The lights are on
Many eager RPG fanatics will be picking up Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning tonight, the new title from Big Huge Games that introduces 38 Studios’ new fantasy IP. While you’ll have to wait until later tonight to read my full review, a game this gigantic deserves some guidance. Here are a few tips to get you started on your journey through Amalur.
If you’re playing the PS3 version of Reckoning, you’ll note the forced installation at the beginning. If you opted to go with the Xbox 360 version, take my advice: Install it to your hard drive. Not only does the installation make some of Reckoning’s tiny bugs less frequent, but more importantly it decreases the load times. When you’re wandering around out in the open, loading isn’t a big issue, but once you start fast traveling everywhere or trying to explore all of the buildings in a city, you’ll be hitting loading screens all the time. The install makes a difference and is worth it in the long run.
Taking out the trash
Reckoning’s menu and inventory system isn’t particularly new or groundbreaking, but it is fairly elegant once you get used to it. Every time you loot a treasure chest or a fallen enemy, you can scroll through the list and quickly compare any armor pieces or weapons to what you currently have equipped. If it’s not an upgrade, a simple button press will send the piece to your trash list. The next time you’re at a vendor, you can auto-sell all of your trash with a single button press instead of needing to sell each item individually. You’ll be picking up a lot of non-upgrades throughout the game, so making a good habit of using the trash feature early on will save you time and annoyance.
Every time you enter a new town, be sure to check in with every vendor in the area and do a thorough look through their goods. In addition to crafting recipes, specific vendors throughout the world of Amalur sell backpacks that will permanently upgrade your inventory space, which becomes increasingly important and helpful as the dungeons get bigger. While you’re at it, don’t be afraid of buying armor or weapon upgrades. The deeper into Reckoning you get, the more you’ll find that money is not at all a concern thanks to huge quest rewards and piles upon piles of loot to sell.
Searching for secrets
In addition to traditional skill points, you’ll be able to power up one of your non-combat skills with every level – stuff such as lockpicking, blacksmithing, and enchanting. All of these are helpful and by the end you should have a fairly well-rounded mix, but I recommend focusing on pumping points into the Detect Hidden skill early on. This priceless ability allows you to find hidden treasure caches around the world and even passively increases the amount of gold and loot you find at all times. It also eventually lets you detect traps and the Lorestones hidden in each zone.