With The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim still spinning in most RPG enthusiasts’ systems it would be easy to overlook Big Huge Game and 38 Studio’s soon to be released Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. However, the more I see of Kingdoms of Amalur the more convinced I am that dismissing this game would be a huge mistake. With each new preview I’ve seen, not to mention the demo, I find myself getting more and more excited about what this game has to offer.
So here are my Top 5 reasons to not overlook Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.
With many of the top tier games of today coming in at totals of eight to ten hours, the length of a game has become a selling point by itself. Kingdoms of Amalur’s developers have recently stated that some of the “speed runs” of the game, wherein the tester completed every quest, took around two hundred hours. That’s a very encouraging number to gamers looking to throw down sixty big ones on a game.
With the advent of HD gaming, gamers have been treated to visuals that would have been hard to imagine in the glory days of the Super Nintendo. Unfortunately, with these high definition visuals comes cries for even more realistic color palates which tend to leave the screen looking a little drab. In fact, the most common theme on our televisions is a brown and grey world. That’s why I find it refreshing when a game comes out with a flair for color. It’s nice to see a game that’s not afraid to embrace a vibrant world.
Listen, I love Skyrim. I could roam the hills and valleys, discovering hidden treasures and gliding from one adventure to the next for the rest of my days. But let’s be honest, swinging a weapon in Skyrim feels less like unleashing the true power of the Dragonborn and more like you’re hitting somebody with a pool noodle that’s been left out in the sun.
Kingdoms of Amalur looks to put some really great gameplay behind the huge open world RPG fans enjoy. Controlling more like a hack and slash game, Amalur handles very tightly to add a nice foundation for the huge world Big Huge Games is creating.
When you hear of freedom in games today the thinking tends to go in two directions. There is the freedom that games such as Bioware’s Mass Effect series offer you by allowing you to make your own choices, for good or evil, that will help shape your game. Then there is the freedom that series such as Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls or Fallout offer you, giving you an enormous open world that allows you to explore at your leisure and follow the story in whatever order you want.
The freedom I am excited about in Kingdoms of Amalur concerns neither of these. In Kingdoms of Amalur your character is not bound to fate, and as such is not confined to one path. Long story short, if you get sick of being a mage halfway through the game you can take those points and redistribute them however you feel. You won’t be completley tethered to your choices. I couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of that. Allowing the player to play exactly how they wish at all times is certainly a fresh idea.
1) R. A. Salvatore
The pedigree behind this game is fantastic. The art design is being done by Todd Mcfarlane, whom you may know from the Spawn series or his many toy lines. The lead designer behind the game just so happens to be the man who also headed up both The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind as well as The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion. Yes, there is reason to be excited for both of those things. But if I may get a bit personnel for a bit, and since it’s my list you can’t really stop me, I am more excited about R. A. Salvatore doing the story and lore for the game.
If you are unaware of R.A. Salvatore’s writing he is a bestselling author many times over, most famous for his Forgotten Realms novels staring Drizzt Do’urden. Not only is this one of my favorite fantasy series, it’s also my fathers. So to say I am excited for a game based around the man whose provided many of my favorite childhood memories is an understatement. If only a certain Drow and his Dwarven friend Bruenor manage to get mentioned in the game. A boy can dream can’t he?
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