First Thoughts: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
38 Studios and Big Huge Games are ramping up to release their first AAA multi-platform title, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. The demo for this action RPG created with fantasy author R.A. Salvatore and comic book legend Todd McFarlane was released on January 17, 2012.
Here are our first thoughts.
I came for the Mass Effect 3 freebies and stayed for the hacking and slashing. While the story didn’t grab me off the bat, the option to customize my character through several large skill trees really appealed. Although combat and movement initially felt a little loose, as abilities unlocked chaining spells and sword attacks into combos seemed natural and fun to experiment with. I was also surprised by the inclusion of a deep crafting system that allows the creation of weapons, armor and potions.
To me, the design of this world feels like Fable meets World of Warcraft, with a sprinkling of mechanics from other popular franchises. I’m not sure I’ll find a whole lot of original gameplay here, but from what I’ve tried everything mixes together well.
It’s unfortunate that this title is being brought out smack-dab between Final Fantasy 13-2 and Mass Effect 3. I’m interested, but due to time and budget restraints Kingdoms of Amalur is a game I’ll have to come back to in the summer.
When I first booted up Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, I honestly felt like I was playing a single-player World of Warcraft. Now that’s not a knock on the game or the graphics, I actually liked the overall look and feel of the game world. The art style and color palette definitely brought some memories back of my early adventures as a Paladin in Azeroth.
The game’s combat also felt like a combination of other open-world RPG’s like Two Worlds, Fable, Gothic, and Risen. I had a lot of fun fighting the various enemies in the preview, using both melee, long range, and magic attacks to lay waste to those who opposed me. I also loved that every item of clothing or armor I chose to wear was represented on my character. We still have yet to see how deep the combat and skill customization goes, but for now, it looks and plays well enough to get action-RPG fanatics hooked.
Like Lee mentioned, it’s not the most original game, but it takes mechanics from other games and makes good use of them. I’m a big fan of open world RPG’s like the ones I mentioned earlier, and if Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning can get everything that made those games good and made it better, then it’s going to be a definite hit for 38 Studios.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is scheduled for North American release February 7, 2012.
(BTW game industry job seekers, both 38 Studios and Big Huge Games are currently hiring for positions in many departments.)