Risen 2: Dark Waters Publisher: Deep Silver Price: £39.99 Format: Xbox 360 (also on PS3, PC) Age rating: 16+SET several years after the end of Risen, a bunch of fearsome Titans have laid waste to much of the known world. The remnants of civilization have relocated to the port town of Caldera, but even this safe haven has come under attack from monstrous sea creatures. Fortunately, rumour has it that a pirate has discovered a way to defeat the Titans. Taking on the guise of the nameless hero from the first game, youre sent on an undercover mission to gain the trust of said pirate and his motley crew, learn his secret and save the world from impending doom. Dont worry if you never played the original role-playing game. Risen 2 is a sequel in name only, swapping the originals high fantasy concept for some pirate-themed swashbuckling. Your quest to vanquish an ancient evil sends you on an island-hopping adventure, searching for some magical artefacts that will help you in the battle against Mara, a malevolent sea-dwelling Titan. On your travels, youll team up with a monkey pickpocket, captain your own pirate ship, search for buried treasure, explore jungles, caves and ancient temples, battle giant crabs, use voodoo to strike fear into your adversaries, lunge, parry and riposte with the best of them and drink your own weight in grog. Its an eclectic mix and weve only really scraped the surface of whats on offer resulting in a role-playing game thats a cross between Skyrim and Pirates Of The Caribbean. Perhaps thats too grand a comparison for this enjoyable pantomime of a game, though. For a start, your lead character comes across as a gruff Jack Sparrow wannabe, without the swagger or half-cut sense of humour. Character advancement is also problematic. Instead of a traditional levelling system, you have to spend gold and experience points to boost your stats, skills and weapon-handling abilities, but with both in short supply it takes ages to build up certain attributes. At the start of the game, even the lowliest adversary will be able to kick sand in your face, and youll have to grind away for hours to become proficient at swordplay. Despite these criticisms, Risen 2 isnt the shipwreck of a game it could have been. Although some of its quests lack imagination, its still bursting with swashbuckling third-person combat and exploration.