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51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2012
I am going to give KOAR a thorough review, but the skinny version is this: KOAR is a great old school RPG. It took me 80 hours to get through it the first time, and I will definitely play it again.

As an old school RPG, it has features that are traditionally good, and some that are traditionally bad. Let's start with the bad first.

1. Severe inventory space issues. People all over the Web gripe about this. There are, in my view, too many different kinds of potions (among other issues). Even when I purchased extra space from 5 merchants, there were times when I had to run outside of a dungeon and warp back to a merchant to do a sell-off, and then go back down into the dungeon. In Torchlight you could load up your pet and send your pet back to town, and in Sacred 2 you could summons an imp with your large loot chest from town. Something like that would have helped.

2. Ugly gear. This is very common to western RPGs. If you want great looking gear or gear that is customizable in appearance, you must play Asian RPGs and MMOs. (Or, if KOAR releases a tool kit, someone will make good looking gear on their own time, as has been done with DAO, Skyrim, and Torchlight, for example.) As with many western RPGs, the NPCs often wear better looking gear than you will ever have.

3. Ugly hair. Equivalent to Dragon Age and Skyrim. The 10 year old plastic hair design cannot be dumbed down to accommodate console players, because we know hair can be done correctly...even on the consoles (for example, the blonde female in Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom). If KOAR releases a took kit, someone will make better looking hair on their own time.

4. Randomness. I played as a mage. When I completed the Battle Arena quest, 7 unique (purple) pieces of gear had dropped. I could not wear a single piece of it. When I killed an end boss named Cur, he dropped six pieces of matching gear. I could not wear a single thing he dropped. Also, there is no relationship between how hard a chest is to open or get to, and the quality of loot you find. As a final example, even when my blacksmithing skill was raised to the maximum level, when I salvaged loot, the results were all random. I could save the game, and then have to reload it several times to salvage anything other than "common" quality components. These kinds of issues made a friend of mine stop playing the game prior to getting half done. I understood his pain, but the next section explains why I recommend the game anyway.

5. NPC AI. The mage could summon a Faer Gorta, as a sort of melee NPC who was supposed to help you a bit. You can read the various forums on the Web about the widespread disappointment with Faer Gorta. For me, he did was he was supposed to do 50% of the time, and stood still as a statue and let me get wailed on 50% of the time. The best NPC AI in any RPG I have ever played was Dragon Age: Origins. Nothing else has come close.

6. Level cap is 40. This isn't as significant as it sounds, because I had plenty of power to take down the final boss in a single attempt at level 40. I only mention this limitation because some RPG players like to go overboard leveling up, so they can stroll in and one-shot the boss. Even if that is how you have fun, there are plenty of other things that make this game worthwhile...a subject to which I now turn.

Now for the good stuff.

1. The game has different difficulty levels. This is critical for me. After a challenging 10 hour day at work, I do not want to come home to another challenge as much as I want fun that comes from nuking mobs.

2. You can save the game anywhere (unlike LOTR: War in the North). Again, critical for me.

3. The story is great (it lived up to its expectations for me).

4. The game is huge. Colossal. Gigantic. It is on the scale of Skyrim, Sacred 2, or Dragon Age: Origins. It is definitely NOT rush-to-market-small like Dragon Age: Awakening or LOTR: War in the North. In KOAR, there seems to be as much space under ground in dungeons as there is above ground. I do not know how they can put that much game on one disk.

5. You can hide your head gear. I cannot understand why any RPG lets you create a custom head, and then forces you to wear a 5 gallon bucket (i.e., helmet) for the duration of the game. If you are forced to wear a helmet and be totally covered in ugly gear, your toon could look like the international bathroom boy and girl stick figures and it wouldn't matter.

6. Graphics were what I expect on a game released in 2012. The meteor spell was particularly fun to watch, as the nuke would send bodies and weapons flying all over.

7. Good quest system, and elegantly combined with the map system. KOAR was very clear about who had a quest for you. Other recent RPGs are a bit more obscure about the questing process.

