I keep turning this game off when I die.

#1 Posted by DJJoeJoe (1324 posts) -

This initial combat in the game is beyond frustrating, it's just plain dumb. The enemies aren't tuned to your inability to fight, most of them attack often enough and aren't affected by your attacks so when you swing and hit them they are swinging and hitting you.

Also I have issues with the looking in the game, both by mouse and by 360 pad. On the mouse the horizontal look is way way too sensitive, and the vertical look is incredibly slow. For the 360 pad things are 'fine' until I move and look, and then I get kinda look stuttering that feels almost like the game isn't taking in all the inputs at their proper speed and is lossing data when doing more than just standing and using ONE analog stick at a time etc.

I played and really enjoyed risen 1, this risen 2 seems as bad mechanically as risen 1, minus half the dev time (feels even more rushed out).

Someone went crazy with the visuals as well, it's all washed out in that really badly done HDR look you get from a fake HDR app for your phone.

#2 Posted by mordukai (7150 posts) -

Ohh look. Another game from Piranha Bytes that's riddled with bad mechanics and technical problems. I really don't mean to sound so derogatory but how can you not.

#3 Edited by valrog (3671 posts) -

Unless they drastically changed the combat (I'm not sure how guns work, but I hope sword fight was unchanged), that's classic Piranha Bytes game right there.

How about you man up and stop complaining and actually think how will you take on the opponents, its weak points, your strategy and all that. Remember in Gothic 3 when Scavengers could stunlock you? Pretty much instant death from a low level bird. And yet people managed just fine (More or less).

It's like no one is even trying these days...

#4 Edited by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

Gothic 6.0, still not working.

#5 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

Sounds janky as hell.

#6 Edited by Baal_Sagoth (1261 posts) -

Immediately getting frustrated when you die once is not going to help you here, it's a fair approach to many games but this isn't one of them. If you go for the melee set of skills - and it sounds like it - you should quickly start specializing in it and get parrying and counter-attacks to acquire all the skills to deal with human opponents effectively without taking much damage if you get the timing right.

In the beginning some of the dirty tricks (throwing sand to blind, coconut-like thingy to have a stun chance) or a pistol work incredibly well even without upgrading to introduce another element to your combat approach, break the opponents routine and knock them out of their combos. I don't know where you are in the game but a pistol you can get even in the tutorial and rifles, guns and affordable ammunition are available in the first small, 'real' area in the inquisition plantation you pretty much start at if you want to go down that path. And I don't think you can get your first 1000 points for a perk earlier than that anyway. The awesome part about dirty tricks and pistols is that they are periodically available via the 'E' button to weave into your combat alongside your mouse-based regular attacks. Don't forget to drag your prefered tactical options into the quickslots from the inventory for relative ease of use.

At my (still) pretty early part of the game this has gotten me by at a leisurely pace although pure melee versus the wildlife seems still button-mashy somewhat unfortunately. You also need to consider that in this type of game you don't have a stream-lined level structure and will run into critters that are extremely dangerous to you and are best approached with some more skills under your belt later as per usual (I got mauled by some horrible grave spider already while being too curious for my own good while running off into a cavern). On a final note, don't forget that after the quasi-turoial Caldera segment you can always have a buddy with you who will take some of the heat off of you especially in multi-opponent wildlife encounters. They can go down but never die permanently as long you make it through. They also seem quite crafty so far and use much more than just straightforward hits (i.e. throwing sand kicking opponents back, shooting pistols, later employing Voodoo magic etc.).

That's what I got after my first couple of hours of figuring the systems out on default medium difficulty and it goes pretty well. I hope you can get into it a bit more, especially since you seem generally down with the quirky, weird, always somewhat flawed games those dudes tend to make. So far, it seems to me Risen 2 is another pretty fucking interesting one of those but I really like that style a lot. Particularly the dirty tricks and other secondary combat options are a very cool addition in my opinion.

Edit: Oh, forgot - I'm pretty sure mouse sensitivity on the different axis can be adjusted in-depth in the menu if I saw that correctly. But I'm rolling with K&M and default without problems.

