Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning Review
THQ Nordic recently released a remaster of the RPG game Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning on PC and consoles, which many played back in 2012. This company has long revived the series (Gothic, Spellforce, Desperados) left by the developers, but loved by the players, and now it has returned to us an RPG created with the participation of the author of «Spawn» Todd McFarlane and the game designer of the two The Elder Scrolls (Morrowind and Oblivion) Ken Rolston. The author Robert Salvatore also contributed to the development of Kingdoms of Amalur — he was responsible for the game’s script.
Events, as the name implies, take place in the kingdoms of Amalur. Most of the traditional fantasy races (humans, gnomes, elves, colossus, jotuns and others) are eaten here according to the principle of mortality and are called Children of Dust. For a long time, they all lived peacefully under the strict supervision of immortal fairies, and at the same time each had their own destiny, which no one could change. Everything changed when Gadflow, a leader whose philosophy was based on racial purity, appeared among the fairies. He lures to his side a good half of the representatives of his people, calls his army Tuatha and starts the «Crystal War» against unworthy mortals. The latter have no chance — even if they outnumber fairies, after each battle they become less and less. Tuatha, in turn, are revived and returned to the battlefield in the same number.
The Children of Dust are doomed and the war is drawing to a dark end. But then the main character appears. The game begins with his death and the body of the character (whose personality and race the player configures himself) is thrown to the corpses in the experimental Source of Souls, created by the dwarf scientist Fomiros Hyug. Suddenly, a hero named Fateless One («the one who has no destiny»), resurrects, but does not remember anything about his death. Here he learns that he has become the only successful model of the experiment — before him it was possible only to grow individual body parts. At this moment, the Tuatha attack the Source of Souls and he has to flee.
The game’s pluses include its combat system. At first, all that is available to the player is the main attack, hit with the secondary weapon, tactical roll and block. Each enemy just needs to «call» to death, sometimes dodging his attack or hiding behind a shield. But, as he develops, the player acquires new attacks and magical abilities — he learns to set ice traps, poison the victim, throw lightning bolts and cause earthquakes. After several hours of play, a fight with a rather «fat» monster turns into a colorful action game, where powerful blows with a two-handed flaming sword alternate with streams of magic. Well, if you don’t want to engage in open confrontation, you can easily get close behind and kill the enemy in stealth mode.
We should also mention the scale of fate, which fills up as damage is dealt. Switching to a special mode, Fateless One moves faster, deals more damage, and sometimes can kill almost any enemy with one blow, effectively cutting off his thread of Fate.
The variety of attacks is provided by numerous weapons. There is everything your heart desires — light swords, heavy swords, hammers, daggers, magic staves, chakrams, bows and harpoons. Among them there are both ordinary and magical, capable of poisoning, freezing or setting fire to opponents. In addition, the level of possession of each type of weapon depends on the level of the hero’s skills. The system of its development, we note, is also extremely ramified here — you can develop the skill of the hammer, or you can focus on the bow. In addition, the character has separate abilities for pumping — blacksmithing, alchemy, charm and others. Their level, for example, determines how much you pay a fine if you commit a crime. All this combine of abilities allows you to play at high levels with a real killing machine, which, instead of rolls, teleports, and instead of a long monotonous chopping with a sword, it fences delicately.
If the player is not satisfied with the weapon that can be picked up, he is given the opportunity to make it himself — all that is needed for this is to collect the necessary materials and find a forge. It’s the same with potions. Instead of buying a red bottle, you can make one with collected herbs. In this part of the game there is a field for experiment — if there is no required alchemical recipe, you can mix random components and get an unknown potion. It can have both positive and negative effects on the hero.
What it looks like
Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning is exactly what a remaster: it increased the resolution of the original picture, reworked the lighting (and collected all the DLC in one set), but did nothing fundamentally new with the graphics. That is, it is still a game of 2012, which, however, has a certain charm — like, say, Fable 2.
Whom to take
In general, Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning will appeal to corrosive players who are interested in understanding how one fire sword differs from another and listening to long speeches about the relationship of different races. Considering dozens of types of weapons, armor and magic, various combinations of blows and abilities, the game is hardly suitable for speedrun-passing. But if you want to plunge deeply into the atmosphere of nostalgia and spend a few hours in an old-style RPG, then this is the perfect choice.