One of my most anticipated games of 2012 is finally upon us, as today a demo launched for Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning on XBox Live. Set for a February 7th release, Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning is the debut game from 38 Studios and Big Huge Games, which is opened and operated by former baseball legend and future Hall Of Famer Curt Schilling, who won World Series as a member of both the Boston Red Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks. Now retired from the world of baseball, Schilling has moved on to the world of gaming, and with Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning, he is clearly doing it with a bang.
Schilling has assembled a who’s who cast of characters throughout the process of creating Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning, and that list includes the likes of Todd McFarlane and R.A. Salvatore, along with tons of people that were involved in the making of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Just think for a moment what about what all of those people bring to the table and boom, there you have it: Reckoning. I mean, it is literally that simple, but don’t take that as an insult to the game, because I mean it as the ultimate compliment. After spending an hour and a half or so playing through the demo and immersing myself in the fantasy world of Amalur, I can safely say that, although 2012 has just begun, we have our first Game of the Year contender upon us.
What I really love about the demo is just how much it lets you experience the game before deciding to buy. For the folks at 38 Studios, that has to be huge, since this is a new IP trying to establish itself amongst a world of Skyrim’s and Dark Souls. This fits right in with the lot, while the art direction and character design seem to be more fitting and comparable to the Fable series. There is a main quest that establishes what is going on in the world of Amalur that takes a good 45 minutes or so to run through. While I assumed that running through this part of the demo would in fact be the completion of the demo, I was very pleasantly surprised to find that upon completion of this first major quest, the game allows for an extra 45 minutes in free roam so that the player can fully explore the area and see what the game is truly all about. Conversation doesn’t count towards the total, and it is a really great opportunity to see what Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning is all about.
The art style in this game is gorgeous. I can’t help but fall in love with the beauty of my surroundings, and I can tell that this is going to be an extremely aesthetically pleasing game to run through. With the art direction of Todd McFarlane, was that really much of a surprise?
I found the combat style to be pretty easy to pick up. There are a number of options for weaponry, from broad swords to daggers to bows and of course, a good old fashioned fire staff. Whenever I play games like this, I always tend to lean towards the warrior path, loading up on heavy weapons and hack and slashing my way into greatness, but with Reckoning, I totally see myself leaning towards magic. I was about half and half on Skyrim, but it just seems so much more fun launching lightning at my enemies and pulling out my secondary weapon daggers at close range.
Below you will find my entire hour and a half experience with Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning. I absolutely loved the game and can’t wait until February 7th so I can get my hands on the full game. For all you Mass Effect fans out there, definitely make sure you at least download the demo and open it up, because by simply launching into the title screen, you are greeted to a message stating that you have unlocked special Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning armor for Mass Effect 3. There is also some special armor unlocked in the demo that will be available in the full release of the game itself. With that said, I can not encourage you to try this game out enough. It was so much fun and I can’t wait for more.
(Videos currently uploading, there will eventually be six)