Kingdoms of Amalur

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by Ilosar, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. Ilosar

    Ilosar Vault Fossil

    Apr 20, 2010
    I saw nobody talked about this game, so a new thread for you guys.

    I played the demo available on Steam, and while I wasn't impressed per se, it still seemed promising. The art style is a bit WoW-ish, the combat resembles Fable's (albeit harder and more dynamic), but the RPG elements seem solid, with the usual set of skills (lockpcking, blacksmithing, persuasion, but also gemcrafting and dispelling magical wards), plus special abilities and ''classes'' of a sort (pure warrior/rogue/mage, or a mix and match, you can even be a complete jack of all stats). IGN pukes rainbows all over it like is customary with big budget EA games http://ps3.ign.com/articles/121/1216517p1.html but I wonder what folks here think of it.
     
  2. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    They'll have to fix it before I buy it. I can't play it as is, the mouse smoothing and excessive motion blur means I get motion sickness when playing to. So. Meh.
     
  3. maximaz

    maximaz Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Apr 2, 2006
    I'm pretty interested in this but the art style just puts me off so I'll wait for a price drop.

    The guys who made it seem to be really into it though and a bunch of them are ex Bethesda guys with some critical things to say about TES.
     
  4. shihonage

    shihonage Made in USSR

    May 8, 2007
    It looks nauseating in its pedestrian mundanity.
     
  5. Alphadrop

    Alphadrop A right proper chap.

    Aug 21, 2008
    Well the Escapist likes it a lot...
    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/reviews/5344-Kingdoms-of-Amalur-Reckoning-Video-Review
    Hard to tell if he's reading to much into it or not though. Then again that might just be my mistrust of R.A Salvatore due to the whole Drizz't thing.

    I do dig the art style though, yea looks a bit WoWish but the armour designs look really good, ornate and fantasy looking without going overkill like the giant WoW shoulder pads or the armour of 10 thousand pieces in the latest D&D stuff.
     
  6. Ilosar

    Ilosar Vault Fossil

    Apr 20, 2010
    I also noticed the motion blur issue. It's not as bad as Crysis 2, but still too much. Not a (potential) dealbreaker for me, but I can see where you come from.

    Well the combat is certainly far more dynamic and fun than Beth-style ''stand in one place and hack away'', and the RPG elements are far more developped than in Skyrim or Oblivion from what I saw (there are like 12 non-combat skills). It's not an open world, however, but judging by the in-game map it's still a positively huge game.

    I am extremely wary of the Escapist since they gave Dragon Age 2 that infamous review. it sounded more like a fucking advertisement than a review.

    I see what you mean, judging from screenshots anyway. Even the female armor seems quite reasonable, save the requisite form-fittingness of course. The weapons look a bit too big, but I guess that's nitpicky.
     
  7. Ausdoerrt

    Ausdoerrt I should set a custom tit

    Oct 28, 2008
    Why do they keep calling it a RPG? Looks more like a typical slasher to me...

    Graphics look rather dated, and I never much liked Salvatore.
     
  8. Kyuu

    Kyuu Insert Awesome Title Here

    Jul 19, 2007
    Huh. Hadn't heard so much as a peep about this game. Looks interesting, and I, for one, like Salvatore. And Drizzt. I know, I know, I'm such a loser.

    Gonna look into this one. Thanks for the heads up.
     
  9. Serge 13

    Serge 13 *On Vacation* Orderite

    Jul 20, 2006
    The GiantBomb review mentions some interesting things about the side quests and the games difficulty and such:

    Read the full review here.
     
  10. Ilosar

    Ilosar Vault Fossil

    Apr 20, 2010
    I only played the demo, and it seemed more than that. There are numerous abilities, many dedicated, non-combat skill trees, and plenty of customization. Granted, it remains to be seen if it has viable choice and consequence, but on the mechanics side I consider it an RPG.
     