8. A restriction of arcade elements. Arcade elements (incredibly rapid response and hand/eye tasks) are continually encroaching into RPGs. Some found their way into KOAR, but in very limited amounts. (The worst two examples are warded chests and the experience percentage earned in Reckoning mode.) Even as a person who avoids arcade games 100% of the time, those two elements did not ruin KOAR for me. I appreciated a very limited number of arcade elements.

9. You can change many of the features of your toon's facial appearance throughout the game. I don't know why the game limited the changeable features, but at least you could change some. Not many RPGs let you change your toon's appearance...EVER.

10. When you unlocked a new skill on the skill tree, a feature called "Moves" showed you exactly how to use it. Good job!

11. You can easily compare new armor and weapon drops with what you have, to determine in an instant whether the new item is better than the one you already have.

12. When you use your blacksmithing skill, you can make armor and weapons that are better than anything that drops in the game. I love this feature, because I love going into boss battles and handing them their bu***s in a brown paper bag.

13. Replayability. Well, I am going to play it all the way through at least one more time, perhaps more.

I recommend the game. It isn't perfect by a long shot, but well worth your time and money.
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105 of 118 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2012
When Big Huge Games announced they were working on an RPG, I was both skeptical and hopeful. I knew them for their strategy titles, and while they created quality games I was dreading another slow-paced entry to the genre. Well, it looks like all my fears were for nothing. While they don't deliver anything extraordinarily ground breaking here, every element they have pulled into the game are ones I have found fun in other games. And one point I feel I have to make early on: This is nothing like Skyrim. Many people have asked me if it's like Skyrim/Oblivion, and I'm assuming this has to do with the designer being involved in the game. Really, the only thing familiar was the lockpicking, the rest of the game plays vastly differently from Skyrim and it's a good thing. So on to the key points I get asked about:

Combat--

This is where Reckoning shines. The combat is slick and fun, and it's the first game I've heard touting the 'Play any style you want!' where it actually seems to work. Nothing like sneaking up, backstabbing someone, instantly throwing a fireball in the face of your next foe, and then switching to a two-hander and charging into the next group of enemies. If I had to compare the game to anything that would give you an instant idea, at first impression I felt like it was a mix of Fable and God of War. No, it's not quite as much of a slaughter fest as God of War, but the combat has that fluid, satisfying style that God of War brought to the table.

Environment--

It's big. It's not a sandbox, and you will find yourself in valleys and going down paths without any clear way to get to the other side (if there even is anything on the other side), and in this regard the world reminded me more of Fable. But there is a lot to explore and do here, and I never found myself thinking 'I really wish I could climb to the top of that mountain' because there was too much to keep me busy right in front of me.

Sound--

Aside from a few times where I just thought the environment music was a bit odd, the music is great and the voice acting actually surprised me. Though I've read Salvatore, I find him a bit cheesy and repetitive at times, and for some reason my brain associated that with terrible voice acting. Fear not, everyone you meet is voiced well, and while I did roll my eyes once or twice the reason I did so has been long forgotten. Also, there is a lot of voice acting here. Even NPCs who have nothing really important to do for the story have quite a bit of dialog for the purposes of lore.

Graphics--

The environments are gorgeous, but you know that from watching the trailers. There will be some who don't like the slightly cartoony direction that BHGs took with this, but I for one have thoroughly enjoyed it. I just got done putting in over a hundred hours with Skyrim (I know, I know, I'm running behind the rest of the pack), and I'm tired of looking at 'realistic' graphics. This was a refreshing change and one I thoroughly enjoyed. I will repeat what I've seen in other reviews because I agreed: As beautiful as the environments are, the character models are slightly lacking. They're not terrible, and probably would have done well in many other games, but in comparison to the environments they feel a bit underpolished. Given a choice between fluid combat and a fantastic looking model, though, and I'll take the combat any day. I know they had to make a choice here, and they made the right one.

