Community Review — Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning

Community Review — Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning

I did a strange thing over the weekend. I had nothing to do but sit in the house all day feeling sorry for myself, so I did what any self respecting human being would do — I played a stupid amount of Skyrim. But it got me to wondering — should I have given Kingdoms of Amalur a try instead?

I haven’t managed to play it yet, mainly because starting a new RPG always feels like such a time sink to me. Skyrim is actually the first Bethesda game I’ve played seriously since Morrowind, so it really is a small miracle that it managed to suck me in. After playing 40 hours of Skyrim, and 40 hours of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, I really don’t know if I’m ready and willing to commit to another RPG! And Mass Effect 3 is just around the corner… Sweet Jeebus. Have mercy!

But from what I’ve heard, Kingdoms of Amalur is actually worth your time — have you guys managed to put many hours into the game? I’m keen to hear your thoughts. Let us know in the comments below!


  • I’m playing on hard difficulty, I havn’t felt challenged it the slightest yet unfortunately, reckoning mode is just to powerful it slows time, more than doubles damage, lasts an absurd amount of time.

    If you liked Fable you should definately get it, if your a hardcore difficulty RPGer you won’t be satisfied.

    • This was my argument against the game from the beginning. It is WAY to easy. Have died twice in 30 hours on hard and that was from traps.

      Its not a bad game but it seems severely built towards casual game players.
      Not to mention the fact that you can respec at any time for a very small fee. So essentially while you are out questing be specced into nothing but combat then every few hours come back to town and spec into crafting, make elite gear, respec to combat. Rinse repeat.
      May suit some but left me not at all caring about what I put points into.
      Sure people can argue that just because its there you do not have to use it but that is like having gorgeous girls parading past in bikinis and saying you do not have to look..

      Game needs a harcore mode. Monster do more damage. Reckoning mode is limited to a time base of around 20 minutes or so rather than just build up a meter. Also needs to be not as powerful on bosses. And your points are locked, no more respec.

      As Stephen said “If you liked Fable you should definately get it, if you’re a hardcore difficulty RPGer you won’t be satisfied.”

      • My biggest fear about BioShock Infinite, is that I will play 1997 mode and it will be everything I hope it is and more…. and then every game that doesn’t have 1997 mode will just feel insubstantial. Or more insubstantial than they already are…

    • I found hard mode about right, I suppose it’s not really… hard? But for the first 30 hours it was challenging enough, I enjoyed reckoning mode, maybe it was my finesse/mage build? Did you guys that never died just never get hit? because some bosses killed me if they hit me even once, full hp to dead in one combo….

      My problem with the difficulty is it felt artificial, the massive delay (for an action game) when using blink just made me wish I had roll back, but that would mean giving up the destiny bonuses, as far as I can tell there’s no way to get out of an enemy combo once it starts, and you will get hit because there’s a god awful recovery time on many of the moves. Then there’s the odd design choices. Eg. Enemies don’t group up very often, they keep themselves spread out, a good idea of itself, faeblades are really good at damaging clumped groups of enemies, also a good idea taken alone… put them together and what the hell is the point of using faeblades.

      Despite that and some seriously average writing and plot I’m still enjoying the game, less than I did Dark Souls, more than skyrim, the combat is fun when it works and some of the faction quest lines and the main plot aren’t quite as dull as the inane sidequests. Question though, I find it strange that at level 30 the highest level requirement on gear I’ve seen is around level 13, is that normal? I question it even moreso after reading some guy had 1700 hp at level 30, I’m 32 and have just over 500, with a decent amount of hp gems/item parts, so either he’s full of crap or my game is rather broken.

      • Partly what made the game seem to easy for me was I guess the in-balance of my abilities, the ability to constantly stagger/single and aoe targets while pushing out enormous damage at the same time, I was playing a pure sorcerer let me break it down.

        Sphere of reprisal: staggers anything that gets close or approaches me damage is rather nominal however it is bugged whenever I enter a npc talk the orbs disappear and I have to recast the damn thing or zone in/out.

        Tempest: 1500ish dmg, massive aoe radius, staggers everything, absolutely devastating in Reckoning mode.

        Ice Barrage: 1000+ dmg this spell is mad, it interrupts, staggers, slows does a ton of dmg and can practically 2-3 shot anything in reckoning.

        Chakrams: Interrupts but also staggers on the final chain attack, aoe and ranged.

        Faer Gorta: Heals you and acts as a decent decoy and can interrupt/stagger a enemy.

        Healing Surge: this is a very non-economical way to heal yourself, however if the faer gorta isn’t doing its job this baby can help you not waste potions.

        With all this ranged massive damage and interrupts/staggers you are practically playing easy mode.