  11. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign Precious Fluids of The Order Staff Member Moderator Orderite

    Apr 1, 2005
    I keep getting mixed opinions about it, so I am unsure now. If it is too shallow I won't be able to enjoy it. When they keep comparing it to Fable it makes me have doubts too. I got pretty bored with Fable 3. I thought the game would have more to it, but it looks too generic, as far as content is concerned. I had high hopes for this one too. Maybe I will wait for the price to drop.... Shit.
     
  12. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Alpharius oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010
    I have finished playing the demo, and I think that, although not the best game, it could be a buy when the price drops. At least by some.

    Technically, the game is okay by my standards, as it runs on rather high settings on a very old machine of mine, which is a big plus from me. Animations are pretty good and all, but the facial expressions are rather dull and boring. Could be due to my hardware, but faces are also buggy, so it is a bit annoying. Other than that, graphics are okay...except for the motion blur. You get used to it, but it is still annoying. I swear I got quite dizzy at first.

    Yes, design is a lot like WoW, but that's not necessarily bad. Armors seem like typical fantasy armors so far, nothing extreme yet, but weapons are a pure hyperbole. Seriously, daggers remind me of Kratos' weapons, swords are like some over-the-top anime blades (at least some of them - others look like ordinary bastard swords).
    And the scabbards...are missing, of course. Also, I'd like to mention that shields are carried as offhand items, and that by pressing "guard" button, they magically appear, and after releasing the button, magically disappear. Quite ugly and stupid, if you ask me.

    Design of locations and everything else is what reminds me of WoW the most - the starting location has a striking resemblance to Night Elf starting point, at least to me.

    What's left?
    Yes, combat. It is dynamic, though at certain moments the game freezes for a few seconds just before you're about the finish the combo. There are various combos, mixing standard attacks with magic ones. In essence, you only use two mouse buttons, but the combat system seems to be nicely implemented. There is standard health, mana and "fate" bar. Fate bar is filled by killing enemies, and when it's full, you can activate the "pissed of mode" and kill enemies in slow motion - ultimately, you can choose to kill a single enemy in an epic cinematic, by purging their soul...or something.
    I've went through the demo like rogue, which brings unique abilities and options to the game - "standard" stealth kill is here and all that. Almost everything in the game is killable - which brings me to my next statement - the game is very easy. Or at least the demo is. On Normal difficulty I was able to clear the whole starting area in less than ten minutes.
    I've noticed that certain critters have tactics of their own, each more or less unique to the critter (of those you see in the video - there aren't many, of course), which is good - they don't simply run over to you and try to hit/bite you. Still, some of them are just too easy. Should've tried with higher difficulty.

    As for more RPG stuff - there are plenty of non-combat skills, such as alchemy, crafting to stealth and persuasion. Some may call it simplified, but it is fine. As for combat skills, there are three skill trees, or paths, whatever, that one can take. Guess of which game this reminds me of?

    I'm not familiar with works of RA Salvatore, but I can tell you one thing - setting isn't very original.
    Immortal magical race which has been waging a war against everything mortal, since they abhor mortal life, which is a philosophy installed to them by some dark, ambitious leader of theirs. Having an antagonist defined from the first scene in the game is not something I appreciate, but it is somewhat common, so, here's another one!
    Also, PC starts their journey on a slab, has no memory and seems to be immortal (rings a bell?).

    Dialogues are okay, I guess. Can't really conclude that by the demo, but there are plenty of quests in the starting area, which is nice.
    However, the voice acting is a bit annoying. It isn't bad, but the slightly-Scottish accent for gnomes, slightly-British for priests and slightly-American for guards is something I believe many won't exactly appreciate. I know I won't, but hey, it's passable.

    Last, but not least - it is a open world game, but not in a sandbox way. It is just huge, judging by the world map. Loads of content can be put there.

    That would be about it.
    Oh, I forgot to mention the music. It also reminds me of WoW, to be honest. Draw your own conclusion on this.

    Well, that would be it. My two cents to the thread.
    All in all, demo is fine, and I believe the game will be fine. It is far from something special, and I doubt many people here on NMA will like it, or at least, praise it like something grand, but it is a potential buy, when the price drops. I will be on a lookout.
    For those who are into it, downloading and finishing the demo yields some extra items for the full version of the game, and for Mass Effect 3.