I suppose it should be noted that I'm playing this on Steam, as I'm a bit once-bitten-twice-shy with Origin registration. I've seen reports of bugs and glitches, but aside from the odd texture popping up where it shouldn't maybe five times during my play, I haven't encountered anything that would bring me to a halt. Really, though, if you're not sure if you want this game, play the demo. It runs you through the tutorial portion of the game and then gives you 45 minutes to explore--and while you'll only touch the tip of the iceberg in that time, it will either save you sixty bucks if you don't like the style of the game or it will make you crave more. Personally, I'm betting on the latter.
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56 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2012
I usually pay attention to new games coming out. In the weeks before this game came out, I read about it, and watched some videos. It didn't really seem like something I would want to play. When the demo came out, I played it but still wasn't very impressed. But after all the positive reviews and praise Reckoning received when it debuted, I decided to buy it. After all, I needed an epic adventure for my brand new gaming laptop.

The game is like many other fantasy RPGs. You are this messianic character who has defied death, and is destined to save the world. Not exactly original I know, but that's forgivable. You are able to choose from a few different races, each with slightly different stats, but not different enough to make any huge difference. After the introduction, where you learn the basics of combat and learn a little about the story, you are unleashed into the world. The world of Amalur is bright, colorful, and beautiful. After gaining a few levels, you kind of get a feel of what type of class you want to play. You can basically be a big weapon wielding warrior, a stealthy rogue with daggers and bows, a magic blasting mage, or a combination of each. Every level gained gives you points to spend in your talent trees. If you want to change your talents to try something new, all you need to do is see a Fateweaver, and they will reset your talents for a small fee.

One you start exploring different towns and areas, you will immediately be bombarded with quests. Lots of quests. The main story quest is about 25 hours, but you could potentially spend 100 or more hours doing the rest of the side quests. I initially decided to do every side and faction quest in an area before I moved on. After completing several dozen of these quests, I lost interest and focused on the main story. None of the side quests are particularly interesting. I eventually learned that the main story is not particularly interesting either. Each quest is more of the same: go here, kill this, explore this dungeon, talk to this person, etc. I even downloaded the first expansion, The Legend of Dead Kel, and it was just more of the same quests. Questing is very fast paced. There is no need to read the instructions for each quest, because the game will tell you exactly where to go, and when you get there, there will be an arrow pointing to what you need to do. There is really no feeling of exploration that you get from games like Skyrim.

The best part about Amalur is the combat. No matter what type of class you turn your character into, the combat will be fast paced and fun. After the first few hours of the game, I began to see why this game received such high praise. I decided to first play as a mage type class. After several levels I unlocked many abilities that made me unstoppable. But the problem with becoming too powerful is that the game becomes less challenging. I was relying less on health potions, and didn't require much strategy in a fight. I could run into a group of monsters, do my area of effect lightning attack, and most monsters would be dead instantly. So the combat grew stale as my character became more powerful. You also have an ability call fate. Its a meter that builds up as you fight. Eventually the meter will get full, and you can activate this mode where your attacks become much more powerful, and enemy movement is slowed. It can lead to some cool death animation scenes. But the fate meter also creates a problem of making the game too easy. For example, you can save your full fate meter for a boss fight. When the fight starts, activate your fate ability, attack the boss, and it will be dead in seconds. Not very fun.

The game also gives the illusion choice and consequence. During conversations will NPCs, it will often give you a few different ways to respond, much like Mass Effect's chat wheel. But in Reckoning, no matter what choice you make in the conversation, the outcome will usually be the same. You can also kill people and steal items. When you do so, the town guards will try to arrest you. You can either go to jail, pay a fine, or run. If you choose to run away, never fear, because you can just come back later and the guards will have forgotten all about your crime. Unlike Skyrim, where the guards remember you, and will even send bounty hunters after you.

