In a sea of generic role-playing games stands one that deserves much more credit for its entertainment value than it was ever given. That game is Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Not only does it provide hours upon hours of gameplay, but it also has stellar combat mechanics that set it apart from other titles in the genre.
Reckoning, at first, presents you with 3 options when it comes to character classes—the typical strength, magic, and agility. With each of these comes basic move sets which might seem rather unexciting. However, variety comes through the arsenal of weapons at your disposal. Longswords, staves, and daggers are only a few of the weapons that can be used to cut through the mobs of enemies that will stand in the way.
You can also roll, parry and even teleport when on the defensive. New moves can be unlocked as you level up, which allow attacks to be made from these defensive options as well. Once you reach a high enough level, you can pretty much always be on the offensive. That’s a good thing, because Reckoning is not a game you want to sit and block your way through.
Combat gets hectic quickly, as the game starts to throw an assortment of enemies at you. Aside from a couple obnoxious enemy types, nothing will ever seem too difficult thanks to the awesome fluidity of combat. It becomes thrilling when you can roll under sword swipes, parry a spear thrust, and smack an enemy in the face with your hammer. Even if you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, you can always use your Fateshift ability, which lets you slow time and kill everything on screen in an epic quick-time event for an added experience boost.
The Story and Side Quests
No game is perfect, and while some people have praised Reckoning for its story, I found myself completely oblivious to what was going on. mainly because I was having way too much fun exploring the world and completing side-quests. It is a neat concept of defying fate, and it had a couple incredibly awesome set-pieces, but I really didn’t find it memorable.
Side quests are pretty much the same story. The only difference is that there are so many of them that if you’re going to try and complete them all, they’re going to become generic pretty quickly. Typical fetching quests and ‘go here and kill this thing’ missions abound. with only a few interesting ones that pop up on occasion. I really didn’t care about any of them until they gave up their offering of experience.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is huge. I mean massive. Not only is it big in scope, but it’s grand in design as well. Plants that glow as you run by, babbling brooks that have secrets hiding below their surface, and gigantic cities with an abundance of quests to be completed, are just a couple of the things that you will get the pleasure of experiencing while running around Amalur. To top it all off, this is an absolutely gorgeous game. It has a cartoony art style that may be a bit off-putting at first, but when the blood starts to flow you’ll start to take Reckoning seriously.
There are so many secrets to be found—especially if you’re going for 100% completion—that it may be daunting to look at the map. Fast travel is your best friend here, but your character can also run surprisingly fast which makes hoofing it a relatively quick process. Amalur has a lot to offer and I’ve had a blast experiencing it.
I saved the best for last. Reckoning has one of the best leveling systems I’ve had the joy of sinking my teeth into. As you gain more points from leveling up, you can disperse them in the three classes however you see fit. You can be a battle mage—using a giant sword and slinging spells. You can be an assassin that can summon a skeleton for support or blow enemies up with fiery explosions. You can mix and match different abilities, and it gets more and more interesting as you level and get more points to spend.
Destinies are what makes this system work so well. These are cards that give bonus stats to your character depending on how you’ve allocated your points. They also give you an awesome title like “Conqueror” that makes you feel like a force to be ‘reckoned’ with (see what I did there?). There are cards for any kind of character you want to make, and it really allows your creativity to flourish.
That’s all I have to say about Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. It’s one of those games that has gone unnoticed, and it’s a shame. What do you think? Is Amalur something you would like to try out? What are some games that we at IM PLAYIN should try out? Sound off in the comments below because, as always, we love hearing from you!