        • I have to say, now that I finally have tempest and the multi elemental attack the game is pretty lulzy, which would suggest it was more build related, that said i didn’t get the companion minion even though it looked ridiculous because I just don’t like summons/minions in rpgs, and I didn’t have enough space on my ability menu for the sphere even though it bugged for me a fair bit too, seriously 4 spells is another complain i have, they should have taken a leaf from dragon age there and made a modifier, I’d have been happy enough with 8 slots.

          • PS: IF my attacks had interrupted on a regular basis I can see how it would have been stupidly faceroll, it annoyed me most of the game I had no reliable way of interrupting anything without getting through a combo. Switching from pure faeblades to chakrams helped me keep distance, but even then.

  • I’m about ten hours in and enjoying it for what it is. Use the term ‘RPG’ loosely, and don’t let people throw Skyrim in as a legitimate comparison, and you’ll be fine.

    It’s like Fable, well more what it should have been, minus all the gimmicky crap that Fable sold itself on, which was largely inconsequential anyway. It’s for doing heaps of quests again and again, it’s for levelling up and getting new skills and new gear. It reminds me a little of Diablo – and I don’t mean the way it looks or plays, but it invokes a similar mindset I’ve found.

    There’s not much depth in the story, or character development at all either. It’s a Forgotten Realms novel made into a game. It’s light fantasy, at best – but that’s not a bad thing. Sometimes you’re not up for sheer epicness ala Skyrim, and just want a bit of hack and slash.

    But like I said, if you want a game where you can level up, get new weapons, get new skills, kill some stuff, explore some caves, dungeons, etc, this is a pretty good game. Don’t expect to be blown away by the graphics, story or voice acting though. I mean it sounds like I’m writing a bad review, but I’m not. Just realise what it is, and most importantly, what it isn’t, and assess it from there.

  • Fun and CHAKRAMS! That pretty much describes my feelings for the game.

    Very easy (though I am now having a little bit of a challenge when faced with multiple Ettins) and rather simple, no real depth to the story line or conversations. Yet I am still finding myself having good ol hack and slash fun.

    Lots of different weapons and armour to find and create, gives good variety especially as you are never really restricted to what weapons you want to use. The first few level I really bulked up my long sword mastery, yet now I find myself using a completly different weapon class. Which leads me to CHAKRAMS!

    Though this weapon type has been used before, this is the first game where I am now using them almost exclusively. The chakrams, to me, are the perfect blend of range and melee combat, they allow you to soften up a target at first, and should they close in on you, after multiple hits, they can really start racking up the point damage. As someone who usually just creates a club weilding tank for the first playthrough, I am having massive amounts of fun leaping around the battlefield flinging these discs around at enemies while letting out a mighty Xena scream.

    So yeah, not much depth or originality, but good simple fun.
    and Chakrams.

    • Haha I have to agree on the Chakrams, I’m currently 100% might spec, but find myself using a nice set of crafted Chakrams as much, if not more than my longsword. They’re just so satisfying, in both damage and animations. I’m getting close to specing some Finesse just to unlock their special attacks.

  • I sunk about 30 hours into KoA:R over the weekend, and I’m still in the first ‘country’. I’ve barely touched the main quests – pretty much been following the sidequests in each area and moving on, until they take me to where I need to go to continue the main questline. I’m avoiding using the “reckoning mode” as it does make things almost laughably easy, but it does come in handy for when I get in over my head (four mages and three rogues attacking me in close quarters, and damn do those mages hit hard).
    I’m curious as to what direction everyone’s taking, as it’s seeming to me that characters and quests are tailoring themselves to my warlock (finesse/magic) spec… is this actually the case, or is it just me?
    I’ve only got a couple of minor gripes with it so far – firstly, if I face any foe one-on-one, it’s just a matter of mashing X to win, unless they’re a troll of some kind, as I can just keep knocking them down again, making things very easy. Secondly, it takes forever to unlock spells – you need something like 25 in the magic tree to unlock an ice spell, and don’t even know if/when I can unlock some sort of pyromancy…
    Other than that, this game is pretty much the RPG I’ve been waiting for. It has the setting and style of WoW, the combat of some Fable/God of War hybrid, and the quest structure of an Elder Scrolls game. The enemies (so far) are diverse and stylised, some reminding me of FF enemies (boggarts especially), others of Fable or WoW. The world is absolutely huge, diverse, and beautiful, and I can’t wait to jump back into it.

    • Oh, and to reiterate what others have already said, chakrams are awesome. Pretty much exclusively using chakrams and faeblades… well, until I found these awesome daggers that steal health every fifth strike or so… and sets things on fire 😛

  • I just hit level 17, played for about 24 hours all up and I think I love it. It’s a single-player MMO. Given that everything I’ve always hated about MMOs were massively multiplayer online parts, it’s kinda the perfect game for me.

  • The game is OK not great, just OK.

