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Review

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Review

  • Game release: February 7, 2012
  • Reviewed: February 7, 2012
  • X360

Kingdoms of Amalur's combat and character advancement are fantastic enough to overshadow how bland everything else is.

Even the greatest role-playing games aren't necessarily known for their great combat. They're frequently praised for their ambitious worlds, their involving stories, and the element of choice. But when you talk about your favorite RPGs, it's not often that the action is what you talk about first.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is not like those games. In the future, when you talk about Kingdoms of Amalur, the first thing you will probably mention is how fun the battles were. Incredibly, this RPG's combat is so exciting, it could have been used in a pure action game and would have held up just fine. In fact, from a swordplay, loot, and leveling perspective, Kingdoms of Amalur is as good as any RPG in recent memory. This is the role-playing game you should be playing if excellent action and progression are your primary concern.

Of course, RPGs are about more than just swinging swords. The best of them aren't just games--they're worlds, in which unusual people mill about, inviting you into their homes and telling you of unimaginable treasures protected by unimaginable monsters. It's here that Kingdoms of Amalur falters. Amalur is nice enough to look at, and there are lots of things to do there. But each thing you do is pretty much like the last thing you did. In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you stumble upon a coven of cannibals and have telepathic conversations with a dog. In Mass Effect 2, you explore the painful past of a troubled young woman and witness the ultimate conflict between mother and daughter. In Kingdoms of Amalur, you kill stuff and listen to a bunch of nondescript characters spout line after line of unexceptional fantasy lore. There's so much talking, so much effort put into all this dialogue. And yet Amalur never develops an identity in spite of it all. There's a lot of tell, but not a whole lot of show.

There's at least a great premise providing a foundation for your adventure. You see, you are dead. Or at least, you were dead before a device called the Well of Souls brought you back to the land of the living. Upon reawakening, you find yourself in quite the position: you no longer have a fate. And because the laws of fate no longer apply to you, you can change destiny as you see fit. Save innocent lives. Kill your enemies. In conversation, act like a jerk--or like an angel. Like other RPGs, Kingdoms of Amalur occasionally grants you the power to choose. However, the story’s very premise nods to the fact that you are a blank slate, free to progress as you see fit. You're special in this world because everyone else is tied to the threads of fate. Before you came along, the future was unchangeable.

Behold, the power of the elements!

It's a pity that Kingdoms of Amalur doesn't know what to do with the setup. You gradually learn more about your self-named, blank-slate character, but the game is more interested in getting you into battle than it is in developing its people. You can talk to the inhabitants about all sorts of things, but doing so is rarely more interesting than reading some dusty tome. It's nice to have a world fleshed out by conversations and books, but in any game, it's better to see and experience an adventure firsthand than it is to hear someone talking about one. There are some nice narrative touches that resonate, such as a conversation with a woman angry that the church has outlawed female clergy. But most dialogue is wooden description.

Many fine RPGs don't feature great central plots or superior dialogue, so the humdrum storytelling may not be a bother for you. It's too bad that the side quests don't pick up the slack. There's so little variety here. Kill spiders, find a missing person, collect these items, and so on. A few of these have a spark of creativity. You partake in a bizarre reenactment of an old legend, speak with a wolf cursed to roam as a human, and assist a dimwit who has been deceived by pranksters pretending to be something they're not. But overall, questing in Kingdoms of Amalur is a game of "chase the waypoint," in which you run toward quest goals without caring about why you're heading there. The dullness of questing is reinforced by your own voiceless character during cutscenes, who mutely stares into space during every conversation as if he or she has heard it all before.

Introducing another character whose name you will never remember.

You may have heard Kingdoms of Amalur compared with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, in the sense that they are both open-world fantasy RPGs. But such comparisons aren't really accurate. Amalur is "open-world" in a pedantic sense, yet it's not an enormous landmass, but rather a collection of big areas separated by winding corridors. (All you have to do is open the world map to see how different this game's world structure is from an Elder Scrolls game.) It's more akin to a large-scale Fable, with loading times and winding pathways used to segment explorable areas, dungeons, and towns.

