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Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning Review

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Fast Facts

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning

Developer: Kaiko
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Website: https://amalur.thqnordic.com/
Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG
Platform: Xbox One
Age Rating: PEGI 18
Release Date: 08/09/20
Price: £34.99

A code was provided for review purposes.

Originally released back in 2012, Kingdoms of Amalur was a game loved by many, but one that caused much controversy. This game was originally seen as a failure, and due to this the original publisher, 38 Studios, was forced to close. Nonetheless, I adored this game. So, as you can imagine I was very excited to hear it would be remastered for the latest consoles. I’ve waited a long time for this day. But, is it as good as I remember?

If It’s Not Broke, Don’t Fix It? Or Something Like That…

The first thing I noticed after loading up Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning was that there didn’t seem to be much of a graphical improvement. It looks pretty much the same as it did when I played all those years ago. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I had just expected for it to look a lot better than it did. Of course, if both versions were compared side by side I’m sure it would look better – just not enough to pinpoint it as a 2020 release.

The gameplay remains the same – the hack ‘n’ slash RPG that I loved all those years ago. The combat is just as fun as I remembered and there is a vast amount of customisation in the forms of weapons, spells, skills and even destinies. This is perhaps one of the most interesting things about the game.

Everybody has a fate, right? Something they are destined to do no matter what? Well, Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning takes this prospect and stomps it into the ground. Everyone has a fate. Everyone but you. You are able to choose your destiny as you progress through the game. Each destiny you unlock has various perks that allow you more control of how you level up your character. Each destiny is unlocked once you have gained enough skill points in a particular tree; Sorcery, Finesse and Might.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning Review
Your destiny is in your hands…

As is the case with most RPGs, your character has various skills and perks of which you can upgrade to provide numerous bonuses to help you on your journey. Whether that be new attacks, upgrading your health, or even upgrading your ability to persuade people into doing what you want them to – it’s all here. One of the things I really love most about Kingdoms of Amalur is that no matter what race or class you choose, you aren’t limited to a particular set of weapons. You’re free to experiment with them all and choose what works best for you.

Pretty early on in the game, you are able to take a peek inside the Special Delivery Chest which appears to be full of a lot of legendary weapons and armours that are incredible for the first few hours of the game. My gripe with this was that as nice as it was to have these items, it made the beginning of the game incredibly easy. Another thing that I didn’t like was that I wasn’t able to store these weapons and armour anywhere if I didn’t want to use them. As someone who doesn’t like to destroy items or sell them, I would’ve liked a storage box from the get-go.

A Story I Didn’t Want To Pay Any Attention To

I really had wished that Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning had a stronger narrative than it actually has. It didn’t keep me occupied at all. There are so many different characters to meet and quests to go on and I found myself skipping through a lot of the text due to it simply boring me.

The story revolves around you, a formerly dead person who was about to be incinerated, before waking up on a pile of dead bodies. It turns out that your soul has been put back into you via the Well of Souls, a creation that hasn’t worked up until now. For reasons that I didn’t really understand, a race known as the Fae want you dead because you being ‘revived’ isn’t the natural order of things…

It just all feels incredibly generic. Talking to characters can get incredibly overwhelming with a flurry of information being offered to you and not a clue what you have just been told. This meant that going on quests almost felt like a chore as I didn’t really know what was happening. Luckily, I enjoy the core gameplay.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning Xbox One
Info-dumping characters hinder the narrative

There’s A Bug Around Here Somewhere.

I did experience a number of bugs and glitches whilst playing Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning which ultimately greatly ruined the experience for me. Some as simple as certain characters not appearing when talking to them, you just see the background. Other times I would talk to people and the background music would completely stop. The more extreme case I encountered though actually caused me to have to restart the game completely. I was exploring a cave whilst on a mission and all of a sudden the background went completely black, allowing me to only see my own character and no way to travel where I needed to. This was frustrating, to say the least.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning Review
Hack ‘n’ slash like your life depends on it…because it does!

Summary

Ultimately, the same experience is to be had in Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning. If you have played this before, you know exactly what you’re getting. But it’s still fun to play and nice to re-experience after so many years. If you haven’t played it, well, where have you been? It’s a great action-RPG with many unique gameplay features and hundreds of hours of gameplay. This version includes all previously released DLC and there are even plans to bring out a new expansion later on in the year. It’s a great game but sadly, it’s not a great remaster.

Rapid Reviews Rating

You can purchase Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning for Xbox One here.

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