Kingdoms of Amalur Review
Kingdoms of Amalur is the first big game out the the studio founded by Red Sox Pitching Ace, Curt Schilling. It also employed the artistic skills of Todd McFarlane, and the storytelling power of R.A. Salvatore. You will take on the roll of a character who has already died, and yet somehow was able to return to life thanks to a device called the Well of Souls. You will not be able to remember your previous life, but you will have an advantage to all that live within the realms, you are outside of fate's control, and you can also affect other people's fates as well. You'll have to journey the lands of Amalur, leveling up your character, building your character back up to what they once were. Along the way you'll have to take on numerous quests, and you'll also be given special bonuses for exploring the world.
Graphically this game is going to feel like World of Warcraft. The slightly cartoony and light color palette definitely feel borrowed. Thankfully, though, the character models and map do feel unique. Sure there are going to be a ton of characters with like faces, and of course all the enemies of a type are going to look different, even some of the enemies that actually have a unique name. There is a problem that happens from time to time when you're dealing with unlevel terrain that may cause the camera to go underneath the ground layer, and there's also an issue with dealing with a massive amount of enemies on the screen and you trying to pull off special attacks, it's a noticeable slow down. Speaking of the special attacks, I really enjoyed them, and I think most will, but I will warn you of this, you're going to have to use them over and over and over again if you're going to survive till the end.
The music for the game was an experience, and I wish it was in a good way. Constantly when there was a change in music I would have a "I've heard this before" moment. There are times where the music sounds like it came out of a Harry Potter movie, there are other times where it sounds like the music came from Ghost Busters. The voice acting for the most part was pretty good, but there was a constant issue with syncing the voices to the movement of the characters lips that really took away from the game. There was also several times where the directional sound felt off. There were also several times where there were multiple audio tracks occurring that left everything being said unintelligible.
The controls of the game are quick to pick up, and you're going to want to know them very well when it comes to using the right trigger and/or the A, X, B, and Y buttons. The buttons are going to be your bread and butter, and if your fingers are low on endurance, you might want to get some training in because you're going to be spamming the buttons to get through enemies.
So the story has your character dead before the game starts, and then you spend the game taking on enemy after enemy, quest after quest, inch after inch of the map. By doing all of these acts your character will slowly level up and become the type of character you want them to be. The classes basically break down into three categories, Finesse, Might, and Magic. You'll be given three points per level to craft your character with different skills, as well as proficiencies. There's also certain milestones that can be reach with a given amount of points allocated to the classes. When you get to one of these you can gain additional benefits for your character.
There are a ton of items, and even more that you can create to make the best killing machine that you can. There is a point in the game, however, where items that you pick up in your adventure stop being useful to you, and only serve to clog up your inventory, or allow you to have massive amounts of materials for future projects, most of which you'll never do as they will not cause you character any better bonuses than their current one.
For me there was a point in the game where I was done with the side quests, and I kind of wish that I had focused more on the faction quests as they were more unique than your go here and get that quest that became the main side quest. The main quest, though, I really enjoyed, I was just afraid that if I tried to take it on too fast that I wouldn't make it to the end, so I spent over 107 hours in this game to make sure that that would not occur.
With all the flaws, and some of the pieces that just fell short of my expectations, I still have to say that this game is worth a look at if you're in the market for a hack and slash adventure. I would assume that some of the issues might only be for the XBOX 360, but with that said there's still those issues, so I'm going to have to say that this game gets a 7.1 out of 10.