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29.05.2011 15:07 [Risen 2] GameStar: Risen 2 Preview (Page: 2)
Colourful Dread

Because everything's difficult at the beginning, we turn to the beach, for a bit of cleaning up and scrounging. We found the sharp textures and extremely plastic bumpmapping (applied to stone walls, for example) pleasing to the eye, as opposed to its predecessor, in which the enhanced engine produced some painful visual results, overbright and stark. Colours cascade down in such a way that veteran Gothic fans will find it hard not to shed a tear or two.

The setting sun throws its powerful beams against us; long shadows dance across the rippling surface of the water. Insects play about on richly verdant palm tree leaves. The sea smoothly and rhythmically washes the white sand around. "What do you think the hardcore Gothic will say about this?" we asked ourselves, amused. The powerful and alert community are the cornerstones, support- and idea-givers of PB's games, but also paranoid critics, every so often, for whom any change could spell the doom of the Ruhrpott-westernly shaped roleplaying land. [*1*]

"This here is the Caribbean; have you ever seen a gray Caribbean?" Daniel Oberlerchner, Senior Brand Manager at Deep Silver, asked us back. "The world has to be believable, whether it be medieval fantasy -- which is quite drab -- or medieval pirates and seafarers -- ah... fantasy?" we help him with a proper term, "I wouldn't call it fantasy, just a game with pirates in it. Plus, pirates are rather like bandits. And there were already pirates in Gothic 2: The Night of the Raven. "

We recommend you watch the trailer for Risen 2. There is a scene in which the nameless hero is rescued by a Voodoo priestess, her face painted. She does so through magic, something Voodoo-like. Whether PB and DS have officially admitted it or not, it makes no difference. We can affirm: yes, there is magic in Risen 2. And we're sure this scene indicates the presence of a Voodoo cult faction. If there's anything Moneky Island has taught us, it's that pirates and voodoo belong together.

To each his own

Other confirmed factions are the already known Inquisition -- a kind of paladins -- and the pirates. There will be pirate captains, powerful and far-reaching, each with their own interests and conflicts. The player is no longer forced to make crucial decisions from the get-go; there is freedom for exploration, deferring the act of choosing a guild until the player sees fit, but only up to a point. every faction has its own agenda.

[*1*] = Ruhrpott is a colloquial expression for the Ruhr area of Germany, where PB is located and most of the Piranhas are from. It's the (former) heart of Germany's heavy industry back in the 19th and 20th century. A lot of metal workers, coal miners and other simple workers lived there and shaped the culture. It still is a somewhat blue-collar, down-to-earth region. In this context, it means that people there speak their mind and don't hold fancy speeches. Björn once described "Ruhrpott fantasy" in the BubbleUniverse interviews like this: "We make Ruhrpott fantasy and that works a little different [from the high-fantasy flavour]. For example, there will probably be two bastards at the beginning of the game who'll kill you for your hatband. And aren't afraid to tell you so."

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