#7 Posted by xantar (25 posts) -

I agree with Ball_Sagoth. Don't get frustrated with an early death. One of the great things about Euro RPGs and specifically games from Piranha Bytes is that the world is not scaled to your character, If you go into a creepy ass cave there can and usually is a high level monster that will 1 shot you. The game world is not 100% clear-able at a characters natural level in any given zone, back tracking is necessary in this case. The scary thing to say is ... this game is far more newb friendly than previous. In Risen 1 you had the chance to fight monsters when you were level 2 with no armor and less weaponry that were still difficult for a level 16 character. The other big thing to take heed of is that combat skills in Piranha Bytes games makes your characters combat better. In Gothic 1 your base attack was a wild side to side / forward attack worthy of any 8 year old. In Risen your basic attack was a single sword blow. Combos came with more skill points. Same goes for sneaking you simply don't have the option to sneak until you train.

Is this unfair? NO. Is this Broken? NO. Is this different than a Bethesda Game? YES. But also realize that the Developers of Oblivion and Skyrim are big fans of Gothic and Risen, they love the factions, class branching and difficulty of the world.

Enough ranting. Success is easy enough. You can handle the game like Demon's/Dark Souls if you want. Take things slowly, Clear available quests and learn skills (combat more than others preferably) and progress. In this world exploration can be deadly.

#8 Posted by Aronman789 (2676 posts) -

@valrog: In Gothic 3 it was really fun to make the NPC enemies look like they were dancing by moving your sword really fast.

Also, I'm guessing the OP isn't too familiar with Piranha Bytes, since every single one of their games revolves around not underestimating anything. They don't care if you think you've put enough time in to be a god, go near that shadowbeast and you will die horribly.

#9 Edited by DJJoeJoe (1324 posts) -

@Aronman789: That wouldn't be an issue if the game was consistent about the difficulty of it's enemies and encounters, but it's not. Roll up on a group of a few goblins and cave bats and do decently one time or find one goblin by itself that doesn't let you attack because it's in a long string of 6 attacks. There are ways to make a game both challenging and fun at the same time, it's obviously a tough thing to do though.

Giant enemy crabs, kick them over for massive 'Glory'

I posted that when I started the game, I've put almost 10 hours into the game now and 'finally' have been able to get some specialization stuff. I wasn't wandering around like an idiot, I was collecting 'everything' and looting everything I could to have the max possible money for items and abilities along with getting the highest amount of exp for levelling up my other stuff. Just recently with all that hard work have I really been able to... parry. I still haven't gotten a dodge move, which makes combat continue to really be frustrating sometimes when you can kill things very quickly or have them block forever then destroy you right back. Block only works against humans with swords, not the other 80% of things you fight and even when you do block or successfully parry an attack it seems to just promote the enemy into a 'rage' where they keep swinging wildly at you for a good 5-8 attacks which don't break. When you can't really turn to run very fast because the speed at which the game lets you out of block, or to turn around, or the animation to start from a standing position to a running one is incredibly slow, every time you do want to run a way a bit you'll get hit 2-4 times as you slowly turn. You are not agile in combat, like I said I have no dodge move at all and strafing around an opponent isn't really an option, I can kinda move slowly around but it's very slow and not worth any advantage against the enemy it seems.

Guns are allowed in duels, sorta weird to see your opponent 'forgive' a few shots to the chest

The best 'strategy' so far in the game is invest in a lot of healing items, because of the way enemies behave it's impossible to have a 'plan' other than getting in and killing it as fast as you can, or running around like a mad man while your party member takes some damage (because they are invisible) and when they fail to do 'anything' (which is often) then you come in and wail at the enemy again then run away again. Often when you get far away from an encounter both your party member and the enemy will seemingly forget what they were doing and disengage each other and everything around them, which is handy.

I've had slightly better luck that seemingly most others with the pistol, cause it actually hits things most of the time, though it's still a dice roll so often you'll be a foot away from a Crab that the size of 3 people and you will 'miss'... I wish the game would at least be a bit more logical if it wanted to be dumb like that, say the shot hit the Crabs huge thick shell or something.. cause fuck you I did in no way miss, lol. Technically the game is fine and the biggest thing it has going for it is it really looks as if someone hired the emo eastern block kid behind ENBSeries mods, aka everything is very contrasty and 'messy' looking due to high amounts of fake post processing stuff. Tends to make games look like a photo of a magazine screen (which can often look better when seen on the net).

