My Thoughts Thus Far.. (Spolier Free)

I've been looking forward to Reckoning for quite some time. Everything I had heard about it pre-release seemed to get me more and more excited for it to come out. Currently, I've put it roughly 30 hours of game time into it and I thought I would share my thoughts of what I've experienced thus far.

Gameplay

First off, one of Reckonings selling points is that the game plays like God of War. The combat is much too simplistic to be compared to God of War. Non the less I find the combat to be pretty awesome.

You can combine your abilities and the more you do so, the more "Fate" you receive. Fate builds up with each attack combo you make. Once this bar is filled up, you can activate "Reckoning Mode" and basically rip the shit out of everything. I found myself using this on bosses constantly and killing them within less than a minute. This made the boss battles less entertaining and barely a challenge. Without "Reckoning Mode" during boss fights, on the other hand, they seemed to be much more difficult.. but not too difficult. One huge issue I have with the combat is that it does not seems to be as responsive as I would like it to be. You need to block right away, otherwise, it just seems to ignore my button press. This gets me pretty annoyed when I'm facing specific enemies.

Another issue I have is in the skill tree point placement. You get 3 skill points every time you level, but you need to place a specific amount in a tree in order to access some abilities. I found myself wasting points in places just so I could use the abilities I wanted to. To a degree this makes sense, but I feel as if they could have designed the the skill tree's in a better way.

The Destiny System also has influence on the combat to a degree. Based on where you place your skill points, different destinies unlock for you. This sounds really cool, but in reality all it does is give you an increase in specific things. Things like 10% range damage increase or 15% damage converted to mana. I was hoping that there was more to this system than just a stat bonus, but it's still pretty cool I guess.

Story

Another huge Selling point of Reckoning is that they have the famous fantasy novelist R.A Salvatore writing for it. I've heard of some of his work, but never been much of a read to enjoy it. I hear there are some pretty good ones though. Anyway, I'm about 3/4 of the way through the main questline and have completed 1 of the 6 faction quests. I've been fallowing the advice of others who are playing through the game and not touching the sidequests for the most part which is really good advice. There are so many sidequests it's crazy. I think that's awesome though because I will always have a quest of some sort that I haven't done thus giving me an incentive to comeback to the game after I beat the main quest and faction quests. These also makes it feel like an MMO. You walk into a settlement and there are a bunch of quests for you to go on if you so choose to. So if you play MMOs, you should feel right at home.

Environment

I really enjoy the art style of the game. It's really colorful and there are various environments to explore. There are some really neat looking places, but nothing too jaw dropping. One thing I did notice when exploring some of the dungeons in the game is that some are pretty similar to others in terms of layout which wrecks the immersion a bit. There seems to be a pretty decent selection of enemies, but you do encounter them over and over again in different locations which is pretty disappointing. The world is open and free for you to explore, but I really never saw a incentive to unless a quests directed me to do so.

Other thoughts

The voice acting got really annoying after hearing merchants and other characters repeat the same thing over and over again every time I passed.

The Crafting System is pretty cool. You can make potions, weapons, armor, gems... etc. There isn't anything that really stands out from other games though. I love the ability to gem gear to give each piece your own personal touch. I just got the ability to create Epic gems and by god are the epic. I crafted one that increases every ability in my finesse tree by 1. That's pretty awesome.

Also, OMG LOOT. I'm a fan of any game that has a shit ton of loot and Reckoning delivers. That's a huge reason that keeps me playing. I have been receiving a steady flow of upgrades which is really nice. If your a loot whore like I am, I couldn't recommend this game more.

Overall, I think Reckoning is really fun and a great new introduction to a new franchise that seems to have great potential for numerous games. It might not be as polished as I would of liked. But it makes up for it with the the vast amount of content it has to offer.

One more thing.. the EA servers are a pain in the ass.. 50% of the time it seems like it doesn't want to connect. If it's like Dragon Age and I can't access my DLC unless I can connect to their servers, I'll be one sad panda... :(

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Civilize this!

Hello fellow Giant Bombers. To cut things short, I purchased Civilization V last Thursday and I have played for 10 + hours straight a few times, over slept and was late for work, and have been thinking about my "battle plan" on what to do next when I am away from them game. Good thing showing up late at my work isn't as serious as an average job or else I'd be boned. I was planning on making Civ V my first review here on giant bomb and thought I could have dished out a review by now, but I feel like I haven't even come close to scratching the surface of this game. So because of this, this is going to be a little  "hands on" type of article about my experience thus far with the game that is: Civilization V.  
 
To start off, I will list my Pros.  
- Many Civilizations to choose from.  
When started my very first game of Civ V, I got the civ selection part and my jaw dropped. There were tons of civs to choose from, each with their own abilities, and special units. I counted a total of 18, but if you got the deluxe version it comes with another one. Some seem over powered and some seem under powered, but i guess that determines your play style. 
 
- graphics are really great 
Looks very polished and the art style defiantly makes it look like a Civilization game.  
 
-Wide variety of game options 
  You can change everything from the landscape you play on to how many turns it takes to research things.  
  
-Built in Mod support 
You can download mods without ever exiting the game. This is great for the casual base and those new to pc games because it takes away the need to search around websites to find mods and the need to actually put the mod files where they belong in the game files.  
 
- A lot of Strategic depth 
One of the most things I really enjoy about this game is that it has a lot of depth from determining which area is more viable to place your city to make it a good asset, or planning out the perfect move order to make your civ, well, civilized faster than the others. It has enough strategic depth to satisfy a hard core Strategy gamer, but also is doesn't show it to turn off people who can't take it all in at one time.  
 
I like more than just these things about Civ V, but these stood out more.  
  
CONS 
-Multiplayer 
I played a multiplayer match with one of my friends for a couple hours a few nights ago and I really didn't like it. A lot of the animations are stripped like when your units move from tile to tile. the interaction with other Civs lacks the screen where you actually see them in front of you thus removing the feel that your actually talking to them. 
Overall, it just seems like the multiplayer is stripped and doesn't feel as well done as the single player . 
 
-Controls are a little finicky. 
I have had issues here and there when I try to attack with air planes where they don't attack and I have to keep clicking them over and over again. It seems like I'm not clicking the enemy in the right spot.  
 
-Camera is irritating once in a while. 
I have been getting frustrated with the camera when it automatically goes to the next unit you haven't given orders to yet.   
-Dialog 
Conversations between you and other civs aren't the best. It lacks depth and the AI seem not understand whats going on occasionally. 
 
-Couldn't for the life of me figure out how to build a space ship.  
I had all the pieces built and sent them to the capital but I couldn't figure out what to do from there.. the pieces weren't combining like you'd expect.. instead they just all sat around the capital.  
 
Overall, I'm really enjoying Civ V despite some of the issues I'm having with the game. Not all are the games fault though. Some of them its just me being stupid. I really am looking forward to playing some more in the future and hope to have a full review up soon. :)

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