The art design may also remind you of Fable (or maybe World of Warcraft), though Kingdoms of Amalur isn't so self-consciously lighthearted. It is certainly lovely, however, in a vanilla sort of way. Bright red and blue flowers dot sun-dappled meadows, where antelopes graze and hop about, prancing away when you draw too near. Crooked lampposts and skewed wooden rooftops welcome you to a desert village and its brown cobbled streets. It's all so pretty, pixie dust rising from enough grassy knolls and daisy patches that it looks like an army of fairies just exploded. But the visual design lacks identity, embracing the middle of the road and never reaching beyond. Kingdoms of Amalur doesn't have the exaggerated charm of Fable II or the rich detail of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. It happily embraces its pedestrian prettiness, like the front cover of any fantasy novel you might find on a bookstore's shelf.

It's that lack of identity that holds Kingdoms of Amalur back from being a force to be reckoned with. It feels like it was made by separate teams that did their own things without checking in with each other. The dialogue is all so serious, yet the art design doesn't complement that tone with an equally serious look. The creature designs are so wonderfully frivolous they seem like they belong in another game--though on their own, they are the best part of the game's visuals. Sure, you've got some ordinary wolves and spiders. But you've also got kooky boggarts that dance about like miniature witch doctors. Kobolds' ears are so pointed, they look as if they could carve up a roast, and big brutes called ettins are so engorged with muscles that it looks as if their sinewy tendons might rip through their skin at any moment.

Boy is it fun to fight these creatures! Kingdoms of Amalur's combat is fantastic, no doubt about it. Depending on how you equip yourself and how you spend skill points (more on this to come), you might find yourself heaving a long sword in addition to a pair of daggers, or sporting a bow and arrow along with some chakhrams. What are chakhrams, you may ask? Well, they are razor-edged hoops you fling at your enemies, which, like all of the game's weapons, may possess elemental properties to make them even more effective. Flinging a pair of fiery rings about is a blast. And as you level up, you earn moves that make you even more powerful, letting you string moves into combos that have you leaping out of harm's way as you fling the chakhrams forward, or releasing them in a single thrust that sends them circling around you like murderous whirling dervishes.

Chakhrams are by no means the only way to have fun in Kingdoms of Amalur. If you choose a great sword, you juggle enemies and perform combos that have you hurtling about like a champion pole-vaulter. With a late-game magic spell, you combine lightning, fire, and ice attacks in a slow-motion fit of elemental rage. With daggers equipped, you can sneak up on enemies and slit their throats from behind. Of course, there's more to good combat than all these fancy animations and combos. Without basics like proper collision detection or tight controls, the visual flourishes would be meaningless.

Thankfully, the combat is mechanically sound. When dagger meets flesh, you feel the impact. The occasional minor delay aside, the game responds to your button presses properly, allowing you to fire off arrows and spells without trouble. The auto-targeting (usually) chooses the proper target based on the direction you face, letting you move from enemy to enemy in a chain of slashes, stabs, and parries. The only trouble you might encounter is with the camera, which valiantly tries to make the action look cinematic. Every so often, however, it pulls in so close you can't properly manage the battle, or it might park itself underneath the ground geometry.

Flinging chakhrams around is one of this game's greatest joys.

You occasionally get the chance to enter reckoning mode and activate a melodramatic finishing kill that has you shoving a sword down an ogre's throat, or something equally vicious. (Hysterically, initiating a conversation while still in reckoning mode initiates a conversation with slow-motion lip synching but normal-paced voice-over.) But as satisfying as those fatalities are, the action's flexibility is even more so. You have two weapon slots and can equip anything you want in them, provided you meet the stat and level requirements. You can also spend points in any of three extensive skill trees, roughly divided into spellcaster, rogue, and warrior roles. Go full-on mage if you want, or mix and match as you see fit. Wield a sword and a magical staff. Try for the unlikely combination of scepter and hammer. Don't like how things are shaping up? Visit a fateweaver to reset your entire skill tree and redistribute your points in another way. Such are the benefits of freedom from the confines of fate.

