by Nataniel Hohl
reviewed on X360
Swinging with style (cntd.)
Once players find a combat style they enjoy, putting the hurt on the various monsters and enemies they meet is only half the fun. As they execute various attacks and combos, they build up a special “reckoning meter” that, when full, can activate a powerful new mechanic called “reckoning mode.” During reckoning mode, time slows down and the player can tear through foes with near impunity. Once an enemy’s health has been depleted, the player can finish them off with a stylish “fate shift” attack that not only looks cool but can also provide the player a chance to rack up some serious XP multipliers as they mash a random button to charge the fate shift.
A place in this world
Despite all of the new innovations it brings to combat and character development, Reckoning is not without its flaws. While it does have a robust loot-gathering system that allows players to amass powerful weapons and equipment fairly quickly, the sheer amount of new loot they acquire combined with a limited inventory means that unless they are OK with destroying loot as quickly as they get it, players will have to constantly head back to town to sell their loot or try and find one of the rare vendors who sell inventory-expanding backpacks.
Reckoning may also feel a bit too linear for some folks, especially if they are fresh off their latest Skyrim binge. While the areas and environments are expansive on their own, the world of Amalur still feels very similar to most modern MMO’s with the player doing quests in one area, being funnelled to the next town or city, and repeating the process. Though to the game’s credit, it has already been announced that Reckoning will have an MMO follow-up in the coming years so I guess the single-player experience can’t be faulted for going in a similar route.
Lastly, Reckoning’s story leaves something to be desired, which is a shame since I was looking forward to getting immersed in R.A. Salvatore’s contribution to the game. Playing through the game’s dizzying number of side and faction quests can be a nice distraction at times, but aside from a few key set-pieces the main quest lacks the lustre and epic feeling of other popular RPG’s, which is a real shame considering how god-like your character can become once they reach the higher levels of advancement.
Despite these small problems, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning still brings a lot of new and enjoyable elements to the table and is a must-have for any serious RPG fans. Even though it has a more linear feel, the game manages to pack a heck of a lot of content into a small package and, while it may not have the same level of replayability as other titles like Skyrim, this is a game you could sink 30-50 hours into and still have a ton more to do. With an already legendary team of authors, designers, and artists in its corner, and a planned MMO follow-up in the future, Reckoning can certainly hold its own in this day and age of expansive, immersive and fun RPG’s.
An immersive and fun adventure for those who may have grown bored of Skyrim
A convoluted story and MMO-esque traits might turn some folks off