96 hours 47 minutes 52 seconds

Posted by Enigma777 (6073 posts) -

That's how long it took me to finish Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.

That's a long time. I haven't put in that much time in a single game since my playthrough of the DA:O Ultimate Edition. And by no means am I finished with it. I still have over 45 unfinished quests, 3 unexplored areas (along with at least 10-15 dungeons) and 5 sets of lorestones left to find. But still, I beat the last boss and that's all that matters.

As a first effort from Big Huge Games, Reckoning is solid. It does some things right and it does some things wrong, but on the whole I don't feel bad for spending so much time with it. I do have two major issues with it though: performance and presentation. Neither is very good...

Playing on the 360, I experienced frequent framerate drops (particularly in the "corridors" between the larger areas) and some severe drops during custcenes (we're talking 5-10fps here). There's also a lot of clipping and general jankiness you can expect from open-world games like AI acting weird and stuff glitching out. None of it is game-breaking but it did happen often enough for me to make a note of it. Also I ran into an issue at least a dozen times where my A button became non-responsive when running around the world and trying to interact with objects (like when harvesting reagents) that would persist until I loaded up a new area.

There's also some vestigial things from Oblivion/Skyrim that I found very annoying, like the day/night cycle. Why does it even exist? It's completely pointless! All it does is make me run around trying to figure out which bed the NPC I'm looking for is sleeping in. It's just dumb. Same for resting. I think I only rested once during my playthrough.

Another little thing that bugged me is the "supply chest." You know, the chest you find in your house where you can put in items you don't want to sell. Why the hell is the item limit on that thing 155? Why is there a limit at all? All I kept inside it was unique armor and weapon sets and it still filled up so fast that I had to start selling them. It just boggles my mind...

But my biggest complaint is the presentation. The cutscenes, dialogues, and the voice acting just aren't very good. When you talk to another character they just stand there. Sometimes they move their hands up or down, but not often. Their lips don't match the words being spoken and the voice acting can be atrocious sometimes. A prime example is your female "love interest" Alyn Shir. In the span of 2 consecutive lines of dialogue, she'll be whispering softly and then screaming at me. It's like when your dude would snap at a witness in LA Noire but 100% worse. It just reeks of bad editing. And since all the NPC's were made using the character creator, they all look so similar! Old or young, you couldn't tell except for the white hair. Also I hate, HATE it when they have a bunch of VAs record the same goddamn line. Walking around and hearing the same fucking line being repeated by 5 different people is just.. ugh!

Reckoning is a big game. I'll even go as far as say that it's too big. I'd happily give up half of all that content if that meant that the presentation was just 10% more polished.

But it's not all bad. There's also a lot of good in the game. I think the combat system is really fun. You have 9 unique weapons and a nice amount of interesting skills and abilities. This means that each combat scenario can be completed in a variety of ways. Also it all looks really cool. For example, when rushing into a group of enemies I'd tag all of them with Mark of Flame, then activate my Relentless Assault ability (which means I couldn't be knocked down and 25% of attacks were reflected) and jump in the fray with my great sword. Once I soften them up, I'd use my Elemental Assault to gather all the enemies towards me and activate my Mark of Flame, making every tagged enemy explode. If there were any stragglers left I'd finish them off with my long-range chakrams. That's just a taste. Then there's shield parries and shield bashing and teleporting and dash-attacking and even sneaking and backstabbing. My only complaint is that the game is too easy. I finished it on Hard and even then I only died twice.

I also think that the world is very interesting and unique. It's high fantasy, but with it's own flavor. There are some stunning locations that you visit and overall, there's a nice variety of locales and themes. One place I liked in particular was the Great Talking Tree thing. It reminded me a lot of a nicer version of the tree Kvothe talks to in The Wise Man's Fear. At least that's how I imagined it might look when I was reading the book...

Speaking of books, don't do the Brother Til's Books Quest. It's completely useless and it takes 10 slots of your inventory. Just don't bother.

#1 Posted by Enigma777 (6073 posts) -

That's how long it took me to finish Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.

That's a long time. I haven't put in that much time in a single game since my playthrough of the DA:O Ultimate Edition. And by no means am I finished with it. I still have over 45 unfinished quests, 3 unexplored areas (along with at least 10-15 dungeons) and 5 sets of lorestones left to find. But still, I beat the last boss and that's all that matters.

As a first effort from Big Huge Games, Reckoning is solid. It does some things right and it does some things wrong, but on the whole I don't feel bad for spending so much time with it. I do have two major issues with it though: performance and presentation. Neither is very good...

