PS3 Previews: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Preview

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Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Preview

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Scheduled release date:

February 7, 2012

Publisher:

EA

Developer:

Big Huge Games

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

RPG

Role-playing fans have been enjoying a rush of quality RPGs over the past six to eight months, and yet another promising title will be available on February 7. It’s Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, a compelling adventure that combines the depth of a grittier RPG like The Elder Scrolls and the appeal of more colorful, simpler titles like Folklore and Kameo. If you’re interested, the demo gives you a nice long look at what to expect (it's a 2.6GB download).

You get to play through the opening sequence (and quite a lot more, actually), which means you can select your class, earn experience, level up, sample the different forms of gameplay, and meet all sorts of characters. The environment will change, too, as you’ll move from a crumbling underground area full of high-ceilinged rooms and tunnels to a lush, healthy landscape complete with villages and other fantastical items of interest. Amalur is most certainly immersive.

In regards to control and how you approach combat, the developers have opted to give you plenty of freedom and accessibility. Most everything is done with the simple press of a button, and you can fully outfit your character with everything from greaves and robes to secondary weapons like daggers. You can use the latter during stealth mode (just hold R2), equip a staff, scepter or bow to execute various ranged attacks, and hold R1 and select one of four equipped spells (assigned to the face buttons). It’s easy and doesn’t require much in the way of practice.

I do have a few issues, though— first, there doesn’t appear to be a lock-on feature and that should probably have been included. You get turned around quite a bit when dodging or sprinting, and you often have to fight the camera. Second, I don’t like the fact that I have to release the block button (L1) before I can attack. That just feels cumbersome. My third and last complaint is more general, and it involves the overall atmosphere and style of the game.

Thing is, it’s sort of a mix. It appears to have most, if not all, of the depth of games in The Elder Scrolls franchise, but for accessibility purposes, there are straight-up action elements. You know, like dodging with circle, various combination attacks with certain weapons, and a special skill that allows you to literally tear apart the fate threads of enemies. There are even some QTEs, although they’re more about pressing the button repeatedly when prompted to earn extra experience.

I’m just not sure if this blend will appeal to the RPG purists. It’s far too deep to appeal to action/adventure fans who don’t want a ton of quests, items, and abilities like alchemy, sagecraft, etc. So this is really designed for the role-playing lovers, but even the colorful, almost cartoon-y nature of the game may prove to be a barrier. But we’ll just have to wait and see; all the necessary pieces are here, and I can definitely see losing a lot of hours to this one. It seems to be very well designed, too.

We’ll have to see what the ardent RPG lovers have to say when Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning hits store shelves in a couple weeks time.

1/23/2012 Ben Dutka

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More Previews Of This Game
Date
Game
Reviewer
05/26/11 Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Ben Dutka

Comments (15 posts)

Temjin001
Monday, January 23, 2012 @ 9:53:51 PM
Reply

Well, Ben seems to like it decently. I probably should've played the demo further than I did. Frankly, I spent like 20-25min with it and was turned off by my first impressions all around. Thing is, this should be something I love. I did like Darksiders a lot, which, while wasn't a RPG, it blended a detailed combat system in with an adventure format that was something akin to Zelda. I liked that blend. I'll look at Amular some more to see if the combat passes the mustard, but like Ben said, and something I thought as well, the lack of a lock-on system looks problematic for it. Ultimately, my senses tell me it's netiher the best looking RPG, or close to it, it's neither the best playing action game, or close to it, and probably not as sophisticated as the rifined Elder Scrolls games. With lesser than the elite all around qualities, I'd be surprised if the game netted even an aggregate 80% at best.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, January 23, 2012 @ 11:14:13 PM

When they put Darksiders on PSN I decided to give it another go. I think I didn't dig it at first because I was treating it like an action game and it isn't.

Since I always play some Zelda Ocarina around this time of year I was able to approach Darksiders in a Zelda like manner and now I kinda like it. Not fantastic but the classic gameplay style is appealing to oldsters.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 @ 1:37:53 AM

Yeah, it's a cool game. Technically it doesn't impress much. But given the time, the detail of the game's design shines through and makes for itself an enjoyable quest. It's something of a one of kind adventure on PS3. There just doesn't seem to be many action-adventure games anymore. I don't even know if people know what that means these days. Games like Simon's Quest, Zelda, Faxanadu, Metroid, Blaster Master, Rygar, and more were action-adventure games I remember while growing up. Today, there just doesn't seem like there's many of them anymore. Seemingly, it's wide open RPG or linear action, either or.

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Qubex
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 @ 4:06:02 AM

I have to admit Temjin, I was not overly impressed by the demo. I don't know really' now that I am involved with "Skyrim" a lot. These RPG's have a lot to live up to...

I don't think I will spend any time with this game between "Skyrim" and my shooter multi-plays with "Battlefield 3" and the upcoming "Dust514".

Then there is "GTAV", which is another bigger that will kill time...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, January 23, 2012 @ 10:44:52 PM
Reply

I'll have to give this demo a try, it could succeed where Fable II-III took a nosedive.

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bigrailer19
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 @ 1:54:02 AM

I've heard a lot of people say things like it's a cross between Fable and Dragon Age... Never played Fable though so I can't say yay or nay on that.

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Highlander
Monday, January 23, 2012 @ 10:50:05 PM
Reply

*sigh* I can tell just from the trailer, that this is not my kind of RPG. My kind of RPG does not involve sprays of blood.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, January 23, 2012 @ 11:15:05 PM

Do you also stay away from anime that has sprays of blood? I love every time someone looks surprised and then blood sprays and then they split in half :)

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 @ 12:17:41 AM

The game can be bloody but that isn't a focal point of battle.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 @ 1:38:30 AM

and it's not liek Dragon Age where they wear the blood like body paint.

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___________
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 @ 1:17:14 AM
Reply

meh.
really had high hopes for this but the demo was as big a kick in the pants as GTAIV was!

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bigrailer19
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 @ 1:51:53 AM
Reply

I love games like The Elder Scrolls, Dragon Age, Baldurs Gate to Champions, and after playing the demo I found it to be a breathe of fresh air. By that I mean I've been playing Skyrim since release and I can't put it down, it was nice to get into a game with this type of combat, yet still have depth to it. I think it's a great combination of the overall depth and the combat system it has that's fluid and exciting. If it's not for the RPG "purist" o-well, I loved it! The demo, mainly for the combat, is what is prompting me to pick it up upon release.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 1/24/2012 1:57:53 AM

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TGSA
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 @ 9:19:58 AM
Reply

I finally got around to playing the demo, but as much as the game had intrigued me, I was quite disappointed. The demo felt much more like an early beta rather than anything else. The delay between hitting the boxes and them breaking really annoyed me. Other issues, such as textures not loading, made me really nervous. I guess I'll just have to wait to see what the reviews say once the game releases before I buy it.

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Warrior Poet
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 @ 5:32:13 PM
Reply

I love RPGs and I love adventure games, so this looks like a great fusion. If it has the depth of Elder Scrolls and the combat of God of War it should be a great game, eh? Add in some Zelda and I'll be really happy. Just make sure it's difficult enough this time! Skrim's too easy.

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KNG201
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 @ 6:53:38 PM
Reply

The one thing everyone leaves out of a discussion about an RPG is the story. If the gameplay mechanics are decent I for one care if the story is great.

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