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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » KoA: Reckoning - Review Roundup #2

Default KoA: Reckoning - Review Roundup #2

February 8th, 2012, 11:43
Right, another collection of Reckoning reviews. It seems to settling in around 8/10, with the occasional outlier. The combat is universally praised - and the quests and dialogue are not.
GameSpot - 7.5/10. "Top-notch combat" but "Generic story and characters, generic world generic quests":
Of course, RPGs are about more than just swinging swords. The best of them aren't just games—they're worlds, in which unusual people mill about, inviting you into their homes and telling you of unimaginable treasures protected by unimaginable monsters. It's here that Kingdoms of Amalur falters. Amalur is nice enough to look at, and there are lots of things to do there. But each thing you do is pretty much like the last thing you did. In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you stumble upon a coven of cannibals and have telepathic conversations with a dog. In Mass Effect 2, you explore the painful past of a troubled young woman and witness the ultimate conflict between mother and daughter. In Kingdoms of Amalur, you kill stuff and listen to a bunch of nondescript characters spout line after line of unexceptional fantasy lore. There's so much talking, so much effort put into all this dialogue. And yet Amalur never develops an identity in spite of it all. There's a lot of tell, but not a whole lot of show.
IncGamers - 9/10:
As a first outing, it's worth noting that the world of Amalur is rather impressive. Its layout isn't the most ambitious, but is deceptively large and diverse. You'll wallow across dry-lands, enjoy the freshness of forests, all the while noticing the little differences that imbue a sense of personality. A clever use of colour highlights you're entrance to new terrain, each shift providing a breathtaking contrast that forces you to stare a little longer than you probably should. From luscious greens to autumnal reds, Reckoning oozes beauty.
Destructoid - 8/10:
At its heart, Kingdoms of Amalur doesn't offer much that hasn't been seen before. Earning gold to buy more armor and weapons, performing quests for experience, battling monsters and growing one's skills to become a godlike master of war — these are all things we've experienced a dozen times before. However, never before has a power fantasy been delivered in such a direct way. Kingdoms of Amalur doesn't waste time taking things slow; it doesn't let too much waffling get in the way of acquiring more gold, more experience, more loot and more skills. While there's something faintly sterile and alienating about Reckoning's world, the focused purity of its intentions is reason enough to keep playing. You'll want that new magic helmet because it looks cool and will give you more health, not because you care very much about using it to save the city. The game is all about you — how tough you feel, and how bad your ass is.
CVG - 7.8/10. Despite the great combat, ranged combat sucks, as you probably saw from the demo:
It's not all gold. If 38 Studios can school the Bethesda boys about sword-on-head action, they get their ass handed to them the second they step onto the target range. Controlled via auto-aim, Reckoning's long-distance murdering is a tepid affair. As long as you can press a button, you can win.
For the game to put such emphasis on practical swordplay only to steal control for prospective archers and mages is pretty bizarre. Investing in either skill tree ups projectile number and strength, but never delivers a single thrill.
G4TV - 2.5/5. The lowest score yet, G4TV found the "turgid storytelling" overwhelmed the "excellent combat design":

[quote]Such a story brilliantly and cleverly cuts to the heart of the unstable narrative that defines RPG’s, where the player, through choices and personal character development, shapes the story as he plays the game. This concept of behavior affecting change – and the existential weight attached to it – is the allure many games, even though many invariably fail to exploit the device beyond a simple good-and-evil split.

Reckoning declines to pursue even such simple binary moralism. Despite the clever narrative set-up that begs the player to fee…More information.
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February 8th, 2012, 11:43
I guess 38 Studios didn't know that they are supposed to give these reviewers a bunch of stuff in order to get a good score. Many of the issues that these reviewers have with this game exist in most other games and they gave most of them a higher score.
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February 8th, 2012, 11:59
Hmmm…I haven't played the full version but, based on the demo, 7-8 seems perfectly reasonable to me, which is what we're seeing in the main.

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February 8th, 2012, 13:43
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Hmmm…I haven't played the full version but, based on the demo, 7-8 seems perfectly reasonable to me, which is what we're seeing in the main.
Except that a lot of games that should get 7-8 scores, get 9-10 in those same reviewing website/magazine. If you are going to knock points out of KoA for having generic quests and stories, they should do the same for all the others. Especially all the shooters. And I KoA is a 8+ game (PC shortcuts works now, no more using back to exit the inventory!!!).

And I don't think KoA settings/story is generic. It's the first game I play that is based on Irish Fae lore. You know somebody haven't really paid attention to the game if they think that the Fae are elves. Trolls, boggarts, brownies, etc are all Fae.
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February 8th, 2012, 13:53
They are going to pay the price for discouraging exploration with invisible fences and whatnot. Even MMO landscapes are more open. It was a bad call and the Skyrim comparisons in this area are going to hurt them. Not a bad game but they deserve the scores.

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February 8th, 2012, 14:21
Love the game but hate the camera most of the time. Can't believe the fov or zoom is not adjustable. They took a bunch of feedback at the official forums and most people were for adding a zoom feature but there has been no news. I turned the resolution up higher but its(the camera) just too close to the character most of the time. Probably would be better playing on a tv.

