Kingdoms of Amalur is a huge 3rd person adventure RPG. Resurrected from death, explore the massive open world as the Fateless One. Now endowed with the power to change fate itself, save the Kingdoms of Amalur from certain destruction, and uncover the mysteries surrounding your death.
The map is large with ample areas to explore. Visually, the world provides a high degree of variation. Map environments vary from lush valleys, waterfalls, deserts, and baron landscapes. There are hundreds of quests with several NPCs through out the world to interact with. The aesthetic is vibrant and colorful and thematically suits the world. The world’s major cities are beautifully stylized. Each city embodies the culture and history of its citizens. The Fae city of Ysa was constructed in the giant trees of the ancient Fae forests. The human city of Rathir is a shinning achievement of the race of man, and somewhat signals the age of the mortal races.
The lore is expansive and is one of the most impressive aspects of KoA:R. A multitude of lore filled books are littered throughout the world and are filled with tonnes of information and humor. The side quests numerous as well as interesting and compliment the main story line. Some side quests however follow the standard MMO tropes; Kill 10 (random bad thing) or find (important lost thing), which is somewhat unfortunate.
Learn integral skills like blacksmithing, and sagecrafting. These two skills will eventually allow for the creation of God-Tier Armor and Weaponry. Gratefully, the crafting was less mind numbing than Skyrim’s (
make 200 iron daggers) blacksmithing system. Detect hidden can reveal hidden treasure troves and doorways on the world map as well as in the dungeons. The lockpicking skill is actually a useless skill to invest points into. With minimal effort, any chest can be opened with a few attempts. Dispelling is a another important skill as they will avoid curses which are annoying, especially early game.
The combat system is awesome with significant flexibility. There are three ability trees to choose from. A player can choose to specialize in one, two, or become a generalist with skills in all three categories. Become the giant knight of legend, a powerful mage, a stealthy rouge, or perhaps an amalgam of all three. If the build becomes unsatisfactory, visit the local Fateweaver to reset the ability tree and skill points. This degree of flexibility in character design is another wonderful mechanic.
Switch seamlessly between primary and secondary weapons to open up a wide range of abilities. Augment the Fateless One’s offensive and defensive power even further through the use of potions, which can be found or brewed at alchemy stations. Because there are so many enemies to fight, as cool as the combat may feel, the overall experience becomes monotonous. By the end of the game, the combat felt more like a task, which is truly unfortunate, because wrecking max level mobs with chakrams looks amazing.
Even with fast travel, Kingdoms of Amalur would have benefited from some kind of mount. Especially with two large DLCs, introducing any method to speed up travel would have been greatly appreciated. Limitations in the games design restrict jumping to a few designated areas.
Sadly, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is easy. Play this game on hard, because even on hard this game is unfortunately not challenging. Another issue was the level cap. Max level is easily reached well before the end of the game, especially if DLC content is downloaded. This can add to the repetitive nature of the quests and mob encounters, as nothing encountered posses a true threat. The monotony is further accentuated by the countless dangerous and challenges faced at the beginning of the game. The character starts off as being risen from the dead, and has to escape from an enemy ridden tower, 50 hours later, two-shotting an enemy is commonplace. Lastly, a greater variety of enemies would have been most welcome.
Overall, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a fun open world RPG. Despite the mixed review, the game is entertaining and provides an enjoyable experience. The foundation however is there, and 38 Studios could grow the franchise into something spectacular with a well funded sequel. Yet, it is simply difficult to place KoA next to the giants of the genre. Grab the game during a sale or special offer enjoy hours of adventure as the Fateless One.