Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Review
Guest reviewer: kr3Z
After approximately 2 years of development, Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning has finally made its release. Curt Schilling, who is the founder and Chairman of 38 Studios and Big Huge Games, and also a former pitcher from the MLB, is the man behind the development of the game, along with R.A Salvatore, a renowned story writer, Ken Rolston, part of development team of Elder Scrolls games and Todd McFarlane, Spawn and Spiderman comic artist. One would think that having these guys involved would make a game amazing. Coming from a heavy background of playing through numerous RPG games, this game holds its own ground to a certain degree.
After sampling the demo a few weeks before its release, it was not quite like expected. At first there was confusion between whether or not the game was yet another God of War knock-off or cartoon oriented Dragon Age 2 game. But it was rather a mix of both with a hint of Elder Scrolls features. The game makes you feel like it is an open world game, similar to Oblivion/Skyrim, and it tricks you into thinking that because the way the map is laid out when you arrive in a town or village, there are caves and dungeons branched out surrounding that particular area in which you would do your quests in. This follows suit towards most of the game, because after playing approximately 30 hours of the game, I found myself repeating the same sort of formula when I got to different areas of the map to progress through the storyline.
The combat is extremely fun and probably the best aspect of the game. As I have mentioned earlier, God of War type of fighting has been implemented, along with a magic system and cool-looking juggle combos, which is not a bad thing considering how fun that formula was in those games. There is some depth in the customization of each class. As you start the game you can pick form 3 different classes to develop. Much like Dragon Age 2, you can either be a warrior, a mage or a rogue. In the later levels, upon developing skills in this class, you can upgrade your status from rogue to thief, and thief to assassin, and so on and so forth. Doing so will give you access to more powerful moves and skills. Much later into the game you can combine your class with another and make your character even more powerful. For an example, my base character was a thief, and I combined it with powers of the mage. So now I can juggle enemies with my arrows in mid-air and finish them off with a blast of fire. There are multiple combinations you can try out to see which one fits your style of gameplay. Other aspects of the game such as lock-picking a treasure box, buying and selling from merchants and gear improvements seems borrowed from Elder Scrolls game.
To those who want a compelling adventure from the start, take note that the story does not pick up until you are past 15 hours or so. You’ll encounter a very slow and bland start and some redundant and boring quests. Most of the side quests are also irrelevant and almost useless to even play through. Items and equipment you find during these quests are rewarding though, and will come useful later on the game. However, the game does pick up if you put some time into it.
There have been a handful of glitches that hampers the game in some major areas. Not spoiling anything about the story, but for example I had to speak to a particular individual to progress the story line, but that individual keeps repeating a line from a past quest that was already completed. Because of this I was forced to reload an auto-save file from 30 minutes prior, in order to bypass the glitch. Other known glitches found on both PS3 and XBOX platforms is the sound lagging. Sometimes in the middle of a battle, the sound made when you hit an enemy is delayed by a second, which can throw off your focus and hamper your immersion. However, other than these minor glitches there is nothing game breaking, unlike a certain Bethesda game I will not mention.
Overall I thought the game was well produced. The story does seem bland, but the fun in the combat more than makes up for it. Hopefully, patches will be released to fix those minor glitches to make the game flow better, rather than looking for workarounds to finish main quests.
- Looks very much like the environment style of World of Warcraft
- Very bland and undetailed in some areas of the map
- Comic design on characters and NPCs
- Nothing special here, just fix the sound lag issue and its good
- 5.1 Surround sound works well
- Fast paced action/ RPG combat sequences
- Cool moves
- Glitches hamper gameplay in some aspects of particular quests
- Adept customization of character equipment
A note on our rating scale: We rate things out of five, but don't confuse it with ratings from other publications. We’re not professional reviewers who do this for a living, we don't get sent free copies of games, and we don't have the luxury to play a ton of games during our work hours - we buy/borrow all our games and do this during our off-time, outside of our jobs and families. Our ratings take into account the time and money spent, and are here to help you make an informed decision on whether this game is worthy of your hard-earned cash and limited time.5 – An almost flawless game with good graphics, sound and gameplay. You might even want to replay it many times, despite your busy schedule. A must-buy.
4 – It has some flaws, but it’s still worth a playthrough. Buy it if you like this type of game.
3 – An average game targeted to specific niches. It has its redeeming factors. Buy it on sale or if you fit its target demographic/niche.
2 – The game sucks, but some will get enjoyment out of it. Play it at your own risk.
1 – Broken, ugly game with few redeeming qualities. Probably shouldn’t have been made. Leave this game alone and don’t even look at it.
0 – Worse than garbage. Game companies should pay you for the time you spent playing this trash.