Why does it feel like the same old, tired story - over and over again?

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#1 Posted by yattaze (25 posts) -

You supposedly have god-like power, complete relevance as the savior of the world, incredible skills and abilities AND an amazingly beautiful ally/love interest... but you STILL play errand boy AND don't have NEARLY as much interaction with your surroundings as you should.

What is WITH the "Jump Points"??? All that top notch talent and athleticism but your character can ONLY quickly descend from a particular height at designated drop points. You also have to point in the right direction to GET the action message as well. Oh yeah, THAT won't make a tactical retreat from powerful enemies any harder than it should.

For someone who is SO crucial to Amalur's survival, you sure do get treated like cannon fodder on a regular basis. Running various errands to no clear end, being forced into countless unnecessary fights to the death, talking in circles to the most insipidly moronic characters you could ever see in your nightmares, having to steal or buy from others when your legendary reputation should precede you EVERYWHERE you go..., etc. It's just random. Only a couple characters give you a discount for helping them out - even though EVERYBODY owes the hero/heroine for saving their majorly ungrateful hides.

Traveling is a bit tedious since I'm pretty sure they had horses back then or similar animals to serve as loyal steeds. Besides crouching, there's no way to mask your character's presence from enemies until you gain the ability to skip such confrontations altogether with Quick Travel warps to the main map locales you've already visited. Unfortunately, they didn't make ALL locations available for Quick Travel - even when receiving XP and having their names posted onscreen with the triumphant discovery sound effects and chime to boot.

The Skills list is very biased as well. For someone with only 4 skills to equip at once, they sure do limit your freedom in what skills you want to equip. The Level Cap is seriously crippling - almost a blatant roadblock to keep things difficult for the player no matter the progression level of the game, even at the risk of being tedious. The summoning is utterly ridiculous, in hindsight, especially. Why in the world would anyone want to waste mana summoning a random Faer Gorta (Elder Scrolls Draugr wannabe) when they could gain mastery over Niskaru instead? You're supposedly destined to be the best, but you have only half of the best tools available to you AT "best". The ultimate conclusion to the Warsworn side story looked to be very promising in that regard, most noticeably after saving Mel Senshir from the Greater Niskaru, Balor, but... another tease in bad taste. I was hoping to be able to fight, defeat and overthrow Kamazandu and hopefully gain dominion over Niskaru the world over (at least be able to weaken their resolve to attack me, if I couldn't control them to fight FOR me instead). How incredibly dull that you just get ANOTHER anticlimactic end to all that struggle and sacrifice - half of which should have been avoided altogether by default.

Allies are more trouble than they're worth - and MUCH more useful dead than alive, sadly. I've lost a few times because of Alyn being a little too close for my character to properly roll out of the way of an oncoming club smash from a Prismere Troll or 2. Agarth's insistence on running headlong into trouble the instant I stopped crawling forward always had the distinct charm of ruining the element of surprise - even though I had the means to singlehandedly assassinate all enemies in the area without any being the wise. Shame you can't control them like you could order comrades around in games like Assassin's Creed, to make your gaming experience (and life in general) a little easier to enjoy. The excessively dark undertones of random deaths don't help either; the overwhelming prevalence of various characters dropping like flies at a moment's notice, even WHEN you have a chance to save them, just wears on you after a while. The "lone wolf" theme is forced and downright torturous in the game's fierce maintenance of mandatory solitude and total self-reliance. I got incredibly depressed at how annoyingly predictable it was to accurately guess who lived for how long until they met their "untimely" ends - with no real reason for it, especially since the protagonist is SUPPOSED to have total control over a being's fate. So much for having ultimate power... AND the freedom to effortlessly wield at all times. All that power and you can only stand there and watch innocent people and awesome comrades alike get cut down to no avail whatsoever.

All in all, for a game that supposedly centers itself on being completely free from fate, you are actually bound by it more than anyone else. Your character's personal freedom is incredibly limited and repeatedly marginalized as an occasional treat rather than the standard norm for the undisputed savior of Amalur. The rewards rarely, if ever, come close to being anywhere near the same level as the risks you take to complete the missions. You don't even have the luxury of gaining fully access to your own skill list (even WITH bonus skill points). The random bugs and glitches (including a runaway camera) don't exactly help to reduce the frustration either. Everything feels rushed and only half finished at best; the majority of the best parts get overshadowed by random inconsistencies and excessive disruptions (in plot and playthrough). Just another classic example of "great concept, bad follow through". Big surprise there. -_-