Release Date: September 8, 2020
Composer: Grant Kirkhope
Developers: Kaiko, 38 Studios, Big Huge Games
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Designers: R. A. Salvatore, Todd McFarlane, Ken Rolston
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Genre: Role-Playing » Action RPG
Links To Purchase
PS4 Collector's Edition: https://amzn.to/35CD0AG
Xbox One Standard: https://amzn.to/2RwMAN9
Xbox One Collector's Edition: https://amzn.to/2RuxSq3
"Review Code Provided By THQ Nordic"
The 2010s were a time when THQ was pumping out a lot of titles from the Darksiders franchise to the Red Faction series and more. That was also the time that THQ went under with Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning being one of their last released titles which didn’t do well but did go on to be a cult classic that had fans for the last near decade wish for a rerelease on modern consoles. THQ was resurrected as THQ Nordic and gained back their IPs and one of the titles that was brought back in a remastered format was none other than Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. The question now is does this cult classic live up to the hype in its remastered format able to gain the respect and love it’s fans claim it deserves or will it be its day of reckoning where it’s cast back into the abyss of obscurity? Let’s find out!
Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning's story is written by New York Times bestselling author R.A Salvatore. The game starts when your character wakes up in the Well of Souls, an arcane contraption created by dwarves that can bring back the dead. Your resurrected hero is way more than someone brought back to life. With the threads of fate in the world of Amalur have been altered to make this happen, you are left without a pre-ordained destiny which allows you to decide their your own fate and also alter the fates of other inhabitants of Amalur which will help you put an end to the long war against the Winter Court that has been terrorizing the land.
The gameplay is just as good now as it was back when the game originally released with a fun with you being able to attack, block, dodge, and sprint. The combat system seems simple at first as you’d think you’d just be repeatedly smashing the attack button however as you progress in the game you’ll find the combat is much deeper than you’d think as gain new attacks and utilize your secondary equipped weapon and not to mention the magic you get as well.
You can attack with anything from a sword, hammer, dual daggers, dual short swords, magic staff, great sword, and bow. With your melee weapons you can do your standard attacks all the while mixing it in with your secondary weapons and with each attack you can execute different variations of attacks by attacking and then pausing for a second and continuing onwards with attacking leading to new attack strings.
Magic attacks range from electricity all the way to fire and more and are ranged and executed fairly quickly by holding down the shoulder button and pressing one of the designated face buttons. You can block incoming attacks with your shoulder button and if timed properly you will be able to parry an incoming attack leaving your enemies wide open to get wrecked with your combat prowess.
There’s a very in-depth skill tree system that allows you to gain various stat boosts and buffs as well as unlock more weapon skills and open up the ability to utilize more weapons and equipment as you gain experience and level up your character.
Weapons and armor all have stats that give you passive and active buffs yet whats cool is how your equipment is all subject to damaging and eventual breaking and to maintain your stuff you’ll need to get repair kits to keep them in tip top shape.
Interacting with various NPCs is….well for lack of a better term a complete copy paste of what BioWare had been doing for years with its weapon wheel choice system of how you can talk to characters and learn more about whats going on and the people you’re talking to. Another thing pulled form Mass Effect and all BioWare titles is the Renegade Paragon system which allows you to persuade or threaten NPCs in dialogue and also you have the option to loot and steal and pickpocket from NPCs as well as turn on aggressive mode and attack them to gain a negative reputation.
There’s the stealth aspects of the game which’ll have you crouching and able to either sneak past enemies to get to your next destination undetected ot you can use it to sneak up on them to both pickpocket them or perform an execution. Now the stealth isn’t on the level of games such as Metal Gear Solid or even Splinter Cell but it is definitely an appreciated mechanic in the game.
Even as a remaster this game is clearly a last generation game with some added details here and there and some additional bloom effect to mask what is essentially a game from 2012. While that’s not a bad thing per say; it is worth mentioning if you were coming into this expecting it to look on the level of a remaster that changed things fully then you will be disappointed. When you change equipment it visually changes on your character and the weapons all look unique from one another from swords to hammers and more.
The game isn’t ugly but it has a lot of that jank that was ever so present back in the days of the PS3/360 and often times it has a lot of draw distance and texture pop-ins that appear at the most random of moments as you explore areas. Character models have unnatural movements and animations at times that just looks terrible and then you have the ragdoll physics that sometimes look like someone is having a body spasm.
When it comes to character faces…… yea it ain’t a looker and the lip-synching is all over the place. Character faces often look like they came out of the original Fable on the Xbox with many cartoonish looking astetheics.
Environments are decent looking with a lot of flora and fauna going on, however, there is a lot of instances as mentioned earlier of pop-in textures and draw distance which is odd considering when this game was originally released and you’d expect it to be fixed in the remaster but it isn’t. You’ll find yourself running through an area or dungeon and then you’ll see backgrounds pop in as if only being loaded in recently which is incredibly strange.
Graphically this game is serviceable and nothing more.
The voice acting is solid with convincing performances that draw you into the world. The music for the overworld, towns, and dungeon are all particularly good and suit the area that you’re in. The sounds of explosions, enemy shrills, sword clangs, steel on bone and sinew, and more sound just as you would expect.
Not really a lot to touch on here as its all pretty solid!
See the graphics section……. Honestly the true downside here is how the games animations and graphics are as it seems like no effort was taken to address the previous issues in the game and it’s sad. Other than that I have no issues with the game.
While many will and have given this remaster a bad rap; for me I’m just glad to see this cult classic back and on modern consoles with some tweaks here and there. With an incredible story, deep skill tree system, and really good combat; there’s not really anything to not like in Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning. Is it graphically impressive? No. Is it a really good game that’ll suck you in for hours? YES! Definitely give this cult classic a try and if you like great games then give it a buy but ultimately the choice is left up you to decide and hopefully you give this gem a chance and also I hope we get a sequel finally.