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Default KoA: Reckoning - Review @ GameBanshee

February 13th, 2012, 22:31
GameBanshee's Eric Schwarz has penned a review for this game. No score is given in this four page review. A quote from the beginning of the review:
However, in having such defined entertainment industry figures involved, Reckoning can come across a little bit less like a coherent product and a bit more like a big mixing bowl of ideas - often great ones, to be sure, but Reckoning isn't quite the "dream team" product it's been made out to be by its marketing campaign. As much as you might like or dislike Todd McFarlane's artwork, for instance, whether it actually meshes with the game universe is a matter of debate, and the vestiges of Elder Scrolls gameplay included also don't quite feel as developed as they could otherwise. It's an interesting mix, but perhaps not the most consistent one.
A quote from a little later:
While the main and faction quests are generally quite engaging and well-written, however, Reckoning suffers due to its sheer size. The game draws much from modern MMORPGs, and as a result, its massive world is focused heavily around fighting through excessive numbers of filler enemies, picking up random loot (99% of which is junk), and performing side-quests which rarely go beyond your typical FedEx and monster slaughter models. There are some definite exceptions, and the writing is occasionally entertaining enough to give enjoyable context, but after the first few hours these side-quests all tend to blur together and begin to lose meaning. The bulk of the game's 100ish hours is made up of doing these side-quests and trekking across the vast, repetitive world of Amalur, and, while it's able to keep itself going for a while, about 30 hours in I was already getting tired.
And a quote about the game's Destiny cards:
The final piece of the puzzle is the game's Destiny cards. As I mentioned, Reckoning doesn't have any attributes or classes, but Destinies sort of fill the niche by providing you with passive bonuses. Destinies unlock based both on your level and your investment into the different skill trees, so a jack-of-all-trades will get appropriate bonuses, but won't ever have quite has high a mana pool as a dedicated sorcerer or as big a damage bonus as a straight-up fighter. Combined with the cheap and freely-available respec options, Reckoning gives you a lot of choices, but wisely avoids forcing you into them for the entire game should you change your mind about your play-style.
And a quote from the conclusion:
Reckoning is one of the strongest mainstream RPGs in some time when it comes to its core mechanics, and brings together some excellent combat with a genuinely interesting, if somewhat generic, fantasy universe. However, its own sheer size gets in the way of it achieving its potential, with too many filler quests, and too much time spent running around empty expanses of terrain hunting down level-scaled loot. If you can force yourself to stick to the main storyline and the faction quests, Kingdoms of Amalur provides a great 40 or so hours of gameplay that fares far better than most other open-world RPGs. I just wish it wasn't wrapped up with an extra 60-odd hours of less-than-stellar content.
More information.
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February 13th, 2012, 22:31
The loot is ridiculous in this game. It's purely from a MMORPG model, and doesn't make any damn sense in a single player game. I find it tiring always checking if there's some tiny incremental advantage in one piece of gear over another… just becomes background wallpaper of silly named pieces you find over and over, and can dump at any vendor for cash. I just don't get the appeal of that.

I haven't had a lot of time to play this yet. So far, I'm finding it enjoyable, but if it's true that it's padded out with tons of filler content, I probably will never finish it.

By the way, my wife was looking over my shoulder as I was playing it and thought I had started playing WoW again which I haven't done in years. That says something about the graphics. Really though, it plays like a cross between WoW and Fable 2.
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February 13th, 2012, 23:11
I dont understand this loot problem.
As far as Im concerned its the same as Diablo. And I find it the best system
and its really not 99% , more like 90% , especially if you change your "fate", which Im sure you will do at least twice.
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February 13th, 2012, 23:21
It's personal preference thing I guess. Just not my cup of tea.
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February 13th, 2012, 23:29
Originally Posted by borcanu View Post
I dont understand this loot problem.
As far as Im concerned its the same as Diablo. And I find it the best system
and its really not 99% , more like 90% , especially if you change your "fate", which Im sure you will do at least twice.
Loot is same as Diablo, Torchlight, and every other loot-driven game. I actually like the white, green, yellow, blue, purple loot-scheme, as it is something easily recognized from other games.
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Default Can't get into it.

