Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning

November 7, 2012
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There have not been many video-games in the past that have been able to nail gameplay, infuse lore and combine it with an interesting story much like Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning has. Its expansive questing and rich lore drive players’ curiosity far. However, its bread-and-butter is the gameplay faculty. Its gameplay is absolutely brilliant- able to incur both satisfaction and adrenaline. However, its difficulty level requires a revamp and its player-to-player conversations needs to be substantially more interesting.

For the first game developed by 38 Studios, it’s quite a success. It was co-developed with Big Huge Games with R.A. Salvatore leading the charge in the fictional department of the story. R.A. Salvatore is an acclaimed writer of fiction- selling many New York Best Sellers in his career. Its campaign is approximately twenty-five hours but its side-quests offer approximately a hundred hours more worth of gameplay. Its thousands of side-quests leave gamers drooling and its gameplay elements just boast of so much more.

Its gameplay is absolutely stunning for players. The abilities are so different for each class that you really have to replay it a number of times (or change your fate a number of times) to really experience all the different classes and their abilities. The three classes: wizard, warrior and rogue offer diverse range of fighting abilities but there can also be mixing and matching (which is to put certain points in various classes as opposed to just one) which allows for a lot of experimenting. Fighting even small minions feels satisfying to the player. However, when fighting bosses, things become a bit too easy. Players simply have to turn on their reckoning mode and most of the boss’ health is gone. However, the studios can easily fix this: weaken reckoning mode. Reckoning mode is just too strong- doubling and tripling the damage output. What they can also do is fix their bosses, make each boss a bit more difficult- make some of their spells uninterruptible- have a few more minions summoned with each cast. The bosses really had a lot of potential but gameplay against the bosses was really a bore.
In terms of a story deep in lore, everything fits together. From the Great Well of Souls to the notorious Tuatha’s king Gadflow to the Fateless One’s Codex of Destiny, Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning is able to infuse a powerful sense of narrative- able to drag you into its fantastic lore making you feel as if the fate of the world is really in your hands. However, at times, some quests- like laying random dead bones down- just felt a bit out of place. In fact, it got to the point that some quests I just procrastinated and didn’t end up doing them. Furthermore, the graphics in this game really help viewers be aided into this mystical word. The developers did not aim for a realistic approach, such as Skyrim, instead they had a more fantasy-genre approach to the graphics. This in turn really fused with game. I played the game on PC for roughly 70 hours and I didn’t experience any crashes but at times, there were some frame rate issues. There were, however, little pop-ins every now and then.

Overall, it’s a solid game that’s worth the price of buying. It will satisfy gamers for around 50-70 hours give or take. Whilst it may not boast of amazingly realistic graphics as nor may it be as hyped as Skyrim, Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning is a game that would look grand on everyone’s gaming shelves. Its unique twists of lore and interesting elements of gameplay along with its almost infinite number of side-quests really make up the icing on the cake.

Gameplay 9/10
Fiction 10/10
Graphics 9/10
Context 8/10
Overall 9.5/10

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Super_Mario_Prose This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 8, 2012 at 5:16 pm
I most certainly agree with you: Reckoning was a great game, with the best RPG fighting gameplay I've ever seen, as well as good quests and campaign. Too bad Reckoning was not very popular, and 38 Studios is now bankrupt. Such a shame. Good review though ;)
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