E3 2011: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (Impressions)

by: John -
More On: E3 2011 Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Game: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Developer: Big Huge Games / 38 Studios
Release Window/Date: Q1 2012
What's polished: The combat system, graphics
What needs polish: Defining feature, tightening up some of the animations

Curt Schilling maybe a great baseball legend but he's a huge gamer as well. Along with Big Huge Games, Curt's company 38 Studios is developing an open world RPG called Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.

The demo at the Electronic Arts booth showed off some of the core concepts of the game. It's a third person action RPG with some great artwork as it should since Todd McFarlane is the one behind it.

You start out creating a character from four races along with a plethora of options to adjust how your character look. From facial structure to types of tattoo and piercings, there are a ton of ways to create a character just how you would like them to look. Unlike most RPGs, you don't select a class to play but rather develop into one based on how you play.

Reckoning has a ton of places you can check out. There are five distinct environments to traverse through, over 125 dungeons, 4 large cities, and plenty of towns to visit. Suffice to say, there will be plenty of areas to discover and walk around. Since your character is unique in the world in that he's been brought back from the dead, you'll see some of the environment react to you. For example, some plants were shown to glow and grow when the character pass by them adding some life to the world.

The action is fast and furious and there were some great combos displayed with the character fighting some of the monsters shown. As the character performed some intricate sword swinging combos, he followed up with a spell that grew stalagmites out of the ground in various successions to finish off the enemy.

When powered up from fate energy, one can unleash reckoning mode where you do increase damage, time slows down, and you can perform finish moves called fate shift kills. These fate shift kills offer up a visually appealing way to take out the enemy.

When the presenter said the combat was unique for an RPG, he wasn't kidding. It's very, very "actiony" and something that's different from other third person action games in this area.

Crafting and alchemy is also an integral part of Reckoning. With over 100 ingredients, you'll have a menu of items to create. You'll also be able to craft your own weapons or armor as well. Shards can be found in the wild and combined to create gems that can be inserted into your equipment to give enhanced capabilities.

Some different skills were also demonstrated in the presentation. If your character has detect hidden, they maybe able find alternative paths and hidden items. With the persuasion skill, new dialog and even new paths to the quest can be uncovered.

Reckoning also has three distinct skill trees that you can pick and choose from to upgrade your character. You don't have to concentrate on one skill tree so you're free to build using a combination of them, but you can go down one path if you so desire.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning seems to combine elements from various RPGs and brings forth a potential new franchise for EA to publish. I had no idea what I was going to get when going in to see Reckoning, but what I saw shows promise.