Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning (PC) Review

By Athanasios 14.09.2020

Review for Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning on PC

2011. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim gets released, and the world of high fantasy RPGs, as well as the industry, will never be the same… to this critic's disappointment. Instead of actual role-playing, a stronger emphasis in quality writing, and a general lack of handholding, most similar videogames now offer countless hours of casual-friendly busywork; large, gargantuan sandboxes, where there's a lot to do, but little incentive to do so. The 2012 hit(?) Kingdom's of Amalur: Reckoning was such an experience. Despite the involvement of a bunch of big names, the result was a "dry" and boring world, with tons of quests and loot. Without any exaggeration, it was basically a solo-MMO… which begs the question: is there any reason to try out its recent remastering?

The intro, which also acts as the character creation segment, shows the protagonist returning to life after dying on the battlefield. It turns out that a gnome crafted a machine that can do that wonderful thing, and this man or woman is its first success. The thing is, after that, most will actually forget how it all started. The first reason is probably that this fantasy land is packed with content. Side quests await you around every single corner. If one of those who like clearing them before focusing on the main line of missions, you'll spend more than 10 hours before even making the first major step. It's the second reason, however, where the problems with the game begin: the mediocre storyline.

Screenshot for Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning on PC

The story just isn't that exciting. On one hand it doesn't need to. Apart from a few exceptions, pretty much all RPGs use the same old tropes; evil baddie wants to do evil baddie stuff, and the protagonist, a chosen one of some sort, is the only thing that can stand on his or her way. No, it's not the actual premise, but the execution that matters the most; the direction, the world building, the quality of writing. Well, that's the thing, these aren't that good either. The realm of Amalur and its denizens are as generic (and boring) as they come, despite the existence of the "celebrities" involved.

The blame should probably go to R. A. Salvatore, who provided the lore. Sure, he is a big name in the world of high fantasy, but in this critic's opinion (and not only), that's mostly because he is a - highly productive - entry level author, and in a genre where there's not much competition. Long story short, it's hard to care about anything here. You'll forget the names of all major characters the moment you meet them; forget about the main plot; forget the reason you are doing this or that while on a side quest. Even worse, you won't get much chance to actually roleplay.

Screenshot for Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning on PC

In all honesty, this is an MMO minus the online element. Is it fun? Sure! The three skill trees let one mix and match abilities from the warrior, rogue, and sorcerer classes; the weapons are diverse, and each one handles a lot differently; the actual battles are far from passive, as you need to dodge or block incoming hits, and time your attacks; loot is hidden under every rock and inside every crevice; you can craft potions and custom equipment; and, finally, as mentioned before, there's always something to do here. Kingdom's of Amalur: Reckoning can easily waste more than 50 hours of your time. The key word here is 'waste.' This is an example of too little content stretched as far as it could possibly get.

Screenshot for Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning on PC

Yes, there's a lot to do, sure, but it's all pretty much the same. Go there, hit X, go inside that dungeon and find Y, visit that location and talk to Z. It's boring, repetitive, and due to a lack of any good character interactions, you'll soon end up doing things just to do them, skipping the dialogue altogether. It's a grind for the sake of grinding. Even worse? The game doesn't challenge you enough, so you don't really need the extra experience, loot, or money. Now, it's understandable that not everyone shares this critic's view. It's all subjective after all. What about the remastering thingy? Is that a matter of opinion too?

What's on offer in Re-Reckoning, which is basically the upgraded version of the original, is maddeningly disappointing, and that's if you want to be polite. Mainly a visual polish job, this looks as if the developer just increased contrast and called it a day, with the textures being pretty much the same, despite them being of a higher resolution. Want more than that? Well, apart from a few tweaks here, and a bunch of bug fixes there, that's about it. It's hard to understand how on earth this was given the 'ok' from publisher THQ Nordic, let alone accept how this carries such a price tag.

Screenshot for Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning's MMO beginnings are pretty obvious due to how generic the world and its lore is, and from how repetitive and… non-role-playing-game-esque it actually is. This is basically a simpler, more casual friendly version of Skyrim, and while definitely somewhat enjoyable, it's not exactly "the best RPG of 2012" as some have claimed. Even worse? The remaster of this generic MMO-ish "RPG" is a total lie. Put the original next to its new version, and it will be easy to assume that the developer just played with the contrast and saturation gliders a bit, and nothing more than that.

Developer

Big Huge Games

Publisher

THQ Nordic

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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