Initial Impressions of Kingdoms of Amalur: The Reckoning

Initial Impressions of Kingdoms of Amalur: The Reckoning
It’s Feb 9, 2012 and I have to get ready to go film so I will give the quick highlights of what I like- a sort of Twitter pitch- followed with more  (very stream of consciousness styled) detail:

I find Kingdoms of AmalurReckoning  as a blend of Elder Scrolls and God of War drawn in a Fable-esque art style world and characters.

Since these are three of my top favorite non FPS games, it is easy to fall in love. Not having read any reviews or anything on it whatsoever, here are a few reasons why: Amalur:The Reckoning is incredibly easy to pick up and start enjoying. Many RPGs require a background in RPG gaming. While I do have that, I have many models who are new to the genre. I usually suggest the Fable 3  as a nice place to start, since it  has an approachable art style, has less gore (which is an option lots of girls, like myself, prefer), and the basics in learning about skills without too much dear of dying. Then probably Mass Effect before delving in deeper. I recall suggesting Oblivion to one of my friends/models not realizing she did not have the background for it. While talking she said she wanted to be a mage and vampire in excitement! I tried to discourage her from that suggesting she start as a warrior, but she wouldn’t hear of it. As you guessed, she dropped the game in nothing flat because it was too hard and she kept dying. Amalur:The Reckoning lets you know from the beginning hour when building your character that you will be able to change everything including appearance later on if you want for just the cost of XP. I hope this continues to be a trend. I recall when picking up Skyrim (currently my very favorite game that finally booted God of War out of first place) that Todd Howard (also one of my fav devs) had made sure that the player would not have to restart after countless hours into the game if there was a desire to change the direction of the character’s skills. I’d say from how much I have played of A:TR that Skyrim is for a bit more experienced RPGer, but is far more approachable than Morrowind and Oblivion in that respect.

Amalur:The Reckoning  is quite intuitive and the training is ample and easy to pick up. The layout is not daunting like some RPGs, perhaps because of the way they lead the player into the game. Trying out all the weapons and overlooking all the skill trees, I ended up keeping my original plan for my Mage.  Above is a picture of her. Her name is VerenduSucus (which is latin for Awesome or Reverend Sauce). It introduces some of the God of War timed button actions and cutscenes type gameplay after getting the initial basics down pat. My new company Janimation actually makes in game cutscenes and trailers with the game’s assets *shameless plug* and it is super cool to be a part of that whole arena. One of my biggest elations about it? It has AWESOME MAPPING! I cannot tell you how many times I love a game but get frustrated at the dang maps or lack thereof. A:TR has a great mini map that can be locked North, great local and world maps that can be very easily accessed. It is just all around win in the maps department. I can tell you this is a majorly important thing for me since I have a great irl sense of direction (maybe the Native American bloods in me) but almost zero in game sense of direction. I actually rage quit top tier AAA games because of the crappy maps. The storyline is great from the very first opening shot. I do not see why that would stop, and am hopeful it continues. It also sets the player up for a nice introduction into the gameplay. Amalur:The Reckoning has fun weapons and I have just barely started. I wouldn’t say they are as innovative as the ones I recently played in Resistance 3 which were a downright endless ingenious amusement, but I am not that far into A:TR either. As soon as you put in the disc, I mean from the first note, Amalur: The Reckoning has a breathtaking score and the voice over is fun. I wouldn’t say that it is always completely natural sounding, but thus far it is perfectly natural sounding for the characters and the way they are drawn. I find the VO delightful. Ugh! I HAVE to get ready to go and have so much more to say- let me leave it with this incredibly important statement. With Amalur:The Reckoning I do not have to consult outside sources such as the inserted pamphlet or worse GameFAQs to get through the game! This is my NUMBER ONE complaint about games. I do eventually end up enjoying the consulting of outside sources, like when wrapping up achievements, but want to be able to play my game the first time through without having to turn on the lights, look through a book, or open my laptop and iPad. I want to be able to be able to access everything in my game OR I get taken out of it, literally. So thank you 38Studios for making it so I can get off work, go to my game, and just get transported into Amalur until I am ready to stop… which for these first few nights has been quite difficult. HA! so I just opened up the wiki so I could link to it in this article! Looks like I am experiencing A:TR the way it was intended. hehehe I love it when that happens. I feel sort of validated in my impressions. Thanks again 38Studios for making what is sure to be a fun, addictive game.