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Default KoA: Reckoning - Review @ IGN

February 5th, 2012, 04:39
IGN has posted the final piece in their Reckoning review series, culminating in a score of 9/10:
Reckoning proves once and for all that great role-playing experiences don't have to sacrifice what matters most in any game — gameplay — while still remaining true to all of the minutiae that makes the best RPGs great. And while Reckoning certainly has its own flaws, I still found myself utterly satisfied with my experience and anxious to parlay the good news to fellow fans of the western RPG. Reckoning certainly isn't a game you should sleep on. Quite the contrary: Amalur demands your attention.
More information.
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February 5th, 2012, 04:39
I wish IGN would stop posting some of the earliest reviews for games I'm interested in. Sometimes their most positive reviews are the ones that make me most likely to question my instant-gratification-driven need to buy things I want on launch day - ok that would probably be a good effect at least.

I'm a little suprised to hear the reviewer (using test-unit and retail PS3s only as he also explained in the review in progress) put in less than 50 hours of gameplay in those 3 weeks and 9 pages of article. Didn't they recently write an article which in-part exlained that the reason they and so many other reviewers missed the PS3 savegame-bloat bug in Skyrim was because it mostly began presenting itself after 60 hours of gameplay? And doesn't that game appear to be the technical quality hallmark by which this reviewer is judging the PS3 version of KOA:R after playing less than 50 hours?

I have to also question the choice to reassure players of the modest nature of any "technical hiccups" by basically saying that it was less glitchy than the PS3 version of Skyrim. For the PS3 audience, that one's kind of low hanging fruit I'd think. It doesn't help that those "technical hiccups" are also one of the primary things the author mentions holding it back from greatness.

I don't think Mr. Moriarty is shilling for EA here - for the same reason I thought the idea that a lot of poorly written but positive articles were written by people shilling for Bethesda. If that's what he is meant to be doing here then he's not doing a very good job of it and they'd definitely be able to afford better written puff pieces. It just feels he's either very bad at what he does or was one of the less ideal choices of staff writers for this game that they could have gone with.

It feels like I'm a motorcycle guy who's getting advice from someone who's really into powerboats. He's telling me that he doesn't think motorcycles are all that good but that I should buy a particular model because it's not like a motorcycle at all and more like a powerboat. This makes me want to back away slowly, never let him speak to me again, and make a mental note never to let myself or anyone I know or care about anywhere near that awful sounding vehicle. That would be a real shame if it actually happened to be a good bike too.
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February 5th, 2012, 05:00
Originally Posted by jhwisner View Post
It feels like I'm a motorcycle guy who's getting advice from someone who's really into powerboats. He's telling me that he doesn't think motorcycles are all that good but that I should buy a particular model because it's not like a motorcycle at all and more like a powerboat. This makes me want to back away slowly, never let him speak to me again, and make a mental note never to let myself or anyone I know or care about anywhere near that awful sounding vehicle. That would be a real shame if it actually happened to be a good bike too.
I learned a long time ago not to put much stock into reviews from sites like IGN. Just play the demo and trust your own instincts.
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February 5th, 2012, 05:04
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I learned a long time ago not to put much stock into reviews from sites like IGN. Just play the demo and trust your own instincts.
Yeah but I think the 3rd party that they had put it together was staffed with powerboat enthusiasts too. Kind of like the the outsourced boss fights in Deus Ex were done by the members of the Telford Shopshire branch of the Reliant Robbin Owners' Club.
Last edited by jhwisner; February 5th, 2012 at 05:19.
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February 5th, 2012, 05:36
Originally Posted by jhwisner View Post
Yeah but I think the 3rd party that they had put it together was staffed with powerboat enthusiasts too. Kind of like the the outsourced boss fights in Deus Ex were done by the members of the Telford Shopshire branch of the Reliant Robbin Owners' Club.
The demo was still taken directly from the beginning of the game though. Technical glitches aside, what you experienced in the demo should be a fairly accurate representation of what the full game is going to be like.

