E3 2011: ‘Reckoning’ looks fantastic

Screen cap from the Reckoning live demo. Map shown.

We’re big fans of RPG’s here at Keen and Graev’s Gaming Blog.  Elder Scrolls, Witcher, Neverwinter Nights, and even Fable are just some of the titles we really enjoy.  It seems like a no-brainer then to conclude that we’re excited for 38 Studios’ Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (or oft referred to as just ‘Reckoning’).  For those who haven’t been following Reckoning, it’s an RPG that is essentially setting the stage for the launch of an entirely new IP that will eventually lead into a MMORPG as well as other branded projects.

The good people from 38 Studios pulled out what I think is one of the best showings at E3 this year with their live demoing and Q&A.  Coming in at just over 40 minutes, the video presentation of the game is 100% all streaming in-game footage of Reckoning being played.  Shown in the video is a character they have created with Rogue and Mage abilities.  It starts off with a short tour of a town as the player takes up a quest and briefly crafts.  Shortly after that they head out and complete a dungeon-like area where they show off abilities including traps, fate and destiny powers, and lots of really flashy animations followed by demoing different things while answering questions.

Definitely check out the Reckoning with video and commentary for yourself.

Some things I really liked hearing and seeing:

  • Huge world with 5 geographic regions, each featuring a different biome.  (Check out the map at ~31:40)
  • Gorgeous world.  The city shown had fully scheduled NPC’s.  I felt immersed in their world just watching.
  • 120 handcrafted dungeons
  • The combat looks very fluid.  The character blocking and parrying was impressive.  I loved the mage chakram finisher.
  • Solid storyline, minor decision making
  • Highly customizable character with something like 60 different abilities, open slate.  How you combine abilities can change the way you fight a great deal.
  • After the story ends (if you push through it first) you can keep playing and the side stories continue.  Some stuff even unlocks after the main story is gone through.

Reckoning looks like it has come together very nicely.  Due to the amount and quality of what was shown, Reckoning has definitely solidified itself as my favorite game at E3 thus far.  Do yourself a favor and watch that video.

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  • Reckoning should be amazing. The world is very well fleshed out. If I’m not mistaken it was created by R.A. Salvatore, a famous author of the Forgotten Realms series. So the world itself that the developers are fiddling with has a lot of depth to it thanks to its original creator. And he created it specially for 38 Studios, so it’s a world that’s wholly new and unique.

    I’m also looking forward to this game.

  • I’ve been really impressed by Reckoning’s showing at E3 so far, especially compared to a lot of other RPG/MMOs and what they’ve been “showing off”. So far, Reckoning is my winner of E3 as well.

    One question for you guys – I noticed in the video that Ian Fraiser (?) was playing with a controller. I know the game has been announced for all major platforms, but does that concern you at all? Are the controls being designed around a controller, and then ported to the PC? And what might that mean for the MMO version?

    Thanks for the write-ups!

  • I think that in the video they were playing the Xbox 360 version on the PC. That’s fairly common practice at E3 and when developers show games off.

    There is some concern that the console will be the primary platform and the PC controls could be crap. I’m actually fairly certain the consoles will be their lead platform. I don’t think this means anything for the MMO, though. We’ll just have to see how bad it turns out on PC. I’m not at all adverse to the idea of buying the console version.

  • Good to know (I guess). I thought it odd that the UI showed shoulder buttons in the menus, but it looked like they were also using a mouse. That explains that!

    I’m not opposed to the consoles being the lead platform, but as I don’t own anything other than a PC (Wii for the kids…and LEGO games!), I’m a little biased. Hopefully the PC version won’t be entirely crippled, and it could give me a reason to pick up a controller.

    What’s got me excited is seeing how the game looks and *functions* regardless of the control scheme. I’m looking forward to the game, but I’m far more interested in what Reckoning means for Copernicus; hopefully they find a way to just take what they’ve shown and put it in a virtual world!

  • Awesome game! btw.. Keen, do you know if the game has dynamic weather? like it can suddently start raining horribly and become a storm in any zone you are in, in the Open World?

  • I haven’t heard anything about dynamic weather, but they have said there are unique biomes. I assume there will be weather within the biomes.

  • Ok, i see. I really immerse myself in RPGs when it rains, i generally love rain IRL too so haha, It’s cozy in a way, refreshing. And it’s a really good reason to stay inside and just listen to thunder and lightning, amazing, just amazing.