With so much flexibility, looting becomes even more rewarding. Monsters drop a lot of stuff, and you find chests scattered everywhere. Because you could potentially change your approach at the drop of a hat, you might get use out of items that you would consider vendor trash in other games. Heck, you can break down some of that equipment and build your own weapons and armor using the blacksmithing skill. Vendors are there when you need them, but chances are that you can find or make items that are far more useful than what you can buy. You can even name your own creations, so feel free to use four-letter words in the name of your super special staff if you so desire. The game's ESRB rating is M, after all.

Other side activities include alchemy (experiment with herbs and make potions!) and sage crafting (make gems and slot them into your weapons and armor!), though that is hardly all of them. There's simply a lot of game here, and as uninventive as the quests are, there's comfort in going from location to location, engaging in awesome battles and unlocking chests to discover the spoils inside. (Side note: just because a lock is rated as difficult doesn't mean what's inside is all that valuable. It's disappointing to find a few herbs and minor trinkets that you might have found in an unlocked chest.) And there's no questioning how well Kingdoms of Amalur is put together. Bugs are rare, the combat is balanced well, and the frame rate is generally smooth. The only vermin you face are on the field of battle.

The wind-up is the most important part of casting a magic spell.

How much you love Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning depends on what you look for in a role-playing game. Let's say you long for a pervasive sense of time and place, for a great story featuring memorable characters, or for varied quests given weight by superb context. If that's you, then Kingdoms of Amalur will disappoint. Then again, you might want wonderful battles against cool creatures, terrific looting and leveling, and lots of ways to customize your skills and equipment. If so, then this is the world you should inhabit. The context is hardly inspired, but you'll be having so much fun that you may not care.

The Good
Top-notch combat with a real punch
Fantastic, flexible character advancement
Some great-looking creatures
Extensive world with tons of stuff to do and lots of monsters to fight
The Bad
Generic story and characters
Generic world
Generic quests
7.5
Good
About GameSpot's Reviews
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Discussion

261 comments
madglee
madglee

Games R.A. Salvatore writes seem to always get criticized for their generic storytelling. Maybe he's like the Stephen King of screenplays - can write a great novel, but fuss around with screenplays or games and you're doomed.

X1-Bot
X1-Bot

Honestly I think the reviewer was being generous. Every time I try to play this game all I can think of is World of Warcraft. The character design and the world environment doesn't just look inspired by ... it looks COPIED from blizzards art and concepts. I can just picture Curt Schilling telling the designers "Make it look like wow!!" 

I don't know. But it's a real turn off for someone who played wow for 5 years. Maybe they thought it would capture that market.

It would have been better as an action-rpg. There are actually too many quests and I usually like doing a lot of them. It feels like a grind but maybe that's because the quests aren't nearly interesting enough.

The combat is definitely the best aspect.

advocacy
advocacy

This game is awful, and it should've gotten a much lower score.

 Literally, I fell asleep while finishing one of those tedious fetch quests.

I put about 15 hours into the game, before I couldn't last another minute.

Fanboys will defend it, but it takes honest critics to point out the egregious flaws of this game, and ultimately, not recommend it.

And this game stole money from the Americans.  The game developers ought to be ashamed of themselves.

N3C70V01D
N3C70V01D

Well this game is huge,just huge,you have tonshitload of things to do,discovering all the lorestones can be a pain but it has its benefits,task can give you a fair amount of money which by lvl 25-30,if you invest in the hidden ability,you'll have like 1.000.000 $$$ like i have and i'm still lvl 33!The main quest and factions quests can be fun and give you good outfits and fatetwists.I'll give it a fairly 80.The only thing that bothers me is the extreme difficulty for you to get all the pieces from any outfit you find,i'm with 78 hras gameplay and i only have 2 complete sets aside from the ones you get from the balads factions.. it's hard and it seems to me to be 99.999 % random!aside from that great game awsome gameplay!!

johndelacruz198
johndelacruz198

It's a 7.5 because...