    Now back to Wasteland.
     
  13. clercqer

    clercqer Senator oTO Orderite

    Feb 14, 2005
    The demo is unplayable for me because I can't remap the movement keys and we use the azerty keyboard layout here in Belgium.

    Lame to the utmost max.
     
  14. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign Precious Fluids of The Order Staff Member Moderator Orderite

    Apr 1, 2005
    Yet another game is ruined for me. :cry:

    Shadowrun on the SNES started on a slab with amnesia....
     
  15. aenemic

    aenemic Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Jun 4, 2008
    thouroughly enjoying this game at the moment. it's not an rpg, it's an adventure game with lots of hack'n'slash. and a very well crafted one. I love the graphics, the setting, the general atmosphere. the combat is very smooth and engaging and the huge amount of variety prevents it from getting old. moves and spells look and feel amazing. and there are really a lot of ways to build your character. I love how you can mix different playstyles with great results without feeling like you're hampering your build. you're not at all limited to warrior, mage or rogue. main storyline is so-so (haven't gotten that far to be honest), but there's so much to do that there's always a story to be told somewhere. even the simplest side-quests are somehow related to a larger plot. this makes questing feel like exploration and learning about the world, not like grinding for loot and experience points. very immersive game, for being such a game-y one.

    I don't get why people compare it to Skyrim all the time, it has very little to do with TES. it's much more of a cross between Diablo and Fable to be honest. but doing everything better in every possible way. not as linear, much more story and lore (there is A LOT of lore, and it's presented very tastefully). doesn't feel nearly as childish and game-y as Fable, despite having that look, and doesn't feel nearly as much as a non-ending grind as Diablo. and to be honest, if you look at the rpg aspects, the game world feels a lot more alive than Skyrim. different areas actually have a distinct look and feel to them, and you definitely get that feel of safety in towns and danger outside of towns. there's a lot of mystery to certain locations, which gives you that urge to explore and get further into the game. it's not a sandbox game, but it's pretty free-roaming. and I prefer it this way rather than Skyrim's "go where you please, everything is pretty much the exact same anyway" approach.

    biggest complaint I have is that it's too easy. as with all modern games, there's simply too little challenge. I started playing on Hard right away, but it feels like I'm playing on easy. every now and then a boss or a high-level enemy gives me trouble, but as soon as I learn the attack patterns and drink a few potions it's fine (or just enter reckoning mode for insta-kills). even most bosses so far can be pretty much insta-killed with the reckoning mode. as per usual, the main issue here seems to be that even on Hard the game caters more to a casual play-style. if you explore too much and take on every quest, pick every lock, and kill every enemy you come across, you will outlevel the intended difficulty. most of the monsters in the areas where I still quest actually have gray names now, which means they're barely worth killing (no challenge and very little xp). why can't there ever be a difficulty setting for experienced players where they expect you to do everything, explore everywhere and play smart from the get-go? and I don't mean powergaming, I hate doing that.

    ah well, fun game anyway. and definitely recommended. just don't expect a c&c-heavy rpg. and don't expect a sandbox game. I wasn't very interested at first after watching some official gameplay videos, but there's much more to it than the gimick-y combat you see in those videos. I was very pleasantly surprised.
     
  16. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès It Wandered In From the Wastes

    174
    Jul 15, 2008
    Yep, that's the most prominent complaint around, and also my own - that the game is just far too easy. Never mind potion spamming, hardly anything can get me so far as to make me drop my health in the first place. Before I got massively overpowered I really enjoyed the game. But after that point it became more and more of a chore. Gold at first was a challenge as well. Getting the first 14k for training and another 7k for a bag-upgrade took quite long. Now I'm running around with 1.5 million.

