Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Review
Kingdoms of Amalur is a great game and it really has that “High sense of Fantasy” RPG to it. Within the world of Amalur, the story line does not just immerse you as it would in Skyrim, or Fallout, or Final Fantasy for those of you still playing JRPGs, the game play within Amalur is one of the greatest and most fulfilling factors of the whole experience. Kingdoms of Amalur is, what I would describe as a “High Fantasy Action RPG”. What stops me from calling it strictly a Fantasy RPG or a adventure RPG is the gameplay, probably the games most indifferent factor when thrown into the pool of western style RPGs. Unlike many RPGs we come across today, Reckoning has a more fast paced combat system and gives you that sense of truly being within the combat. Due to the more fast paced combat and fluent control over your character it doesn’t feel as if you are exploring and then engaging in combat as it would in say “Fallout” one of my favorite RPG titles, it has a fluent progression of exploration, while you are exploring the vast and beautifully imaginative fantasy land of Amular you encounter enemies that are not just waiting for you, but are wandering and often interacting with the environment; because of this flow of exploration and “enemy” integration it gives you a feel of being among the characters rather than just stumbling upon some AI. Overall, I think the combat is excellent, definitely one of the strong sides to this game. I had a blast fighting multiple enemies using different types of weapons and magic.
Story : You have a choice between 4 different races for your main character to be. The four playable races are the Almain (civilized Humans), the Dokkalfar (Dark Elves), the Ljosalfar (Light Elves), and the Varani (nomadic Humans). The plot takes place at the tail end of a long, bloody war. After being resurrected in the Well of Souls, it is your fate to finally put a stop to the war. This takes us to a unique mechanic of the game called “Destiny”. You find out that you don’t have a destiny and that affects everything from your talent trees which is your upgrading system. Something every role-playing game has. The main storyline revolves around fate and figuring out why you don’t have one and putting a stop to the war in Amalur. You will meet many different characters with all different races that will help you along the war and learn more about the expansive world of Amalur. Overall, it’s a typical fantasy RPG story. I thought the story was good but no where near amazing. It wasn’t as engaging as other RPG games like Elder Scrolls or Dragon Age.
Graphics/Sound: The graphics remind me of games like World of Warcraft or Fable, which isn’t a bad thing. Beautiful environments and solid animations are marred by fairly shoddy-looking character models. I wish lip-syncing was more on-point during dialogue. The graphics are not the best, but it still looks great when exploring the massive world of Amalur. Music is sparse, but the voice-acting is well-executed and really adds a great deal to the story. Characters have a lot to say, and that’s a good thing. There is only one problem with the sound though. Sometimes the sound will be delayed. For example, if I go to slash a bunch of boxes with my sword, the sound will be delayed a couple of seconds. This happened quite often but still wasn’t anything too bad to really hurt the overall game.
Replayability: There is a lot of content in this game. You can probably put 30 to 40 hours in this game. The main storyline isn’t too long, but it is the side quests, exploring and everything else that will have you playing for multiple hours. At some points it can get repatitive but overall, there is a lot to do in this game, and I’m sure your going to want to do everything you can.
Overall, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning isn’t the perfect game. Its random technical hiccups and inconsistent art style certainly holds it back from even higher levels of greatness. But no matter what you’re looking for, whether it be amazing gameplay, good storytelling or perhaps a riveting new world to explore as you fully customize and re-customize your character at will, Reckoning has it all. I don’t think this game is doing anything revolutionary, and is very similar to other fantasy style RPG’s but still, the combat is very addicting and fun, and you’ll find yourself getting distracted doing multiple side quests and exploring this beautiful world.
Overall score – 8/10
This review is based on a retail copy of the PC version of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
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