And now for something (not so) completely different…

I’ve decided not to keep this blog about just gaming, but for now…let’s talk gaming. I’ve been plugging along in SWTOR (I have two toons currently in their mid-20’s) and am still enjoying it. That said, I need to put more time aside if I am going to see more benefit out of it. Reading up on upcoming patches, I can definitely see where BioWare is taking the game, and they are committed to listening to the player base as much as possible.

But, ever since it was officially announced some years ago, I’ve been anticipating the release of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. As I understand it, this is a single-player RPG that is a prequel to an upcoming MMO. If that’s not the case, somebody correct me here.

I loaded the game up and dove right in. Pretty standard stuff at the beginning…nice cinematic that gives you some back story, then you see what looks like two gnomes wheeling what you assume is your dead body around on a cart inside a large castle or keep. The gnomes immediately made me think of World of Warcraft, but that’s besides the point.

They are, of course, talking about how sad it is that another body is getting dumped, talking about a failed experiment and needing to keep track of who they are disposing of. This is a pretty inventive way to go about character creation, as you get to make your character in this process. It’s not altogether different from how Skyrim did it.

After you create your character, you’re dumped into a large pit where there are a LOT of dead bodies. The animation here is pretty cool…kind of grossed me out (which is the point). You, however, and as you might suspect, are in fact not dead.

I get up and make my way out of the cavern where the bodies are piled up everywhere. This is the tutorial (I come to quickly recognize) and so it’s time to go through the motions. Pretty standard stuff here, but I have to tip my cap to the devs here. They’ve done a nice job making this particular game very user-friendly and it’s easy to start hacking and slashing. They take time to introduce you to the three different class types (warrior, rogue, mage) and give you a chance to kill mobs in each way to see which one you like best, then when you finally get done with all that, you get to sort of pick how you want to go.

You meet the main character of the tutorial near the end, and he tells you how the Well of Souls was created to help bring dead soldiers back to life, and that you were the first one to survive the process. (I guess that’s what all the dead bodies were down in the cavern…) But there are bad guys coming and your safety is more important than trying to save the Well of Souls, so the gnomes sacrifice themselves for your escape.

Heading out from the keep, you meet a Fateweaver who’s job it is to read your fate, only he can’t find your thread in the pattern. He finds this more than odd, although you clearly have no idea what he’s talking about. You learn a bit more about advanced fighting using fates and head off to the first town where you can secure a few more quests.

I also sprung for the nice gear with my purchase so a chest was waiting on me in the town. I quickly equipped the good stuff and sold off the junk I had gotten during the tutorial. I did a few steps further on in my quests and managed to kill some mobs out in the real game world before calling it a night.

The dialogue in the game is pretty good, albeit a bit folksy. You can see the influence of several different games with how this is laid out but so far, I like what I see. It seems to incorporate a lot of the things I love about games like Skyrim, World of Warcraft, and such without being too much like any one game. The combat is pretty good so far (clearly there are more things I will need to learn about as I continue in the game), and the graphics are nicely done. It’s a bit more cartoony than I had thought it might be, but again, that’s just an early impression.

More to come on this one…boy…I’m gonna need more hours in my day already.

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