    Also, after the first area, I think it was Dalentarth, lore-wise things start to go 'lite'. Before that it felt like every area had its own story, very well interwoven with the quests. The 'Plains of Erathil' area feels... abandoned. There is still story to every map, but its disconnected and you only brush it rather than get intimately involved. I really liked the whole idea of the House of Ballads questline; cyclical history, the power of stories having to repeat themselves, and all ending with a neat though rather tacked on choice in the end whether you continue the cycle or not. As far as story telling and quests went, it was pretty imaginative and well-made. I appreciate it when a game's story can put me to think and reminds me of other works of fiction and non-fiction.

    Sadly, the main story is hardly on an equal level to that faction questline. Being 'fateless' and being able to decide fates of, well, stuff, is a neat idea if you think about it and are willing to work it through, but apart from the House of Ballads questline there aren't actually any boundaries other people supposedly encounter that do not exist for you, apart from the age-old adage 'since you're bloody strong you can do stuff others can't'. That's basically the entire effect of not being bound by fate - which in essence means there is no meaning to it. In any and every game that allows you to make choices you decide the 'fates' of everyone else. And rather than to work out this theme in depth, in Amalur it simply becomes a retranslation of the fact that you're the hero and you solve stuff while other people can't, won't, and don't. You solve stuff for other people who aren't 'fated' to do so; which translated means, you go and do quests for NPC's. At least the House of Ballads line had a narrative explanation to buttress a theme of change and continuity. The rest of the game just goes on and blathers about how you 'change the fates' of everything, the world, some dudes, heck probably even nature and flowers and other hippy-shit, but that's just text tacked on to stuff you would've done anyway.

    And that's the kicker. Although not being 'bound by fate', in most matters you don't have the least bit of choice. You kill a troll, and the game spins it up as if you've just changed someone's fate. You kill another troll, and suddenly you've temporarily changed the fate of an entire area. There is no option not to kill the troll, let the guy die, let the whole region become trampled. You're still just as much bound by the fate the game wants you to play as in every other game; apart form perhaps The Witcher. You have no choice to ignore the whole damn world and let it go to ruins just because you think that it bloody well deserves it. No, you're the hero and you sodding well have to go and rescue the world or you're not getting any story.

    I feel like that about a lot of the game. A lot of wasted potential. A huge amount of work went into this game, but most of it is wasted by simply not thinking things through. The premisses of the story are promising and offer lots of potential, but there's hardly anything done with them. The combat system is wonderful, but the game is too easy to make it worthwhile getting good at it. The graphics are good enough and the scenery is often very well designed, but the camera makes you look mostly at the ground or your back so can't see shit. The crafting system is quite fun but it also breaks the entire equipment system because its massively overpowered. Items are well-varied and look great but you don't ever use most of them because they suck and you can just craft better. Alchemy offers a lot of potions to brew but you don't need it because the game is too easy. Lockpicking isn't too bad but as a skill it's redundant because a) picking locks is far too easy b) lockpicks don't cost a dime c) chests are randomized mostly so you're just as likely to get a good drop from normal chests as well as from locked ones. Repairing in cities is massively expensive, but no sane person would ever do that anyway because repair kits cost about 1/10-1/100th of repairing at a blacksmith.

    All in all, the game had huge potential but most of it was left unused.
     
  17. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Alpharius oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010
    Matt Chat about Reckoning:

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYr_Lr_2P-Y&feature=uploademail[/youtube]
     
  18. rcorporon

    rcorporon So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs
    Orderite

    Jan 31, 2008
    I avoid games published by EA wherever possible so I'll pass on this.
     
  19. UniversalWolf

    UniversalWolf eaten by a grue.

    Aug 28, 2005
    +1

    EA is one of the labels that instantly turns me off any game. Also Zenimax and Activision.

    I remember when they used to be good, too. A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
     
  20. Makagulfazel

    Makagulfazel Adept Bungler of Things Orderite

    Jun 14, 2007
    Yeah, eff that noise. Maybe when it's at bargain bin prices, but EA coupled with several similarities to the Fable series? No thanks.
    I still haven't bought Battlefield 3 because of EA's bullshit(Origin). I love BF, too, evident from my 293 hours of BF:BC2. Also avoiding ME3, but that's mostly because ME2 drifted too far into interactive movie/FPS territory. I want to play a fucking RPG, not watch a movie.