Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning
“From the beginning, we were wrong. Any only now, well into the second decade of the conflict, have we begun to understand the mistake we have made. We lived in harmony among the Fae, in a world awakened to new magic. Perhaps we should have foreseen what might be born on the rising tide. What force might awaken. A force powerful enough to twist even the eternal and immutable Fae folk. But Gadflow, the new King of the Winter Court, Surprised us all.
Singular among his people, he was all that the other Fae were not: aggressive, ambitious, visionary. He had power like none we had ever seen – terrible and deadly. Gadflow and his followers, the “Tuatha Deohn”, believed that a new god was to be born in the East, beneath Gadflow’s crystalline fortress of Amethyn. In the name of that god, they marched to war against the young races of Amalur.
Against a mortal army, no matter the power of their god, we might have been victorious. But the Fae are creatures of magic, not bound by the laws of life and death. Each Tuatha fallen on the battlefield would soon rise again, for the Fae do not know death as we do. How could we stand against such a force? For ten years, the war raged. For ten years, the armies of men and Alfar fought and died. But as our numbers dwindled, we knew that it was only a matter of time. Until you died...”
You begin on the back of a cart, you’re dead with a tarp pulled over your body being pushed along by a couple gnomes. They are discussing who you could be, Alfar, Varani or even a Jottun, they need to get some details down about you for the report they’re making. In order for them to complete the report you’ll first have to give them you’re details. You’ll have to customise your character, Male or Female, and you also have the choice of four race types, which are the Almain, Varani, Ljosalfar and Dokkalfar; each consists of some sort of bonus applicable to that race.
The Almain are a warlike and religious nation of a storied origin; the bonuses of the Almain are Blacksmithing +2, Alchemy +1 and Persuasion +1. The Varani, hardened by the high seas, are just at home being pirates or mercenaries as they are as shrewd merchants; the bonuses they have are Lockpicking +2, Detect Hidden +1 and Mercantile +1. The Ljosalfar are a proud and ancient people from the frozen lands of the north; the bonuses these folks have are Alchemy +1, Dispelling +2 and Sagecraft +1. The Dokkalfar folk are renowned as sophisticated students of magic and diplomacy; their bonuses are Persuasion +1, Stealth +2 and Sagecraft +1.
Next, you’ll have to choose your Parton; you’ll have the choice of Fire, Vraekor (the God of Fire) and the Patron of the Forge. Choosing Fire will give you the Patron bonuses of +6% Fire Damage and +6% Fire Resistance. Wisdom (Ethene, the Goddess of Wisdom and Art); choose Wisdom and you’ll gain the bonuses +10% Mana. War (Thyrdon, the God of War, Battle and Tactics); select War and you’ll receive the bonuses +5% Physical Damage and +5% Armour. Order (Mitharu the God of Order) will give you the bonuses of +5% Health and +5% Mana. Justice (Ynadon is the God of Justice) will give you the bonus of +10% Health, and finally you can choose None (beholden to no god) and your bonus for this is +1% Experience. Once you’ve done that you can choose one of six preset looks and then customise your look with Face, Hair Accessories. Finally, you can name your character.
Once you’ve finished deciding about your character, you’ll end up back with the gnomes, with the tarp removed and you looking down on your boat race. After some chit-chat between the gnomes they dump your body down a chute where you fall on top of a pile of other dead bodies. Sometime later you awake from the rotting pile of corpses in some underground realm, not knowing who or where you are, so you head off looking for an exit. As you make your way through the underground looking for an exit, you find out that the gnomes are under attack from the Tuatha. Once Faefolk of the Winter Court, the Tuartha have been twisted by their lord, Gadflow. There will be some popup windows which will act as a tutorial to explain how things work.
There is a main quest which you’ll follow as you progress through the Kingdoms of Amalur story. There are also plenty of Side and Faction quests to complete, these can be completed as you see fit. Completing any quest will gain you experience and some rewards. These rewards could be gold, weapons, armour, accessories or crafting materials like shards, different types of potions and other items. Defeating enemies or creatures may also allow you to gain rewards such as weapons, armour and other equipment. You can also find things in chests and in breakable objects like barrels, crates and jars.
Gaining experience points from completing quests or defeating enemies will allow you to level up your character. Levelling up will allow you to add points gained to your Skills. There are nine skills you can choose to upgrade: Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Detect Hidden, Dispelling, Lockpicking, Mercantile, Persuasion, Sagecraft and Stealth. Each of these has three categories - Basic, Advanced and Master - with a total of ten levels of upgrade, four in Basic and three in each of Advanced and Master.
