The Demo for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (KoA) hit Xbox Live and PlayStation Network early on January 17th; coming in at a whopping 1.9 Gigs. Developed by 38 Studios and Big Huge Games and published by EA comes a Role Playing Game that features third person combat, and Mass Effect style dialogue options. But is it worth your time?
After playing the game for a few minutes you notice that the game is going to have a deep story with tons of cinematics throughout your journey. Quests, KoA is a game based on quests that help propel the story, I can’t help but be reminded of a Fable style environment where you can come and go as you please. In other words KoA does not seem very linear.
The controls were the first thing I noticed about the game; they seemed very “loose” and seemed like they didn’t offer much accuracy, but you get used to them. You have the option to equip secondary weapons like a bow which you can trigger by using the Y button; you can also charge that attack by holding Y or Triangle. It seems that most attacks have a charge ability that can be achieved by holding down the correct button. You can even enter a sneak mode which allows for stealth attack by hitting RB or R1; this can be used by any class not just the rogue type class. The game also has a Recknoning ability that is triggered once a meter has been filled and by pressing LT and RT or L2 and R2. This is very similar to a lot of other games like God of War and Warhammer 40k that slows down time and gives you extra damage and an extremely brutal killing blow which usually ends in the explosion of one of your enemies.
In typical RPG fashion the game lets you choose skills in a bar graph looking tree. Each time you level up you receive one point which can be put in to any skill you please. You can choose things like Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Dispelling Persuasion, and Stealth. The farther along you get on these trees you can reach milestone skills which can do things like, increase you skill of finding reagents to create potions or other useful items on bodies that you kill, or even being able to salvage rare equipment and increase effectiveness of repair kits. After you have allocated your skill points you move to a screen to select and upgrade your abilities. This tree is more like the ones you’re used to seeing in RPG’s. In this tree you can choose things like, Doing more damage with 2h swords or learning a power attack for staves and being able to set frost traps. Then you are led to a screen to choose a Destiny. You can change, upgrade, or keep the current destiny you have. Each destiny gives you bonuses to things that your particular class would need. If you are a warrior you would pick the Brawler destiny which gives you 15% melee attack damage and 10% block efficacy.
The game has a competent crafting system that allows you to make potions, weapons, armor, and many other things. For example: You can become a blacksmith that allows you to create weapons and armor. You collect the items necessary for creating the armor and weapons by looting enemies, looting chests, and even salvaging old armor and weapons you aren’t using. By selecting the item you want to make it will tell you exactly what missing components you need to collect before being able to craft the item.
Although the Demo limits where you can go, the world seems very large. You are given 45 minutes to explore and do quests (most of which cannot be completed because you are only playing the demo). But you get the feeling that this game is going to be huge. With hundreds upon hundreds of quests and dungeons to complete and explore it feels like KoA will be long game.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning releases on February 7th. And I can’t wait. This game seems very promising. Give the demo a try and you’ll even unlock some armor for the full game.