    The most advertised feature of the game is the combat which is great compared to most RPGs as it flows quickly and allows for a variety of moves with the simple control scheme. Unfortunately your combat skills don’t change much as you progress, so you’ll basically be mashing the same set of buttons towards the end of the game. The game is also fairly easy even on harder difficulties. The combat looks God of War like but I feel like the comparisons to God of War are doing a disservice to the combat system in God of War which is more fluid and allows for greater complexity and skill. This is just a warning in case you were expecting God of War levels of combat. The combat is below average when you compare it to most action adventure games but compared to most RPGs the combat is great.

    Like the combat, the game’s visuals are a mixed bag. The interior environments( Caves, dungeons etc) look bland and lifeless. They are a mixture of brown rock textures interrupted by lighting from lanterns and torches. Once you leave the caves and dungeons however, the game brightens up and looks great. The beauty of the visuals doesn’t come from the complexity of the textures or graphics but the lighting and the multitude of colours you see in the world. Unfortunately, this colour explosion doesn’t prevent the world from looking like generic-fantasy land.

    This leads me to the most disappointing aspect of the game to me, the world. The game’s world doesn’t feel lived in. It just seems like a series of large to medium sized areas interlinked with linear paths. You don’t get the urge to explore the world, it’s just a backdrop from once quest to another. Games like Skyrim and Fallout encourage exploration through tiny snippets of conversation and the fact that the worlds are usually massive. For a game called Kingdoms of Amalur I expected a richer fiction and world.

    The story isn’t that impressive in my opinion. Though to be fair I did zone out during most of the long drawn out conversations. NPCs were just quest givers to me by the time I reached the midway point of the game. This is another issue I have with the game, R.A Salvatore has created a lot of backstory and detail for the world but it just didn’t feel interesting. Tales of various factions just felt like a massive info dump with no compelling reason for me to care why Group A hates Group B and so on.

    In summary Kingdoms of Amalur is a very average game with a good combat system hampered by a bland world and uninteresting fiction. If this is the lead in to an MMO I don’t think I’ll be signing up come launch day. The game is lengthy though and If you love listening to podcasts, like I do, the game is great since you can just roam around gaining XP and ignoring most of the story.

  • I would like to reiterate Hugo’s feelings on CHAKRAMS. while the game may be a little bit easy if you forgo the main quests in the first area and just push through until you find an area where you can’t one shot most monsters it becomes more of a case of how well you can dodge/block rather than how fast you can mash buttons or get reckoning mode up.

    • At first i was all for hammers… and now it’s slowly turning into chakrams (and still hammers. hammers are awesome.). Those damn chakrams.. THOSE BOXES WILL NOT SEE OUT THE DAY!

  • KoA: Reckoning is the fourth game in Peter Molyneux’s much-loved Fable series.**

    ** This is a joke. It plays and looks a lot like a Fable game, perhaps without the series’ trademark sense of humour.

  • CONS – The writing manages to go beyond the usual mediocre and cliched level that a lot of RPGs wallow in these days into genuinely terrible.

    PROS – When you get sick of the annoying NPCs you can press a button allowing you to massacre them all. Credit where it’s due – I wish more games had that feature.

  • Was really interested in KoA:R so I played the demo
    I found in the demo that the enemies just don’t do anything, combat was fun but the story was well boring. In the end I decided to go back to go back to SWTOR and finish of the story because I’d prefer to have a decent story.
    Seems to me action RPG genre combat seems to have a lot of games that either fall into two categories
    – heavy defensive focus combat all about blocks and dodges somewhat witcher 2 style
    – easy offensive focus combat where you just spam your abilities and win

  • I’ve played through the tute intro stuff and somewhat a few hours after that – I’m still waiting for it to hook me, hasn’t happened yet. It’s just…it’s sort of fun, but nothing particularly remarkable stands out. It’s a prettier WOW with improved Fable gameplay. I’ll give it more time though.

  • Been playing since Thursday (roughly 32 hours of actual gameplay) . Strictly finesse with daggers and the occasional Fae blades. Let me just say that this game has blown my mind. The sheer amount of content in this is amazing. I’ve only just made it outside the Sidhe/Lorca-Rane and onto the Wolds. I’m certain I’ve done the majority of side quests in there, bar the odd Faction Quest that leads to new lands. It seems every new area I journey too I get met with 6+ side quests. Trust me they eat away at your time. (Which isn’t really a bad thing).

    If you’re going the way of the rogue (finesse) make sure to get poison and bleeding damage on your equipment it makes all the difference especially when combined with abilities such as “Envenomed Edge” and “Execution”.

    I played the demo and had my doubts but now I’m so glad I got a copy.

    – JediKilla

  • As someone who never played wow I gotta say that the stylised environments and fantasy monsters made a refreshing change from the exquisite blandness of skyrim.

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