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Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Review

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is an open-world fantasy Role Playing Game (RPG) developed by Big Huge games and 38 Studios, and published by 38 Studios and Electronic Arts (EA).  The game was released on February 9th, 2012.

The story follows a protagonist known as ‘The Fateless One’, a person who died and was brought back to life.  As the land and its people are tied to fate, everything has a predetermined outcome, but as ‘The Fateless One’ has no fate, they can change the fate of everything and everyone around them.  The protagonist travels through the land of Amalur, specifically in the Faelands and joins up with many other characters on their travels in order to attempt to stop the evil Tuatha waging war on all of the mortal races in the Faelands.

It is hard to adequately cover Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning properly, as it is seriously huge. You can sink over a hundred hours into this game easily.  The map is huge, the areas are huge and the amount of quests and side quests are huge.  It seems Big Huge Games is not an over exaggeration.  The skills and abilities aren’t so huge, however, but still feel right at home in amongst everything else in this game.  You get three skill trees to choose from, Might, Sorcery and Finesse, and it’s pretty easy to work out what each one involves.  You do not, though, need to focus on only one tree to become powerful.  You can mix and match to your hearts content and still be a force to be reckoned with, and due to the content and time you will need to spend in this game, it will take you a long time to get to the end of any skill tree.  The game, unfortunately, can get a little stale and repetitive unless you are a die-hard fan of the game, and near the end depending on what skills you have sunk your points into, you can become so Over Powered (OP) that nothing is a challenge anymore.  Especially if you are a mage, just get close enough, unleash the meteor spell and watch everything die.

The combat in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is very satisfying, with many different options for battle.  There are many different weapons to use, such as swords, hammers, daggers, staves and chakrams.  Each of these weapons works incredibly differently, with different speeds, damage and multiple upgrades in the skill trees such as charge attacks and block attacks.  You also get two weapon slots which you can quickly and easily swap between, in order to change up weapons for different enemies.  Then you’ve also got your spells which again are all incredibly varied.  Most of the Sorcery spells are all Elemental and designed to do high damage, the spells in Might are more about control and powerful attacks, such as the harpoon or quake, and Finesse spells are all about stealth and disruption, aiming to get around your enemies to take them out quickly and silently.  Along with all of this, you also have multiple potions that change battle, such as healing, resistance or more damage for certain elements or weapons.  One of the main elements in combat, though, is Reckoning mode.  Activating this mode seriously slows down time and increases your damage.  Once you have defeated all of your enemies, you can choose to activate one of them and perform an execution which can grant you extra experience.  The only downside, however, is you need to fill your fate bar in order to use this mode.  You earn fate points by killing enemies and performing powerful combos.

The story is incredibly convoluted at times in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and mixing in all the side quests, tasks and faction quests, it ends up being an amalgamation of missions in which you are likely to forget what’s what and just end up doing them for the progression and experience. Thankfully, though, when you are in a certain area, every quest you currently have will be tracked on the minimap, so you do not need to constantly go back to the quest log over and over.  There is a lot about this game that can be condensed down to one word, basic.  Basic quests, basic story, basic characters.  None of these really pop out and make their mark in the world, and once you have completed a quest or finished talking to someone, you could quite easily just forget who or what they were.

Exploration is a huge part of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.  You can run around and find hidden areas and treasure, powerful enemies with rare loot, magically sealed and locked chests, and plants which give you alchemical reagents in order to perform alchemy.  If you aren’t a big fan of exploring the world, you do not need to at all, the quests themselves will give you more than enough loot and experience in order to progress through the game.

There are so many little things that make this game good.  You can turn on friendly fire and decide to go on a killing spree in towns and cities.  It is so colourful and the music is so immersive.  Unfortunately, the graphics are relatively lacking, even back when the game came out it was worse than other games coming out at the same time.  But unless you get immediately turned off by average graphics, they will hardly faze you in amongst the truly amazing combat and size.

Verdict

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is out on PC, PS4 and XB1.  The game is staggeringly huge, in many different ways, such as map size to content.  You may be disappointed in this game if you were after some truly immersive story-telling and characters, but almost all other aspects of the game make up for it, such as the combat, the level of customisation and the insane length.  Due to this, the game receives a 7.5/10, an RPG which made great headway in the gaming community without copying the style of other RPGs out there at the same time.  If you haven’t played it yet and you love some role-playing, make sure to set aside a week so you can get a good start on it.

This review is based on the PC copy of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, experiences may differ on PS3 and XBOX 360.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

AUD $27
7.5

Pros

  • - Incredibly lengthy
  • - Satisfying combat
  • - Wide customisation

Cons

  • - Basic story and characters
  • - Average graphics

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Shaun Fordred
Shaun Fordred is a game reviewer for Blot Gaming. He has been playing video games for longer than he can remember, has almost finished a Bachelors degree of Communication, and has been writing in his own private time for many years. He is also a big fan of tabletop games, such as Magic the Gathering and has multiple Dungeons & Dragons games going, one of which he runs for six other players. He plays on all manner of platforms, PC, PS4, XBOX and Nintendo. He's always up for having a chat about all things gaming, so feel free to send him a message if you want to chat.

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