The voice acting is pretty good, the sound effects get the job done, but the game's soundtrack isn't really all that moving. The graphics are pretty good, though the characters are kind of cartoony. Many people compare the graphics to WoW. WoW's graphics, though dated, have a certain charm to them. These graphics have no charm. The camera will also drive you nuts. This is a game designed for consoles, so I wouldn't recommend playing this with a mouse and keyboard. An Xbox PC gamepad is ideal.

So I labeled this review "From Meh to Yeah! to Meh." I wasn't very excited about this game at first. I decided to give it a chance, and for the first 20 or so hours it was pretty good. In fact it was great! After about 20 hours, my character got too powerful, quests were boring, and the story was not getting any more interesting. It felt like an obligation to finish the game. I paid $50 for this game, and at that price I wouldn't recommend it. But I see Amazon is now selling the PC version at about $28, and at that price it's worth checking out.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2012
Amalur was an excellent game- till it completely and utterly stopped working. Then I met EA customer service. The only thing great about Amalur now is Amazon- that is refunding the cost due to my experience.

First review of game:

The combat system is bested by no other game I know of. Graphics are good. Story.. a bit stale frankly. Not as easy to get into as it was in comparison to the Blizzard games or other games.
You are forced to login via an online portal that is a tad slow to authenticate- for a single player game. There are bugs in the game- certain items you can not get rid of so you permanently lose that space. I was at level 14 when the game fully stopped working and I already had 10 slots that I could never get rid of. Its not clear what takes up inventory either- adding up the numbers is > then inventory space. I had to figure out by stripping naked, then looking at the impact of inventory space, then deducing by what is left. Keys don't take up space, certain quest items don't, but others do, etc. There is also no real information. Unlike WOW, where its clear what each resistance does, what armor means (i.e how much damage mitigation), what your critical hit % is, (does Critical hit apply to magic or does the Critical Hit to Magic the corresponding magic one?) etc. Who does bleeding damage- because of this its hard to gauge what to do or what to put things on. Also- the .. consistency of the armor you can build is a tad unfortunate. Its very clear whats the maximum weapon you can make- hopefully there might be better weapons (I never got around to that level) - would have been nice if recipes drop so that there is some .. randomness in the best weapon you can build from game to game. Although maybe in the end you are just using drops.

That all would have been 3 stars.

Why 1 star? Well the game just stopped working. Completely. No reason I can deduce. I tried debugging it myself for 2 days then contacted help. Went through all their instructions. Whenever I had to restart, returning to EA they opened a new case. Since nothing could work, I ended up sending them an email expressing frustrations and asking for next steps. After a day the responded by closing the case which I emailed on- since there was a duplicate one, one that was opened automatically when I contacted them after restarting my computer, and one that has had no response or activity on since the new case was open. This forced me to relog in and recopy everything over. They didn't move my response over. They didn't respond to it and close the other one. No- they closed the active one- the one I was told to respond on. By now, its been 4 days, and about 10 hours of debugging time. I was frustrated, tired, and just wanted to play the game. When you log in- their responses aren't recorded, and the promise that I would get an email with the history of our chat transcript was also not true. While they are very polite and friendly, in short, I have found no effective help, with long delays in response, and ineffective responses. Closing the ticket was my last straw. I have given up on this game, and after my experience with EA support, will not buy EA games again. I have a few, and will not buy any others, esp. any that requires origin.

So no- the only thing I like about this experience is Amazon customer support. That is sending me a return label and a refund.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2013
I just finished playing this game and while I enjoyed it overall, I can give you some pretty good insight into the good and the bad of it:

1. The graphics are nice but a little too cartoonish for my personal tastes

2. The music is good, sets the mood very nicely in a given area or for a scene

3. Creatures jumping out creates a startle and a sense that anything can happen. Even near the end it still can give you a bit of a jump.

4. The creatures interact with each other as well sometimes. Its nice to see various "enemies" fighting themselves instead of the standard condition in which all enemies are united against you. Its fun to creep up on a couple enemies going at it and just sit and watch them and then you only have to fight the winner of that battle rather than taking on everyone at once. Sweet!

