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Risen 2: Dark Waters Dev Q&A


Risen 2: Dark Waters

RPGamer has been talking with Piranha Bytes for months about Risen 2: Dark Waters, including a roundtable interview, and a couple of community Q&A sessions led by Emanuel Merino. For this interview, RPGamer posed some questions directly to project director Björn Pankratz and here's what he had to say.

You've stated in a prior Q&A that choices have more of an impact on skills and who will help you. Could you elaborate on this? Does this mean that there is no branching storylines at all?
Björn Pankratz: The player's decision which guild to play for influences a lot of things, such as the skills, the hero's companions, and the storyline, which increases the game's replay value. For example, the player may hear about a certain island, or some NPCs might be friendly or unfriendly. However, you should really discover for yourselves which events develop differently.

Would you speak to the options that will be available via character customization? We know we'll be playing as the hero from the first Risen, why no option to play as a female?
BP: We want to tell the story like a book, which makes it necessary to define the character in advance. This enables us to describe the character's development and inter-personal relationships better. Moreover, it makes the dialogs less random and the story more exciting. We prefer to allow the player to make whatever choices they want in dialogs and play with the solution options, rather than selecting a character class and gender at the beginning and accepting a more generic world.

Would you please shed a little light on companion characters?
BP: In the course of his adventure, the hero meets some NPCs who will accompany him on his journey and join his crew once he becomes a captain. On most islands, the player can then choose who to take ashore. The crew members have individual skills, e.g. healing, as well as traits and attitudes of their own. They get involved in conversations, make comments, and stand by the hero in a fight. Of course, the player can usually send them back any time, or tell them to wait while continuing alone.

Pirates are generally known for their love of wine, women, and song. Is your character going to be able to romance it up with people in port?
BP: Our hero will doubtless drink a lot of rum and grog, and he will get to know some women. But how far the romance - e.g. with his pirate friend Patty - will go, is left up to the player's imagination.

As far as music goes, we have added a good dose of squeezebox music to the soundtrack, so anyone who liked the soundtrack of Risen and enjoys the music of sailors will get all they could wish for.

With the growth of the European RPG of the past few years, how does it feel going up against another big European RPG with the Witcher 2's Xbox 360 release?
BP: There is never a time for a release when there isn't at least one other great game coming out. If our game is compared to other great titles, we take it as a compliment. However, as we are offering a pirate RPG this time, there will not be much comparison within the same topic, so there will surely be something there for everyone!

Again, RPGamer would like to thank Björn Pankratz and the Risen 2 PR team for coordinating this interview. Risen 2: Dark Waters hits PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on April 24, 2012.

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