Backlog review: Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning

So considering that this is a title that I bought at launch, this game eventually getting buried in my pile of games makes buying this game at launch a bit of a disappointment for me. But I was looking for something to play and remembered I stopped right after I got to Alabastra, which is basically the end of the game. So I decided to start skipping all of the side quests since their basically all the same (go there, kill that guy/creature/gang and come back to collect reward) and go straight to the end. So a few hours later, I had finished it and still feel it this game is a medicore at best rpg with a cool fighting system. Just a fair warning, there will be spoilers below.

The Good:

The combat is really fun. Its more about timing and rhythm to pull off combos instead of series of buttons you would need to use to pull off like you would see in a hack and slash type game like DMC or Bayonetta. There are three classes you can choose from (warrior, rogue, and mage) and you get to choose skills from those three classes whenever you level up. So the game gives a lot of flexibility is terms of how you would like to play your character. You can be a warrior who uses greatswords and bow or rogue who uses faeblades and chakams. It allows you to customize the character to your playstyle and play within the mechanics of the game. They also allow you to respec at a fateweaver for a small cost which allows you to never get bored with the gameplay.

The Bad:

Your character is very powerful even at the beginning of the game so when you level up, you just become more and more powerful to the point where at the end of the game, you are overpowered and just killing everything with little effort. Even on hard difficulty, most things don't pose a great threat to you and you can just brute force your way through a majority, if not all of the content. So if they are going to make you that powerful, then either there shouldn't be any leveling system in place, or the enemies have to hit you much harder in order to balance it out. I found myself getting bored with the combat and that's not because the combat system is bad, its because your character is already really powerful so leveling just makes the content really not worth playing. I found myself just running past most of the enemies after I had initially cleared the area simply because they posed no threat, I would get little to no xp for killing them, and they gave no good loot.

The story is also fairly forgettable. While the concept of it is good and why I decided to pick up the game, they really don't do anything with it. There are some good story beats every once in a while ( I thought Mel Senshir where the commander you helped gets killed was pretty good myself) but all and all, it was pretty boring to be totally honest. I really thought they were going to do something interesting with the fate thing, but other than a couple of times, they really don't do much with it. Yeah, your character is the fateless one, but honestly that means nothing, that really just an excuse to give you the fateshift power and really that's it. They also never quite explain who you used to be before you were killed. They tell you that you used to work an organization sworn to keeping Tironic dead, but they never explain why or who was the organization in the first place. What the organizations name? Were they a good or bad organization? Why do they need to keep their identity a secret? And who was I as a person? Was I good or bad? Have I changed or am I the same? All these were never really answered and left me a little disappointed.

The questing is subpar as well. It really does feel like an mmo where there's a town hub with people with exclamation points over there head and they give you a quest. While some are better than others, they all amount to fetch quests basically and it gets kind of tiring to play it. At least with an mmo, you can do them with friends and make it fun, here you have to do it all by yourself and it just gets boring. I think that's why this game got thrown into the backlog. It just became some tiresome to have to deal with the sidequests that I just would rather not play it than play it and get bored in 5 minutes. I say that,that faction quests were pretty good. I did the travelers, the warsorm, and the house of sorrows. They were interesting but they still basically had the same questing structure as many of the side quests which kind of took away from some of the more interesting aspects of the story of the faction quests.

The Ugly:

The fateshift mechanic totally breaks this game. This shouldn't be in the game. Its just way too overpowered and they didn't take the time to balance it out so it wasn't so overpowered. Its basically an " I win" button they've placed into the game and it really breaks the gameplay because all you have to do is hit L1 and R1 and basically everything on the screen will die almost instantly (this includes bosses).You also get extra xp for using it so there's more incentive to use it than to not use it. I found myself not using that that because I felt it was overpowered and didn't want to use it ( also the game isn't that hard, even on hard so you don't need it) but that's besides the point. Building a game based on this mechanic which basically makes an already really powerful character basically a god is a silly idea from a gameplay perspective. It makes the game boring and not challenging in the slightest. The blacksmithing and stagecrafting is also broken. You can make armor and weapons and place sockets into them that are better than anything that would drop off of an enemy or you would find in a chest. This is also why doing the side quests are pointless because your never gonna get anything better than what you can craft. For example, I crafted gems that allowed me to steal 15 health every time I hit an enemy plus regen 3% health and mana at the same time. That's just overpowered. You also will have a ridiculous amount of gold by the end of the game. I think I had almost 1,000,000 gold and there's just nothing to spend it on.

Conclusion:

I think this game would have been better and more enjoyable if it was harder and not just a little harder, significantly harder and if there was no fateshift mechanic as it just breaks the game. I think this title is just medicore with an ok but ultimately disappointing story, a ridiculous amount of fluff and padding with the never ending side quests that are all essentially the same, and a good combat system that is broken by the fateshift mechanic.

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