Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning was a great RPG from last generation but it went under a lot of radars.
It falls somewhere between a Fable and a Dragon Age, has some great writing, and plenty of content to sink your teeth into. I was a fan day one and I’m still one today.
As the years went by, it seemed like it was one of those great franchises lost to time. There were discrepancies about the licensing and people forgot the game existed.
So it’s something of a small miracle that we have this remaster at all, truth be told. And I’m really grateful that we do because it does offer a second chance for people to finally play a really good RPG that still holds up pretty well years later.
Thing is, it’s not exactly a great remaster, something harder to escape than ever in a year like 2020 which has been full of them. It’s more of a well built, lovingly developed port.
Visually, it doesn’t feel like a massive upgrade, the camera remains a bit of a nuisance, and the UI is a bit clunky. Most importantly, though, the core of the game is brilliantly intact.
As you probably know, Re-Reckoning packages the entire Kingdoms of Amalur experience together. All the previous content and DLC, along with an upcoming, brand new expansion called Fatesworn in 2021.
It’s the perfect reintroduction for people to dive back in or finally play the game, with a world built by something of a dream team. And next year, there’ll be new journies to take in a world a lot of people have already visited.
In case you’re new to this, in Amalur, you start out having risen from the dead. Building your character – known as the Fateless One – up from scratch, you’re eventually tasked with rescuing a world being torn apart by war. In a quest to learn more about yourself, as well as the world all around you, the character will explore every inch of the Faelands, doing everything from slaying giant creatures to collecting plant leaves for potions.
Re-Reckoning is all about making choice and this game is absolutely full of decision making and redefining the world around you. That doesn’t just go for its storytelling either. The game uses a unique Destiny system that helps you manipulate events around you and gives you access to a broad range of abilities and items, including the very unique Prismere Chakrams.
Seriously, take a look at these absolute beasts in action.
The combat is a really good point to focus on, actually. It’s pretty simplistic in that you alternate between different button presses, combining attacks. But there’s a lot of depth to it with weapon degradation and the ability to alternate between many different types.
There’s swords and shields, dual-wielding daggers, and staffs, to name a few. Each offers you a different way to play and of course means you will need to mix up your strategies.
Add to that the option of casting spells to stun foes, the option of stealth to creep up and down an enemy, the ability to customise a skill tree, and mix classes, the entire combat experience is really dynamic and can stay refreshing throughout the course of the game’s extensive campaign. For a game over ten years old, all of this impressively holds up well.
Steeped in high fantasy, the game also has plenty of interesting sub-quests, bridging stories, and historical revelations for the player to digest. The Faeworld is really intricate, involved, and most importantly, incredibly interesting, and it’s one you’ll want to spend time unravelling. Something you can’t say for all fantasy RPGs.
Seriously, the last fantasy world I felt this invested in is the one in Dragon Age.
In a year absolutely full of them, Kingdoms of Amalur Re-Reckoning is not the best remaster I’ve played over the past nine months. But what you have here is a brilliant RPG that is just loaded with content, a gripping story that keeps you playing, a lot of customisation, and, all told, a game that’s still fun to play in 2020.
Beyond next years’ DLC, it’s unclear what comes next. Hopefully this morphs into a full-blown next gen sequel or perhaps that MMO project long rumoured. While this isn’t the best of remakes, there’s more than enough in Re-Reckoning that the game deserves its second chance. Most importantly, it’s earned the right to finally move the story forward and we can’t wait to see where that leads.
- The combat system is still as flexible and enjoyable as ever
- Brilliantly written and absolutely full to the brim with content
- Still more to come with Fatesworn in 2021
- Still graphical and technical glitches
- Some aspects of the game haven’t aged as well as others
- Camera and player movement can be a bit problematic at times.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning is now available on PC, PS4, and XO
Tested on PS4
Code kindly supplied by THQ Nordic