GAMESPOT ALWAYS WANTS SOMETHING NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE TO GIVE A 10! THEY SAID: "The Bad: Generic story and characters. Generic world. Generic quests."

...SO ONLY TOTALLY NEW GAMES GET A 10, WHAT ABOUT REALLY ENJOYABLE GAMES?? THEY DON'T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT THOSE?! AS LONG AS IT'S "NEW"?! WOW THAT MAKES TOTAL SENSE.

GAMESPOT ONLY WANTS THE *EXTREME*! "But the visual design lacks identity, embracing the middle of the road and never reaching beyond."

...WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD IF IT'S LOOKS REALLY GREAT?!? LIKE, IS THAT HOW YOU'D WANT SEX?! YOU WANT EXTREME SEX LIKE FUCKING YOUR CAT OR YOUR GRANDMA?! IS THAT THE KIND OF EXTREME YOU WANT?!

EXTREME SHOULDN'T MATTER! I WISH GAMESPOT WOULD STOP THIS NEED FOR EXTREMES!!!

GAMESPOT WANTS NEVER BEEN DONE DIALOGUE LIKE FAMILY GUY TO GIVE A 10!: "But each thing you do is pretty much like the last thing you did. In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you stumble upon a coven of cannibals and have telepathic conversations with a dog."

YES, A CONVERSATION WITH A DOG IS WHAT'S REQUIRED TO GET A 10.

I'LL STOP READING GAMESPOT NOW, THEY'LL ONLY GIVE A 10 IF IT'S NEW AND EXTREME. SO 1995 DIABLO WILL BE THE LAST "10" BECAUSE IT'S THE LAST COMPLETELY NEW THING??

ON A PERSONAL NOTE, I READ THIS REVIEW APPALLED BY THE LOW SCORE, BUT TO FIND OUT IN THE BOTTOM THAT YOU'RE A LONELY 40-YEAR-OLD CRITIC WHO PLAYS VIOLIN WITH YOUR CATS? NO WONDER YOU WANT SOMETHING NEW AND EXTREME. THAT'S IT, I DON'T WANT TO LISTEN TO ANYTHING YOU HAVE TO SAY. BECAUSE OF THAT FACT ALONE, I DON'T RESPECT YOU. I CONCLUDE THAT GAMESPOT HAS BAD REVIEWS.


B_STATS
B_STATS

Might have got it if it was first person. Third person and RPGs? How are they compatible? Aren't I supposed to be fully immersed in a fictional World? Why then am I not looking through my own eyes?

sonicoblique101
sonicoblique101

well u don't half to worry about this game being anything remotely like oblivion.

Lore to me is what makes a good RPG with out lore the game just becomes a hack n slash.  I was hoping the game would evolve past the demo, because I have been fooled by terrible demos before.  This game is pretty drab all the way around, from bland location and characters to voice acting.  The voice acting in this game all most reminded me of old hannah barbara stuff like scooby do.  This game falls flat all the way around I would have given it a 5.5  I guess this game is ok for people that don't know any better

Requiem19
Requiem19

I have this game, but I haven't played it yet beyond the demo. It seems really interesting though, and from what I have played so far, it seems really fun too. The lack of detail in story and lore doesn't bother me too much. I love a good story, but I don't like feeling compelled to read a bunch of lore in-game like I did when trying t play Oblivion. 

sonicoblique101
sonicoblique101

I find it interesting that this guy Kevin gives this game a 7.5 score.  I played this game and thought it was rehashed fable and rehashed dragon age overly bland characters especially the wolf that had been transformed into a man, that was an obvious dragon age rip off.  And then this guy gives a fairly high score to this game despite how awful I thought the game was.  This guy loves RPGs should have been able to see through the transparency.  I love RPGs too but I know a bad one when I see it.

