Published on February 13th, 2012 | by Kyle Spencer, Editor
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Review
Penned by New York Times bestselling author R.A. Salvatore, Reckoning has set the bar for many western RPGs. Granted, games like Mass Effect, Fallout and The Elder Scrolls are all brilliant RPG’s and bring significant elements to the genre, Reckoning brings huge gameplay elements to the table. I have been asked this question literally all the time from people, “What are your thoughts on Reckoning?” Well, now that my review is up, I can officially say check out gamingtruth.com. Prior to that, my only response was “this is what Fable 1, 2 and 3 should have been”. If you’re walking your local video game store, take notice of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.
The story of Reckoning is strong. You start the game off as a character that you have to create, quite expansively I may add, after rising back from the dead by a portal called the Well of Souls. You are a test subject that has seen lots of failures–up until now. You come back to the world that is being attacked with no sense, nor direction, to the battle going on around you. This may seem confusing to some but instead works extremely well in this game. You are not confined to a pre-determined path. You are given quests that can lead you in one direction, but more times than not, you are led to a completely new surrounding with new characters.
The world is not as expansive as Bethesda titles, but your exploring is not set on a linear path. There are different territories and continents for you to explore in Amalur. You can explore areas and scale every inch, but many times you will find things on the second or third combing that you may have missed the first pass through.
The world is lavish and does not fall into the trap that many RPG’s fall into. Each territory you cross appears different and has its own set identity. Unfortunately the draw distance for the game is not that far and many times when your exploring you will see texture pop-ins and objects in the distance appear blurry, and then pops into frame. Also, the games characters and enemies don’t have much variance, but the exploration makes up for most of its follies.
There are plenty of hidden items and loot spread out through the world of Amalur, and many of them are on the enemies that you kill through the course of the game. The customization you can make to your character through discovered loot is brilliant. Each item you find can tweak the look and abilities that your character possesses.
That brings us to the class customization. This is where Amalur shines. There is no set standard on how you build your character. You can build your character any which way you would like. If you feel the need to create a mage who can swing a two handed sword, with stealth abilities–you can build such a character. You are not tied down to one specific tree based on character class. You can create a basic look and build their stats up from there.
Reckoning does have very strong game-play elements. You have a large inventory of items and weapons that you can outfit your character with, and still we get a strong action oriented RPG. You fight in real-time with a stellar system that allows you to mix your primary and secondary weapon attacks on a whim, cast spells and block and dodge on the fly, and still have time to refocus an attack for a second combo. Think of ‘Reckoning as a game based on a combo-combat system, but that is fluid and out right fun. You can customize until your heart’s content to keep the game fresh and keep that sense of being feeling new. You are never tied down to a particular style that you have created and given the depth of the combat system that you can switch up on the fly.
Reckoning is one of those games that you will not hear much about toward the fall of this year, but it is so much more. It has longevity in its brilliant game-play (50 plus hours) and will keep you entertained through its vast customization. If you are a fan of fantasy RPG’s then there is no reason for you not to play Reckoning. It consists of everything that you would want from a fantasy RPG. Even though the game is not perfect and does have some technical hiccups, the overall package is brilliant and ties it altogether nicely. Is it worth your hard earned $60? Most definitely.
+ Strong gameplay
+ Art style
+ Great voice acting
– Poor draw distance
– Texture pop-ins
– Frame-rate issues