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Drakensang: The River of Time (Windows)

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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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Description

Drakensang: The River of Time takes place 23 years before The Dark Eye: Drakensang and puts the player on a journey along the Great River trying to uncover the mysterious intrigue which threatens the land. As in the first game, the player isn't alone on his journey. Instead his party consists of up to four people he meets during his journey including the dwarf Forgrimm, the thief Cuano (Cano in the English version) and the warrior Ardo - three characters, players of the first game will be familiar with. Forgrimm is at the same time the narrator of the story, as the whole game is just a flashback told by the dwarf to Kladdis (Gladys in the English version), another important character in the first game.

All characters the player can't take with him on his adventure, remain on his ship which replaces the player house featured in the first game. They still earn experience points however so that they don't stay behind. The ship is used to travel from location to location and acts as a hub for the player. He can even buy upgrades to e.g. install a work-bench for crafting. As opposed to the first game, the player can always return to previously visited locations and will most likely find new quests by doing so.

After selecting the difficulty level, the first game only featured one, Drakensang: The River of Time once again starts out with the player creating a new character either from scratch using the expert-mode or by selecting one of the pre-defined characters. Both the number of available archetype and character classes as well as the power of the expert-mode have been greatly increased and are even closer to the German Pen & Paper RPG "Das Schwarze Auge" the game is based on. One of the two new archetype is the clan-warrior who has many muscles but no etiquette whatsoever while one of the new character classes is the geode - a dwarven sorcerer. In addition more character models are available to increase the customization-options for the players. Besides the eight basic attributes like courage or dexterity, there are dozens of other talents in which the player can invest his valuable points for example herbalism or aimed shot. Some of these talents need to be learned in the game first by talking to the corresponding trainer and investing money and skill points.

Every action in the game depends on these values. Even when the player is only talking to someone, dice are being rolled in the background. These samples, as they are called, determine if the hero successfully influences his partner and gets e.g. additional choices in the many multiple choice dialogues. But for these samples not only the points in the relevant talent are a factor but also the skills that this talent uses and to make it even more complex there is sometimes the possibility that a dice roll has a handicap perhaps because the hero is injured or something like this. If the player wishes, he can see all these numbers in a chat-like window on the screen.

Besides the very extensive and complex rule-set, the game is once again a very classic RPG in which the player travels through a small part of Aventurien which has not yet been covered in the Pen & Paper edition, talks to all kinds of people - now with all dialogues featuring voice-acting -, fulfills main- and sidequests, gathers resources to make potions or forge items, kills enemies and overall just gains enough adventure points for the next level which defines how high he can raise a talent and advance along the story. Battles are fought in realtime, but even a single wolf requires some tactics so the player can pause the game at any time to give every adventurer specific orders on what to do next.

To help the player get around the huge world faster, a new fast-travel-system has been implanted. While traveling the world, the player will unlock waypoints and every time he's in the vicinity of one, he is able to travel instantly between all the waypoints on the current map.

Screenshots

Drakensang: The River of Time Windows The troll-bridge - I wonder who thought of this name...
Drakensang: The River of Time Windows Irian, the prior of Praios's temple (Russian)
Drakensang: The River of Time Windows Killed a dog and gained four adventure-points for it.
Drakensang: The River of Time Windows Choose your preferred difficulty setting

Alternate Titles

  • "巨龍之歌2:時光之流" -- Chinese spelling (traditional)
  • "Drakensang: Река времени" -- Russian spelling
  • "Drakensang: Am Fluss der Zeit" -- German title

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The Press Says

PC Games (Germany) Feb 18, 2010 87 out of 100 87
Jeuxvideo.com Oct 13, 2010 17 out of 20 85
GameStar (Germany) Feb 16, 2010 85 out of 100 85
GamersGlobal Feb 15, 2010 8.5 out of 10 85
ET Magazine Oct 04, 2010 84 out of 100 84
Gameswelt Feb 11, 2010 83 out of 100 83
3D Juegos Jul 13, 2010 8.2 out of 10 82
Gamer.nl Oct 28, 2010 8 out of 10 80
4Players.de Feb 26, 2010 75 out of 100 75
Absolute Games (AG.ru) Nov 21, 2010 70 out of 100 70

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Sicarius (61031) added Drakensang: The River of Time (Windows) on Feb 19, 2010