And on another note this guy Kevin reviewed RE6 and gave it a 4.5, I haven't played RE6 yet but I'm a long time fan of the series and will buy it after the holidays I'm sure because I love the series I love the game. I think Kevin's reviews are really slanted.

I wish reviews could be done from a collective of game spot's staff instead of just one person.  I think this guy should just stick to editing and stop slamming games that are good and uplifting games that suck.

Animal192
Animal192

Definitely my favorite rpg on console and I would love to see a 2nd one

0-NGN-0
0-NGN-0

what can i say, big map, tons of quests, great combat system, awesome loot and crafting system, lvling system is ok, generaly is fun to play ..... but still something is missing and i cant put my finger on why i cant highly praise this game =/

adamg78
adamg78

i'm loving  the game so far I hardly Touched the main story  i'm  having a blast with side missions and stuff. I don't really care if the story is not that good I found the  main story in skyrim wasn't that great at all but  it was still  a great game but so far been having more fun with Reckoning

istarninwa
istarninwa

I completely agree with the review. I'm about a quarter way through the game, and I like the skill system, the fights, and the alchemy. The visuals, although garishly colorful, are good. I'll probably make it through the game despite boring quests. It's going to be difficult, though, because I'll try to get through every side quest I can find. HOWEVER: for Amalur II, I would very much like to see an improvement in writing. I like immersive RPGs with a history / religion / and distinct political and racial environments, so I tend to lean toward the Elder Scrolls and Dragon Age. So this is my bias. Another bias is that I expect to see Amalur II, and my opinion concentrates more on the improvements I want to see. One: Amalur fails completely at being an immersive RPG. I think Fable was a very apt comparison, but even Fable, although smaller, had it's own distinct charm it drew from seeming simplicity, but very high replay value. Looking for a more detailed background on the Amalur Kingdoms, I read through the amalur.com website, which is supposed to provide such information. But, instead of fueling my interest in the world, I got even more disappointed at how shallow it was. One of the playable races (Varany) wasn't even in the list of described races, while Gnomes (a non-playable race) was considered on par with the three playable races. The self-made names for dark and light elves, as well as a bunch of other original-sounding names, were supposed to add to the seeming depth of the world, but it does nothing but confuse people. Very little of the writer's effort was put into creating a rich, interesting world. Compare to the Elder Scrolls, where every single region is rich with history and creates incredible sense of anticipation whenever a new game is released when a region is explored (hint: Skyrim). Not gonna happen with Amalur. There's not much going on outside the area you're already playing in. On a separate side, the writers did a terrible job at creating an appropriate *tone*: history books and references sound like gossip, and gossip sounds flat, i.e., bookish (see the review). For instance, the relationship between the two elven races, Ljosalfar and Dokkalfar, was described as one of an unfortunate couple: something to the effect of "and even though they loved each other, they realized their differences, so Dokkalfar decided to move to a different place, which actually improved their relationship" bla bla bla. What?! Which political and cultural entity would ever be like that? Voice acting ranges between mediocre and horrible. And you can't blame it all on actors: the scripts are terrible. For instance, when you first meet the Agarth the Fateweaver, he tells you "Hey, you wanna help me?" But then never gets to how, because he's the one helping me, not the other way around. The first gnome I met outside the Gnomish tower said "Oh, good that the others were trapped inside, it's a mercy if anything." Soooo, you're not gonna help them by digging out the survivors? Emm, okay. Not very distinct examples, but such omissions abound to the point where they show a glaring disregard for the situation at hand. Bottom-line: this game needs better writers. It's not like they can't afford them for part II, since I imagine it was pretty successful. But just one notch in reducing the quality of writing will make it unbearable.

Wensea10
Wensea10

Decent review here but Wensea10 would rather give it a 9.5!

