Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Review
A fantastical, riveting experience marred by boring dialogue and forgettable characters.
Recently there has been resurgence in westerner themed action-RPG games. 2011 saw the likes of Skyrim and Dark Souls come out as well as many other similarly themed games being announced for 2012. At first Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning seemed like “another Action-RPG” game. However when you took a closer look at the people working on the game you would realize the amount of experience and skill that is behind the title. The Lore and world is written by New York best seller R .A. Salvatore, the art is done by famed comic book artist Todd McFarlane, and the game’s creative director is Ken Rolston who previously world on the Elder’s Scrolls series . Theoretically speaking Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning seemed to be a dream come true for fans of the genre. While Kingdom of Amalur does not do anything revolutionary to the genre, it’s definitely a fun and highly engaging title that Fantasy Action-RPG fans should check out.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is set in the world of Amalur, a high fantasy universe created by famed New York best seller R.A. Salvatore. The game starts with your character, the fateless one, dying but somehow managing to be brought back from the dead. You quickly learn through the opening tutorial that the character that you created is fateless since he has already died and accomplished his fate. The game from then on opens you up to explore the world of Amalur while trying to figure out the reasons behind the events that happened to you.
The world of Amalur is huge. It’s filled with a variety of areas and locations that you can visit and explore. Cities in the game are well designed and are quite diverse in both style and feel. The game’s dungeons are all handcrafted without any randomly generated dungeons being included in the game. While many people would compare Amalur’s world to having striking similarities with World of Warcraft, the level of detail that the world is composed of and the different artistic direction given by the artist makes Amalur a world of its own.
The gameplay of Kingdom of Amalur is largely influenced by the background story. Since your character is fateless, he/she can be whoever they choose to be. There are 3 main ability trees that you can develop as your character progresses: Might, Magic, and Finesse. The game allows for a great amount of freedom in developing your character. You can mix and match between all three ability trees if you like or simply just focus on one or two. If you felt later that what you initially started with didn’t feel right you can easily visit an NPC called the fateweaver and redistribute all your skills points from the ground up. The flexibility and freedom offered in the game is something that a lot of RPGs lack and is something that should be pushed for even more as the genre evolves.
In addition to combat based skills the game also has different abilities such as Blacksmithing, Persuasion, and lock picking. Each of those abilities give your character different capabilities to work with outside of the actual combat that can be of benefit in your journey. For example improving blacksmithing will enable you to create better gear and weapons while working on persuasion will cause you to change people’s minds at times.
The true highlight of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning however is its combat. The game boasts one of the best combat systems available in an action-RPG title. Fighting is fluid and highly engaging making the whole experience very addictive. The game adds in quite a variety in skills and weapons to be used in battle which makes the combat all that more enjoyable .Regardless of whether you found the main story to be highly interesting or not, the combat is so well done that it will keep you playing on for hours and hours.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning didn’t bring anything revolutionary to the table but was able to polish a lot of its aspect to impressive levels. When you set aside the forgettable characters and boring dialog you find a game that is so well polished in many of its other aspects. The title boasts one of the best combat systems ever in an action-RPG and a highly flexible class system that allows the player to choose to be whatever they want to. If you are a fan of action-RPGs then Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a great experience you will definitely enjoy.