E3: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

E3: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

image

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning shoves everything you love about the best RPGs into one package.

I was very impressed by the first look that 38 Studios gave us at Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, its massive RPG developed with the help of Ken Rolston, R.A. Salvatore, Todd McFarlane, Curt Schilling, and Big Huge Games. At E3, 38 Studios actually impressed me even more with gameplay specifics that show the breadth players will experience on their runs (plural) through the game.

In Reckoning, players awaken on the top of a pile of bodies. Everyone in Reckoning's world has a destiny, but because you were revived by a magical invention called the Well of Souls you forge your own. Players choose from four different races at the beginning of the game. You'll be able to fully customize the look of your character with all of the expected alterations, such as piercings, tattoos, ears, hair, face, mouth, nose, and all other associated human body parts and decorations.

Reckoning features 5 environmental zones each with their own unique looks, 125 dungeons, 4 giant towns, and plenty of villages in between. Our controlled demo started in a village with the player walking up to a guard and trying to pickpocket him. We got caught, and were accosted by a guard to either pay a fine, go to jail, or fight. Very Oblivion.

Pickpocketing is just one of many interesting skills improved by skill paths in Reckoning. For example, there's persuasion for dialog choices, stealth, detect hidden, and also varied crafting choices. Improving stealth will unlock more powerful stealth kills and help you sneak around to pickpocket innocents (or not-so-innocents). Dispel helps you get better at a mini-game to get into warded chests. Alchemy allows you to collect herbs to make potions. Blacksmithing lets you forge weapons with components found in the field, sometimes salvaged from traps disarmed with the detect traps skill. Sagecrafting gives you the power to turn shards into gems to be slotted into armor. The skills system looks very deep.

Reckoning also has no predefined character classes. Players put points into the skill trees of finesse, might, and sorcery, and unlock destiny cards as they do so. Destiny cards improve specific types of abilities using skills that players have put points into so that they'll be stronger no matter what they choose. These destinies vary from avenger to shadowcaster to wayfarer. There are tons.

Loot is totally Diablo. Randomly generated items pop up, as do uniques and sets. The demo showed the player killing some mages, looting their bodies, and equipping items right from the loot dialog which makes things easier.

The action-based combat system looked even better at E3 than in past demos. The player was making his way through a cave of summoners that were bringing demons from whatever demon plane they normally exist on. Spells and weapons slashes are all mixed into combos in Reckoning, but players won't have to memorize button taps or succeed through mashing 38 Studios assured us.

Once the initial wave of enemies was defeated, we found a friendly NPC that joined us. Talking to him, Reckoning noted which dialog choices were quest-related and which were there simply to help learn more about the world. We gradually collected purple energy from our downed foes, which put us into a Reckoning mode that made us stronger and able to use the powerful fate-shift kills. The summoners eventually brought out a super-powerful demon tyrant, showing enemy variety. An enemy teased at the very end of the demo was an even more massive demon named Balor, who bared his man-sized teeth.

In conclusion, Reckoning features elements of both Diablo and Oblivion, combined with an action-packed combat system, gorgeous world, and intriguing skill system that won't let us make bad decisions. I really don't see how RPG fans couldn't be excited for its 2012 release on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.

image
See all our coverage directly from the show floor.

Permalink

This game looks interesting to me and will be a game that I will keep on my radar as it gets closer to releasing.

I also think that if I was Curt Schilling, I would definitely want to make a video game after my days in the MLB were over, considering how much money he probably has. Too bad I only played through high school...

Wow, honestly at first I thought this game was going to fail miserably. Now... it is looking like a decent game. I can't wait to try a demo of it.

So, essentially you get to play as Anakha? (respect to anyone who get's the reference)

Still waiting on some information concerning the plot and universe of this game. It looks super tight and well thought through but I'm still getting a very generic feeling from the setting. It'd be nice to see a bit of story teasing mixed in with the gameplay.

Stiffkittin:
Still waiting on some information concerning the plot and universe of this game. It looks super tight and well thought through but I'm still getting a very generic feeling from the setting. It'd be nice to see a bit of story teasing mixed in with the gameplay.

The plot has been stated before. If I'm remembering it right, you're hunting down the person who killed you originally.

As for the universe itself, they have supposedly 10,000 years of it written out, but you won't be getting each and every tidbit because this world is meant for multiple games.

Given how often games make a big deal about your character's destiny I think it's great to see them turn this on its head and work the other way. However as much as I like Ken Rolston's and Mark Nelson's work on the Elder Scrolls I really can't stand Salvatore and his involvement has kept me firmly on the fence.

