I really enjoyed risen 1 aswell. Story wise gothic 2 and 1 were both better (marginally in gothic 1's case) but thats more a reflection on how good the story was in the earlier games which runs rings around both the elder scrolls games and the witcher games. combat was alot more fluid in risen than the earlier games.
I'm liking risen 2 once i worked out the graphics issues. It was unplayable until doing the two fixes for an nvidia card ( you both have to turn off all water reflections, and uninstall the "nvidia 3d" drivers which for some reason are called even if you dont have glasses and cause a massive slowdown - jumped from 10 fps to 70 once removed).
The combat systems fairly good (admittedly i went firearms, cause well theyre firearms
- mele is a bit clunky at the start). You can buy a firearm right near the first town that does marginally less damage than the one you get as part of the plot further into the game so its good for ages.
The storys corny, but so are pirates in general, so it seems to work.