Also on the comeback trail this week is Piranha Byte's RPG Risen. Piranha were the chaps behind the Gothic series, but having lost the license in a disagreement with former publishers JoWood went off to make a spiritual sequel instead. While JoWood's Gothic 4 was about as much fun as eating mildly poisonous cardboard shoes, Risen was 50% a genuinely brilliant game (and 50% a slightly tedious one) - here's my series of diaries on it, in which you can see my early surliness quickly become excitement. Risen 2 sounds like they're determined to fully go for it, rather than lurk in an awkward middleground between past successes and future ambition. Pirates! Guns!
Risen 2: Dark Waters pushes the timeline a few years on, and following the devastation of the land by Titans. It's all a bit messy by the time you start playing, with some manner of sea beasties trashing all atttempts at naval fun. Which is where the pirates come in. If it's anything like Risen 1, there'll be some element of choosing whether you ally with them or fight 'em. I will attempt to fight them until they embrace me as one of their own, and give me a free parrot.
Sounds as though Risen's surly protoganist will return as the playable character, now a member of the Inquistion and doing the whole Save The World thing. The game's described as "the most immersive RPG world so far" (it did say "RPG game world", but I took it out because roleplaying game game world is silly) and will feature expanded choices and abilities.It "aims to combine the most loved classic RPG gameplay mechanics of the original Risen with a fresh theme and setting on a huge variety of themed island locales and offers "multiple approaches to every challenge allowing players to shape the game world based on their own decisions." All that good stuff from the first game but more so, hopefully. I'm very much looking forward to this - these guys know what they're doing, and hopefully they'll have the time and budget to do it here.
I don't know if these pictures are screenshots or art as yet by the way, but they don't look a million miles away from the first game. An awful lot brighter and more characterful, though.
There's no release window as yet, but Neogaf whispers claim it's 80% complete already and that there'll be boat travel. Honestly - Risen has its problems, but this just crept pretty damned high up my nerdly Big-Want list,