At gamescom yesterday, publisher Deep Silver announced they will be publishing a sequel to the acclaimed RPG Risen, and also a new installment in the beloved Sacred RPG series.
Risen is a beautiful and well-crafted experience we absolutely loved. Though it's little-known in North America, the game and its directly related Gothic series are extremely popular in Europe, where traditional RPGs continue to thrive, especially on the PC. We'd also like to remind the game received a bad image here in the west due to the greater popularity of the Xbox 360 console, where the game saw a poor port. The PC version, though, was simply fabulous -- hopefully Deep Silver will assure quality all around for Risen 2.
Naturally, the game will again be developed by Piranha Bytes. The team is currently on the lookout for a new programmer and animator in the hopes of achieving more realistic animations and better AI. Sadly, series mainstay and music composer Kai Rosenkranz may not still be with the studio.
Since the first title bears such a strong resemblance to the first Gothic game, we could expect the sequel to be heavily based on Gothic II, which was essentially the second chapter in one very large universe, featuring an expanded world and tighter mechanics.
As for Sacred 3, you may recall the series' development studio Ascaron Entertainment recently went under, reforming in part as Gaming Mind Studios with members of Kalypso Media, and selling the Sacred license to Deep Silver. It's unknown at this stage who will be developing Sacred 3, but if it's handled with care as Risen was, we could have a real winner to look forward to.
Both games will be published on consoles and PC, and are estimated to launch in 2011-2012.