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> Kingdoms of Amalur - the Reckoning
2/27/2012 6:54 AM EST
Kingdoms of Amalur - the Reckoning
As a reward to myself for ploughing through the mock marking in record time (for me, anyway!) and eager to have a new game for the relatively new PS3 I picked up Amalur the Reckoning for the console. Just wondering if anyone else has tried it. It's not without its faults but I liked it so much I also bought the PC version.
I suspect it's a game some won't like (it's an RPG but with heavy emphasis on action) and to be honest I'm not usually one for button mashing stuff but I have found this a wee gem and hugely enjoyable. Aefre will no doubt say it's "cookie cutter" (and she may be right, though I am probably a little less jaded having not played anything like the number of games she has) and the reviews do say that the quests aren't exactly ground breaking, but I haven't found them to be more repetitive than LOTRO (if that's our benchmark).
Anyway some comments.
I really like the combat. Really fuid and fast-paced (and the last is a word that would normally put me off a game, clumsy keyboardist that I am!) on the PS3 for me the right balance between simply mashing buttons and trying out different things (switching weapons, special moves etc simple enough even my gnarled talons can keep up). I'm not a button mashing fan, but I have enjoyed it. Some folk might find it too easy (depends if you're an action gamer to start with, I am not) though there are 3 levels (having no ego invested in such things I started on Casual. I still die from time to time, but I'm unbelievably inept in general). On the PC the controls do seem clumsier, though I haven't played as much on the PC as yet so things might improve as I get used to them.
Graphics very colourful and pretty but more "cartoony" than gritty and realistic. More Lotro than Skyrim (though technically better than the former!). I don't mind that at all but some might object to it. Decent enough on the PS3 (considering the hardware and graphics aren't the main things I look at in a game - beyond a certain minimum) but very pretty in my opinion on the PC if not technically groundbreaking (it's not Witcher 2). It depends what style you like, i suppose.
I like the lore too - The Fae (who play quite a big part in the story)are sorta Tolkienesque elves mixed with medieval ones (immortal, slightly odd, seelie and unseelie camps etc their time is fading, the mortal races are rising - or would be if...oh I won't spoil it too much). Playable races are two types of human and two types of "Alfar" (light and dark) - D&D/WoW(?) type Elves, though counted as mortals). Big Pointy Ears. In reviews the lore has sometimes been criticised as a bit too generic, but I've found it very enjoyable. As I say maybe I haven't played games long enough to judge.
World - "open" but not like Skyrim or LOTRO. Map is a collection of areas accessed by narrow corridors. Seems more than big enough though for a single player game. I didn't feel cramped. Oodles of side quests and a number of factions in addition to the main story (which I'm enjoying thoroughly by the way. One of its premises I won't spoil but nicely plays on the fact that the player in a single player game is the only agent capable of real choices.) This again has come in for criticism in the reviews but I've enjoyed the world and lore (though don't expect huge landscape vistas in the game, pretty though it is).
One minus is the truly terrible Scottish and Irish accents employed at times (Gnomes are Scottish, Fae are Irish) but though this normally DOES bother me in games and films (and enough to not play/watch), I haven't found it too grating here (more amusing) which means I'm enjoying the game enough to forgive these flaws. And some voice actors pull these off better than others...
Apparently an apt description is that it is like Fable (which I haven't played) but much bigger and possibly better.
Interesting points are that the makers had originally intended an MMO set in the same world (which may still be on the cards) and that the chap who founded one of the companies who worked on this is an ex-baseball star (who is also a gamer, apparently. Makes a change from ex-pros taking up sport punditry!)
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