5. There's a lot of dialogue to go through with each character you meet and frankly a lot of its repetative. I felt obligated to go through every subject with every character, but still, it got tedious and took more time than I would have liked. I suppose this is part of the RP segment of the game in which if all you want is hack and slash you can skip reading or listening to whatever anyone has to say. About halfway through I gave up trying to read through all that dialogue and only stuck to what I needed to know to do a quest which frankly, you don't even need to read that either.

6. There's a lot of RP info out there in books and other items you pick up and can browse through. It doesn't have any impact on the game of course, but if you like the idea of immersing yourself in a world and learning about it then that option is there. This is rather nicely done. The game already takes so long if you try to do everything that I bet it would take twice as long (like 200+ hours) if you really looked at and read everything.

7. I like the creatures. They all seem fairly unique to each other and the graphics of them are decent enough. Again a bit cartoonish at times but still enjoyable.

8. It's a really big world that's fairly open. There's a feeling that you can just go explore or whatever and different text colors of the creature names tell you how challenging it will be compared to what your development is. I being a more organized type, went through each area before moving on to the next, taking on as many quests as I saw (but I imagine you can just shoot through doing the main quest as well).

9. The voice work is okay but not particularly great. At times it seems like ridiculous over the top emoting in the voice acting, and some of the accents are unconvincing and silly and they all seem to have these Scottish or Irish accents (not sure which because I'm not great at telling which is which).

10. It can get a little boring and monotonous. I found myself kind of dreading seeing another person who needed help, yet another side quest that resembled most of the others. Go get this, go do that. I took them all, I suppose that's the point of the game but they just got really boring after a while and frankly, I was so knee deep on side and faction quests that I often forgot what the main goal of the game even was.

11. Feels like there's just way too much to try and do. Besides the many quests, most of which get boring after a while, the idea of sage-crafting, alchemy, blacksmith is all nice but to try and learn and experiment with it and figure out all of it on top of the rest of the game just seemed like a bit much to me. I made a few good weapons and armor, but I never really got the parts to make stuff that was so completely advanced compared to what I was finding or could buy that I can say it was worthwhile, it really wasn't. I guess to that end, you don't really need to do any of that. There's plenty of potions to find or buy, lots of great armor and weapons around and same with gems. That having been said, gems could be a good source of revenue, except you don't really need it. I just sold most of what I found and still ended up with millions in gold at the end, not that it really does me any good at the end I suppose.

12. There's really no point to exploration. The quests tell you exactly where to go and mark your map and everything, so there's no figuring anything out. You don't even need to bother reading the dialogue from the characters in which they tell you where to go. Why bother? Just look at the map. Without the map telling you exactly what to do, the dialogue no doubt would be far more valuable to pay attention to and I think the map probably does too much. If it were me, I would have had an option to toggle show quests on the map for people who maybe don't want it spoon-fed quite as much.

13. There's also a bunch of tasks which are filed under quests, but unlike quests, most of the tasks can't actually be completed. This isn't a glitch or anything, its that they're repeatable, meaning you can just keep doing the tasks over and over so they never really go into the completed file. As a potentially OCD person who likes to complete things in an organized way, not being able to finish some things like that was a little annoying. Even if you turn the task down, it still shows up and the guy still has the exclamation mark on his head.

After around 70 hours of game-play and 130 quests completed, i just started not to care anymore. I stopped reading the dialogue and even began to dread seeing more quests coming up. I reached a point in which I just wanted to be done with it because the quests were getting repetitive and none of it was particularly difficult or challenging. I tried to turn it up from normal to hard, but all that did was get me more things to fight, not necessarily harder things. So I was just spending more time fighting stuff that popped up on you as you ran from place to place but it wasn't any more satisfying.

After nearly 110 hours and almost 200 completed quests, I finished the game. The end was a little anti-climactic for me, I thought that the final battle should have been a lot more challenging than it was. The kind of thing in which you have to use everything you have and really work it to win, but I was thinking that I had battles with countless trolls along the way that took more time than this final battle.