The game overall feels very much like Risen in that enemies are finite, a "challenge" in the sense that the enemy is your character's inability to preform well, and an odd feeling that later on in the game this 'magic' stuff will take over importance and great a divide between the game and the player if you're into pirates, melee weapons, guns and general none flashy magic stuff.

#10 Posted by Ares42 (2670 posts) -

@Baal_Sagoth: I don't think the problem has anything to do with enemy tuning or player skill or anything like that. The problem is just that there straight up is no defensive game. I might remember wrong, but I'm pretty sure you had both shields and dodge in Risen 1. The only valid tactic (as you already described) is to have your companion take the brunt of the damage while you run around poking the enemies. What makes this even worse is that if you actually follow the story through the first area you can end up going for a loooong time with no companion (making combat just impossible). I ended up deliberately avoiding the main story untill I had done everything I could on the first island because of this.

You could talk at length about how it's great to have more "hardcore" games etc, but this is just bad. You just don't have the tools required to deal with the combat scenarios they throw at you. The only reason it works is because they give you NPCs that does more than half the work for you.

#11 Posted by Baal_Sagoth (1261 posts) -

@Ares42: Hm, fair enough. Whatever that disconnect between the Piranha Bytes games and most RPG fans is, it is beyond my capabilities to explain my approach to them any clearer than I tried to here. With that approach I do enjoy them greatly and am moderately succesful at playing them without many frustrating moments. The mechanics are odd, somewhat excentric and of course not perfect but perfectly fine at doing their own niche thing. The differences between Risen 1 & 2 are of course there but I just don't think it got worse from 1 to 2 personally.

To your point about the companions: Yes, my point was incorrect since she can leave you on that first Island. But I still maintain that the combat system works fine on your own. I mentioned the companions as an attempt to help out people that needed some space to learn the ropes more than trying to say they are essential to tackling the enemies, especially not on Takarigua. Although the lady stayed with me due to my particular order of progression I barely used her for combat and did most everything on my own without many problems. When I say "not many problems" that doesn't mean I didn't die plenty of times but that sort of ever present danger just heightens the tension of exploration and prevents the combat from becoming grindy XP-whoring too often.

To your point about defensive play: Yes, shields and evasion rolls are gone. Certainly an odd choice but they got replaced with dirty tricks, the pistol or throwing knives as a sidearm, parrying and counterattacks against humans and the stun-kick versus wildlife (the latter one is pretty excellent and I hadn't figured that out when I last posted). Pure defense got substituted by techniques that stun enemies or break their combos. If anything, I personally like that a little more I think. Either way it can work well if you approach combat carefully and tactically.

I don't want to talk anyone into liking the game, I'm well aware most everyone seems to hate it. This was my attempt to explain why I enjoy the RPG systems in Risen 2 personally and how you might want to approach it if you have huge problems like the OP. You pointing to a couple of changes from Risen 1 to 2 and claiming that the the combat therefore sucks doesn't make the new system bad. Does the replacement work for you? Have you given it an honest shot? Maybe you did and just hate it but a mere lack of shields doesn't make Risen 2 objectively bad. Just like my huge enjoyment of it doesn't make it good by definition.

@xantar: Hehe, I'm glad some people still enjoy that odd brand of gameplay. I would still be quite heart-broken if that sort of game would go away entirely and couldn't coexist in its niche at all anymore. We'll see. For now I've got Risen 2 and so far I'm still loving it.

#12 Edited by DJJoeJoe (1324 posts) -

It should be noted the 'huge problems' I've tried to say I have with the game are only ranted about from me because as most of you probably know these games have some sort of interesting hook that are hard to explain. I mean, why else would I still be playing this game when clearly I do have issues with some very basic and core ways the game handles itself. It's not the story, I couldn't care less about whatever the crap is going on, the way the story is delivered is also tedious and mind numbing and I find that I just skip a majority of people yapping on about crap very often. I think it has something to do with it's visuals combined with how it seems to try and develop the world and such. That and probably some sort of thing I'm personally filling in that helps me like the game, even if it doesn't exist in the actual game. Tons of grass really helps, I like lush environments :)

EDIT: Talk about frustrating though, I'm at a point in the game where I've put 5 hours into an area and there's no vendor for food or healing items... this is crazy dumb.