ReverendRover
ReverendRover

I was really looking forward to playing this game, I'm a fan of many different RPG's and also of some of this game's creative talent. Until I read this review, I really couldn't put into words what it was that made this game boring for me. The combat is excellent, the enemies and scenery and nicely varied etc etc but it just lacks... character. It just doesn't engage me, and I really hope it gets a sequel made where they can take those good gameplay elements and stick them into something with a bit more personality and richness to it.

iomor27
iomor27

I also rated this game higher than a 7.5. It may not be ground breaking or have the immense feeling of Skyrim or the Witcher 2, but it is still a really fun game to play with great combat that keeps it enjoyable. As for the story, genericness aside, if it is told and played out in such a way that keeps me wanting to see what happens next in game, then that's the important part for me. From what I've played so far, it's done just that.

SteveMcD01
SteveMcD01

The review for this game is too low, period. I am playing both Skyrim and KOA, I honestly love both games. Skyrim is technically the better game, but I prefer character interaction and combat more on KOA. This game deserves a bare minimum 8, below that, you are just hating on the game due to a heavy Skyrim preference. I would give it an 8.5, it is an achievement in game development. My only real complaints are boundaries and linearity in the world (although it is still vast) and unlike Fable, you do not have any morality to deal with or consequences to your good/bad choices.

cylon500
cylon500

This game is awesome, the fighting is intense and so is the story, 8.5 from me

nster81
nster81

I disagree with the "generic" storytelling complaint. Standard RPG fare is what it is, however, the script really shines in this game. It speaks to a higher narrative in that it feels like a fantasy novel jumping out at you.

freakinxbeast55
freakinxbeast55

Actually it was an 8 before you guys realized it was undeserving and changed the score to 7.5

Johnny-n-Roger
Johnny-n-Roger

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

@freakinxbeast55 -- If you would like to complain, at least get the facts right. We didn't give Fable II an 8 :/

Stelio69r
Stelio69r

Really enjoying this game-I really do enjoy the visuals(a bit of a cross between fable and WoW), great storyline and most of all I love the controls-whether you're into melee, range or spellcasting or you decide to blend all three together it just works flawlessly! I must admit that questing felt a bit repetitive and tiresome at times although most of the quests are optional. One of my main concerns is that you tend to outlevel and outgear the content quite easily. I would wish that difficulty would scale with your character. If youre not too concerned with weapon/armor stats you will come across some cool models(brings back memories of WoW at times) but its kinda sad that your created items greatly outclass the epic sets.

badron11
badron11

Very fun skillful combat that is like most action games such as God of War, Darksiders, and Devil May Cry. TONS of swords and other loot like Diablo, and the other millions of those games. A create a character feature although with limited faces. Classes each with many moves and abilities that you can mix and match. A decent story with a lot of side quests, enemies, and locales that are zoned like Fable with the illusion of being a free roaming world. I use illusion in the good way, as in you don't realize it's zoned at first because it's very big. Good music too. Now, if you take all that and put it together you have the makings of a fantastic game. And, not the mention a new IP(First game in the series). Sure you can compare it to Skyrim, but you would be selling the game short for what it is. It's not an open world game that has a first person view that makes you feel totally immersed into your character. You won't be saying every moment, "Oh my God look how beautiful this is, this looks sooooo real." But you will have a good time playing a game that challenges your reflexes, and constantly rewards you with some of the coolest weapons and weapon types seen in gaming. 8.5 Full review after I finish every quest. I have put in over 112 hours, and I am still finding new weapons, enemies, and armor. Glad this game turned out great after all the previews and vids I watched. Very proud of this new IP. I also wish you would have given it at least an 8.

freakinxbeast55
freakinxbeast55

This games in the same league as skyrim and is in many ways better IMHO. The questing is more engaging and the looting and leveling is WAY better. I've put 150 hours in skyrim so im not biased.. You can't take gamespot seriously when they give this a 7.5 and fable 3 an 8? Get serious because this is just a rich mans fable honestly

