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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » KoA: Reckoning - Demo 17th, Mass Effect 3 Cross-Promo

Default KoA: Reckoning - Demo 17th, Mass Effect 3 Cross-Promo

January 18th, 2012, 09:00
I agree with Fluent, it's a fun game. It seems to be a mix of a lot of rpgs. The Witcher (lots of rolling around and corridor like open world), Fable (can't help but get this impression from the art style and again the corridor style open world), Titan's Quest (skills remind me of that game) and Dragon Age.

Lots of lore. I did my best speed reading through the books and there were a lot I found. Not as many as an Elder Scrolls game, but enough.

Dialogue and voice acting is good. You have your normal Scottish and English accents for most of the people. I'd love to see a game give a gnome an Arabic accent just to mix things up a bit

Quests are your usual find this, talk to him, go here, kill that, etc. Can't really fault them for that. There was one quest that was intersting:

Spoiler


It is open world becaus I had about 6 different quests going on and was only able to finish about 2 of them in the 45 minutes provided. Like I said previously, it is open world, but with corridors. Not unlike Witcher or Fable. I could have done any of those quests at any time.

I like Fae folklore. I can't get enough of books or games with that theme, but not your Disney version Fairies. So this setting is right up my alley.

My biggest critism is the FOV. That will need to be changed immediatly. It's too close. Not sure why game companies keep insisting on an extremely close FOV. Had the same problem in Skyrim, but that was easily fixed. Hopefully, it can be fixed just as easily in this game as well.

Another pet peeve was the lighting. My first character was a mage with a fire staff. I would loose sight of the enemy when attacking because the fire would block them from view. Maybe with a FOV fix this won't be much of a problem.

I started another character, but this time concentrated on stealth. I had a lot of fun with that one as well. Totally different style of combat. With a mage you do your usual staff, wand (they call them scepters) and magic attacks, but with the stealth character you have daggers and other special attacks. Not sure what it was called, but you throw some dust and fling daggers at an enemy. Worked really well. Stealth worked liked many other rpgs. You enter stealth mode and there is an eye above the enemy. It slowly gets red as the enemy senses your approach. If it becomes all red then the enemy sees you. If you can get to them before they see you then you can do the usual backstab. It doesn't always kill them, it just does more damage like in D&D. When I play this game for real I'm going to mix a stealth and mage character. There are fate cards specifically designed for that style of play.

That reminds me, the fate cards. You unlock special bonuses depending on what card you choose. You unlock the cards by how you allocate your skill points. Put them all into sorcery and you'll unlock mage type fate cards. Mix your skill points between different classes and you'll unlock those kinds of cards. Like if you put your skill points into stealth and sorcery then you will eventually unlock the combined stealth/sorcery fate cards. Those give bonuses to both stealth and sorcery.

Lots and lots of crafting. Alchemy, shards and I believe blacksmithing. I didn't do that one since I was in a hurry, but the alchemy and shards were interesting. With alchemy you can experiment with different ingredients to make potions. You'll need to improve your alchemy skill to be able to mix more than two different ingredients.

Speaking of potions, there are just too many of them (not a bad thing). You have your usual health/mana potions, but in addition you have all kinds that give bonuses to certain types of damage, protect you and a whole bunch of others.

Fate seems like a novel concept. You fill your fate bar and when it's full you go into reckoning mode which slows everything down and causes you to do more damage. You can do a …..fatekill (forget what they called it) anytime while you're in reckoning mode. You get close to a vanquished enemy and push a button. Then you pump up a meter to increase the percentage of the experience gathered from all that were defeated while in reckoning mode.

Overall, I know I'll enjoy this one. It has all kinds of loot, character customization, crafting and just about everything you can think of when you think RPG. The art will definitely leave a bad taste in some people's mouths, but not mine. It's not a Beth style open world, but neither was the Witcher 1 or 2. I enjoyed exploring those game. Same goes here, you have all kinds of hidden items throughout the world, heck they have a skill dedicated to just finding things that are hidden like stashes or secret doors.

Despite all my rage.
I'm still just a rat in a cage.
Last edited by skavenhorde; January 18th, 2012 at 09:34.
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January 18th, 2012, 09:09
Well, I'm finally downloading demo off Steam and will only be able to play in the evening.

LOL, the comments on the game here are vastly different to the general public

I think that people expecting an sand-box style game where you can climb up mountains and be able to jump willy-nilly will be disappointed. So don't expect Skyrim.

However if you prefer a Fable/God Of War-esque style of game, then KOA will be perfect for you.

It might be a bit too early (first 45 minutes only) to rag on the game regarding RPG aspects.
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January 18th, 2012, 09:10
Nice review, skavenhorde!
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January 18th, 2012, 09:24
Originally Posted by Dr. A View Post
Well, I'm finally downloading demo off Steam and will only be able to play in the evening.

LOL, the comments on the game here are vastly different to the general public

I think that people expecting an sand-box style game where you can climb up mountains and be able to jump willy-nilly will be disappointed. So don't expect Skyrim.

