Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Review (PC)

Game:Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Ten Ton Hammer
Ten Ton Hammer Rating
90

Value - 87 / 100

The launch price point of $US 59.99 might seem like a lot to pay after the game glut of holiday season 2011. But 76 completed quests and roughly 40 hours in, I was just on the cusp of the Siege of Mel Senshir – what Big Huge Games described as just a little past the halfway point of the game – and I was already experiencing a good problem: quest overload.
Reckoning somehow always avoids that 'another dungeon, another hundred corpses' feeling - an acheivement for an aRPG.
Reckoning simply gives players way too much to do at any given time, and there’s enough quality in Reckoning’s quantity that I want to do it all. Considering that most action RPGs barely stray from the main quest, this is a very positive development.

Lasting Appeal - 82 / 100

Replayability is always a consideration with single player games, but with playtime estimates in the hundreds of hours and little reason to reroll , it’s hard to imagineou can always visit a fateweaver to respec or a mirror to re-customize.  The only features of your character you can’t change are your race and the deity (or non-deity) you worship. These beginning features seem largely inconsequential to your character - I've yet to find an NPC that makes reference to my Verani race - so even with Reckoning’s limited selection of humanoid characters, I’m not sweating a lack of replayability since the game’s jammed packed with plenty of worthwhile quests and side quests.

Pros and Cons


Pros:

  • A gorgeous and engaging world with plenty of hooks for DLCs and  a future MMO.
  • Reckoning is an absolutely engaging fantasy experience where the main story and nearly every side quest winds around the idea that you’re character is not just disrupting - but improving - the fate of the world.
  • The RPG genre has never had more fluid and interesting combat animations, and, owing in large part to mindblowing visuals, combat itself never becomes stale.

Cons:

  • Occasionally lousy camera angles sometimes make flanking attacks and exercise in click and pray.
  • Facial animations and voiceovers are stumpy and forced.
  • Several UI blunders - only one quest is viewable on the world map at a time, items cannot be equipped or junked with a single click when looting, etc.

Conclusion

 On its own, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a fun, nuanced, and well-told story with fluid combat and mesmerizing visuals. As the lead-in for a grand new fantasy IP, the writers make a stretch or two (Roman Gnomes make me think of a Travelocity commercial), but Amalur is a world I hope to visit again.

Overall 90/100 - Great

Metacritic

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