Now this game creates an old-school pen and paper-campaign-feeling not with dudes saving the universe but a group of adventurers travelling down a river. It plays in the world of German pen and paper-RPG "The Dark Eye" back in the cozy days when the writers weren't all Earthdawn ft. Voldemort. It captures the saturday night gaming sessions of my youth rather well.
Since game's now on steam I got it again - that's why I don't have that many hours clocked yet.
Game is leisurely paced and feels mostly light-hearted compared to the dark and mature settings of the witcher or dragon age though there is also betrayal and murder. More an escapist fantasy into a heroic age so to speak. "The grass was greener, the light was brighter.."
Morals reflect this as the party plays "lawful-chaotic good" in most cases. No Geralt-choosing-the-lesser-evil-moments this time around.
Combat is real-time with pause not unlike dragon age but with the camera closer to the characters. Camera control is complicated - best use wasd for steering the character and the mouse with right button pressed for camera control. Battles are won by selecting the right actions and positioning your troups rather than overpowered inventory. Beside the magical gear items mostly reflect medieval equipment from the TDE rulebook.
Your chars earn adventure points to spend on esoteric skills like "seducing", "herbalism", "treat wounds" and so on.
The game will check those in dialogues same as race or profession (=archetype).
There is also item crafting -blacksmithing, bowyer, alchemy.
You can only create the first character from scratch from 22 archetypes like pirate, soldier or battlemage.
It's technically a prequel. The old adventurer guys you met last time around are still young and you find out why they became big buddies.
Compared to Drakensang 1-
Compared to the last time things improved. More waypoints, still some but less backtracking. No cheesy world saving this time. Less linear. Seriously part one can be skipped.
River of time has a mostly fixed party to play due to story reasons.
Compared to German Retail Version-
Lacks the detailed 76p.-manual for the complicated ruleset and I think that's really lazy, DTP. So-so translation and voice-over quality.
Classical somewhat cliched but tasty and solid roleplaying experience. Pretty lighting and love of detail like the thoughtfully created medieval town add to immersion.
Posted: February 16th, 2014