February 14th, 2012, 00:56
I was excited about this game especially because R.A. Salvatore was involved.
When I played the game for the first time, elements of it immediately reminded me of a cheap f2p mmo… I just can't get into this game. The combat seems cool but gets old quick, I'm sure that there are way more cool things about the game, but I cant get into it enough to keep playing it. Seems like a cheap ripp off of skyrim/fable/wow/witcher2… I laughed at the lock picking mode…. the loot is that of an mmo… (why?) I don't mind tons of loot but I want actual upgrades and diversity in look and value… I'm sure that there are plenty of good things about this game, but not enough to keep me interested initially. I'm sure those blockbuster moments during combat in the previews and trailers are gona snag a lot of people and may still keep current players interested but not me.
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February 14th, 2012, 01:04
My problem with the loot system is that it makes finding a cool weapon irrelevant because I know i'll find a better one in a couple minutes. The other problem and much more annoying aspect is the limited inventory. Why have endless amounts of loot and then limit my carrying capacity. I thought skyrim was annoying for this but koa is 10 times worse.
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February 14th, 2012, 01:12
Well put sakichop. I don't see the point of crafting if there's a new armor piece or weapon dropping every few minutes. There's no point in amassing gigantic piles of money as it's not an MMO. Do I want to "game" the system and go into god mode? Why? Am I showing off to myself?

I do like the enemy designs from what I've seen, and fast paced combat is fun for a change. But putting such a heavy emphasis on loot doesn't make sense in a one player game.
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February 14th, 2012, 02:01
you never go intro god mode
If you do, change the difficulty, I assure you, as I am lvl 80+ this is not an issue

And I do believe you are contradicting yourself, you don't want to have the best equipment and feel overpowered, but you like the loot to be more scarce and of higher value … hmm
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February 14th, 2012, 02:31
Originally Posted by borcanu View Post
And I do believe you are contradicting yourself, you don't want to have the best equipment and feel overpowered, but you like the loot to be more scarce and of higher value … hmm
How is he contradicting himself? Not everyone is a loot whore. I also prefer not to be changing armor every five minutes.
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February 14th, 2012, 03:06
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
How is he contradicting himself? Not everyone is a loot whore. I also prefer not to be changing armor every five minutes.
Not a problem for as most items are the same and I only came across five complete sets. That's not to much in my opinion.

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February 14th, 2012, 03:22
Loot is not so bad…you do find a lot, but when you find the good stuff you don't find anything better for awhile…been using the same staff for 4 or 5 levels. You can compare the items on the fly when you pick them up, as well as equip them from that window. So, not really hard to change equipment.

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February 14th, 2012, 03:24
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
How is he contradicting himself? Not everyone is a loot whore. I also prefer not to be changing armor every five minutes.
missed the point , rethink

PS: maybe you should look inward, and see that its your frustration not being able to distinct between items of similar value
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February 14th, 2012, 03:43
The quest complaint is totally moot, imo - if you don't want to do the optional quests, don't do them. You can't really criticize a game for that. They're just that, optional.

