Risen 2: Dark Waters is a single-player fantasy-themed action role-playing game and the sequel to Risen by Piranha Bytes. It is published and distributed by Deep Silver. Risen 2 is a pirate themed game, but it transfers the classic Caribbean pirate themes to a fantasy world where monsters, ancient gods, and voodoo magic exist.
Risen 2: Dark Waters was officially announced on August 18, 2010 by its published, DeepSilver. The PC version was released at the end of April and was developed by Piranha Bytes. The console versions will be released in a few months and the studio in charge for Risen 2 XBOX/PS3 development is Wizarbox.
Lately, it’s a rare thing to have a game first developed for PC and then for consoles. And another interesting thing is that Risen 2 uses Edge Anti-Aliasing instead of the more popular MultiSample Anti-Aliasing.
Because I couldn’t get consistent results in more demanding areas of Risen 2, I had to test the game “in calmer seas”, during the dialogue with Carlos to be more precise. This might not be the smartest thing to do but in this case, it was the safest one. Nevertheless, the results and CPU/GPU usage “trends” apply even in the most demanding areas of the game.
Each test contains 3 runs of 60 seconds each.
|Depth of Field||Off||Off||On||On|
FPS was recorded using Beepa Fraps 3.4.7.
CPU usage was recorded using Windows Performance Monitor. Processor(_Total) with a sample interval of 1 second.
GPU Usage was recorded using MSI Afterburner 2.2.0.
|Test Hardware | Risen 2 Benchmark|
Intel Core i5-2500K (Sandy Bridge)
3.3 GHz, OC = 4.5 GHz, 6 MB L3 Cache, power-saving settings disabled, Turbo Boost disabled.
|Motherboard||MSI P67-C43-B3, Intel P67 Chipset|
|Memory||2 x 2 GB DDR3 1600MHZ|
WD 500 GB SATA III (OS)
Samsung 750 GB Sata II (Game)
|Graphics Card||Sapphire HD6950 1 GB|
|Power Supply||Corsair TX 650 W|
|System Software And Drivers|
Windows XP x32 SP3
Windows XP x64 SP2
Windows 7 x32 SP1
Windows 7 x64 SP1
Windows 8 Developer Preview x32
Windows 8 Developer Preview x64
AMD Catalyst 12.4 WHQL
AMD Catalyst 184.108.40.206 ( Windows 8 )
Operating Systems Comparison
Risen 2 performs the same no matter the Windows operating systems. There are no noticeable differences between the 6 OS tested. Performance, Image Quality, Loading Times and gameplay in general is no different between them.
CPU and Cores Comparison
The game requires a minimum 2.4 GHz dual-core processor but even such a low-end processor (by today’s standards) will run Risen 2 on the highest possible settings without a sweat. No more than 2 cores will be used and from the data I gathered it seems that Risen 2 isn’t optimized for CPU multithreading.
Under normal circumstances the GPU usage will stay at about 96-95% but more demanding areas such as the 2nd island will make the GPU work harder and performance will drop with another 10-15%.
|CPU Usage||GPU Usage|
|1 Core OC||88%||92%|
|2 Cores OC||39%||97%|
|3 Cores OC||27%||97%|
|4 Cores OC||22%||97%|
Yet again, a 5% Overclock will boost performance with about 5% more frames rendered each second, the game is utilizing the GPU as it should. It always pays off to have a high overclockable card.
AMD Catalyst Drivers Comparison
Using different AMD Catalyst drivers won’t make any difference with Risen 2, we’ll have to wait until AMD releases a driver with some optimizations for this game.
The most taxing setting in Risen 2 is , you guessed it, Shadows. Setting Shadows to Off from Ultra will give you a extra ~30 FPS but the game will look too dull with no shadows so I recommend going for Low. Anisotropic Filtering has a ~10 FPS hit. Having so many Image Quality Settings/Options gives gamers a wider choice in regard to how Risen 2 looks and feels.
Image Quality Comparison
- Risen 2 performs the same on all Windows Operating Systems.
- CPU requirements aren’t high, low-end CPUs will play the game just fine even on Ultra/Maximum Settings.
- 1:1 OC Ratio, 1% in OC brings 1% in framerate.
- Shadow Quality is the most taxing IQ option.
- Switching between different AMD drivers didn’t improve/decrease performance.
- Low and Mainstream GPUs will not be able to reach 60 FPS on the highest settings.
Not everything is great with Risen 2. Character models, quality and animations are unpolished to say the least. Also, textures are not of the highest quality but the lighting effects does a great job in covering up this and the overall graphics are satisfying.
Moreover, texture pop-ins are frequent and somewhat annoying, a driver update should fix this in the future.