Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Review

What do you get when you mix World of Warcraft, God of War, and The Elder Scrolls?

We’ll revisit that question at the end of this review.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is more than the unholy spawn of the hypothetical union of three major titles; it’s a game with an impressive pedigree: designer Ken Rolston, artist Todd McFarlane, and Mr. Drizzt Do’Urden himself, author R.A. Salvatore. With a lineup like that, you’d expect the dream team to hit this one out of the park — speaking of which, did I mention former baseball star Curt Schilling? He’s the founder of the game’s developer, 38 Studios.

So is this fantasy action-RPG a home run, or a foul ball?

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning: PC (Review), PS3, Xbox 360
Developer: 38 Studios, Big Huge Games
Publisher: 38 Studios, Electronic Arts
Released: Feb. 7, 2012
MSRP: $59.99

Character Creation

KoA:R’s executive designer is Ken Rolston, the lead designer of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and Bethesda’s fingerprints are evident throughout Amalur as of character creation. As a tongue-in-cheek nod to Bethesda’s need to awkwardly work character creation into the story, KoA:R begins with a pair of gnomes wheeling in your corpse on a covered cart, wondering what race you are. Just as the sheet over your corpse is being pulled back, the character creation menu pops up.

The scene screams Monty Python, and it took all my willpower to prevent myself from shouting, “Bring out your dead!” While Bethesda’s efforts are humorous by accident, KoA:R parodies Bethesda, with one of the gnomes even saying that their work is done, “Unless you want to name him (your corpse).”

KoA:R’s class system bases itself on the fighter, rogue, and mage archetypes, but allows you to build your character to fit any combination of those three. The game’s three ability trees each cater to one archetype, but you’re free to acquire abilities from any tree — and if, at any time, you want to switch from being a fighter to a rogue/mage hybrid, there’s an inbuilt mechanic to allow you to redistribute your abilities points, for a price.

Skills, such as blacksmithing, alchemy, stealth, and lock-picking, are advanced through a separate mechanic than combat abilities, meaning you never have to sacrifice combat optimization in order to pursue KoA:R’s other game systems.

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8 Comments on Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Review

Ted

On February 7, 2012 at 12:24 am

WoW + Fable nnoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo… combat is good though

Adam

On February 7, 2012 at 12:39 am

Yeah…. I think i’ll skip this one.

bob

On February 7, 2012 at 1:28 am

lackluster reviewer probabbly never read a book in his life

Ren

On February 8, 2012 at 8:12 pm

85/100…..8.5/10
lowest score I’ve seen yet and still makes me want,

Pie eater

On February 10, 2012 at 12:02 am

I like pie

deftond

On February 15, 2012 at 5:53 am

I love this game and I have been playing it non stop. I have even been going to work late and staying to 2 in the morning. I also have a life but I can’t put it down. I almost want to be sick today lol.

What I love about this game is besides the hours I spend crafting and taking apart weapons and shards is that you can go anywhere any time. Character animations are very smooth and nothing gets to be too repedative or borring at all.
I have only done 2-3 story missions but I have been trying to complete as many side quests as I would like. the other thing I like about this game is that you actually have already consumable items when they are looting or found. HIdden treasures are all over the place and they have GREAT things in them.

Arash

On March 2, 2012 at 3:29 am

enviroment is childish and full of colors.your character never talks and always you are like a servant for others and you should done their work.best quest game is 2011 in my opinion is dragon age 2 then skyrim.

Jordan

On January 29, 2014 at 11:09 pm

for those of you reading this thinking you will skip, read this. If you like a game you can play for hours without of running out of things to do or places to explore, things to collect; this is for you. As stated above the story is rather….dull. BUT the side quests and the towns you can find are fantastic! I got this for free by being a Play station Plus user and played it to pass time. i ended up putting 90+ hours in. You can stray from the story line and find small towns scattered throughout the region. Some under attack and some attacking, you can help or doom them. Your choice, however, you do receive “twists Of Fate” Which are things you MAKE happen. Things from killing a evil conniving demon to enslaving a race in the town. The possibilities are endless. If you want adventure with a VERY wide range of objectives/subjectives, this game is perfect.