#13 Edited by Ares42 (2670 posts) -

@Baal_Sagoth said:

I don't want to talk anyone into liking the game, I'm well aware most everyone seems to hate it. This was my attempt to explain why I enjoy the RPG systems in Risen 2 personally and how you might want to approach it if you have huge problems like the OP. You pointing to a couple of changes from Risen 1 to 2 and claiming that the the combat therefore sucks doesn't make the new system bad. Does the replacement work for you? Have you given it an honest shot? Maybe you did and just hate it but a mere lack of shields doesn't make Risen 2 objectively bad. Just like my huge enjoyment of it doesn't make it good by definition.

I cleared almost the entire first island with a character focused on cunning with some firearms. Planning on restarting today, hoping that with more knowledge of the game I'll be able to make a more viable build. While I see the point that dirty tricks is the new defense, I just think it's non-functional. Most enemies barely notice that you kick them, and the animation is so long a lot of them won't even allow you to do it. Sand/salt is very unreliable (even with a char focused on cunning), a lot of enemies aren't even affected by it, and even when it hits they still end up whacking me down :P And while the pistol is good, it doesn't really offer much defense.

I just wonder how you would do something like the termite nest or sunken one without having a companion. I tried the sunken one alone at first and I was just completely locked down. Guess I'll see if my new tactics work better =)

Edit: gotten a tad into the game with my new setup, while it's still not great it's definitely way more bearable. There's still not really any defensive game, but I'm just killing stuff way quicker now. The big realization I needed was that it's not a sword+gun game where you will always use both but can choose which one's better. It's much more of a hard choice and if you go ranged you just need to scrap your sword and pick up a big gun instead. They really should've made the pistol part of dirty tricks instead to make it clearer.

#14 Posted by DJJoeJoe (1324 posts) -

Once again, as always, I quit the game frustrated rather than satiated after having played an enjoyable experience.

Did the developer of this game get someone to play through it before they released it? Did they watch and/or listen to everything that person had to say? All it would take is one person. Hey maybe you should provide some options for the player in combat, maybe you should make the combat fair, almost everything about the game feels like a janky broken mess. I've given up on actually trying to play the game properly, since you're forced to glitch out enemies in order to kill them why bother caring right? This was highlighted when I was forced to shot a guard to 'unconscious' while I sabotaged some cannons... cause there's seemingly no other way to do that part. He doesn't move from his spot day or night, you can't talk to him to get him to move or do anything, all you can do is stab him to unconscious.. which is hard because he shoots over half your health off and if you're using a gun against him you have no way of stopping him from shooting you unless you glitch him behind the building he stands by... like, what the fuck guys. At least treat me with some respect, just because I like video games doesn't mean you can get away with making me do this junk. All this was followed by being forced to use my invincible companions to board a ship, SO lazy and boring.

#15 Posted by Baal_Sagoth (1261 posts) -

@Ares42 said:

@Baal_Sagoth said:

I don't want to talk anyone into liking the game, I'm well aware most everyone seems to hate it. This was my attempt to explain why I enjoy the RPG systems in Risen 2 personally and how you might want to approach it if you have huge problems like the OP. You pointing to a couple of changes from Risen 1 to 2 and claiming that the the combat therefore sucks doesn't make the new system bad. Does the replacement work for you? Have you given it an honest shot? Maybe you did and just hate it but a mere lack of shields doesn't make Risen 2 objectively bad. Just like my huge enjoyment of it doesn't make it good by definition.

I cleared almost the entire first island with a character focused on cunning with some firearms. Planning on restarting today, hoping that with more knowledge of the game I'll be able to make a more viable build. While I see the point that dirty tricks is the new defense, I just think it's non-functional. Most enemies barely notice that you kick them, and the animation is so long a lot of them won't even allow you to do it. Sand/salt is very unreliable (even with a char focused on cunning), a lot of enemies aren't even affected by it, and even when it hits they still end up whacking me down :P And while the pistol is good, it doesn't really offer much defense.

I just wonder how you would do something like the termite nest or sunken one without having a companion. I tried the sunken one alone at first and I was just completely locked down. Guess I'll see if my new tactics work better =)

Edit: gotten a tad into the game with my new setup, while it's still not great it's definitely way more bearable. There's still not really any defensive game, but I'm just killing stuff way quicker now. The big realization I needed was that it's not a sword+gun game where you will always use both but can choose which one's better. It's much more of a hard choice and if you go ranged you just need to scrap your sword and pick up a big gun instead. They really should've made the pistol part of dirty tricks instead to make it clearer.