Their emphasis on pointing at the 3rd party in regards to the demo is curious to me. I think it's just a way to try to get the people who didn't like the demo to discount it and buy the game anyways.
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February 5th, 2012, 09:44
The devs seemed a bit peeved that the company in charge of the demo cut so many sounds and art assets to meet the demo requirements for MS and Sony. The gametrailers preview mentioned that the release candidate for review didn't have the bugs the demo displayed as well.
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February 5th, 2012, 11:35
Just wait for user feedback. I'll give my impressions as soon as I get my hands on it - which should be next week.

Never trust IGN - but I'd say the basic gameplay and style should be clear at this point.

In short, it's a "serious" Fable with a LOT more content and a very involved action combat system.

The technical quality of the game is mediocre for an AAA title, and the interface is a half-assed console port-job, but it's functional and you can use a controller and get a console experience instead.

I like the art direction, but it's not exactly amazing. It's "pretty good" and that's about it.

The writing seems rather average - even bland - but that's based on the demo. Supposedly, there's a LOT of history to the world - and if that's true, I think exploration will be very strong. Even with average writing, you get a sense of reward from discovering bits and pieces of the lore as you explore your surroundings. I think it will be a big part of the game for me.

I doubt it will awe a lot of people, but I think it will grow on most that give it a chance - and represent a nice chunk of playtime for fans of the "fairy tale" style setting.
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February 5th, 2012, 12:28
I'm vaguely surprised they've given it a 9 out of 10, it just didn't feel that awesome when I played the demo.

Daniel.
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February 5th, 2012, 12:51
the cracked game is up. Reviews should be pouring later today
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February 5th, 2012, 13:36
Originally Posted by darklord View Post
I'm vaguely surprised they've given it a 9 out of 10, it just didn't feel that awesome when I played the demo.
Daniel.
yeah, I only played it as i needed to get Origin for ME3 and supposedly there was some benefit playing the demo. I did like Fable and this felt similar - i thought it was good but not 9/10 good.

I don't know what if anything will be different in the full game, but i found the inventory system clunky, the long list of stuff with E for equipped i imagine being usless when you have a load of stuff and especially chaning between secondary weapons - in game it might have been nice to have a button to swap between main and secondry weapon and then scroll wheel to cycle between weapons? but that's my 2p worth and perhaps there are quick slots / buttons that i missed.

the pacing of the action was too fast and too simple for me, basically just locks you on to a target and you button mash away with the odd diving out of the way required. the graphics, voices and general gameplay i though were good.
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February 5th, 2012, 13:52
Devs have stated that mindless button mashing will get you killed by enemies you encounter later in the game. So playing tactically is important.
Last edited by Dr. A; February 5th, 2012 at 14:57.
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February 5th, 2012, 18:04
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
The demo was still taken directly from the beginning of the game though. Technical glitches aside, what you experienced in the demo should be a fairly accurate representation of what the full game is going to be like.

Their emphasis on pointing at the 3rd party in regards to the demo is curious to me. I think it's just a way to try to get the people who didn't like the demo to discount it and buy the game anyways.
Well the things that bothered me most about the demo were a time limit (rather than just a zone/area limitation) and the lack of an ability to save (say to be able to import to the full game). Those two things - particularly the time limit counting down silently in the background - actually got in the way of enjoying the demo to a pretty large degree.
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February 5th, 2012, 18:58
Something to consider for mouse and keyboard fans. Like me.

EA Partners Producer Ben Smith has just finished showing me a demo for upcoming action RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. He was playing it on a PC, using an Xbox controller. He’s the second of Kingdom’s high-profile developers to state the game’s combat – a key feature – works better on a controller.

“I think that the combat really sings on the controller,” Ben states, before realising who he’s said that to, “and the team’s done a really fantastic job of getting a PC control scheme which we’ve user tested a few times now; and continue to learn new things to make it better. It’s actually pretty good.”

He carries on. “It comes very close to giving you all the things at your fingertips that you would have on a controller.” He hesitates. “It’s not… I don’t think… as good… well, I don’t know if that’s the right word. It’s not as… fluid or responsive… but it is good.”



That's a little disappointing.
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February 5th, 2012, 19:49
Since the game contains very arcade-like fighting (much more so than for example Skyrim or Risen) that shouldn't come as a surprise. Mouse/keyb is great for most games, but in third person mouse/keyb is inferior, like the fact that you need to press different keys to select your movement speed, while with a controller this is completely seamless.
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February 5th, 2012, 19:56
Well, I found it quite responsive on my PC. In fact I played the demo using both mouse/KBD and a game-controller, and I prefer my mouse/KBD to my game-controller ( and it's a high quality controller, I must add).

