Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Review

So, ever heard of this game? No? You should, this game looks to be my dream come true. It’s all of my favorite things I loved about MMO’s, but in a single player setting. What I’ll call ‘Reckoning’ for short, is a single player open world role-playing game, but with awesome combat. When I say awesome combat, it’s the kind you have to see to believe. Its set in a massive open world, riddled with hundreds of handcrafted dungeons, steeped in 10,000 years of history and most importantly awesome loot.

The Back Story

The setting of the game takes place in a sliver of history called, the Age of Arcana. Magic is in its infancy. It’s untested. It’s unstable, and oftentimes untrusted. Your character, oddly enough, starts out dead. You wake up on a pile of bodies to discover you’ve been unexpectedly resurrected. In a world where fate is predetermined by Fateweavers, where the future of the world is filled with War and death, you are the lone exception. You have no fate. You have no destiny. What you do with your character is up to you and for you to discover. You’re forever altering the course of history.

Classes No More

Most role-playing games we’ve played in the past, you start off by picking a name, race, religion and a class. From there on out, you’re stuck with that class whether you like it or not. Reckoning sought to change that. They’re striving for a more forgiving new Destiny System. You begin the game as a blank slate. As you level up, you spend points in three ability trees – Might, Finesse and Sorcery. As you spend points on abilities from these trees, you are rewarded with Destiny Cards. These cards are classes you can equip. The game analyzes how you are spending your ability points and gives you destinies that augment your play style and choices. There are 40 possible destinies you have access to, all of which are viable classes that you can play effectively. There’s even a destiny tree for those who like to spend their points everywhere, called Jack-of-All-Trades.

Unbelievable Combat

The combat system is something Big Huge Games is extremely proud of. I have to say when I first saw it, I was blown away. The chakrams are amazing to watch and the faeblades just look plain killer. It’s not your typical strategy of pull nearby mob, spam your attack button until it’s dead, loot and repeat. It’s much more challenging and engaging. A typical battle might be a pile-driving ass-kicking ettin (ogre-like creature), two wolves circling you while alternating sneak attacks and a boggart who’s picking at you from a distance. Which do you hit first? If you’re not fast on your feet and comfortable with your skills and weapon choice, you’ll be back on that corpse pile before you know it.

The Minds behind the Game

Curt Shilling, famed Boston Red Sox pitcher and founder of 38 Studios, has brought in the best-of-the-best. He’s recruited the New York Times Bestselling Fantasy Author, R. A. Salvatore, the creator of Spawn, Todd McFarlane and the groundbreaking game designer behind Morrowind and Oblivion, Ken Rolsten. So pretty much my favorite author, comic illustrator and game designer all involved in making my favorite type of game. Needless to say, I’m pretty stoked about this game and if you’re a fan of SRPG’s, you should be too.