Pirahna Bytes Tuesdays

As you can all well imagine, pretty much the only thing that the gaming press are talking about Piranha Bytes over is Risen 2: Dark Waters, which is just a few days away from release. Well…at least the PC version is just a few days away from release; the console version won’t be available until August. You can still pre-order the game on Steam, so get on that if you haven’t yet done so.

Deep Silver and Piranha Bytes have been releasing lots of little glimpses of the game, from trailers to even longer trailers, gameplay previews and interviews (here, have another), screenshots galore, and a few glimpses at the monsters and enemies you’ll face in the game. The game certainly does not lack for promotion…but how well does it actually perform?

What few previews of the game that I took note of spoke of it in fairly ambivalent terms, with lots of “on one hand/but on the other” commentary. It sounded like Piranha Bytes were aiming at a harder-core RPG, bereft of all the little “helper” elements and systems that characterize e.g. a BioWare title. There were even some complaints about the unfair nature of the game’s combat, which frankly I found intriguing: short of dialing the difficulty up to “insanity”, it has been a significantly long while since I last encountered an RPG that presented challenging combat.

Alas, reviews of Risen 2 have generally been lukewarm. It has managed to score a few 80% ratings, but in general it seems to have failed to truly impress. Combat and a generally kludgy feel to the game’s controls seem to be the biggest complaints, though some sites have also focused on what is evidently an almost persistent need on the part of the game to hand-hold the player through many sequences and mini-games. IGN also complained that the game seems to lack the same “density” as its predecessor.

That said, it would appear that Piranha Bytes do have a few DLC packages planned, so it’s entirely possible that some of the issues being highlighted by reviewers will be smoothed out in game updates. Still, at least for now, I’m not personally going to rush my way through other games to give Dark Waters a go. I still have Mass Effect 3 to finish, and it has been too long already since last I set foot in Amalur.

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