Yeah, too true. In fact, in the very beginning I thought all the 'E'-triggered actions were dirty tricks for some reason. I pumped everything into Cunning initially because locked chests drive me insane, speech skills are awesome and I rocked a Rapier-type weapon with a pistol (with sand/ the more effective salt and coconuts thrown in). Towards the end of Takarigua I decided I needed to commit to ranged or melee to prevent fucking myself over and startet to train Firearms because I loved the pistol so much, so actually very close to your character I think. Another thing about about rifles that the game doesn't explain, I think, is that you can improvise a melee attack with LMB in unaimed mode which I started using with nice success. I just found this out yesterday and it seems to help a lot when they get up in my face and it becomes hard to hit with anything but the pistol since it pushes them back and allows for another rifle shot.

Sunken One and termites were indeed the most challenging part but I did it alone with several deaths and attempts each. The former is a complete bitch because the axe attacks are pretty unrelenting so I resorted to shooting him with a pistol at medium range which took several tries because he closes the distance on you pretty swiftly since he's sort of fast. I still found that enjoyable because I liked the "shit ma pants" moment of one of the first supernatural-esque encounters. The termites where actually not all that challenging to me because I stalked their "supply routes" and took the little guys out in chunks no larger than three. The cave with the warrior types doesn't have much wiggling room but I played that pretty aggressively anyway to prevent that poisonous spit.

Anyway, good to hear you're getting into it a bit more! I wouldn't call the combat neccessarily great either but, to me, its challenging, interesting, satisfying and functional enough to balance the great exploration and RPG segments of the game and convey a nice sense of danger and meaning to the protagonist's exploits.

#16 Posted by Shirogane (3574 posts) -

I just finished the game earlier today, and i have to say, the combat becomes somewhat easier later on in the game, but fighting non humans can still be absurdly hard cause of the lack of a dodge or block, and the fact they can stunlock you to death. I had to deal with most of the first island without a companion, which you'll also have to do for the second too. It was a bit tough, but you learn to work with it. I never used healing items until about 75% through the game.

In terms of combat, try jumping away from enemies instead of running. It works like a clumsy dodge, not quite as good, but it's the best you have. If you really don't like melee combat, but still want to play through the game, go for guns. you can just run shoot run. They do heaps of damage too.

As a note to anyone who's going to be playing through, i found the Sacrificial Knife really useful. It's one of the story artefacts, but it's an infinite throwing knife, that gives you health when it hits. I think it gives you how much damage it does. Pretty damn nice.

#17 Posted by Ares42 (2670 posts) -

@Baal_Sagoth: I'm about 10 hours into my new playthrough now, and I can now say I've changed positions to "the combat is not bad". Not good, but not bad either. That is with one major caveat though, you have to go musket. The damage you do with a musket compared to swords is just ridicolous, and the fact that you get a kick equalient for free (that's actually better because of quicker animation) makes it actually possible to play somewhat of a defensive game. Not to mention the fact that most smaller enemies are dead before they even reach you :P

Having that said though, I would've never stuck with it if it hadn't been for the fact that it's a good pirate game. Although it doesn't say very much I'd say this is probably a top 5 (or possibly top 3) pirate games of all time. It gets a tad too hokey at times, but they've nailed the theme pretty good and execute on it well.

#18 Posted by Baal_Sagoth (1261 posts) -

@Ares42: Yeah, that sounds pretty sensible. 20+ hours in with my Cunning, Firearms and minorly buffed Toughness dude I'm pretty happy about that character progression. I'll enjoy this path for now and see about the rest on my second playthrough I'll plan to do. Melee does seem pretty challenging but I wonder how the throwing weapons @Shirogane mentioned there affect the combat dynamics. Especially when combined with the later game Voodoo options. Melee + the occasional thrown knife + some curses, summons and proper mixing of non-alcoholic potions does seem like a sound strategy too, but we'll see.

But yeah, I do still enjoy the world and atmosphere a lot and the Lovecraft inspired themes mixed with the pirate stuff does work well for me even though you're roght about the hokey touches!

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