So what happens when the Lead Designer of Elder Scrolls III & IV, the creator of Spawn, a 22 time New York Times best-seller, and World Series MVP decide to make a game? Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning happens that’s what. And let me tell you, this game is a real curve ball. Get it? Because Curt Schilling was a pitcher and… yeah, let’s just get on with the review.
While Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, by 38 Studios, certainly has it’s faults, what it does right more than makes up for the hick-ups. During my 40 plus hours of play I found myself constantly wanting to do one thing, tell everyone how much fun I was having. More than the stunning world, more than the tremendous and detailed story, at its core Reckoning is a pure fun. And at the end of the day that’s what really matters.
So I hear you like a good story…
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning’s story, penned by New York Times bestselling author R.A. Salvatore, rests at the heart of the game. At the beginning of the game, or is it the end– whatever you’ll figure it out — the player finds themselves revived from the Well of Souls. Or as I prefer to call it “The Fountain of Moaning.” This event has messed with fate leaving the player without one. Being “fate-less” give you the unique ability to choice your own fate, and in turn, alter the destinies of everyone around you.
While all of the fictional names, locations and lore will give fantasy fans plenty to love, it can be hard to follow at times for those who are new to Amalur. Which would be everyone.That being said, Reckoning does give you a fantastic tour though out its world. Split into continents, Amalur’s world doesn’t present itself as non-linear as Skyrim, but you won’t be stuck on a set path either. The main story will run you about 25-30 hours, but with all the side content it will take people hundreds of hours to do everything.
Sh*t’s Beautiful Son
The art style of Reckoning’s is beautiful, even if It can be a bit inconsistent. Every environment feels truly different from the others. So much so that every time to you go someplace new you will still have the feeling of exploring the unique and the unknown. That being said, unfortunately characters and monsters alike don’t quite stand up to the surroundings. Though everything does work well enough with each other. The facial animations will also distract from the games presentation, ranging from acceptable to derpy hooves. (It’s a My Little Pony reference, google it.)
Reckoning’s music gets the job done, but at the end of the day it’s nothing to write home about. What will really draw you in is the voice acting. From major NPCs to the wolf that was turned into a man, the consistent level of polish is outstanding. And unlike some other titles in the genre, *cough* Skyrim *cough*, you won’t just have to hear the same male elf over and over.
Come for the RPG, stay for the combat.
That’s enough of story, let’s get into the real reason you should play this game. Without question Reckoning excels at game play. To be blunt, I’ve never played an action-oriented RPG this f*cking good. Think a perfected version of Fable’s combat. With a trove of weapons and armor, you can play this game how ever you want. Warrior, Mage, Rogue or some kind of unholy combination of them, Reckoning never punishes you for choosing to focus on on how you like to play. In fact if anything it encourages you to experiment to find that perfect battle type for yourself. Battles happen in real time, and with a combination of attacking from your primary and secondary weapons, magic, dodging out of the way, and your shield; the fantastically satisfying combat of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning simply can’t be understated.
Is it worth your time?
Is Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning a great game, absolutely. But by no means is the game perfect. Even with its faults the vast world, great voice acting, and phenomenal combat makes Reckoning a must for any RPG fan. 38 Studios really hit the ball out of the park with this one. That why I’m giving Kingdoms of Amalur 4 gnomes in leather skirts out of 5.