GameWaiter
GameWaiter

This is a fantastic RPG with strong combat and flexibility of character advancement. but i do agree with the generic characters, quest and world. btw this game deserves 8,5 at least for me

TomJimJack
TomJimJack

A good game to kill time yet so generic that it becomes repetitive in the very beginning. RPG games these days share the same problem, they lack character and the result are titles that lose in forgetfulness.

kennythomas26
kennythomas26

This game is way better then this review said's and even better then what score is and I have been playing this game for about 50+ hours and I'm just having a blast.

darin1976
darin1976

@Kevin-V I am sorry for being rude. To be more mature i dont agree with your review and you dont suck.

nate3031
nate3031

played the demo and I thought it resembled other fantasty RPGs out there we may have played already sure, but its also a very pretty RPG in its own, the character customization was simple and neat, not so detailed like skyrim or mass effect, and the story may not be as in depth interesting or captivating but still a new RPG that I really enjoyed playing. I might wait for the the full price tag to drop some but I'm definately adding this to my exsisting library of games that I can and will easily get lost into for hours. so please kevin keep you highly skeptical underrated fanboy negative reviews for something that deserves it.

ferretshob
ferretshob

Way underrated. I love this game even if you don't Kevin. I can't stop playing it. 9.5 for me. Better then Skyrim.

MVan86
MVan86

@LiK I'm sorry but his claims about the world being generic is highly subjective - I mean are Skyrim and Dark Souls generic because they have classic High Fantasy looks and all the genre stalwarts like Dragons, Daemons and re-animated Skeletons?

MVan86
MVan86

@Kevin-V I didn't mean to misrepresent what you said but your complaint about it being too generalised and pixie dusty struck me as close to the typical "It looks too cartoony" argument I've become sick of hearing about this game. All questing is, at it's core, "go somewhere do something then come back to me". Yes a lot is subjective but you could at least try to add some qualifiers to your negative points to balance them or point out that your 'negatives' are subjective instead of them remaining there as if they are facts.

LiK
LiK

Great review, Kevin. Your observations are pretty spot on.

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

@believa - You don't need to agree with what I write or say. But there is no reason to be cruel or suggest I lose my job because of it. I am a person. And when you write cruel things about me, I see them. Feel free to disagree. But when you folks write awful things, you do know you are writing them about good people, right?

@darin1976 -- You don't agree, and so the review is terrible? Could it be that the review is fine, and we can live in a world in which not all people agree on all things? Perhaps in that world, it's even possible to be kind to others even when they don't agree. I see you haven't arrived there yet. I hope that one day, you will learn to be kind to people even when they might disagree about how good a video game is--which, come to think of it, is a silly reason to be rude to someone.

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

@MVan86 -- I never said it looks too cartoony. That's you bringing that to the table--not me :)

I explain in the review, using straightforward words, how many RPGs give great context to its quests, and why Amalur's are ordinary in comparison. You can read our reviews of games like Skyrim, Mass Effect 2, and go back as far as Planescape: Torment and further to read about games that give great context to standard quests.

Also, reviews, by nature, are subjective. If you come to a review not expecting to hear opinion, then you aren't looking for a review. You are looking for a press release. If you didn't want to hear someone's opinion, then what on earth are you reading a review for?

RussellGorall
RussellGorall

I have been playing this for a week, and even though Skyrim was a bit better this is still a great RPG.

MVan86
MVan86

Once again proof of why Gamspot needs to address it's reviews. The reviewer's personal opinions are clearly on show and are what drags both the tone of the review and the score down. Sure okay we've got used to realistic graphics in games but the real question is what's the quality of the graphics? As for generic - which aside from "It looks too cartoony" has been the main objection levelled at this game - please, please give it a rest. I can't help thinking that simply put people have been waiting to level this argument against fantasy RPGs and finally have a new entrant without a huge following they can finally attack without a fanbase backlash. This game has had a HUGE amount of history created for it and distinct versions of genre stalwart enemy types. The questing is well questing, I don't see how anyone can pretend questing in other RPGs is somehow anything other than 'go there and do X then come back to me for your reward'.