Playing on the 360, I experienced frequent framerate drops (particularly in the "corridors" between the larger areas) and some severe drops during custcenes (we're talking 5-10fps here). There's also a lot of clipping and general jankiness you can expect from open-world games like AI acting weird and stuff glitching out. None of it is game-breaking but it did happen often enough for me to make a note of it. Also I ran into an issue at least a dozen times where my A button became non-responsive when running around the world and trying to interact with objects (like when harvesting reagents) that would persist until I loaded up a new area.

There's also some vestigial things from Oblivion/Skyrim that I found very annoying, like the day/night cycle. Why does it even exist? It's completely pointless! All it does is make me run around trying to figure out which bed the NPC I'm looking for is sleeping in. It's just dumb. Same for resting. I think I only rested once during my playthrough.

Another little thing that bugged me is the "supply chest." You know, the chest you find in your house where you can put in items you don't want to sell. Why the hell is the item limit on that thing 155? Why is there a limit at all? All I kept inside it was unique armor and weapon sets and it still filled up so fast that I had to start selling them. It just boggles my mind...

But my biggest complaint is the presentation. The cutscenes, dialogues, and the voice acting just aren't very good. When you talk to another character they just stand there. Sometimes they move their hands up or down, but not often. Their lips don't match the words being spoken and the voice acting can be atrocious sometimes. A prime example is your female "love interest" Alyn Shir. In the span of 2 consecutive lines of dialogue, she'll be whispering softly and then screaming at me. It's like when your dude would snap at a witness in LA Noire but 100% worse. It just reeks of bad editing. And since all the NPC's were made using the character creator, they all look so similar! Old or young, you couldn't tell except for the white hair. Also I hate, HATE it when they have a bunch of VAs record the same goddamn line. Walking around and hearing the same fucking line being repeated by 5 different people is just.. ugh!

Reckoning is a big game. I'll even go as far as say that it's too big. I'd happily give up half of all that content if that meant that the presentation was just 10% more polished.

But it's not all bad. There's also a lot of good in the game. I think the combat system is really fun. You have 9 unique weapons and a nice amount of interesting skills and abilities. This means that each combat scenario can be completed in a variety of ways. Also it all looks really cool. For example, when rushing into a group of enemies I'd tag all of them with Mark of Flame, then activate my Relentless Assault ability (which means I couldn't be knocked down and 25% of attacks were reflected) and jump in the fray with my great sword. Once I soften them up, I'd use my Elemental Assault to gather all the enemies towards me and activate my Mark of Flame, making every tagged enemy explode. If there were any stragglers left I'd finish them off with my long-range chakrams. That's just a taste. Then there's shield parries and shield bashing and teleporting and dash-attacking and even sneaking and backstabbing. My only complaint is that the game is too easy. I finished it on Hard and even then I only died twice.

I also think that the world is very interesting and unique. It's high fantasy, but with it's own flavor. There are some stunning locations that you visit and overall, there's a nice variety of locales and themes. One place I liked in particular was the Great Talking Tree thing. It reminded me a lot of a nicer version of the tree Kvothe talks to in The Wise Man's Fear. At least that's how I imagined it might look when I was reading the book...

Speaking of books, don't do the Brother Til's Books Quest. It's completely useless and it takes 10 slots of your inventory. Just don't bother.

#2 Posted by D_Bones (365 posts) -

Hm...good read. I like hearing honest feedback especially about a game I am on the fence about. I'm personally waiting until the basic game is a bit cheaper or the ultimate edition is released. Did you play any of the dlc? Was it worth it if you did? I'm beginning to think I need to get this game but it has distanced me with the fact that it is an RPG that apparently only has an OK story and bland chracters which is normally why I play them. Still wanna give it a shot though. Now more than ever.

#3 Posted by TobbRobb (4652 posts) -

I think you might be crazy.

But just a little.

#4 Posted by Canteu (2821 posts) -

You spent 97 hours with that raging pile of shit? I'd ask why but I really don't want to know.

#5 Posted by S0ndor (2716 posts) -

Good on you for making it to the end. I got bored of it about halfway, through. Many people hailed the main quests and factions quest as much better than the side quests, but I thought the presentation was just bad all across the board.

#6 Posted by SlasherMan (1725 posts) -

@Canteu said:

You spent 97 hours with that raging pile of shit?

I don't know if I'd go as far as calling it that, there are much worse games, but yes this is not a game I'd want to spend anywhere near that much time playing... or at all.