However if you prefer a Fable/God Of War-esque style of game, then KOA will be perfect for you.

It might be a bit too early (first 45 minutes only) to rag on the game regarding RPG aspects.
No, I expected a very pretty and technically competent CRPG with action combat. Something like Fable level polish. I didn't expect a half-assed PC port with a clunky engine, and dreary writing.

Based on what I'd heard, the most effort went into the writing - and yet every single NPC I came across with dialogue had uninteresting cliché dialogue done with bad-to-mediocre voice overs. Ok, so it was only 5-6 people - but some of them were part of the tutorial which tends to be the most polished piece of any game - because developers know it needs to be.

Take a look at those gnomes, for one. It looks like 2004 graphics with awful lip synching. The main super gnome and the whole concept of "Well of Souls". Dialogue was just executed without intrigue or passion. B-level quality to my mind.

Maybe that's just bad luck, and maybe they released a vastly unfinished demo with the worst parts of the game - but I doubt it.

It's not at all the AAA polished CRPG with fantastic depth and writing that they were promising. Not even the Xbox version seems polished - and the inventory interface is clunky there as well.

I'm very big on game mechanics, and I checked out their "Fate" cards that were supposed to be the "class" system. Swell. The classes are basically flat percentage rates to 4-5 skills across the board. Talk about uninspired. Maybe I'm missing something - but I certainly expected a "Fate" to bring something entirely unique to the table.

The ability trees look "ok" - but certainly nothing special compared to similar systems. I don't see the "amazing" depth in this game, other than the fact that you can combine styles - which isn't unique.

The combat is probably the best part of the game, and that's nice. Actually, I think it might be enough for me to enjoy it for a while.

It's just that the hype has been pretty thick with this one, and I've once again been suckered in by Ken Rolston (he fooled me with Morrowind too) - who I now consider to be a bigger barrel of bullshit than Molyneux.

I'll check out the full game eventually - because I'm a sucker for huge CRPGs - but I really don't have any reason to be excited now.
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January 18th, 2012, 09:31
Now it's my turn to say "I told you so"…
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January 18th, 2012, 09:39
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Now it's my turn to say "I told you so"…
That would be too easy, even for you

Well, what can I say, based on the demo - it's nothing like I expected it to be.

That said, I don't think my issues with the game are much related to what you've been saying about it.

I knew it would be a Fable art style - and I knew it would be about fast-paced action combat - and not a "realistic" simulation type RPG. Those things are fine - even good in some ways. Remember, I really liked the original Fable - and that was much worse in terms of not being "serious".

It's the actual execution of those things I'm so disappointed with, and I honestly didn't see that coming.
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January 18th, 2012, 09:41
Well, regarding the technical issues:

Somebody from the KOA forum found this quote from the the lead game dev:
Unfortunately the only way to get both the demo and the game out the door on time was to branch the demo off of the main game a few months back, then try to copy over bug fixes from the main game to it where possible, while cutting out all the bits of the game that should NOT show up in the demo in order to get the download size down to something reasonable.

As a result, a great many polish bits and bug fixes from the main game didn't make it into the demo (some particualrly noteworthy fixes relate to audio cutting out or being significantly delayed). It's frustrating for us because we want the demo to be as shiny as possible, but in the end of the day we wanted to focus the bulk of our bug fixing and polish efforts on the final game rather than the demo. Hopefully you'll thank us for that on Feb 7th.
JDR13, I'm immune to your negativity. Away with ye!
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January 18th, 2012, 09:44
That "it's only a demo" song and dance is something I've heard before.

I'm sure the full version is more polished, but I don't see how the writing/voiceover stuff will change.

That was the number one thing for me, and that's rare - as I'm really not that big a story guy. But they've been going ON AND ON AND ON about the intricacies of the writing and, well…

Let's just say I hope first part of the game represents the least interesting writing.
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January 18th, 2012, 09:50
Does anyone else think that the gnome in the very beginning of the tutorial that helps you is Jim Cummings, the same voice actor for Gorion in Baldur's Gate? It doesn't say it's him in IMDB, but I'm pretty sure it is. Since it's a minor character I don't think they added it to the credits at IMDB.

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January 18th, 2012, 10:02
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
Does anyone else think that the gnome in the very beginning of the tutorial that helps you is Jim Cummings, the same voice actor for Gorion in Baldur's Gate? It doesn't say it's him in IMDB, but I'm pretty sure it is. Since it's a minor character I don't think they added it to the credits at IMDB.
Yes, it is. I belive Ian Frazier (lead designer) mentioned that in the one of the walkthrough videos
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January 18th, 2012, 10:09
Yup, double checked it.

During the PAX demo - at the 4:48 mark.



Edit: Ooops, sorry for double post
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January 18th, 2012, 10:31
Apologies for the triple post!

For those who are anxious about map linearity or world size, I found a very good post on the open/structured world of KOA.
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