Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Impressions

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Earlier today, I was lucky enough to get to enter the world of Amalur, with a chance to get hands-on with the Amalur universe and it’s inhabits at EA’s Kingdom’s of Amalur: Reckoning event. Upon entering into the realm in which EA hosted the event, it quickly became evident that what I’d be witnessing today would be nothing short of special and I was right.

Immediately upon getting my hands on this monster of a game, I knew that I was playing something big. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, is one of those titles that grabs you from the get-go. Within the first few minutes of Reckoning I was thrust into a thrilling joyride that just kept getting better as I played on.

The game is jam-packed with incredibly intense combat, which rewards strategy instead of mindless hacking and slashing (unfortunately I learnt this the hard way). The key to victory in most battles is how intelligently you can use the games mechanics to combat enemies. This is most interesting when engaging a large group of enemies, which feature the most impressive group AI, I have ever seen.

They will work as a cohesive unit and try to surround you, with some even trying to ambush you from a hiding spot should you try to flee. Not only that but I even noticed some enemies who use their own individual abilites together, in particular a large spider with the ability to imobilise you with webbing then has his smaller spider ally go in for the kill with his poisonous bite technique. The enemy AI is simply astonishing.

That is not all that is astonishing about Reckoning, the sheer size and beauty of the Amalur universe is immense. I was amazed that after my entire play time at the event I had only explored a small splotch over the entire world map. This right here impressed me beyond words, as I felt like I had taken a journey across an incredibly vast land as it is, but the revelation upon viewing the Map later on blew me away.

If you one for exploration you will definitely not be left with nothing to do, as there is simply a plethora of things to experience in Reckoning, with all the other gameplay mechanics and features on top of all that, your definitely in for hours of playtime.

A feature I found particularly brilliant was the Destinies feature. Now this is essentially your class system, except there is a major difference between this is and your regular class system. For starters, Reckoning does not force you to make a massive decision regarding which class you want to play as from the get-go. Instead the game’s starts you off as a blank slate, with no destiny. You then go on to play through getting a taste of each different destiny’s play style. I loved that this option was available, because nothing is worse then creating your character in an RPG and then being immediately forced to choose which class you will play as for the rest of the game.

That is the other interesting portion of the destinies system. It allows for the player to customize their destiny, to play a specific type of character. You can change your current destiny on the fly it seems, with easy access in the pause menu. As you progresses your character and level up, you will eventually be able to play as combined destinies such as Rogue/Mage for example. It’s a very unique system that gives the player the power to decide how they want to play, and that is the biggest achievement of Reckoning.

There is utterly so much possibilities available to the player. With so much power and control in the hands of the player Reckoning allows the player to play this game the way they want. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning’s biggest advantage over other RPG’s on the market is it’s diversity and ‘power to the player’ mentality. If you love Western RPG’s but haven’t been pleased with what is currently on offer, Reckoning will make you rethink what an RPG can truly be.

Senior Editor & Anime Specialist
  • How’s the Destinies character progression system different from that of TES V: Skyrim? As far as I can see, it sounds just the same.

    • Michael

      Vinay, it’s different because as you level up and put points into your preferred play style the game can tell, “oh you like wielding hammers and casting magic, let’s buff you in that area and unlock a battle mage destiny that makes you better at that play style.” There are 40 different destiny types, and you can swap them out when ever you want as you level up and unlock more of them. There is also a feature that allows you to travel to what’s called a Fate Weaver which allows you to respec your combat and non combat skills so your not locked into 2 handed weapons if you don’t want to be 40 hours in. 

      In Addition, the combat is diversely different than TES games. Your attacks change based upon your timing, or if you attack out of a dodge, block, counter attack, etc. You can switch weapons immediately between a primary and secondary weapon with what ever you want. So you can have 2 hammers, or a bow and daggers, or what ever else you can think of. Though many of the weapons are either 2 handed or come in pairs, you can still equip 2 weapons as a primary and secondary attack. There’s lots of levels of customization depending on how you invest points into the skill trees.

      • Michael

        I forgot to mention, each time you level up you gain 1 point to invest into a non combat ability such as stealth, black smithing, etc, and there are about 10 of those to choose from, every few points you invest, you gain a new ability such as the black smithing allows you to break down items you loot and use those parts to combine with other parts and weapons to create a weapon you do want. It’s pretty deep. You also gain 3 other points to invest into the 3 skill trees per level. 

        • I see.

          While the Destinies thing still sounds a little confusing(Guess I’ll have to play to find out), The Black Smithing ability and creating a customized weapon sounds great(Is that like building lightsabers in KOTOR?).

          This will probably be on my to-buy list for February.. There are too few good Action-RPGs nowadays..

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