Review: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (PS3)


Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning has finally been completed. The game took 40 hours to finish on Normal difficulty (that includes doing some side-quests, all faction storylines and the main storyline). I wish I had played it on Hard difficulty though.

What did I like? What stood out? Story, Voice Acting, Combat, Customization, Overwhelming Amount of Quests

The story in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning starts off with an intro to the conflict. A big bad guy named Gadflow has corrupted an army of Tuatha (a faction of Fae) and there is a huge war. You are in battle, and are killed. You wake up in a pile of corpses, resurrected by the Well of Souls, and are now “the fateless one” in a world that is bound by fate and you have no memory. Your story begins and you fight your way out of the Well and meet it’s creator Fomorous Hugues, a gnome scientist. He tells you to meet up with a fate weaver named Agarth and once you’re out of the Well of Souls, the real game begins. Throughout your travels, you meet Fae(beings made completely of pure magic that remind me of dryads), elves , gnomes and humans, and they all have something for you to do.

The main quest has you and your pals, fate weaver Agarth and shady Alyn Shir, on a huge journey to figure out how you were brought back, and how to prevent evil triumphing over the world.

Funny enough, I enjoyed the faction quests more so than the actual main plot of the game. The Warsworn story was fairly long, and has you investigating the theft of old relics from a vault. You find out what’s really going down and need to stop it. Then there’s the House of Ballads which has you investigating problems with a Fae faction. I found these really connected me more to the world, and help flesh it out a lot more. I began to care about the world I was trying to save.

I’m reluctant to really say much about the main story, as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. Now, the amnesia has been played out quite a bit in a lot of games, and it returns in this game. Be rest assured that you do find out who you were before you died, and you are not just a completely blank slate. Your character does have a bit of depth and it does have something to do with the main story. Play the main story and the faction quests, enjoy them, and skip the majority of side quests.

The voice acting in the game, in my opinion, is definitely a bit better than Skyrim’s. Not every person you talk to is the best, but overall, the quality is up there. Everyone has something to say, but unfortunately, there are so many damn people that you never want to listen to quite everything. The script could have been a bit better, but the acting was excellent.

The combat is very God of War’ish, and has you performing different moves and combos depending on the weapons you use, and the skills you unlock. If you get bored with the weapons you’ve chosen, then you can always find a fate weaver, and re-allocate your skills points for a different character type. So, if you’re using hammers and bows to start with, switch it up to use long swords and daggers, or invest in sneak attacks and start back stabbing more. It’s up to you. It can get a bit boring after a while, and it eventually ends up being you mashing attack buttons, but it’s quite good for a while.

As mentioned above, the amount of customization is high. The fact that you can re-allocate your skill points at a fate weaver whenever you want is awesome, there are mage, light and heavy armours, and a good variety of weapons, and a lot of different skins for all of your equipment. Some weapons and armour will look the same, but some properties or magic effects can make it glow differently, or appear physically different in some way. It’s nice that you can change and customize pretty much any aspect of your character. You can even look in a mirror and change your facial appearance.

It’s sort of a good and bad thing at the same time, but when you start going around the world, you’ll find people with exclamation marks above them, and every single one of them is a side quest. There are almost too many of these. Most are basically “go here, get this, come back” or “save this person” quests, and then there are the item collecting quests. I skipped the vast majority of these quests after the first area few towns in the game. It’s nice to have a lot to do, and when you’re done the main story, you’re free to go and do them if you like. It was hard to say whether this was in my dislike or like category, but in the end, it’s nice to have extra stuff to do.

What did I dislike? What was done poorly? Graphics, Lack of body types, Too Easy, Lack Of Enemy Variety

The graphics in the game are pretty simple and nothing ground-breaking. This game will not push the console’s hardware. The aesthetic of the game is really nice, and it’s really colurful. It attracts the eyes, but the quality of the graphics are definitely not as polished as they could have been.

Every gnome’s body looks the same, every human’s body looks the same and every Fae’s body looks the same. There are not fat people, or scrawny people, or tall people or short. Every race has the exact same body type. If there are differences, then they are definitely subtle.

The difficulty is a huge problem. I died maybe 4 times in the entire 40 hour play-through. I wish I had started the game on hard difficulty so that it could have been a bit tougher and more interesting.

The enemies in the game don’t really change much as you progress to different area. In a long game like this, I like seeing a change in the enemies. There are quite a few different enemies, but I hate it when a game has enemies show up in an early section of a game, and then appear later as different colour and are tougher. This is acceptable in games that are more simple (Gauntlet) and stuff like it, but in a long game, where you have to fight a lot of stuff, variety in enemy appearance beyond just a colour change, would be nice. This is really just a small gripe.

Overall

This is a good game and deserves some attention. It has the capacity to be long game (200 hours?), but you won’t spend that much time in it, I promise. I felt that 40 hours was sufficient and I was able to play through the five faction plot lines and the main story in that time. I don’t regret buying it, and with the new DLC that just got released, there’s a new area and more quests to do.

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