182 of 208 people found the following review helpful
A Great Mix of All That Is Good In Games,
This review is from: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
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:
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.
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.
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.
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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Showing 1-10 of 22 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 7, 2012 6:14:30 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 7, 2012 6:15:14 AM PST
The Black Knight says:
Posted on Feb 7, 2012 8:15:50 AM PST
F. Baldwin says:
How does it compare to Skyrim?
Posted on Feb 7, 2012 9:26:29 AM PST
John Kitchen says:
Apparently the demo does not provide an option to invert the Y axis. This would make it unplayable for me. Does the full game have this option?
Posted on Feb 7, 2012 10:06:49 AM PST
G. Chadwell says:
Great review! Thanks!
Posted on Feb 7, 2012 1:48:51 PM PST
does the main character talk? i did not think so in the demo...
Posted on Feb 7, 2012 2:30:53 PM PST
You were able to activate the retail boxed version of the game on Steam? Or did you download it? Just want to confirm that I have a choice between Origin and Steam. Thanks.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2012 7:04:22 AM PST
I purchased directly from Steam, from what I understand any other downloads are linked with Origin.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2012 6:37:29 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 9, 2012 6:38:05 AM PST
John Kitchen says:
Heru, Thank you for confirming this!