Fantasy role playing games are very popular at the moment with the likes of LORD OF THE RINGS and recently released SKYRIM. It looks like we can't get enough of fairies, Goblins, over developed men and women, waving swords about and being all profound and humourless (there's no place for comedy in the fantasy world).
Right then… you have finished SKYRIM, been bored to death with LOTR, what next on the fantasy agenda? EA, 38 STUDIOS and BIG HUGE GAMES have come up with the answer and surprisingly enough for someone who isn't a massive fan of this genre, I am indeed impressed by KINGDOMS OF AMALUR: RECKONING. Fair enough it does remind me of LORD OF THE RINGS: WAR IN THE NORTH with a chunk of GOD OF WAR thrown in. It is a very similar setup, lots of roaming around, and taking on quests whilst collecting stuff, the menu's and controls are also very close to LOTR and GOW. That is where the similarity ends fortunately, the gameplay, characters and story are far superior.
The thing that always bores me about these kind of games, is the roaming about element. I just want to get there and get stuck in, not wander about stopping to small talk with some daft looking Goblin or Fairy. All that aside, when the action kicks in it is worth all the trouble of getting there. I thought the fight dynamics where excellent and very responsive, simple but imaginative.
OK then I could bang on for the next ten paragraphs about the storyline for this game, but I will do us all a favour and just give you a quick outline. KINGDOMS OF AMALUR follows a character known as the "Fateless One" (not the most optimistic of names). Now he died before the game started, but is revived by some crazy Gnome scientist. You then escape from the evil Gnome's clutches, but suffering from memory loss you begin a quest to discover who you are and how you died. The story is very deep and develops as you progress through the game, with plenty of interactivity giving you multiple choice answers and questions to choose from. This is a massive game there are so many different things to do within it, and it just goes on and on (bit like me sometimes).
Now the gameplay is the usual RPG set up, there are five distinct regions within the game and 4 different types of characters, with the usual tongue twisting names, the ALMAIN (basically humans), DOKKALFAR ( Dark Elves), LJOSALFAR (Light Elves) and finally the VARANI (Nomadic humans). You start off as a basic character which you can customize as you go along and eventually choose a class to belong to from the 3 available. These are known as the MIGHT, the FINESSE and the SORCERY( are you with me so far?) The Skill tree system allows the player to unlock a variety of "destinies."
So now we get to the fighting abilities. Control is very simple and works on the principle of timing your button hits to initiate moves. There are plenty of special moves like the "fateshift", which allows you to finish off an opponent in a particular and brutal manner. Then of course there is the "Reckoning Mode" which is a good old Berserker move that allows rapid dispatch of a number of opponents.
KINGDOMS OF AMALUR: RECKONING is a great little RPG game and a nice introduction to the fantasy genre, if you have always wanted to get into this kind of stuff, then this is a good starting point, with plenty of action, easy enough controls, nice graphics and with the introduction of some nice DLC over the next few months this promises to be one of the big games of 2012. I will give it 9 out of 10.
- Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
- Developer(s): 38 Studios, Big Huge games
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Release date: February 9, 2012
- Xbox 360®
- Playstation 3®
- Age rating :18