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Reckoning Impressions Part 2

Killing rats is fun when they're this cool looking!

I want to update you guys with more of my Reckoning Impressions.  I’ve logged over 10 hours with the game which is far fewer than I would like, but I’ve been cramming for a midterm.   My pure mage is coming along awesome.  I have some very powerful spells now like my upgraded lightning, a passive chain lightning component, some fire executions, a summoned skeleton, a heal, and soon some ice shards.

Reckoning’s combat is still winning me over.  Combat is very action-packed, but don’t get the impression that it’s all crazy swinging and spazzy.  Combat feels very thought out.  If mobs get close, I’ll staff attack them with three attacks to cause an ice push-back.  When they’re at range, I’ll continue attacking with my chakrams.  If the mobs gang up on me, I have my fire and lightning to bring down larger numbers.

Dodging and blocking are thoughtful as well.  I’m learning to intelligently dodge attacks to give me better positioning for attacks.  Blocking at the right moment parries, giving me the chance to either roll away or strike them with my staff.

Reckoning mode makes fights much easier. Try to save it for when you need it most.

The stories in Reckoning have received mediocre reviews from some sites.  I’d challenge those sites by pointing to their reviews of Skyrim, which was not docked for side-quest mediocrity when the quests read nearly identical.  In my opinion, both games have good quests.  I just finished a quest line in Reckoning where I tried to figure out who was behind attacks on a village.  The story started out simple but culminated with a great boss fight and a great reward.

I don’t want to compare Reckoning to Skyrim all the time, since they’re quite different, but Skyrim is a newer RPG that many are still playing or contemplating playing over Reckoning.  Reckoning feels more ‘pick up and play’ than Skyrim.  One reason I haven’t progressed as far as I would like in Skyrim is that I get discouraged when I realize to get anything done in-game I have to sit for several hours.  I can hop on Reckoning for an hour and get things done.

Yes, Reckoning is more linear than Skyrim.  The world has a slight funneling feel.  I would argue, though, that the world of Reckoning is very large and given how much of the map I’ve explored vs. how much more I have to go, I’d say it feels as big as Skyrim.

More to come.

[If you’re looking to buy Reckoning, Amazon has the PC download version 15% off.]

  • Gankatron says:

    How is the difficulty? Any real chance of dying in an encounter?

  • Keen says:

    I play on hard. I used to play on Normal, but I wanted the extra challenge. Some fights are really impossible to die, some require a little bit of kiting for me, and some I will die in one hit. It’s not overly difficult at all, but it feels just right. I realize that others may feel it’s too easy. I like it how it is on hard mode.

  • TheRedComet says:

    Normal feels pretty easy, atleast for pure mage. Playing a mage on normal just makes it seem overpowered. Hard mode, in my opinion, is much more rewarding.

  • Phandy says:

    In my opinion the game on hard is still too easy. Since you can spam Health Pots, you can really trivialize some content. Additionally, using Reckoning really makes fights very easy. If they added a cooldown to Pots I think it would go a long way.

    Having said that, the last couple boss fights I have done (I am level 17 now) have been challenging. So I have some hope still.

  • wufiavelli says:

    The reviews i have seen have either extremely praised the game or ragged on it hardcore.

  • biophazer242 says:

    The side quest ‘bashing’ has been interesting to see for sure. While Oblivion/Skyrim had some amazing side quests (A Brush With Death in Oblivion for instance), a vast majority of the quests were also just the standard ‘go kill these guys/go get me this item’. I am hoping that KOA:R contains some of those really imaginative quests as I get further into the game.

  • Neuronomad says:

    So far my biggest complaint after a few more hours of game play has been the camera pov. I feel like even at 1920×1080 resolution that nearly a 3rd of my screen is my character model. It is very hard to see when you are surrounded short of constantly panning around the camera due to this. I prefer to zoom all the way out as far as possible so I can see all around my character in third person games. If you are going to require me to be zoomed in where I can only see a foot behind my back in third player view I had rather just play the game in first person mode. Don’t get me wrong though, still love the game.

  • coppertopper says:

    @Neuronomad
    I had the same complaint, well still do actually. Playing with a 360 contrller was maddening in fact since, due to not being able to zoom out, you constantly have to pan around, which is really cumbersome with the controller. Switched to mouse/kbd and the game play experience is much better as you can pan so much quicker. Also finding the combat a bit easier, as once again, panning around is crucial as the camera sucks complete ass in this game!! How about some camera settings 38 studios???

    Otherwise, really enjoying the game! The voice acting is excellent, making it really easy to get in to the relationships between the factions and races.

  • Scargrim says:

    I’m really enjoying the game. I don’t have access to a 360 controller, but i’ve found the controls easy enough to get used to on PC.

    Having a camera zoom option like others have said would be a great addition. In fact it looks like its on the way.

    JoeQ – Lead Combat Designer, Reckoning
    “Just a quick update for everyone.