I paid $7.49 for a download of the game and at that price it was an incredible value. Over 100 hours of game-play (more if you actually read everything) can keep you busy for a while. As I say, it does get really repetitive and a little boring after a while, so how much of the monotonous side and faction quests you really choose to do is up to you. Still, if you can get a deal on the game, it's worth trying out.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2012
Others have written more extensive and technical reviews (and I may still), but here's the "short": If you like the humor and whimsy of Fable and the amazing variety of quests and creatures and world of Skyrim, then this game is for you. Having just poured 200+ hours into Dark Souls and Skyrim, the artistic style of Kingdoms was a little off-putting. Then I "stopped to smell the roses" (or black cohash, really... you'll know what I mean when you play it). When you stop and look around, the scenery and overall artwork of every nook and cranny of this world is absolutely amazing. It's the land of the Fae, not the nords (or the dead for you Dark Souls fans... favorite game EVER, btw). The colors are vibrant and the land is just jammed with beauty. It truly truly is an fantastic world they have created. Even the caves can be stunning, dripping with the history of this war-torn world. This is arguably Todd MacFarlane's best work since Spawn. My only "negative" around the game's appearance would be the characters. While the voice acting is superb (SUPERB), interactions with NPC's can be annoyingly static. Most characters are interesting to look at and highly varied (and often comical in content), but they are mannequins. I prefer the Assassins Creed style interactions but realize this a limitaion with current memory restrictions of games (thank you consoles for limiting development... I'm not a hater since I have an Xbox, but I'm seeing the effects on gaming as a whole). I can't stress how big this world is. Not Tamriel big, but pretty darn big. Our analogy would be: not China big, but US big. And that's big!

The story seems fine to me. It's crafted by R.A. Salvatore who is no fantasy lightweight. While I'm not a HUGE fan of his work, he knows the world of fantasy and it shows. Regardless, I'm engaged. And that's all that matters. Originality is lacking in the art and culture of our world today (theatrically speaking, and I place games in that category). So to tell a somewhat "old" story but with new visuals and other components is not a total negative to me. If you talk to every NPC exhaustively, you'll pick up on character plots that have you mouthing, "oh, no!" And while I'm sure I save the day in the end, I'm anxious to take each step along the way. Again, that's all that matters.

The fighting mechanics are a giddy joy especially after my most recent RPG's (Skyrim and Dark Souls... I won't mention Fallout New Vegas... EVER). Whether you like ranged attacks, medium attacks, or "in your face so I can watch the light leave your eyes" attacks, you can appropriately build a powerful character. So far, I don't get the impression that "dang I wish I had chosen <insert alternate fighting style." All classes are evenly capable of winning as long as you play them accordingly. Don't tank a troll while wearing mage's garb. Just don't.

Perhaps the BEST thing about this game is that you don't need to take my or anyone else's word about it; PC and Xbox have demos that allow you to thoroughly test-drive this game (I'm sure PS3 does to). You play the tutorial level (which sets the story as well) then you have 45 minutes to play in the open world (with some minor restrictions). I replayed the open world portion several times to see which style of play I liked. Not to brag, but Gandalf would come to me for advice (yeah, I crossed that geekdom line a long time ago). If you're a PC gamer, I would even more highly encourage you to play the demo since it unlocks several in-game items for when you buy it (notice I say "when").

Sadly, this game lives in the shadow of Skyrim which is mostly due to the timing of its launch. And let's face it, Skyrim is beyond amazing. If you stop this comparison and enjoy the art and mechanics of Kingdoms for its own sake, I think you'll agree that this game is arguably one of the greatest and most pleasant surprises this past year.

Game on! Scoreboard Boogerwood!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2012
I have been playing fantasy computer games since the days of text adventures, and this is one of my all time favorites. My kids, ages 13 and 24, enjoy it as well.

