BRR: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Demo Impressions

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Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning was one of my most anticipated of 2012, and to much my surprise a demo was released.  So I went and downloaded its demos, played it for about 90 minutes and here are my first impressions.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Demo Impressions!
Release Date: 7/2/2012
Platforms: Xbox 360 (Demoed) , Playstation 3, PC

After placing us in a newly crafted fantasy world, complete with intro and all, you learn that your character has died before you even named and created him or her.  After being tossed down into a pit, you awaken due to something call the Well of Souls.  Which is essentially a pit of reincarnation, however some blokes aren’t too keen on the idea of eternal life, so they go in to mess up the dwarf occupied ruins you found yourself in.  During this you enter a combat tutorial of sorts and you see how Reckoning is different from other RPGs.  Right off the bat you are shown what it’s like to be a fighter, rogue, stealthy character, or mage.  But, you get to choose what type of character you want to be at any point in the game.  There is also a 3 way venn diagram of Destinies, which are not necessarily classes, just boosts for whatever character set up you currently have.  

However, due to the demo just being the beginning of the game, you aren’t given much time to make an actual character, but you can still enjoy the combat system.  You are able to freely switch between two weapons and six abilities in combat, you have four abilities, a shield, and a very handy dodge button.  They all allow for unique fighting styles, even within the tutorial.  It all has a sense of flow to it, but can create the feeling of being both too loose, and too stiff.  It is a very odd combination, with dodging being a stationary roll, and swordplay being divided into three part combos, and magic not always aiming properly, it feels somewhat sloppy.  Although, I did manage to set my controls and movement methods to a form of muscle memory afterwards, so it can’t be all bad.

But, back to the plot, you are then sent out of the ruins and thrusted into the beautiful and nature filled fauna of Amalur.  After stumbling around and getting my ass handed to me by wolves, who were impossible to hit with my longsword, I ran into a Fateweaver, a man who can tell what one’s destiny is.  And this is where the games mythology gets unique, it creates an entire society of people who believe that they can’t do anything that is not written in the already finished books of time.  It is a very other worldly and cult fear that boosted my immersion and desire to talk with people by a significant margin. 

Afterwards, the game said that I had 45 minutes to run around and admire it’s lovely world and animations.  But, as I went into the one path that would let me out of these woods, I encountered an invisible wall and a bland landscape, so I went into a dead in cave three times in order to get it too work.  I finally entered the new area, the first town in the game, and was asked to revive some sort of immortal, this sent me of a multi-layered side quest, where I found treasure, fought enemies, and had these wooden goblins burst into wood texture for some reason.  This was most likely something due to the demo, since other than with my version, I did not see anything that even resembled a glitch.  

But, dispute my gripes, I still believe that Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning will be a very solid game, although not a game that will receive many, if any awards.  From fairly dry and dull lore, to combat that failed to reach the sweet spot, and a few glitches.  On the other side, the amazing visuals and animations, the solid voicework, variety in the combat styles, and the promised 200 hours of possible gameplay, this game could end up being something grand.

//But I gave it a rubbish score, because of… Y’know what?  I’ll just get to that in the review.

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