Thursday, February 16, 2012

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Review

When I saw this game at E3, my interest for its existence was low to moderate...
Then people started saying things like "HERP! It's Skyrim with good combat!" or "DERP! It's Fable with quests!" and I thought


Okay, so I still didn't care. It wasn't until I saw this trailer that I decided I was going to start giving this game a little interest. My cup of care is well regulated and precious after all.

Alright... so.. that looks pretty awesome. I decided I'd check it out when it came out. 
So it's out, I've played it, and I'm mildly impressed. It's a very well made game, a lot of love went into this sucker, so let's break it down a bit. 

The character development/leveling is by far my favorite part of this game. Points go into skill trees of your choosing, and into crafting skills, sneak, lockpicking, persuasion etc etc. Wanna beat the snot outa some monsters face? Might is for you. Blah Blah, you saw the video. The point is it's simple. Leveling shouldn't be a chore; I want this, point point here. However, it also shouldn't be devoid of options, an unfortunate habit Fable had. Each tree is surprisingly large, giving you options (weapon spec, skills specializations etc) within each tree, allowing you to really work out how you want to uniquely build your character. Now here is the fun part.

Most games discourage cross skill leveling. Focus in this, and you will be better. KoA:R does the contrary. Should you want to be Might and Sorcery, you damn well can. As you level each tree, you are awarded these fate/destiny card doohickes, that give you added bones. Level up more than one tree, and you are awarded destiny cards specific to that combination of skills. Diversity achieved. This makes combat very special from person to person, as I have yet to see two people play the same way, even when building the same tree or trees. Greater diversity, and flawless simplicity: Leveling done right! 

The story line.. weeeellll.. 
It's cool?

I think?

I keep forgetting what its about...

Oh right.. You are a hero who as come back from the dead, and now you are the only hope for the land. It's your job, as the one who can override Fate's decree to defeat the bad guys because you exist outside destiny. You choose your own story, Hero! 
I think I have heard this story before...
An RPG isn't complete without Scantily-Clad-Hot-Elf-Girl!
Now, all this is not to say it isn't interesting; being the one solitary being who can tell the gods to fuck off, and end all evil in the world (or whatever) is pretty empowering. I just found myself not wanting to care a lot. The (side) questing is a lot of fun, it has that MMO effect on you, making you want to level and level and level. So they pour quests on you like sweet sweet syrup and you can just drink it up. Only.. it becomes apparent that you are paying no heed to the main story. The only times I ever did a main quest is by accidentally stumbling on to it. (Ending stuff excluded). 

I would just be meandering towards little circles on my map, show up to one.. 
Wait a sec... I know you...
Shit! This is main story stuff. 

Isn't it? 

So yeah. It's way fun to play.. but kind of in that "I will never stop until I can one hit this giant like he were a mere bunny" sort of way. 

One big time flaw. This doesn't happen very often. In our accumulated 60+ hours of playtime (my roomie included) we have only seen this bug four times, but it's a pisser... 
Here is a craptastic video of the culprit in action from my phone because I was far to lazy to hook up the capture equipment

  • Fantastic combat that opens itself up to imagination and innovation. 
  • Huge numbers of quests lead to countless hours of game time, but detract from the main story a bit (Primarily, because the main story quests are no more exciting that the side quests.) 
  • A leveling system that encourages creativity, and unique implementation
  • Bastard Bug
So there ya have it. Totally worth the cash, if you're into RPGs, 'cause this game will last you, and is definitely fun to play. 


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