How to predict various opponents' attacks?
I've recently started playing Risen, and even tho it's an amazing game with good visuals, design, interaction and character development, very often the combat difficulty is bat-shit-crazy. I managed to keep playing untill i've stumbled upon my first giant scorpions, and fighting even one of these (obviously losing) makes me want to ram my head through the wall into the neighbouring appartment and scream like this. >:[
I've been playing Monster Hunter a lot, so im used to the type of combat that this game has (dodge/block/create opening, strike, repeat), but as far as I notice, all those swords and maces flying at your face/gut/crotch/knee are lightning fast and the patterns are non-existant.
Is there any way to predict the attacks of one's opponents (so you know when to dodge and parry)? And if it matters, when is it best to use back-step dodge vs side-step dodge vs simple block?
I don't know about actually predicting attacks (like, by reading a tell in an enemy's movement), but a strategy I use with great efficiency is to block, waiting for a first attack, then step aside as your opponent usually tries to attack at least once more and strike as he miserably misses you.