As for loot? Nobody ever seems to complain that in every dungeon in Skyrim you find 45 swords that are identical to the one you found on the first baddy you killed. Same thing here, imo. I tend to find a weapon I like and stick with it for a long while until something significantly better shows up. Until then, I just grab stuff I know is gonna sell for decent coin and leave the rest.
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February 14th, 2012, 03:53
Originally Posted by borcanu View Post
PS: maybe you should look inward, and see that its your frustration not being able to distinct between items of similar value
Yeah… that must be it.
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February 14th, 2012, 04:03
Reading all this makes me yearn for a game with the love for itemization that BG 1 & 2 had, with their terrific item back-stories and and (non randomized) item placement. Going through BG2 for the first time, unable to find a 2-handed sword better than Lilarcor for who knows how many hours of playtime… and suddenly stumbling across Soul Reaver +4 in the Underdark. It made for such a great gaming moment.
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February 14th, 2012, 05:32
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Not a problem for as most items are the same and I only came across five complete sets.
That´s because most of the set items are likely randomized and have low chance to appear, which is pretty stupid design considering there´s supposed to be 280 of these sets, the game provides 30-100 hours of content, there´s a shitload of other similarly good equipment available, items are levelled, chance of these set pieces to appear doesn´t seem to be limited to "boss chests/enemies" and there are crafting opportunities that allow for better customization. As a result, there´s a very little chance to find a full set before the game ends (besides few quest related sets) and if one gets lucky and completes a set suitable for one´s class, it´s almost guaranteed that by the time it happens the set will be outlevelled anyway.
In the context of the other game´s design aspects, the biggest problem is probably the overall amount of the sets. They should´ve made, say, only 40-50 of these and assign them more special properties as well as more detailed background.

Originally Posted by oliverh72 View Post
The quest complaint is totally moot, imo - if you don't want to do the optional quests, don't do them. You can't really criticize a game for that. They're just that, optional.
No, it isn´t moot. "Optional" content is rarely moot.

1. The amount of side quests is often one of games´ selling points, as is the estimated play time and both of these may factor into customer purchase decisions. So, chances are, when people buy the game, a lot of them probably plan and want to do optional quests.
The optional content IS part of the price and this is doubly true in a game where a main quest constitutes only a small fraction of the overall play time.

2. Amalur is a supposedly open world game and optional content is the main defining factor of open world games. Side quests + exploration are pretty much the only two ways how players can get advantage of the open world (and discovering new quests is also one of the possible rewards for exploration).

3. The game´s rigid "bubble-y" game-y map structure and rigid level scaling don´t really "encourage" passing side quests well. What it does encourage is "cleaning" one map before moving to another.
Compare this to Skyrim where from the get go you can quite easily reach all major locations fast and combat difficulty is more evenly spread out throughout the whole map, as opposed to Amalur´s much stronger regional scaling.
Skyrim´s structure lends itself much better to pick and choose approach, whereas Amalur´s design likely results in majority of players doing most of the side quests in the first general area and getting burned out on them afterwards, due to the quests´ repetitive and run-of-the-mill nature.

Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
Reading all this makes me yearn for a game with the love for itemization that BG 1 & 2 had, with their terrific item back-stories and and (non randomized) item placement.
Oh yeah. Though I think sensible randomization as used by Item Randomiser mod (items tied to story/place, like Carsomyr, aren´t randomized, the others are divided into tiers and randomly distributed to notable locations/enemies with the same tier) doesn´t hurt it, quite the opposite, especially for replays.
Personally I consider such a system ideal .
Last edited by DeepO; February 14th, 2012 at 06:06.
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February 14th, 2012, 05:48
I actually find myself following a side quest and running through different areas and coming back to ones I missed. I don't really clear out an area first.

I was reading teh official forums and saw a few posts by Kurt about how they are looking at the difficulty and that the camera issue is in the first patch. He also mentioned wanting to get the tools out into hands of modders to extend the life of the game.

Really, all said, it's a decent first entry from a new studio…I hope they do well enough with this to continue the series…look at the differance between witcher 1 and 2 for instance.

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February 14th, 2012, 05:58
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
I actually find myself following a side quest and running through different areas and coming back to ones I missed. I don't really clear out an area first.

I was reading teh official forums and saw a few posts by Kurt about how they are looking at the difficulty and that the camera issue is in the first patch. He also mentioned wanting to get the tools out into hands of modders to extend the life of the game.

Really, all said, it's a decent first entry from a new studio…I hope they do well enough with this to continue the series…look at the differance between witcher 1 and 2 for instance.
Hm first patch uh . There have been two updates already. I finished the game already and have no plans to play again. To me its not worth more of my time.

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February 14th, 2012, 06:22
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Hm first patch uh . There have been two updates already. I finished the game already and have no plans to play again. To me its not worth more of my time.
Ok not the first patch then, my bad.

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