Friday, February 10, 2012

The Verdict: Reckoning

Last time I talked about Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, but mostly about the hype I heard about leading up to the the release and my buying/installing experience. (Yes, I do now have Steam, Impluse, and Origin on my laptop. And yes, Origin does have pop-ups. And yes, I do hate it.)

Anyway, Reckoning. It's awesome. There world is huge, there's a ton to do, and lots of weapons to master. The leveling/skill/class system is intuitive and fun. There's some serious Elder Scrolls vibe going on in the story and quest direction, but the combat is indeed much more exciting. I think the closest game I've played with similar combat is Devil May Cry. Just with less demons and a lot more obese bears, unfriendly elves, and boggarts (but not like the ones in Harry Potter, these ones are kind of charming).  

If you like fantasy games, RPGs, or opportunities to be extremely violent without too much blood, you need to pick this game up. Also, when I said "extremely violent" back there, I was referring to the finishing moves in "Reckoning Mode" wherein you pretty much obliterate a bad guy with excessive force. Sometimes these are in slow motion and very awesome. I've stopped to yell and point at the screen with excitement more than once because of these. But like I said, not much blood. I guess that could please or disappoint, but I'm kind of glad. 

That big shiny thing is about to be plunged bloodlessly into that guy.
There's not really much else I can think of to say. You should buy this game. It's awesome. Also, be prepared to get a TON of crap if you went out of your way to do the demo and get as much pre-order swag like I did. I'd actually recommend the demo first because it sets you up with a sweet weapon and a nice armor set. The fate-touched weapons pack and the armor sets from Gamestop were almost immediately replaceable (the compass thing and the twist of fate card are legit though). 

My one immediate complaint about this game is the weird durability stat on gear. I know a lot of games do this, but in Reckoning it doesn't really seem to serve a purpose. Also, if you have a rare or unique weapon or armor the repair costs will be disproportionately HUGE. However, you can avoid paying up by just using a repair kit (which you can buy for a fraction of the cost, usually from a vendor close to the repair guy), so it's not the end of the world. Also, so many weapons drop as you adventure that you probably won't use a particular weapon that long unless it's for sentimental attachment. That all said, why go through the effort to create such an unreasonable pricing scheme and yet make it so easily avoidable? It seems almost like a money sink for noobs who aren't paying attention. What's the point? Patch that out!

In conclusion, I give Reckoning 5 fate cards out of 5 for a fresh, immersive, RPG experience where killing the bad guys is a whole lot more fun than usual. Below is some footage of Reckoning kills. 

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