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Jun. 22nd, 2012 @ 10:15 pm Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Current Mood: excitedexcited
I've been playing Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning for quite a bit now. And I quite like it -- it might be even more entertaining than Skyrim.

Amalur decided that they didn't want to go for a 'realistic' look -- instead, they let Todd McFarlane (of comic book fame) do the character designs. They're quite detailed (and as usual, you can customise the looks of your character quite a bit), but they're kinda... cartoony. Which is good, because it avoids the whole uncanny valley-thing that Skyrim has going on. Same with the environments: very colorful, detailed and lush.

The background is pretty detailed as well. "Epic" doesn't even begin to describe the main questline -- the backdrop is a war between the immortal Fae and the mortal races. The various factions are well-crafted as well. It all makes sense, and as you gradually learn more about the world, it all fits together. I especially liked the Court of Ballads questline, because it gives a very interesting look into how the Fae deal with their immortality. That's some inspired stuff!

The side quests are amusing. Sure, there's the usual "go there and take that, bring it back to me"-type of quest, but there are also many dungeon crawls included. And in some areas, there are mini-questlines that you gradually unlock, unfolding a cool story of it's own.

Combat is action-oriented, like it's a fighting game. You press buttons, time your attacks, jump around, use a bow... A nice break from the tactical, 'realistic' combat in Skyrim and Oblivion.

I'm about 33 hours into the game, and I'm not getting bored yet. It's 'lightweight' in the sense that it's not all dark and foreboding. And since the studio that created the game has gone bankrupt (it wasn't the big hit they thought it would be), the game is getting cheaper all the time. It can be had for under EUR 30 new, and even less than that second hand.
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Date:June 23rd, 2012 11:13 am (UTC)
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Tell me about the controls of this game. Can it be paused to quaff healing potions like in Skyrim? Or is it more action-based? Did you get it for the PS3? How do you like the controls? Which spells use which buttons?

My sweaty hands know my keyboard very well, but are less agile with a gamepad. Still, some games are obviously made for a gamepad, while others can work well on a keyboard. Which one is this?
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Date:June 23rd, 2012 06:35 pm (UTC)
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The controls use basically only three buttons: one for the primary weapon, one for the secondary weapon and one for a dodge-roll. The left shoulder button is used for blocking with a shield, and the right shoulder button for activating special attacks/spells.
Quaffing potions doesn't even require entering the menu: left button on the D-pad is healing, right button is mana potion.
It is much, much more action-based that Skyrim. Skyrim goes for grim realism, Amalur goes for colourful and cool moves.
Yes, I am playing it on the PS3 -- where else? ;) I like the controls OK -- I don't think this game benefits significantly from using a keyboard. And you can configure which spells/attacks are under which buttons, so that's good.

You can download a free demo from the Playstation Store. The demo is actually the beginning of the game, so it shows the various things you can do, as well as set the stage for the plot, so to speak. When you get to the first village, you have another 45 minutes to play -- though there's no save possibility in the demo.
If you go through the demo, you get some special armour to be used in the full game. But if you're not going for a fighter, the armour is pretty useless.
I think it's worthwhile to download the demo, because it gives a good impression of what the full game is like. Making informed purchasing decisions is always good.
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Date:June 23rd, 2012 07:14 pm (UTC)
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yay for demos. Going to check it out.

The pc is still my gaming machine of choice, but this game may be better suited for the gamepad the way you explain it. Skyrim was pretty well-suited for the keyboard, but then it basically had the same controls as Fallout 3, one of my favourites of all times.
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