Gamescom 2011: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Hands-On

We finally got to play Reckoning's single-player campaign by jumping in to control a warrior character.

Behind closed doors at Gamescom 2011, developer Big Huge Games was feeling bullish. "We believe [Reckoning has] the best combat in the RPG genre," we were retold by a representative of the company. Thankfully, they seem to have the goods to back this claim up, with stylish, exquisitely animated combat that rewards timing and combos in a satisfying and challenging way.

Jumping in to play as a warrior class on a PC with an Xbox 360 control pad, we were immediately able to pick up the basics of combat. Our character had two different types of swords, mapped to the X and Y buttons, while roll was available on B. You can also block attacks using the left trigger, and timing this during enemy attacks sends them reeling back--a perfect time to unleash a follow-up blow. There were also special alternate moves that were accessed by holding the right trigger, such as a rage move that was useful when things got a big hectic.

As well as playing the game, we got to hear about Reckoning's interesting approach to classes, which it calls destinies. You start out by creating your character and customising him in detail, but what you don't do is put him into a character class having not played any of the game. Instead, you spend the first hour of the game experimenting with different play styles, and as you level up, you can specialise using the skill tree.

We also got to see a short demo of a specific mission from the game. It's your job to hunt down a character called Templar Octienne, who was somehow involved in bringing you back to life at the beginning of the game. He was found in La Radium, the great library of the gnomes, and after some threatening conversation conducted by a BioWare-like dialogue wheel, battle commenced. The character being used was able to perform some pretty nifty moves, such as raining down arrows from the sky, to see off the multiple White Assassins and take down Templar Octienne by flinging him through one of the library's stained-glass windows.

We got plenty more detail about the game during our visit to the team at Gamescom. There will be five regions in the game, each with a distinct look and feel. This epic world will also house hundreds of side quests, should you want to get distracted. Perhaps the most important fact, though, is that the game launches on February 10 on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC--a date confirmed at EA's Gamescom press conference. We hope to have more on the game soon, so stay tuned to GameSpot for more.

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Discussion

23 comments
sagi139
sagi139

There seems to be a potential game but something feels unnatural hostilities. The graphics were not very good and the feeling that the game was more x boxs and ps3. I played on PC and I felt he was wrong. The world was big and I loved some systems. Not like the way that should compare equipment And there were bugs in the game I hope that game developers have created a better separation between the pc and Consul I do like the direction they went with him you can find a lot of equipment resources and the world is open. And most promising I'll buy the game I just find it interesting what people who do this all day can not think of better ways. There is progress but hey very slow

wilson336
wilson336

I was disappointed with the demo, as far as combat goes. X = attack....and that's it?!?! Yes, you can invest in special moves as you level up, but at least give some combos across multiple buttons....I'll probably buy a used copy out of the bin next year just so I can go through the story...

spectremike
spectremike

Having played the Demo through, I was extremely disappointed. All hopes that this would be a special game, coming from Ken Rolston, were dashed after an hour or so of playing the demo. The caroony, fluffy coloured WOW graphics made me want to puke to be honest, 4 boring races to choose from, combat is rubbish, click the X button numerous times. It just felt a rip off clone attempt of Divine Divinty DKS, which was much better to be honest. I can`t believe some people were touting this to beat Skyrim. Skyrim stomps it into the ground and laughs at it`s lightweight corpse..

live-a-live
live-a-live

As a PS3 owner, I'm scared. I'm still butt-hurt from Skyrim.

dblock137
dblock137

The game looks great the action looks awesome I for one am ready for some new blood when it comes to RPG games. I will be following this game in the upcoming future ready to play it.

bmorgan303
bmorgan303

Q4 is going to be bloody. Not everyone is going to be successful with that particular distribution tactic. I bet you a lot of great games will get passed over for some of the bigger name titles, and I bet half of those big name titles, suck. I cant wait to buy this game. I am going to be spending a LOT of money on games this year...and so is everyone else. I know origin sucks...but at least the pirates get to take a hit to the wallet now just like the rest of us. Dumb-asses stole their way into the worst DRM ever. Thanks guys, way to help the community.

jubdeidamasta
jubdeidamasta

So many games get passed up with everything coming out at the same time of year. Companies forgets people like to play games at more then just xmas time.

oflow
oflow

ya with the economy as bad as it it everyoe is releasing their games for christmas. if one of them was smart someone woulda taken advantage of actually releasing a megahit in the summer instead of waiting to compete with all the other Q4 titles. Summer has been pretty meh for games.

kaem79
kaem79

Sounds good as long it doesn't need Origin to play.

Alexander_C
Alexander_C

Been waiting to see this game's release date forever now, so I feel a big satisfying RPG relief right now ^___^

NaryuKick
NaryuKick

Everything about this game seems promising. I have no doubts that this will be a must-buy on launch day.

Ringx55
Ringx55

Looking amazing, I'm so excited.

ProggleRock
ProggleRock

Reckoning is single-player only, GameSpot.

dre256x
dre256x

@ howie1926 Feb next year isn't spaced out enough? Far as i see it Feb has no cool games lined up, This an exception.

howie1926
howie1926

There are too many great games coming out within a 4 month span.....damn game companies need to learn to space these out!!!

Shinteikun
Shinteikun

how come every and each time, someone is showing off the RPG game, they choose a warrior class to show us a game? Personally I find magic way more interesting

JJames3dCG
JJames3dCG

Other than the Feb 10th release date, I learned nothing new from this "Hands on" article. They just recapped everything we already know. Love the game, disappointed in gamespots journalism.

Slieststeven1
Slieststeven1

looks like everything fable should have been

Mattyrock
Mattyrock

Can't wait to check this game out.

Cheddarchet
Cheddarchet

Sounds like a pretty positive impression to me. Looking forward to its release!