    I’ve got some work in progress that addresses the options I mentioned in my second post. Overall, it’s promising. I think the combination of distance adjust, camera lag adjust, and disabling auto follow addresses 95% of the camera feedback. The next step for me is to get some better tuning in, and get some assistance in fixing a bug where the camera pops when camera lag is reduced.

    Source : http://forums.reckoning.amalur.com/showthread.php?2485-Your-feedback!-(particularly-camera)&p=51245#post51245

  • ink003 says:

    I definitely agree about the camera issue – I play on my PS3 and it does drive me a bit crazy; it’s just too zoomed-in and that’s a shame not only because it hinders combat, but also because it keeps me from enjoying the gorgeous environments. I want to see more!

    I feel the same as Keen regarding difficulty. I’m building a pure mage as well because it’s just too hard to resist: some fights I decimate, others are definitely a challenge (I’m also set to hard mode).

    But you know, I feel like comparing Skyrim to KoA:R is a bit like apples and oranges (or at least a granola bar to a hearty dinner since at least they’re both RPGs). Sure there are lots of points of comparison and contrast, but for me KoA:R is more reminiscient of Dragon Age. Some of the reviews I’ve read for KoA:R are wayyyyyyy off the mark; compare those same reviews of Dragon Age to KoA:R and I think you’ll see just how subjective many of the contentions are. I really liked the first Dragon Age (although I played it on PC and ran it like it was Baldur’s Gate), but could not stand the second one (on PS3). IMO, combat was abysmal, the story was uninspired, the environments were washed out and boring, and I didn’t like the characters at all. Anyway, the point is this: KoA:R is superior to Dragon Age in every way, especially when it comes to RPG-style character development, and yet many reviews place it lower on the scale.

  • Milady says:

    Greetings!

    I found it interesting that you claimed that Skyrim’s quests were also mediocre but not criticised as much as this new game’s. I had written a short review and commented on this topic, and came to the conclusion that Skyrim’s quests were not intended to be the pinnacle of storytelling, but fell into two categories: the quests that allowed you to explore a place under some errand, like recovering the golden claw from a nearby temple; and those who provided you with a side-story, like those of the Azura lords. And in neither case were the quests attempting to imitate the ‘masters’ of the RPG genre (like Bioware and its conversation wheel). Whereas in Amalur, a game which is meant to impress in so many areas, falls short in that respect, and reads like an MMO, but is burdened by unnecessary voice-acted dialogue which is generally skipped because it would merely be the translation into dialogue of a WoW’s chunk of text. I say that it reads like an MMO because most of the quests involve killing/gathering things that are nearby, and are not as developed as traditional RPG quests, which have an effect on your character and the world, and usually involve more complex storylines and some amount of travelling. Also, I don’t think that MMOs that focus on the RPG element are good MMOs, although they might make entertaining games. The most prominent feature of the genre should be its community, and the tools that it brings to strengthen it, which is why I place so much emphasis in differentiating RPGs and MMOs, and why Amalur can’t be considered either in terms of story.

    I’ve elaborated the topic a bit more on my blog, if you wish to read more: http://hypercriticism.net/2012/review-kingdoms-of-amalur-reckoning/

  • Ocelot says:

    I’m now 26 mage, playing on hard (which is not really hard). My only issues are the headaches caused by the camera movements and lack of zoom out. I bought a controller, but it seems I can only map 4 attacks, when at this level I can use 6.

    Landscape is different from Skyrim and the stories are quite good. I’m not a fan of Salvatore as a writer, so it’s not Tolkien, but enjoyable. Exploring dungeons without the associated quest is frustrating (just mobs to find and “treasures”).

    I cannot find the full sets of equipment, and I don’t find the logic behind. I thought first that completing a serie of quests will give a set, but it happened only once, and I was given the full set at once. I finished the Arena, and I’m the proud owner of an entire city (with its taxes…), but was given only purple for fighter !

    It seems that I have explored less than half of the map, but now that I have maxed the aoe, I can explore faster. The number of hidden places is impressive, some being a simple room or a tree, some being entire zones with quests.

    If you are interested, I maxed alchemy, exploration, and on the way for persuasion.

    Now it’s time to buy a new bottle of advil and go back into the game.

  • Barrista says:

    My issues in the demo was the camera view first. Then I saw a few exclamation points and question marks popping up over NPC’s heads. Did they nix that for the final game? That was big turn-off for me in an RPG (although I can understand why some may prefer it).

  • Devastator says:

    I was very upset when I found out that this wasn’t an MMO some time ago. It looked pretty awesome, but I just cant bring myself to play single player games anymore. SWTOR was probably the closest, considering 1-50 is basically a single player ordeal <.< At this point I stick to FPS (I only play the multiplayer maps, don't touch the single player story) and MMOs. GW2 can't come fast enough… I'll probably end up playing Tera as a bridge since SWTOR is already dead for me. I wish I had more "quality" options in this genre :/

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