GB Feature: Drakensang: The River of Time Review

Don't let the quiet North American release of Radon Labs' CRPG prequel fool you - Drakensang: The River of Time is well worth your attention and its low $20 price point. From our review:
The game uses the smaller NPC group to its advantage. The party is fairly balanced regardless of what the player brings in, and unless you invest only in combat skills from there on out you should have and use a wide array of crafting and social skills throughout the game. Furthermore, the companions suggest different approaches to quests, especially early on in the game, where Forgrimm suggests going in axe waving while Cano prefers subterfuge. Different approaches are available throughout the game, though it really only seems to offer greatly different paths at the start, particularly in the Tollgate quest which plays out completely differently depending on if you follow Cano or Forgrimm. The choices you make generally don't have plot-altering consequences, but they do impact the way specific areas play out.

The game is heavy on quest markers in its quests, and many quests are or can be resolved by simply killing everything. This means the go-there-and-kill method is often the way to go. The game does offer a bunch of minor quests that are not marked in your log and thus lack quest markers, but all other quests are guided on your map.

But more so than its predecessor, The River of Time offers different paths and choices even without your companions suggesting them. The social skills especially fast talk and human nature are used very frequently, with results varying from slightly better rewards to getting betters odd in a fight to avoiding the fight completely. Seduce and etiquette are used less but even those skills have their uses. As mentioned, crafting skills are very useful, and various thieving/exploring skills, like disarm traps, lockpicking and dwarf nose, see frequent use in dungeons, though the game does not really allow you to sneak by more than a handful of encounters.