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Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Impressions

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a new RPG from 38 Studios inspired by the books of R.A. Salvatore and his stories that contain over 10,000 years of history. The game is set in Salvatore’s Age of Arcana and there are several braches and unique points of this area of the story that affect the characters in this action-based game.

Even from the beginning, the game already allows you to be unique. The character creation sliders allow tons of possibilities creating the look of your character. First, you choose between four different classifications. There are two different looks of humans, high elves and dark elves. After you choose which race you want to play, you choose a Patron God you’d like your character to follow. This will give you different abilities and advantages later on in the game. To get more detailed with your character, you can choose from a multitude of accessories for your character to wear. You can pick between several different piercings, earrings and over 30 tattoos.

The designers wanted this RPG to have real action-based combat. To make it to their liking, they had to create their own engine to run the different effects in the game, such as the attacking system, combo system, magical abilities and finishing moves. The attacking in the game is simple: one button to swing your weapon and use basic attacks. You can have two weapons equipped at a time and you use two separate buttons to control them. As you build your attacks, you start to automatically create combos. That’s right; no memorizing button sequences for different combo attacks. Also, the timing of your attacks changes the combos you get and you can also change between your two equipped weapons mid-combo. This makes for interesting attacks and several different abilities and advantages against different enemies.

This lush forest hides dark secrets in the dungeon ahead.

Another neat feature about the combat is the enemy A.I.. Enemies will actually team up and coordinate against you, using their abilities together to distract and/or disable you so the others can do damage. Also, the loot system in the game is very similar to the randomly generated loot system in Diablo, so you never know what you’re going to get, but there’s always a chance to get an item you need so you don’t have to dungeon crawl to get that special piece of gear you’re looking for.

The developers wanted the game outside of combat to be just as enjoyable as the fighting in the game. The detail of the environment has been a big priority for the team and they strive to make every single inch of the game realistic. They explained that they wanted the world to feel real and true to the books. Everything down to the time of day affects the world. NPCs in the game will start going inside for the night when the sun sets, the barkeep will start cleaning up, different enemies will appear in the shadows of the woods to jump out at you in the dark and will disappear when the sun comes back up again.

Crafting in the game is limited to three professions: Sagecraft, which is making sockets and gemming your items on your gear, Blacksmithing and Alchemy. There wasn’t any plans told about having a reputation system, but there was some mention that there would be a way to affect the outcome of your game by the choices you make when talking to NPCs. However,  making these choices won’t give you a good or evil bar. The changes are very minimal, but will none-the-less change the outcome.

This troll is one of many creatures you'll encounter in Reckoning's dungeons.

Last, but certainly not least, they showed us a glimpse at the Destiny System. As you level up, you get points to give bonuses to stats such as sorcery or melee attacks depending on the class you choose for yourself. Further along, you get different destinies which are similar to talent trees that you put points into to give you new abilities and spells to use in battle. The deeper you go into these trees, the more you specialize your abilities. If you choose to put points into more than one destiny tree, you can unlock new hybrid trees so you can still be a warrior, but have survival skills as well as heavy damage attacks, for example.

The game looks very promising for players that want an action packed single player RPG game with endless possibilities. This game has tons for players to do and isn’t restricted to a single story path. You can go anywhere in the world at any time and always unlock  new events, items and plot lines.


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