A Fresh RPG, made by RPG lovers, for RPG lovers.
bowflexman wrote this review on .
Following four updates, I am finally ready to weigh in my final verdict on Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. This game is nothing short of spectacular. It runs nearly perfectly, the combat is stellar, as are most of the quests. The game follows the MMO style to a T. In fact, with the exception of being able to play with your friends, this feels like an MMO.
This is why I am appalled with Gamespot's review of this game. I feel that they did not make an educated review mainly because they docked it points for having generic quests and plots. The thing is, all RPGs to to some extent. On top of this, I just think they are dead wrong. The store is a strong one. It may not be on par with Bioware's writing but, for a first effort, it is fantastic. The world is so filled with lore that it makes it a natural assumption that faction quests and other side quests often tie into it. So while you may be doing a "fetch" quest, as you face often in every other RPG known to man; it is made fun because it directly or indirectly will tie in with the game's backstory, which, as I keep stating, is fascinating. This means that standard fetch quests feel fresh and fun and make you feel more involved with the world itself. Bioware and Bethesda are the only two companies that I know of that succeed at this, and now you can add 38 Studios to that list.
The game is not revolutionary in those aspects of the game. Where it is, however, is combat. It is fun and visceral. I loved it.
Anyways, I have dumped tons of hours into this game. It is brilliant. It is one of those games that lives and breaths the labor of love it must have been for 38 Studios. This is an RPG, built by fans of the genre, for fans of the genre. What else could you ask for?
On top of all of that, 38 Studios has managed to jump up onto the list of big players, such as Bioware, and this is their first title. I am all the more excited for their second.
FLAWS: Some graphical hiccups, a small number of quests fall on their face when compared to the overwhelming majority of good ones.
WISHLIST: Multiplayer, even just 4 player co-op would be a great addition for the sequel. Up the level cap.
VERDICT: Buy this game and play it until your eyes bleed. It is worth it. Yes, it is that good.
I decided to take more time between updates here. I have uncovered much if the game now, but still it has not slowed. I am amazed with this game. It is rare that a developer can hold a gamer's attention for so long without boring them. This comes back to its MMO comparisons because it really does play like one.
I plan on doing one more update and then the review will be final, but, as of right now,this Ida contender for Game of the Year. It is a pleasant surprise indeed. I absolutely love this game and can justify my recommendation for it easily. Okay, we'll back to it. Expect the next update in a week or so.
One of the things in this game that continues to amaze me is the beautiful environments in which you explore and complete quests. The more I play this game, and the more I see, the more I realize that this game is nothing like Fable, which it has been compared to a lot. In all honesty, even though it carries many similar traits found in Elder Scrolls games, this game really feels like Reckoning and nothing else. Although, again, I will compare it to World of Warcraft, because it seems like the closest comparison.
The backdrops are very magic based, which is a far cry from the environments found in Skyrim, which are are much more realistic. Each region has its own personality and its own lore, which brings me to something else that this game manages very well: History.
I've talked a bit about it in previous updates, but I continue to be amazed by the sheer amount of lore in this game and how well it holds up and actually affects the overall feel of the game. Amalur is truly a living, breathing, world, filled to the brim with a fascinating history that is as fun to discover as new regions are. In fact, I find myself thinking about the game's lore when not playing because I am so fascinated by it, and the lore is often what continues to bring me back to the game hour after hour.
Thirdly, the combat. I have sunk tons of hours into this game now, and still the combat has not grown dull. It was a worry of mine, that it would grow old, but it really doesn't. If anything, it is fresher than it was just a few hours in because of the breadth of abilities I have learned and the fact that I am beginning to actually master the combat system. One thing to note is that the game is not extremely challenging. I am playing on the Hard difficulty, and have only had a few tiny hang ups in battle. I wouldn't call this a fault, but it would be nice to have a Nightmare mode. Besides this tiny hang up, I cant find anything wrong with the combat. There are tons of enemies in this game, all with their own fighting styles, so the combat does actually require strategy, though it is of a fast, think on your feet type of strategy, not the long drawn out tactical process of games like Dragon Age Origins. I usually really enjoy slow, tactical battles, but this game has managed to change that thought process because I truly find the combat to be intense, exhilarating, and just a blast to take part in.
Alright, well that does it for this update. Please continue to check in for further updates. I hope to provide you all with an educated review (unlike Gamespot's review of this game, which contradicts many of their other reviews, I will go into that later though). This is why I am taking my time with this, and just jotting down my thoughts as I go. Check back in in a few days for the next update!
Okay, so it is time for my next update. Yes, I am still in awe. KOAR has a personality of its own. It is far different from Skyrim or Dark Souls in almost every way, and that is a good thing because it is what really makes this game stand out. It also carries an addictive quality that I can only compare to World of Warcraft. The quests (and there are a crapload of them) give you the feeling of "I'll just do one more and then I can go to sleep". The thing is, the abundance of quests appear to be neverending so it will be 2 or 3 in the morning before you know it. It is truly an engrossing experience. One other thing worth noting is how stable this game is. For the sheer size of it, I have seen very few bugs, all of which were visual, but not as annoying as those found in Skyrim. It is a remarkable feat to say the least. Anyways, I plan on updating this review until I beat KOAR, but that may take a looong time because I think this game is going to be really really long, which is a great thing because I love it! Gonna go play some more, check in for my next update, which I think will be next week some time.
Now I am nearly twenty hours into this gargantuan game, and the awe has not rubbed off. I have mulled my way through a few sets of armor and weapons now, and I also changed my character considerably. Initially, I was a Brawler, but I am now working my way into a different play style, using Might and Sorcery combined. The Battlemage. One thing that really stands out in this game is the fact that, even though I am mixing various skill types (might and sorcery), my character doesn't feel gimped. There is really no wrong way to make a character in this game. In fact, it urges you to experiment, which gives the game a fresh feeling in comparison with other RPGs. I am sticking with my score of 9.5 for now, and will continue to update this review as I play.
Okay, so I am going to update this review periodically as I dive deeper and deeper into the vibrant world of Amalur but, as of right now, some four hours in, I am impressed. The gameplay is a blast and is leagues beyond other RPGs. The game follows classic RPG formats for almost everything else, which I see as a good thing. I am not sure why some people are angry about that. It is an RPG so there are gonna be fetch quests and classes and what not, though they aren't referred to as classes in this game, that's what they are.
The game runs perfectly and the world is massive. The graphics, while not the best out there, are very good and the environments have been very diverse so far.
The combat system is awesome. It feels like an action game in many ways, with a dash of WoW. Very good mix and makes for a very fun experience. Check out my blog for more info, and, as I said, I will update this review as I continue to play the game. As for now, Mr. Rolston, I applaud you. You have managed to make me forget about Skyrim.