  • Wow, Skyrim looks amazing too, hopefully I’ll be burned out on it just in time for this to come out.

  • Game looks fun as hell and looks like the loot system is akin to Diablo with Greens, Blues, and Purples for uncommon, rare, and epic plus Gold loot whcih is part of sets as seen at the 27:51 mark. I love me some loot driven action games especially an RPG Action hybrid using 3rd person view. I always hated the top down view of Diablo and Baldurs Gate Dark Alliance 2.

    I also cant wait to see Skyrim, it looks to be one epic ride. CHances are between these 2 games I may end up kicking my MMO addiction, that is at least till GW2 or a spiritual successor to Asherons Call comes along.

  • Game looks great, dying to get my hands on it.

    One thing that they really haven’t shown and I’m itching to get a look at is the main story. There’s a new trailer up on their website (www.reckoningthegame.com) that does a pretty good job of showing the scope of some of the encounters and hinting at some of the main quest. While they’ve done an fine job so far in promoting the combat and class systems as well as size of the world, the marketing department has failed at elaborating on either the story of your character or of the world itself, outside of “10,000 year history” and “Well of Souls”. Even the information on their website is so scant and incomplete that, despite obvious production values, it gives off a vibe similar of one of those underfunded games that just throws pieces of lore without explaining what they’re referring to. Crystal War? Unseelie Fae? Not revealing the entirety of the 10,000 year history would be fine, but a few paragraphs illuminating the history immediately prior to the game would be a great help. I’ve been following the game since its announcement and even I didn’t know that the game was about finding your killer until I saw the trailer on the official site (which I haven’t seen advertised or available anywhere else).

    Hopes are high, just disappointed that even in spite of rave previews from plenty of media outlets, the awareness and hype level of the general population is pretty low. Curt Schilling needs to get on that if he wants to turn this into a brand platform.

  • @Wren

    Not only was the world created by R.A. Salvatore, but the author himself is directly involved with the game together with Todd Mcfarlane from the Spawn fame . So there’s definitely some big names involved when it comes to Art and Story/World , something i believe has been severely lacking in video games as of late. Hence why we also get these boring unoriginal RPG games.

  • guys what mmo version??

    this is single player only… are u refering to the mmo that they are making which has the codename ” Copernicus”…

    i think that copernicus is completely different game… not yet announced…


  • @dio- I think they are using the world of Amalur from Reckoning as the basis for the MMO.

  • awww ok then 🙂 thats perfect news 🙂 cause this game looks sweet ! thanks for the info!

  • @Ryne, to be precise, Amalur was created first for Copernicus. From Wikipedia:

    38 Studios originally began developing the Amalur universe for use in an MMO, codenamed ‘Copernicus’. After acquiring Big Huge Games in 2009, the studio decided to transform the project into a single-player RPG, as Ken Rolston and his team had already been working on an RPG while Big Huge Games was part of THQ.[3] Currently, there are still plans to expand the Amalur universe into an MMO after the release of Reckoning.[1]

  • So… am I the only one that was dissapointed at the loading screens? Nobody else thinks that that’s a bit of an issue?

  • WIP client so I won’t judge them on loading screen times. Having loading screens, as they said, in cities and indoor transitions does not bother me.

  • Loading screens between clearly defined areas is not a big deal for me on a single player title. As long as the times are not to long I do not mind.

    Loved the presentation, good to see actual in game footage. I like the mixture of action oriented gameplay and traditional RPG elements of skills and abilities. Has been moved higher up on my list of anticipated titles after that.

  • […] Keen and Graev reported on their blog this week that 38 Studios’ Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning looks fantastic, and was their favorite of the show at the time of the writing. This is the single player game meant to preface a coming MMO by the company driven by Kurt Schilling, and it’s looking really impressive. […]

  • Oh that looks sweet! I haven´t heared of this game before, but i´m always in for a great RPG, looks realy nice so far 🙂

  • @SynecticBeast – During a recent visit to BHG, we were informed that there will not be dynamic weather in Reckoning, but, as Keen said, there will be a wealth of biomes, which will have “weather” associated with them.

  • Okay as soon as I saw R.A. Salvatore was involved I was sold on this game. Such a good author, hopefully he’s doing a lot of the lore and story writing.