N-bellic
N-bellic

I don't really understand the whole "generic" argument. I can't think of many modern games that aren't generic or share ideas with other games. Surely it's all about the amount of fun the game has to offer? I'm not trying to insult the reviewer or anything, just a bit curious as to the reasoning behind this complaint.

believa
believa

can someone PLEASE fire kevin van ord ... he says the same things every time .. Skyrim lovin jackass we really need new blood for the RPG reviiews, I always seem to gravitate to IGN for these types of reviews

Goiter1972
Goiter1972

There are sooooooooooooooooo many bugs in this game!! Crashes.. constantly...

Zevvion
Zevvion

@johndelacruz198 It's not meant to be that Black and White. 'The Bad' is just a summary of things that are actually bad. Meanwhile, stuff that isn't really bad isn't listed under 'The Bad', but doesn't have to be extremely good either. 

So, no, I think you're not really getting it. Even if the story was okay and the quests and so forth: it still wouldn't get a 10 because 'ok' isn't bad but it isn't amazing; which you need for a 10.

I absolutely do not mean offense by this, but you seem to take the standard interpretation a lot of people on the internet have. Something can either be terrible or amazing but not in between. But it really can. There are games that have nothing listed under 'The Bad' but don't receive a 10, just because the rest isn't necessarily amazing.

I really want this game though.

TheDoomTurtle
TheDoomTurtle

@sonicoblique101 Are you for real?  You're basically saying "I hated this game and so should everyone else because my opinion is Truth."

TechSin
TechSin

 @sonicoblique101 Regardless of how much I distrust Kevins opinion you just blew away your own argument with this comment. The 4.5 you gave this game is just your opinion and not a collective opinion. The collective opinion is that this game is rated 8.3.

ztg360
ztg360

 @Kevin-V  @freakinxbeast55 I overall agree with your review (although I never bought this game for the story so idc about that) the world's inhabitants of the humanoid variety are rather dull although the fae concept does interest me (i'm only in the 3rd mission in the story and have otherwise been doing side quests)  When playing an rpg for story I go with either deus ex HR (partial reference to your pic) and mass effect.  I would have given it an 8 or an 8.5 however (not complaining just stating opinion as I like most of your reviews)  This game's action imo is essentially fable only smoother with more variety

sonicoblique101
sonicoblique101

@TheDoomTurtle @sonicoblique101  

no thats not what im saying I just disagree with Kevins really slanted reviews.  He seems to favor RPGs regardless of how crappy they are. I love RPGs too but Im not going to like something just because its a certain kind of game.  And yes I really hated it; thought ir was a bad fable rip off along with many other things.  On the other hand it does not bother me if other people like the game.  I just know garbage when I see it. 

Black_Tribi
Black_Tribi

@sonicoblique101 @TheDoomTurtle Sorry, you do not know what a garbage is. The collective from metacritic rated it at 80 points. This is a really good score for meta. 

So I think you should restrain yourself from claiming such bold statments.

You didn't like the game, I get that but it doesn't mean the game isn't good.  

johndelacruz198
johndelacruz198

@sonicoblique101

How arrogant of you to think that "you know garbage when you see it." OTHER PEOPLE are out there ACTUALLY ACHIEVING THINGS like the beautiful art of this game, BUT YOU my friend, on your tombstone will be written: "Here is sonicoblique101, who KNOWS MORE than we all do." Good luck achieving being a know-it-all!

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning More Info

  • Released
    • PC
    • PlayStation 3
    • Xbox 360
    Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is an action role-playing game developed by 38 Studios and Big Huge Games.
    8.2
    Average User RatingOut of 2892 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
    Developed by:
    Big Huge Games
    Published by:
    Electronic Arts, 38 Studios, Spike Chunsoft
    Genres:
    Action, Role-Playing
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Mature
    All Platforms
    Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Suggestive Themes