#7 Posted by CaptainTightPants (2834 posts) -

KOA is by no means a bad game but..jeez..96 hours? I had to stop doing side quests 10 hours in because it was hurting my experience with the game. How many side quests did you complete.

#8 Posted by Enigma777 (6073 posts) -

@D_Bones: I did not do any of the DLC. Right now I think I've had my fill of the game. I'll probably check em out when they go on sale though.

@S0ndor: Yeah, the presentation is subpar throughout all the quests. I'd say it's actually worse in the Faction/Main quest lines since it's pretty minimal in the regular side-quests so you don't notice the glaring problems as much.

@Resident4t: 148

#9 Posted by JoeyRavn (4974 posts) -

I put in something like... 24 hours before finally uninstalling this game. I can honestly say I didn't enjoy a single one of those 24 hours at all. And I still can't see why the combat is so praised. I had a lot more fun sneaking around in Skyrim with a bow than with the monotony of the combat in KoA.

#10 Posted by Kidavenger (3556 posts) -

@Enigma777: I finished the game when it first came out, did every single quest, and I was just over 50 hours; I'm assuming that you played through the DLC and that is what took up the extra time for you; my question is, how long was the DLC? and was it good/worth doing?

#11 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@Kidavenger said:

@Enigma777: I finished the game when it first came out, did every single quest, and I was just over 50 hours; I'm assuming that you played through the DLC and that is what took up the extra time for you; my question is, how long was the DLC? and was it good/worth doing?

The dialog alone clocks in at 50 hours I bet. I did a pretty thorough playthrough, doing all the sidequests and all the dungeons, as well as all the collectibles - listening to like 90% of all the dialog. I believe I ended up a 120 hours. Without DLC. Gonna wait for a code-in-a-box for all of it, or not get it at all.

#12 Posted by SkyTown_Drifts (47 posts) -

It seems the quality of this game is seen depending on how you approach it. I did the most of the main quest until I reached the 4th region, than began doing the faction and side quests. I had a great time with the game doing that rather than doing all the side quests first which detracted other people from the experience. I ended up with 87 hours with a little bit more to do, but haven't been able to get back to it yet, but I plan to soon.

#13 Posted by matthias2437 (985 posts) -

I can't believe it took you that long to play it and you still have quest left. I finished the main game (no dlc) and all side quest in about 61 hours. Took me the same amount of time to beat Dragon Age: Origins Ultimate Edition and every available quest. But I also generally play games very quickly. Either way that game (and Dragon Age: Origins) are fantastic.

#14 Posted by IkariNoTekken (990 posts) -
I haven't got round to playing this, but I still very much want to.
I think I'll opt for the PC version. For the 360, was your game installed or just run off the disk?
Why does it even exist? It's completely pointless!
As someone who goes completely over-the-top with roleplaying in games, I personally enjoy having things like day/night cycles and the ability to rest. I find it adds to the overall atmosphere of the world.
I can certainly side with some of your complaints though; the chest limit and dialogue issues, for example.

Nice little write-up.

#15 Posted by bighat_logan (182 posts) -

you put up with that game for that long??

#16 Posted by benspyda (2034 posts) -

I'm still trying to get myself to beat it. I know I'm like 75% through. Also stupid me on steam bought the expansion pack that was on sale. I must hate myself. Nah just kidding I still like the game, I just need to take large breaks from it or else it gets tedious.

#17 Posted by Yummylee (21652 posts) -

Gross.

Online
#18 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

I don't even like the genre, but this game is fantastic. I think that being knowledgeable in Irish lore and mythology gives you a unique appreciation of the game's world and characters.

#19 Posted by invadernick (260 posts) -

I llike what I've played so far, combat is really engaging for me but I could see how it would get repetitive in the long run. I don't really care for the lore but it could just be me since I prefer darker fantasy.

It feels really mmo'ish and it's not what I'd consider a deep rpg. It's pretty dumbed down and I think you'll really enjoy it if you're just looking for a good time with something not too difficult and if you're into seeing some cool locations and spells.

#20 Posted by xyzygy (9996 posts) -

I loved the game. I S-ranked it in 99 hours. It can be quite a long game if you want it to be! I just hate how narrow and linear the last area is compared to the rest of the game...

#21 Posted by Enigma777 (6073 posts) -

@Seppli said:

@Kidavenger said:

@Enigma777: I finished the game when it first came out, did every single quest, and I was just over 50 hours; I'm assuming that you played through the DLC and that is what took up the extra time for you; my question is, how long was the DLC? and was it good/worth doing?

