previews\ Jan 18, 2012 at 9:00 am

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Demo Impressions


Now that Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning's release is right around the corner, we had a chance to check out the demo that is currently available to all Xbox Live Gold members. Though limited, it did let us see what's in store for this action RPG.

I won't get into crazy specifics on the storyline and instead give you impressions of the gameplay. Right from the get go, I felt like I was playing a Fable game. There were a lot of parallels between the two, from the art style, the combat mechanics, even the fate cards. Though like Fable, it also doesn't do the ridiculously quirky things like dance in front of a crowd to raise their affection level. You could say this is the more mature, adult oriented Fable.

Character progression is one of the more interesting aspects of the game. Though we weren't able to get a taste of what a fully leveled character feels like, we did get to see the myriad of options to build your character. After the initial quest line, you're able to choose your fate card, which is essentially your class choice. You can either focus on brute strength, cast magic, or concentrate on finesse with two blades or ranged weapons. As you level up, various tiers of these fate cards unlock for you, and enable your character to get progressively more powerful, making an lowly Mage become an Archmage.

Each level grants a point in a very Dragon Age-esque skill window which can increase secondary skills like Stealth, Lockpicking, Blacksmithing, etc. The next screen then allows for leveling combat skills, where once again you can decide whether you want to invest points in strength and weapon prowess, magical abilities or more stealthy skills.

Combat itself feels familiar to anyone that's picked up a Fable 2 or 3. Your X button on 360 or Square button on PS3 will be your main attack. This is mapped to your primary weapon. Your secondary weapon is then accessed with the Y or Triangle buttons. The weapons aren't classified as primary or secondary, which means you'll be able to equip anything you want into these slots and whack away at your enemies.

The initial quest line had me arrive at a town which was ripe with sidequests. This was already a great sign considering side quests are the life and blood (right next to the story of course) in these types of open world RPG games. If there wasn't much to do, you'd run out of steam rather quick. This is not the case with Reckoning. You'll have errands to run, caves to explore, and beasties to kill to your hearts content.

KoA: Reckoning certainly doesn't scream "graphical prowess" but I think it seems to have it where it counts, and that's in the action packed gameplay department. With the amount of customization this game offers, I'm sure RPG gamers will find a lot to love about Reckoning. Make sure to check back when the game is released for our official review.

About The Author
Mike Splechta GameZone's review copy hoarding D-bag extraordinaire! Follow me @Michael_GZ
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