The only real problem I found with this game is, that it's very immature. The narrative, the conversations and the characters are very shallow and quite childish. It's a shame, because the story had potential.
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February 5th, 2012, 20:03
"…gameplay…"

You keep on saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
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February 5th, 2012, 20:14
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
“I think that the combat really sings on the controller,” Ben states, before realising who he’s said that to, “and the team’s done a really fantastic job of getting a PC control scheme which we’ve user tested a few times now; and continue to learn new things to make it better. It’s actually pretty good.”
The only thing I didn't like using a keyboard/mouse when playing the demo is how you use active skills.

You assign skills to a hotbar - so far so good.

But to use a skill, you have first press the number key of the skill you want which then assigns that skill to the right mouse button. Once the skill is assigned to the right mouse button, you can then mash away at the right mouse button to machine gun fire that skill.

Given that the game is built from the ground up for real time faced paced arcade like combat, I think it would have made a lot more sense to just press the number key of the skill you want to use and then the skill just gets used (just like in WoW).

If left unchanged, quickly switching between skills via this method during the heat of battle is going to be awkward and will take time (at least for me) to get used to it.

Other than that, I had not other problems with the controls really.

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February 5th, 2012, 20:23
Originally Posted by blackcanopus View Post
The only real problem I found with this game is, that it's very immature. The narrative, the conversations and the characters are very shallow and quite childish. It's a shame, because the story had potential.
I think this comes from how you 'bucket' a game like this in your mind. If you're cramming this game into the same 'bucket' you might put other RPGs in, such as Gothic 1 & 2, Skyrim, Witcher 1 & 2 then yes, this game fits the unbecoming description you describe.

I actually 'bucket' this game in a category of my mind's eye that some of you may disagree with. But I put KoA in a category with games like Gauntlet, Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance 1 & 2, Diablo 1 & 2, & Torchlight. In that category (which is a category of games I do enjoy but to a lesser extent than games like Gothic 1 & 2), KoA shines, at least so far, as one of the better games in the pack.

No clue if this makes sense to 'normal' people out there. But my wife reminds me daily that I'm nuts so there you have it…

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February 5th, 2012, 20:35
Originally Posted by blackcanopus View Post
The only real problem I found with this game is, that it's very immature. The narrative, the conversations and the characters are very shallow and quite childish. It's a shame, because the story had potential.
Maybe not "childish" but certainly "teenagery" but I agree with your opinion. I would add WoW like graphics and arcadey combat to my personal "dislike" list.
I will probably play it at some point in the future but I am not in any hurry…
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February 5th, 2012, 20:47
I think when you meet the fae you will be impressed with the back lore they have for them…there is a ton of lore burried in the conversation options. The lore stones are pretty cool as in they are like recordings of old heroes that have been magically implanted into stones. If you collect the whole story for a lore stone you get bonus's to your character.

This is a much deeper narative wise game then say torchlight/ baldurs gate ark alliance and such. The closest I can come up with is the dragon knight saga, but this game is better then that for me. It is very similar in the game design idea(yes minus jumping) but the exploration feels the same way.

The combat, while over the top at times, feels very satisfying when you get into a huge battle with a lot of enemies. I came through a battle with wolves, bears and sprites all over the place(barely) where I was fighting them and they were fighting each other…it looked really cool. Another neat feature is the enemies don't just sit their waiting for you, they tend to do things in their area. For instance, a robber was sleeping while another was doing pushups in a camp…better then statically waiting for you, or sitting on a log. A bear was rumaging a dead animal, and will attack other animals. The little wooden masked guys are worshiping at shrines….neat little touches you don't really notice, but add to the game.

I'm at a loss at how some people find the writing bad, after all the games we get with broken english this is a refreshing rpg The writing is quite good in the books and lore information. No, it's not going to win a prize, but it is good for game standards.

Oh, as for the quick time events, the only time I have gotten them was when I killed a guy and getting the critical xp multiplier, hardly game changing and not neccessary to do as the withcher 2 had where you couldn't continue without doing it.

This is a deeper game then many of you are giving it credit for.

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