Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning was a promising title that was originally released back in 2012, it was planned to have a series however due to poor management and developer leadership 38 Studios was shut down. Now with new publishers THQ Nordic picking up the title and remastering studio Kaiko helping to bring the game up to scratch for current gen consoles, Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning now has another shot at returning the original classic back to the limelight.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning puts you in the shoes of a mortal known as the ‘Fateless One’. Fallen in battle and revived by gnomes, the ‘Fateless One’ sets on a new path to destroy the dragon god Tirnoch and its followers that are waging a “Crystal War” to eradicate all races within The Faelands (one of the Kingdoms of Amalur) and neighbouring kingdoms.
The first thing that is really eye-catching within Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning is its gameplay. Best described as an open RPG world that resembles Skyrim mixed in with the combat system that resembles God of War, I can see why this game has a strong adventure progression that has its player engaged all the way through.
You can pick from three classes; Warrior, Rogue and Mage. Each class has its own skill sets that allow you to further progress your character further by levelling up. Warrior is a heavy-hitting class, Rogue is more a speed-based class and Mage is a magic-wielding elemental damage class. I found myself using the mage class. The impressive use of combat as well as the unique dodging system and overall feel of combat is extremely satisfying. Even the execution and display of combat is impressive to watch.
The inclusion of character creation also gives you the option of creating your own character to progress through the story. Players have access to character development system called ‘Destiny’, which helps develop your character more by gaining Destiny Points through levelling up. With these points you can learn new combat skills and crafting skills that will help you throughout the main campaign. This really encourages the gamer to choose and build what kind of warrior, rogue or mage they want to be.
If you do change your mind with which abilities you unlock, you can use what is called a ‘Fate Weaver’, which refunds all your points and allows you to choose your abilities again. However, it does come at a hefty coin price that doubles every time you make the purchase. What is an RPG game without forging and alchemy? The game also includes a forging and alchemy talent to help create stronger weapons and potions to assist with your journey, which is fun to piece around and experiment with your resources.
I found the game became easier as I levelled up, so the enemies weren’t as challenging and it felt like a breeze, which can at times can be a bit boring but it definitely helps with making exploration much easier. Travelling in dungeons was annoying as there is no fast-track system, so once you’ve completed exploring a dungeon, you have to run through it all again to get back to the start. Salvaging and collecting items can get annoying regarding running out of space quickly, so getting a house with a chest in it recommended to store items, as well as purchasing backpacks which is heavily encouraged.
I was curious to see what the visual differences were between the original game and the current gen version were. Disappointingly there are no real changes to visuals and art style, either little or no changes have been made at all. In a remastered version you would think that there would be more sharper changes to visuals and that with comparisons, they can be seen instantly. However, with this game, placing the original to the remastered, I find the differences hard to see. Even character faces lack in detail and textures within the graphics look blotchy. I also found the loading times when entering new places often took way too long to load and wasn’t instant. I was also sadly disappointed to run into corrupted saves, as well the game heavily glitching at times and sometimes crashing too. The lip-syncing animation in the game was also way off, which really doesn’t fulfil that this is a proper remastered title.
On the brightside, I really enjoyed Grant Kirkhope’s soundtrack that he composed for the game and found the music really uplifted the progression and made me appreciate the journey I was partaking in more.
Overall Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning delivers amazing in its combat in gameplay. It has a solid plotline and there is so much to explore and do in this game. Unfortunately, it falls short in its visuals and technical flaws, and doesn’t really feel like a fulfilling remastered title, as just feels like the original was just released onto current gen consoles. If you are new to the series and feel like going on a long RPG adventure, I do recommend purchasing the title. However, if you already own a copy of the original game Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, I believe that regarding buying the remastered version, unless you are a fan and love collecting games, there honestly aren’t really any major outstanding differences.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning is available now on Playstation 4, XBOX One and PC.