After Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning fell flat shortly after its release in 2012, it wasn’t looking good for the franchise. It seemed like this was going to be another promising game that didn’t quite make it. But fate had something up its sleeve. Back in 2018, THQ Nordic gained the rights to the franchise, bringing this epic fantasy back in Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning.
The remaster takes us back to the troubled lands of Amalur. War is brewing and fate is unravelling all over the realm. Travelling through various domains, you will discover what happened to you before you woke in the Well of Souls. The remaster includes the weapons pack and two original DLCs, The Legend of Dead Kel and Teeth of Naros.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning is available on PC (Steam), Playstation 4, and Xbox One.
Story- Back from the Dead
Conflict ravages the kingdoms as the corrupt King Gadflow and his Tuatha army wage war on the younger races of Amalur. After fighting valiantly in the war, our character falls.
They wake in the Well of Souls, a pit supposed to bring the dead back to life. As the only success in the experiment, their resurrection causes a massive change in Amalur: fate has no control over them. No longer a servant of destiny, our character can choose their fate and also change the destinies of those around them. What was written is now of their own choosing.
Their journey to unlock the secrets of their death takes them all across Amalur. Along the way, they are faced with a range of enemies, including the corrupt Tuatha. With the help of Alyn Shir, a mysterious Dokkalfar, and Agarth, a warrior-turned-Fateweaver, they discover they had more to do with the rising war than they first thought.
I love a game with a captivating story and plenty of lore to discover. Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning has just that. Each step reveals information that keeps the player hooked and drives them towards the next fragment of the tale. There are also plenty of side-quests to unlock more of the lore. The world building is done wonderfully and is immersive and enchanting. The two story DLCs, which are a part of this remaster, builds on the foundations of the main story.
Gameplay- Unravel Fate
The controls for Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning are easy to get used to. They are more or less the standard of most games of its type. There is the option to change the key bindings if players wish for something they’re more familiar with.
As with most RPG games, Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning allows players to create their own characters. This is done during the short cinematic in Allestar when they are being wheeled towards the Well of Souls. Players can choose from 4 unique races and customise their appearance. There are quite a few options to pick from, even though everything is more or less preset. After this, you can also choose a name for your character.
Combat plays a huge role in Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning. There is a lot to it, but it is easy to get to grips with after a little practice. The HUD allows players to clearly see each ability and weapon, along with their health and mana levels. The tutorial runs the player through the key bindings so that you can practice each move.
You can tailor the combat elements to your preferences. Players can use magical abilities alongside a primary and secondary weapon. You can use these abilities as much or as little as you like. As you level up your abilities on the skill trees, you’ll unlock different moves and combinations for combat.
Alongside the skill trees are other skills such as dispelling and persuasion. You can upgrade these one at a time when you level up. After choosing which abilities and skills to upgrade, you will get the option to choose your fate. These are presented like tarot cards. The basic cards are linked to three paths (sorcery, might, and finesse), but upgrading multiple types can unlock combinations. For example, you might want to upgrade both your magical abilities and your dagger mastery. Once you have enough points, this leaves you able to pick a fate card from the sorcery/finesse category. Fates attached to all three paths can also be unlocked.
While combat takes up a large part of the game, that isn’t all there is to it. Your journey will take you far and wide. Gather ingredients, collect shards for gems, and collect parts to craft your own weapons and wearables.
Venturing through Amalur, you will come across large rune stones. You can activate these magical rocks to unlock stories attached to the region you’re in. Narrated by those long gone, discover what happened to the land around you and catch hints of what awaits.
During my play through, there were some glitches. There were many occasions when I killed an enemy and they began to nod, which was more comical than a hindrance. There were occasional camera glitches through the environment and some uncontrolled camera shifts during combat. This happened quite a few times and was annoying during boss battles. There were also a few rendering issues here and there. I noticed it more at Mel Senshir when there were two white blocks where the detail on the towers should have been. The game also froze and had to be reset, but only the once.
The gameplay isn’t that different from the original release. It is well thought out and easy to get to grips with after a short while. The combat system and the abilities you can upgrade after levelling up are great for any kind of player. Whether you like to attack from range or jump straight into battle, there will be something for you.
Graphics and Audio- Fantasy Fun for All
The graphics in Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning have been updated. While the overall style hasn’t changed, the developers have improved the graphical fidelity. I definitely noticed a difference in the level of detail and there is a sharper quality to the overall appearance.
Each environment you travel to is beautiful and enchanting. There are sprawling cities on the coast and vivid forests just waiting to be explored. My favourite areas were the Fae environments. From the spiralling architecture to the striking glow, these areas are captivating and lend the game a magical feel. While the presentation of the areas themselves are individual to their locations, there are some repeats in designs, like in the layouts of certain buildings.
Another graphical element that I enjoyed was the character designs. Unimportant NPCs (sorry, NPCs) looked similar in a lot of respects, but the player’s character can be customised. Along with those options, the designs of the weaponry and the wearables added another level of immersion. Warriors can clad themselves in full armor, while the more magically inclined can don something lighter.
The musical aspect of Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning pairs nicely with the fantasy feel. Each area contains specific background music tailored to the situation. A nice touch to this is the shift in music when you’re being attacked or when you’ve been spotted. Once the drums start playing, it’s time to get ready for battle. This makes it easier to react quicker to an incoming ambush. There are also individual tracks for boss battles that set the scene and gets the adrenaline rising.
As well as a great soundtrack, the game contains some fantastic voice acting. There are a range of accents on show. For me, this aspect made me feel like I was playing through a folklore tale. The voice acting made the story more believable and contributed to the narrative.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning was reviewed on PC via Steam.