Its my understanding this is supposed to be the staging ground game for the MMO 38 studios is said to be working on. Thus far I am somewhat pleasantly surprised, though I am a little put off with how... WoWish it comes off. Not saying wow clone by any stretch, just seems vaguely reminiscent.

cursedseishi:

Stiffkittin:
Still waiting on some information concerning the plot and universe of this game. It looks super tight and well thought through but I'm still getting a very generic feeling from the setting. It'd be nice to see a bit of story teasing mixed in with the gameplay.

The plot has been stated before. If I'm remembering it right, you're hunting down the person who killed you originally.

As for the universe itself, they have supposedly 10,000 years of it written out, but you won't be getting each and every tidbit because this world is meant for multiple games.

Sure, I've heard that before but it's not a lot to go on you have to admit. No characters, no context apart from a resurrection machine and some gnome. For me that's more of a vague premise than a plot.

Considering how long it's been in the pipeline we don't know much about it apart from the gameplay. Don't get me wrong, I think the game looks great and I'd love it to be awesome. I'm not asking them to send me the 12 volume world history, but something to make the setting stand out a little would be nice, yeah. Something a bit more evocative than some knight with a big hammer fighting The Violator. It would be a pity, because if the world has no character I won't be inspired to play it, no matter how tight the mechanics are.

OptimisticPessimist:
So, essentially you get to play as Anakha? (respect to anyone who get's the reference)

Actually, I think you play as Nathan Brazil. Or perhaps Mavra Chang. (to add even more obscure-reference points)

OptimisticPessimist:
So, essentially you get to play as Anakha? (respect to anyone who get's the reference)

Actually, Anakha's busy at home with Aphrael/Danae and Ehlana. Sure wish Eddings would write a sequel to those two series - would love to see how Danae / Talen turns out!

OT: The game does look mighty interesting to me; I've always enjoyed Salvatore's books.

skyojedi:

OptimisticPessimist:
So, essentially you get to play as Anakha? (respect to anyone who get's the reference)

Actually, Anakha's busy at home with Aphrael/Danae and Ehlana. Sure wish Eddings would write a sequel to those two series - would love to see how Danae / Talen turns out!

OT: The game does look mighty interesting to me; I've always enjoyed Salvatore's books.

I'm very sorry to inform you that David Eddings will not be writing that sequel. You see, he's kind of dead. Which sucks. Alot.

Man, don't know how the hell I missed *that*! And it was almost exactly two years ago, too - guess I am a little out of touch after living in Japan the past five years! Bummer, now I'll never know how that story will turn out.

Hopefully, Salvatore still has quite a few years (and books) left in him, though his books have lately tended more towards the tragic or bittersweet. I'm very interested to see where he takes the Amalur story.

Gameplay looks pretty solid so far, like a simplified, but still enjoyable Devil May Cry style of fighting. I like the "poison enemies by teleporting through them" ability that the Shadowcaster has. I just hope that there's some balance as far as the random item drops go, so that you're not compelled to kill the same boss over and over again in order to get the "Omega Kickass Sword of Great Justice," when 99% of the time the boss will just drop a "Worthless Club of Monkey Crap."

Stiffkittin:

cursedseishi:

Stiffkittin:
Still waiting on some information concerning the plot and universe of this game. It looks super tight and well thought through but I'm still getting a very generic feeling from the setting. It'd be nice to see a bit of story teasing mixed in with the gameplay.

The plot has been stated before. If I'm remembering it right, you're hunting down the person who killed you originally.

As for the universe itself, they have supposedly 10,000 years of it written out, but you won't be getting each and every tidbit because this world is meant for multiple games.

Sure, I've heard that before but it's not a lot to go on you have to admit. No characters, no context apart from a resurrection machine and some gnome. For me that's more of a vague premise than a plot.

Considering how long it's been in the pipeline we don't know much about it apart from the gameplay. Don't get me wrong, I think the game looks great and I'd love it to be awesome. I'm not asking them to send me the 12 volume world history, but something to make the setting stand out a little would be nice, yeah. Something a bit more evocative than some knight with a big hammer fighting The Violator. It would be a pity, because if the world has no character I won't be inspired to play it, no matter how tight the mechanics are.

Well they had Salvatore apparently help write an entire history for the the world so based on his previous work I wouldn't worry.

I didn't know this game existed until just now, and I feel very bad for that. I hope this game does very very well, I'm a little tired of Bethesda being the only game in town for this kind of thing...

I have great feeling about this game since I read about it in The Escapist Magazine issue. One of my most anticipated games!

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here