The dialog alone clocks in at 50 hours I bet. I did a pretty thorough playthrough, doing all the sidequests and all the dungeons, as well as all the collectibles - listening to like 90% of all the dialog. I believe I ended up a 120 hours. Without DLC. Gonna wait for a code-in-a-box for all of it, or not get it at all.

Yeah, I listened to all the dialogue as well. Probably why it took me so long to finish, but I will admit I was just rushing through the last area cause I got fed-up

#22 Posted by spazmaster666 (1967 posts) -

Hmm, I ignored a lot of the side quests and still ended up with over 75 hours played. I just wish the story was more compelling since the gameplay is solid.

#23 Posted by foggel (2763 posts) -

After how long did you S-rank it?  
 
I mean, get all achievements other than the story ones.

#24 Posted by Tennmuerti (8104 posts) -
@Kidavenger said:

@Enigma777: I finished the game when it first came out, did every single quest, and I was just over 50 hours; I'm assuming that you played through the DLC and that is what took up the extra time for you; my question is, how long was the DLC? and was it good/worth doing?

DLC is pretty much just more of the same.
Your opinion on the main game can be pretty much word for word applied to it.
 Aside from that:
 
There is actually 1-2 sort of interesting characters in it, that are not a snooze to listen to. giving the DLC a strong start.
But this is instantly wasted as the dialogue quicklty becomes just pointless monologue exposition just like in the main game.
There are no extra levels or character abilities. There is extra gear, but if you are already wearing crafted stuff all gear is subpar.
One new type of enemy and a couple of same enemies with slightly different models, but in the end you are mostly fighting the same dudes you are in the main game.
A couple of new good looking areas, but aside from them it all looks just as bland as the main game.
Coolest part of the DLC is you get an upgradable stronglhold that is much more robust then the ones in the main game, i really enjoyed pimping it out.
Also the "pirate" theme of the DLC is deceptive, the only things pirate like in it are the main villian, some shipwrecks and normal skeletons but wearing an eypatch or a hat, dissapointing.
#25 Posted by amir90 (2156 posts) -

Nice blog!

RPGs have always been time consuming! :)

#26 Posted by Gnomicidal (92 posts) -

I just did both of the DLCs before going into the main story end game and thought they both were fantastic.

This game really is great. The faction/main quests are superb. I disagree about the bad voice acting - I thought it was mostly fine and it never took me out of it. I love all the moral choices and backstabbing opportunities.

That being said, I'm approaching 60 hours going into the last faction (House of Sorrow) and end game.

#27 Posted by ObsideonDarman (651 posts) -

Yeah so far the Main Quest and Faction Quests are the only ones that are interesting and keeping me going.

#28 Posted by Jayzilla (2562 posts) -

This thread should be put in every article about why 38 Studios closed. At best, it's a mediocre game.

#29 Posted by Demoskinos (14835 posts) -

@Jayzilla: Agreed. I tried twice to actually "get into it" and it just never clicked for me. Sold it off for money to buy Dragons Dogma.

#30 Posted by SarjuTheRapper (279 posts) -

rest in peace

#31 Posted by UitDeToekomst (716 posts) -

I don't know... i liked it. It's actually been one of my favorite games so far this year. My final time for the main quest was 65 hours and i spent another 10 with the first DLC pack, and plan to jump into the 2nd DLC pack when I decide to take a break from Diablo III and Dragon's Dogma. I will admit it: i am not good at video games. In fact, i am quite bad. So while many consider it too easy, i did not. I also found the characters, dialogue and voice acting pretty solid. Not great, but like pretty much everything else in the game it is of good quality but not particularly compelling. So if you are bad at games like I am and just want some solid action RPG gameplay, i would certainly recommend it.

#32 Posted by coaxmetal (1619 posts) -

That's pretty close to what my Dark Souls playtime was. Dark souls was better though. And I will play it some more on PC.

#33 Posted by RedRavN (400 posts) -

I like the game quite a bit. I consider it and play it like a third person version of diablo. I had more fun when I stopped listening to all the side npc dialog that just became tedious. None of them had anything interesting to say. But I think the game was fun at its core but sadly lacking in enemy variety and combat moves, which made everything after about 10 hours exactly the same and it got too repetative.

#34 Posted by Jrinswand (1709 posts) -

"First effort?!" More like "last effort," amirite?! Hyuk hyuk.

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