Review | Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning was a steller RPG that came out in 2012. Unfortunately, it didn’t get the amount of recognition it deserved, but was successful enough to earn itself a cult following. Now in 2020, THQ Nordic surprised fans by announcing an all-new remaster for the fan-favorite title on current-gen consoles and PC. Will Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning be good enough to enhance the experience of the original?
In Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning, you play as the Fateless one, a hero who isn’t bound to a destiny with the ability to freely change their fate as well as the fates of others. You are tasked with defeating Gadflow, King of the Winter Court, who aims to bring ruin to Amalur. As the Fateless one, this gives you a significant advantage in battle. Instead of being bound to a single class system, you’re free to mix and match skills between three, namely; Might, Finesse, and Sorcery. As you can guess, this provides much more freedom than most games in the genre.
The combat in Kingdoms of Amalur is still the most fun aspect of the game. Even in 2020, the combat system still holds up with fluid animations, epic skills, and an excellent variety of weapons. You’ll also have the freedom to decimate your foes in whatever way amuses you the most. The most satisfying method for me is still filling up the fate meter, which allows you to go into reckoning mode and unleash gruesome and devastating attacks on nearby enemies. However, the only thing that holds back the combat in the game is the irritating camera movement and angles that haven’t changed much since the original.
Additionally, players can also unlock points that can be used to progress more practical skills. Skills such as blacksmithing, alchemy, lock picking, and persuasion. These skills are obviously very useful for your journey and can significantly change the way you progress through quests. I won’t go into too much detail on these systems, as most of it hasn’t changed. However, if you’re looking for more information about the gameplay systems, you can find it in our original review of the game.
Story-wise, the quests in Kingdoms of Amalur still aren’t all that remarkable. While they have their fair share of good moments and excellent voice acting, the game is similarly structured to an MMO. Players move from one quest to another, killing enemies, gathering items, and slaying some bosses here and there.
When it comes down to it, Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning, while not a bad game, is simply not a good remaster. It’s more of a port with added features than anything else. The little attempts made to make the game look better were made through some minor texture updates here and there. Environments look slightly brighter and character models are slightly smoother. Unfortunately, they still look very much the same with its dated art style, similar to older WOW days. Additionally, I encountered a few bugs and glitches and even experienced some frame rate dips, which was quite disappointing.
Gameplay-wise, Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning also includes some updated elements that are at least noteworthy, such as the removal of level locking, which means players can now expect enemies to scale to their levels when moving from one area to another. This is perhaps the most useful and appreciated addition thus far (at least to newcomers). Other than that, a new Very Hard difficulty mode was added to the game, which should offer more challenge to seasoned players, and an updated loot system, making it easier for players to find more loot that’s relevant to their current build.
While Kingdoms of Amalur is still a solid game even to this day. It’s just too bad the remastered version does not live up to its expectations. It’s a pity, as it had so much potential. It could’ve improved on the elements holding the original game back, such as the outdated UI and the tedious inventory management system, which is still very much an issue. The developers could’ve also done a better job of upscaling the visuals and overall stability. Sadly, it just feels like a good opportunity to make a great game even better was unfortunately squandered.
Final Score: 6 out of 10