And the game so far is far too easy. I changed to hard difficulty buts its still very easy and playing as a mele, I haven't died yet or needed to spam a potion. I hope it gets harder later or they need to address this in a patch.
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February 8th, 2012, 14:40
Originally Posted by redman5427 View Post
Love the game but hate the camera most of the time. Can't believe the fov or zoom is not adjustable. They took a bunch of feedback at the official forums and most people were for adding a zoom feature but there has been no news. I turned the resolution up higher but its(the camera) just too close to the character most of the time. Probably would be better playing on a tv.
Camera will get a fix in a patch from what I read
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February 8th, 2012, 15:00
Well, that's good news then. Other then that, it runs pretty solid and I am having a lot of fun with it, now taking my time with it. Crafting is pretty fun and I like the lore stones. Gives me a little break when I stop to listen to the dialogue.
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February 8th, 2012, 15:55
I don't understand the complaining about exploration. Most games don't have as much area to explore as this game and some of the best games ever had barriers and less explorable area then this game. (like VTMB) I have played games that have had a few elements of Irish fae lore but nothing to this extent so at least with games this is fairly unique.

PS. My score for this game so far is around an 8 but not much gets above that for me.
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February 8th, 2012, 16:15
i think its a bit weird the gamespot review is an exact cut and paste from gamespot UK- I thought these were separate entities and did their own reviews? Only xbox also.
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February 8th, 2012, 16:18
If one corporation owns several gaming sites there is usually cooperation. Recycling articles saves money.
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February 8th, 2012, 16:42
7 to 8 is about right, though the amount of dialogue present to reinforce the lore is voluminous so far, and I'm not even out of the second area. Maybe it never expands after that? Fun game though, bargain bin watchers will get a good value here.
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February 8th, 2012, 17:15
Poor writing?

Um. What was the point of the attached "writer" then?
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February 8th, 2012, 17:23
Originally Posted by Reyla View Post
Poor writing?

Um. What was the point of the attached "writer" then?
R.A. Salvatore wrote the lore, not the game dialogs/storylines.

Although, so far I haven't found anything poor about it. It's better or on par with the games I played for the last 20 years.
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February 8th, 2012, 17:49
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
I guess 38 Studios didn't know that they are supposed to give these reviewers a bunch of stuff in order to get a good score. Many of the issues that these reviewers have with this game exist in most other games and they gave most of them a higher score.
Maybe, just maybe, they they write how they feel?

Originally Posted by redman5427 View Post
Love the game but hate the camera most of the time. Can't believe the fov or zoom is not adjustable. They took a bunch of feedback at the official forums and most people were for adding a zoom feature but there has been no news.
I was under impression that, because of the feedback, camera zoom was supposed to be added into the full game?
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February 8th, 2012, 18:03
I played KoA last night for about 3 hours. The game is fun. It doesn't fit the mold of my favorite type of RPG, but it's still a lot of fun to play.

I think this is why some people are confused by the overall above-average scoring going on. There is no agreed upon definition of a 'RPG' so if KoA isn't your 'cup of tea' then it might be confusing why most reviewers are giving this game complimentary scores.

But so far, KoA is a lot of fun for what it is. And in my humble opinion, while a game like Skyrim fits more of what I'm looking for in an RPG, KoA is far more polished and bug-free compared to Skyrim and that's worth something to me.

With Skyrim, I feel like I have to go college and get my Masters in 'Skyrim' just to play it and hopefully avoid breaking quests. So far with KoA, I can just be a gamer and play.

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February 8th, 2012, 18:08
Originally Posted by zahratustra View Post
I was under impression that, because of the feedback, camera zoom was supposed to be added into the full game?
It looks like this didn't happen. The lack of camera zoom is my only real complaint about KoA.

A KoA developer started a thread after the demo was released asking players how they felt about the camera. The overwhelming response was, 'please give us the ability to zoom out.' I was hoping that A) since a dev asked the question and B) that so many people responded similarly about the camera that this would have made it into the game - but unfortunately it looks like it hasn't.

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February 8th, 2012, 18:28
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
It looks like this didn't happen. The lack of camera zoom is my only real complaint about KoA.

A KoA developer started a thread after the demo was released asking players how they felt about the camera. The overwhelming response was, 'please give us the ability to zoom out.' I was hoping that A) since a dev asked the question and B) that so many people responded similarly about the camera that this would have made it into the game - but unfortunately it looks like it hasn't.
The game was already being disk pressed when the demo was release. It,s not like you can a do a lot of things in 2 weeks either anyway.
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February 8th, 2012, 18:55
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
The game was already being disk pressed when the demo was release. It,s not like you can a do a lot of things in 2 weeks either anyway.
I knew it was probably too close to the release date when the question was asked by the dev, but since the question was asked, I was hoping against all hopes, so to speak.

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February 8th, 2012, 19:15
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
I knew it was probably too close to the release date when the question was asked by the dev, but since the question was asked, I was hoping against all hopes, so to speak.
From what I read we should get a patch with camera fixes (and other improvements) one day. That's why they asked the questions and took suggestions. Some of them can't be fixed though and the dev were nice enough to explain why (ex draw distance can't be changed because of engine limitation).
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