Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning preview

To make this simple think of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning as a cross between God of War, Fable, with a light touch of Mass Effect. The combat has that visceral punch Kratos unleashes in the God of War series, but Role Playing elements are heavily focused.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is an action RPG. So heavy on the action that even in this demo I’m tempted to say it may have the best melee system of any Action RPG I’ve ever played. Granted Fable and a few others aren’t the best examples but rarely do RPG’s have the brutality of the action genre.

The producers are full in your face with saying the battle system is reminiscent of God of War. Even down to contextual button presses or mashing of a button for cinematic kills is present. But it works, surprisingly well.

The game really is fast paced at least from the start. You’re rushed forward and shown each way to play the game almost immediately. And I love the focus on not jailing me to a specific character class. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning allows you to choose your own fate as it were.

Want a Rogue that can specialize in the use of magic – just do it. Unlike many games you’re aren’t penalized for spreading skill points out, instead encouraged to do so for creativities sake. Yes the standard Warrior and Mage classes are still present – you aren’t thrust into choosing and sticking with a particular ability set. You can pick how you want to fight and how you want your game to unfold.

One more step needed to be taken to give the game its on visual style.

The game is a little lacking on the polish. The visuals don’t have their own style; in fact it really does look a lot like Fable. The color pallet is vibrant: purples and bright blooming lights litter the open areas. NPC’s and even your own protagonist’s model on the other hand are very bland looking. It’s still the demo version and how the final game looks may not be indicative of this build.

And with all the dialogue that is featured; and there’s a lot. It’s tough to sift through all of it with a mute leading hero. Maybe Bioware has spoiled us but not having a talking character really hurts a gamer’s attention span. That’s not to say the story can’t still be compelling, it just adds more when you feel like your creation isn’t brain dead. It just feels a little last generation.

People should really take a look at this lengthy demo online now. The full game comes out in February, which isn’t a great place, as Mass Effect is looking to sweep away attention soon in March. Still little gaming gems are out there, and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning has left an impression on me one that won’t be forgotten upon its release.

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