The lights are on
Before I started up Kingdom of Amalur Reckoning, I was completely
skeptical about what 38 studios was promising to bring to the table.
Even though 38 studios was founded by Curt Schilling, a former Boston
Red Sox’s pitcher. It has some impressive talent behind the game, which
drew my interest towards the game. Ken Rolston, who is mostly known for
being the lead designer for Elder Scrolls “Morrowind” and “Oblivion”.
Todd Mcfalane, who was the creator of spawn and lastly R.A Salvatore,
who is a well known scifi writer. This trio of talent dose many rights
then wrongs, but it lacks a strong identity and the game suffers because
One of the biggest reasons to get excited about Kingdoms
of Amalur: Reckoning is the combat. From the get go, KOA: Reckoning is
easy to grasp. If you are a fan of various RPG’s like Dragon Age and
Ninja Gaiden, then you are going to find familiar ground here. if you
aren’t familiar with those games, it’s a fast paced button masher mixed
with rpg elements.The controls are very lose and it only takes one
button to inflict mass damage upon your opponent, but that’s not what is
most impressive about the combat system.
If you prefer to play
multiple play styles, then the combat system is flexible in just about
every conceivable way. “Reckoning” doesn’t hide the fact on what it’s
centered around as the box art clearly symbolizing what the game is all
about. If you wanted to wield an bow and bring destructions to your
opponent using an electric sword, then the game gives you that option.
The game gives you every chance to be an ultimate *** with finishing
moves, yes I said finish moves, that rival the classic arcade fighter.
Impaling a giant beast with my lighting bolt, beating him to a pulp,
then throwing him into a pit of fire was an in creditable feeling that I
feel many will enjoy.
I played mostly as a mage in my
50-hour play through. Normally I would be tied down to my magic, but now
I have many options deal out damage. Your primary attack button with
all of your special combos is always going to be ‘x’, but what makes the
combat system so intuitive is how equal secondary attacks are. You
always have a devastating side arm with you, which speeds up the
gameplay and always keep you in the grove of the game. As a mage I was
able to be a powerful wizard and be powerful melee fighter at the same
time thanks in part to how smartly the respec system is designed.
most rpg’s , once you choose a play - style, you are stuck with your
decision and their is no turning back. However in “Kingdoms of Amalur
Reckoning”, I was never tied down by moves I made early in the game. I
was given the chance to fix and change however your character plays
like. It this freedom of reckoning that makes the combat system stand
out from the rest. Now with saying, their is a few things that combat
system struggles with.
While your traversing the world and
slaughtering enemies, your combat equipment will eventually wear down
over time. This wouldn’t have been a bad thing, if it didn’t happen all
the time. Far too often my equipment would be rendered useless in mid
battle, making normal opponents far more troublesome then they should
be. A minor problem I came across was adequately defending myself. The
only way you can defend yourself is by dodging or by blocking, but it
just doesn't respond well. Depending on how you respec your character,
blocking is rendered useless due to how much damage it dose to you.
Dodging is the best means of defending yourself, but it tends to react
late. These problems are still very minor and didn’t get in the way of
the awesome gameplay.
you might be wondering? What is the setting surrounding “Kingdoms of
Amalur”, well it’s big and expansive. If you are a consumer who is
worried about getting their money’s worth, then this is right up your
alley. They are dozens of races in the game that you will come across.
For the most part the races are a mixed bag, some are creative and some
are just straight up generic.
From the get go after you finish the
tutorial, the game becomes like a normal mmorpg. Side quests will open
to you periodically as you continue to further explore the world. Some
side quests will demand your attention, but will be well worth it due to
items you receive. For the most part, I prefer the side quests in the
game, just because how linear and un thought out they are.
main storyline is frankly the most disappointing thing about the game.
Reckoning is the first attempt to create the “Kingdoms of Amalur”
universe, but it fails to grab your attention. While most rpg’s have a
morality system, “Reckoning” decides to go in a completely different
route. You have the power to choose your own destiny. The more times you
level up, you will unlock more tier’s in the game, making your
character more and more powerful. This is a great idea, but it needs
more work. If you chose a certain play style, then your actions will pre
– determine your fate and locking you into a pre determine ending.
Simply put, unlike Curt Schilling 2007 Boston Red Sox’s, “Kingdoms of
Amalur” won’t hold your attention for long after you lose interest in
the presentation front, the game boosts some great presentation values.
The highlight of the package is the outstanding music score in the
game. Composed by Grant Kirkhope, who was you might heard his work in
“Viva Pinata” and “Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts”. This is his first
music score for rpg game and he knocks it out of the park. Traveling the
world was a sheer joy because of how rich and heroic the music sounds.
Everywhere I went, I was greeted with a new theme that instantly set the
mood and made me explore the world more. Graphically, it’s a hit and
“Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning ” draws a familiar
art style that was previously used in the fable games and while it might
be a old look, it still holds up. There are very little load times in
the game, which is something to be said due how big in scale the world
is. I never had to wait for something to load or texture to re – render
so I could continue. Not once did I experience one crash, a dip in frame
rate or lost of saves. It's a very smooth game from start to finish at
“Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning” is good, but not a great game. If the
story was better than 38 studios might have had a hit on its hands. The
biggest mistake they made was simply putting to many big names on one
project. Traveling the kingdom is one thing, but they never figured out
how to tell a story. The game is going in so many direction that it
never figures out it’s own identity.
Yes it wants to be a single
player mmorpg, but like most it never tells a story (with the exception
of swtor). R.A Salvatore work goes completely un noticed and the game
suffers. In the industry when rpg’s are at the pinnacle of game design.
“Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning” doesn’t do enough to separate it’s self
from the competition and will quickly be forgettable as time moves
Score: 8 out of 10
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