Likes:
Beautiful, colorful scenery that is a treat to behold
Extremely fun combat, especially magic
You can make progress in short play sessions, so good for busy gamers
Easy to play, haven't had any frustrations yet
Your leveling choices aren't set in stone, you can rebuild
The strategy book for this game is wonderful

Dislikes:
You can't play it on Steam unless you buy it from Steam. Wish I had known...
It seems a bit clunky compared to other recent PC games

In summary, if you like high-fantasy RPG's, this game is for you. It is great light-weight fun if your can enjoy it for what it is, and don't expect it to be what it is not.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2012
I was very excited when they announced the title and who works to make this world realize. A fan of Salvatore, this was a day 1 buy for me ... until I watched the development videos, the comments of developers were all focusing on the combat and were not even talking about what make this a RPG, I remember hearing things like "look at this move it looks awesome" from the mouths of the developers. I cannot tell you how irritating that was as if they are forcing me to like this game and treating us those who enjoyed the books of Salvatore as 15 years old action junkies.
Anyway, after playing the demo and watching diaries of the art department I was sold again, and I am happy to announce that I am content with my purchase!

The game looks nice, even my wife who has no idea about video game graphics admitted that the colors make you feel welcome. The gameplay is action based with the right amount of RPG elements in it combined with limitless combinations of classical RPG classes thanks to the fate system.
The story and the lore is just right, it is not immersive but not boring too. Honestly, Salvatore did a good job to write lore for everyone to enjoy.

NPCs and quests however are generic and usually you skip a lot of conversation or read the subtitles before the voice acting (which is fluctuating in quality) finish.
What else there is? For me it is a small detail but there is nigh/day cycle in the game but you cannot tell what hour it is, no glorious sunrises like Skyrim but definitely a plus after Dragon Age's constant days.
The towns are fleshed enough but not much going on. You can find the same NPC on her spot all day and it's depressing to know after hundreds hours she will still be there standing like the first time you saw her. As a veteran of Baldur's Gate I do not mind this much but the RPG quality moved far from 1999.

I am still very early in the game (6hrs) but feels like I just scratched the surface and enjoying every moments of it. So back to the game which is alt+tabbed!
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2012
This review is being written from the perspective of a gamer who has beaten Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning on hard difficulty straight through. I've completed roughly half the side quests and put 50 hours into the game. The one shortcoming (and I blame this on game burnout), is that I have only fully leveled my character up the Might ability tree, neglecting both Finesse and Sorcery.

This is a great game. It was an undertaking five years in the making and the look and polish of the gameplay reflects this fact beautifully.

The best part of the game, no question or debate about it, is the ability to tailor your combat preferences to your exact liking. You like big bulky weapons, but want to be able to cast powerful spells? No problem. You want to sneak around and backstab? Easy as pie. How about all three at the same time? Yup. You can mix and match all three combat trees to form your own personal badass. In fact, the game encourages you to do so by means of Fate cards, which are passive bonuses that heighten your skills/abilities. Depending on what skills you decide to specialize in, you'll get different Fate cards. And if you don't like your skills, you can always opt to reset them by means of a Fateweaver. This gives the game immense replayability.

The second best aspect of the game is the combat mechanics and the fluidity of these mechanics. Ripostes, counter-attacks, and other combat abilities are tweaked in such a way that the player should be fully capable of stringing combinations together seemlessly. You press the button, you use the skill - no problems. Controls are exceptionally responsive. This is impressive to say the least.

Third best aspect is the sheer size of this game. I wasn't expecting a world this huge, nor was I expecting to put in 50 hours and still not do everything there is to do in the game. I admit, I was overwhelmed at certain points of the game because there are so many sidequests. There are tons of things to craft, and tons of places to explore.

Fourth, this is a beautiful game. Skills look awesome and you will feel awesome when you use them. The land is varied and well detailed. And the customization of your character is interesting to say the least. It's easy to say that this game is pretty. This game is pretty.

All in all, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is excellent.

The reason I take one star away is partly because of the story. I found that it was as a whole, convoluted and borderline uninteresting. However, there is intelligent dialogue and hilarious moments throughout the story. The voice acting is well done.