You can also upgrade your Abilities and there are three categories here where you can customise your character. The categories are Finesse, Sorcery and Might; however, which you decide to upgrade will determine your game play. Finesse will give you Moderate increase to Health and Mana. You will be able to upgrade Daggers, Fae and Bow weapons. Sorcery gives you the bonus, Small increase to Health and a Large increase to Mana. And you can upgrade your Arcane, Sceptre and Staff weapons. Might give you a Large increase to Health and a Small increase to Mana. The weapons you can upgrade here are Brutal, Longswords and Hammers. Each of the ability types have some other abilities which you can also upgrade.
As you make your way through the Kingdom of Amalur, you’ll collect shards, reagents and other items which you can use to craft new items. Combining shards, you’ll be able to create gems and socket them into any weapons or equipment which have an empty slot for them. These gems will give your weapons and equipment some added bonuses. You can mix and match different types of shards to produce gems with different types of bonuses. There are also different qualities of shards you can collect, so the better-quality shards you combine, the better quality of gem you’ll produce.
There are plenty of creatures and enemies to combat, and there are various different combat styles to play. You can customise your character to fight in your preferred fighting styles. Do you prefer to get up close and personal using daggers and longswords with quick attacks? Or do you prefer to fight from a distance using magic septres or bows? You can even use weapons like hammers and great swords; while they are slower to use in combat they pack more of a punch. The decision is yours and you can swap at any time if you have the weapons. You can carry two different weapon types at once, which you can swap between at any time.
Armour is another thing that you can customise to your character and your style of game play. Your armour will have some bonus stats and these can be increased if you gain a full set of armour. A full set consists of Head, Chest, Hands, Legs and Feet, which you’ll need if you want to benefit from the full set bonus. You can also have a Shield which you can use to block attacks and there are also Necklaces and Rings which will also give your character some sort of bonuses.
As you make your way through the kingdom, you’ll visit various locations. After you have visited a location once you can Fast Travel back to the location at any time you wish from the World Map. As you travel, you’ll interact with many characters along the way. Some will offer you quests, or you’ll get some information from them, and you will have to make some yes or no decisions.
Visiting location like villages you can look around the buildings and there may be places like chests, draws, bookcases etcetera you can search. Some of these may require you to pick the lock or find a key to open them, you can possibly even force them open as well. While some of these will allow you to take what you find, some won’t unless you steal them. Those you have to steal are indicated in red and will have a percentage of the visibility of you being seen nicking someone's stuff. If you steal any items and are seen then you could get into trouble with the law; you can try bribing the law or running off but the best way to avoid being caught red-handed is to get rid of the character who’s nearby. Any items you manage to nick you’ll be able to use; however, you won’t be able to sell those items with your average trader as they don’t take stolen goods. This isn’t too much of a problem until your inventory starts to fill to the brim. The only way to sell those items is through a Fence; a trader who will deal in stolen goods.
In the options you’ll find settings for Resolution (Full Screen Mode, Full Screen Resolution and V-Sync), Graphics (Post-Processing, Texture Quality, Vegetation, Shadow Quality, Anisotropy, Anti-Aliasing and Super Sampling), Controls (Invert Camera, Sprint Mode, Camera Sensitivity and Controls), Camera (Camera Smoothing, Enemy Focus, Camera Height, Camera Distance and Field of View), Game Play (Auto-Save, Hide Helmet, Tutorials, Lock Mini Map, Text Language, Audio Language and Hud Scaling Mode), Audio (Subtitles, Effects. Music and Dialog Volume Sliders).
I’ve enjoyed playing Kingdoms of Amalur Re-Reckoning so far. I like the graphics, sounds and music. There’s plenty of customising of your character and game play to suit your style of play. The game runs well with the graphics maxed out and while I haven’t had anything really go wrong, I did have the game freeze on me once. The only other thing which I have had trouble with is that I lost my trousers; in fact, I didn’t even have my legs - they were invisible! My boots were there and the rest of my armour was in place, just not my trousers. This was fixed after leaving and restarting the game and I haven’t had the problem since.
Review written by Piston Smashed™ for Zeepond.com!
Positives+ looks and runs great
+ Multiple combat styles
+ Good story
+ Plenty of quests
+ Has achievements
+ Has cards
Negatives- Crashed once
- Lost my trousers
Arise from the clutches of death and rescue a world torn apart by war in the Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning.
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Zeepond Rating: 8/10
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