E3 2011: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
I don’t know what EA see in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. This was the game in their press conference that made me think “Hmm, looks awfully familiar to Fable, or Elder Scrolls, or…” Given that it was by far the shortest queue at EA’s booth, it looks like I wasn’t the only one who thought that.
Reckoning is an action RPG by numbers. Your character begins as a blank canvas with no destiny, so your first task is to customise them. “It’s all about choice”. Fighting earns XP and items, ingredients can be mixed and magic performed. Starting to sound familiar?
We were shown a demonstration of pre-alpha code, but unlike other EA games, there was no chance to play it. From what I saw, it looks like Reckoning is only going to appeal to hardcore RPG fans. The presenter reassured us that while combat was very much like an action game, it had a “hardcore RPG backbone”.
There was an interesting moment when a conversation between characters was being demonstrated. “We’re not sure why, but some people don’t like to read the dialogue. For those people, we’ve included an option to get back to killing things”. Perhaps, I wonder, it’s because in many games like this, the story isn’t compelling enough for people to care.
Although all we saw was a short gameplay demo, it was enough to make me seriously doubt Reckoning‘s credentials. This is the kind of game that Peter Molyneux has nightmares about and even for the hardcore RPG audience, there was no obvious reason to choose this over something like Skyrim. I’m just pleased I didn’t have to queue to see it.