The second reason is because of the lack of variety of mob encounters. It became too easy to kill the same creatures over and over once I learned their combat habits. Seeing that I played the game on Hard difficulty from the beginning, I was expecting a bigger challenge.

Those are really my only gripes. This is a definite purchase for anybody who is into action RPGs. If you're a completionist, you'll be busy with this game for a very long time. Hope this helps! Happy gaming, friends!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2013
Have you ever looked at an MMO like World of Warcraft or Star Trek Online and thought "I wish they could patch this so I could play it as a singleplayer game?" Reckoning heard your pleas and decided to make a singleplayer RPG that feels just like an MMO but without the other people. Ends up that's not the best foundation for solo play.

I've played pretty much everything that's called itself an RPG and released on the PC since Betrayal at Krondor. The best in the genre have always managed to combine a lot of different elements into a cohesive whole that overwhelms players with things to do, but also a drive to do them. Reckoning offers a pretty world, decent console-style combat and a ton of quests and lore. In the end though none of it ends up being that fun, and most of it feels tired and repetitive. I've heard games like Morrowind, Gothic 2 and Skyrim called "fetch quests" and "hiking simulators" but Reckoning is a whole new level of mundane tasks for mundane NPCs.

It's a little extra disappointing because the lore and core story are both great twists and explorations of the fantasy genre. I really wanted to know more about the world and conflict, even as I found myself skipping dialogue for the first time ever in an RPG because it was so banal and monotone. The quest design, dialogue and world just copy and paste MMO design so much that there is no real immersive feeling or drive to continue on. There is no raiding at the end of the tunnel, the gear doesn't matter since there is no competition and the quests are easy. You're just grinding for... well, for nothing. It ruins a great world and great lore.

On top of story, NPC and questing issues the game world is also a little flat. It's pretty a lot of the time, and I respect how colorful it is while most modern games obsessively focus on realism. At the same time though it is broken into small chunks, likely due to console RAM requirements, and even inside those open chunks it feels a lot like a bunch of hallways and repeated textures. The first 20-30 hours of the game can end up looking practically identical as you quest through an elf jungle with minor variation. It's a pretty world but not the best world to explore. Again it feels like a collection of MMO zones rather than a cohesive singleplayer RPG realm.

The combat is very different from most PC RPGs. It feels more like a God of War or Devil May Cry, and this seems to be why the game's fanbase praises it. I was never much for these hack n' slash combo-driven action games however and while fun it didn't keep me playing in spite of all the other faults. Your experience might differ, I know people who love this game because it finally gave them an RPG experience with combat they enjoyed. It probably depends on the kinds of games you enjoy beforehand.

The PC port is fine. Despite the console-style combat I actually found mouse and keyboard to be my preferred control method over my Xbox controller. It has a hotbar, fully customizable keys and the camera feels smooth and responsive with the mouse. The graphics options are fairly limited but the game still looks really nice, especially with AA forced through your GPU. The worst part of the visuals is how closely things can pop into view, something done because of low console memory that could have been extended on PC if they cared.

One important thing to note is the game requires internet to work if you buy the DLC. Both DLC packs authenticate when you launch the game, which is common for Origin and EA, but unlike Mass Effect 3 and others I have played through Origin Reckoning's DLC needs to authenticate every single time, which is not possible if you're offline. The game will tell you it cannot load your save as it relies on DLC which has not been authenticated. I googled a lot and discovered this is a known issue EA are not fixing, so it basically makes the Origin version an always online game. The Steam version does not do this but the version here on Amazon is the Origin one.

I personally had a two-star experience with Reckoning, playing for about 30 hours before the boredom got to be too much to bear and constantly annoyed by DLC server issues. I switched to another couple RPGs and instantly had more fun because of better designed worlds, quests and story moments. If combat is your focus however and you like console-style hack n' slash games, you might find Reckoning a lot more entertaining than I did.
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