some time to complete. Instead of getting experience points to level up the hero, you will instead get Glory points. How this works is at every 1000s points you can increase the parameters of your character in order to make them stronger. In addition to glory points, you will also have to rely on the crafting in order to make weapons, armors and guns that the hero can use. With so much loots available wherever you go, you will never run out of items.
As for the extra side-quests that you can do, there are Legendary Items that you can get by reading pirate books that are scattered throughout the town. When you get to read the Pirate Book, a quest entailing what item you need to go will appear on your Logbook. Since Dark Waters is now somewhat hard due to the removal of mini-map and having no access to the quest markers, you will have to aimlessly wander throughout the game, thus giving somewhat of a challenge to players and it forces everyone to explore the game.
Game Breaking Glitches & Pop-Ins
Despite being a beautifully designed game, it has its problems. You’ll encounter lots of bugs and glitches that will force you to restart or reload the game. During my adventure, I always found myself randomly teleported to the roof of a tall house after accessing the menu and when I opened the menu again, hoping it would bring me back, I ended up in a wall where I couldn’t move. Obviously, this forced me to restart my last game save. I highly suggest saving constantly as you will most likely need it because you never know when the game will simply break on you.
In addition to the game breaking glitches, another problem that I found were the very excessive pop-ins. Whenever you’re set to explore the forest, you will see all sorts of things popping in and out. An example of this are trees and leaves appearing suddenly in the forest. The excessive pop-in doesn’t get too annoying, but it counteracts the goal to impress gamers with its gorgeous visuals.
Combat System Is too Shallow & Weak
In order to level and make the hero stronger, you must fight and survive. It would have been awesome if the combat system found in Dark Waters was better than the first game. In fact, those who are bored and find the combat system of Risen dull will find the same experience here. The execution of attacks are somewhat average, but you will see your hero doing the same animation every time. The moment that you see the hero performing attacks, you may initially find it cool, but as you go through the 20 hour so adventure, you’ll be crying and hoping for it to end soon. This is mainly due to the fact that you’ll probably die of boredom while dealing with the battle system. However, the inclusion of guns make it marginally better, but they’re still worthless.
Back in the first game, one of the biggest complaints that I had was the dull quests on offer. A few hours into the sequel, you will notice right away the monotonous, boring quests that you have to do. The quests that are available in the early parts of the game are simply rubbish and fail to draw the player in. Delivering from one person to the next isn’t a fun way to start the game, especially when the enemies that you come across are overpowered. However, as you go through the later parts, there are some quests that are rather interesting, but that’s if you can get past the quests in the beginning. You will need a lot of patience in order to progress to the point where you can take on interesting quests.
The problems within Dark Waters are hard to neglect as the majority of them will affect your overall experience. With the glitchy gameplay and excessive pop-in, I sincerely hope it will be fixed via patch. However, what can’t be fixed are the elements of the game that make it dull, primarily the quests and the shallow combat system. If you are searching for a RPG game with a solid pirate theme that has interesting characters that will give you some funny moments and the freedom to do whatever you want, then Dark Waters might be the game you’re looking for or, at least, your best possible option at the moment. For fans of the games made by Pirahna Bytes or at least you enjoyed the first game, there’s no doubt you will somewhat enjoy this game despite the flaws.
[Editor’s Note: Risen 2: Dark Waters was reviewed on the PC on its high settings. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Risen 2: Dark Waters Review,