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Game review: Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning

Thu, 17th Sep 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

When it comes to remasters vs remakes, remakes are usually the better option. This is because remakes are built from the ground-up and have improved gameplay mechanics. That's not to say all remasters are bad. In the past, there have been excellent remasters.

One of my favourite remasters of all time was the PS4's Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection. Not only were the visuals upgraded, but Naughty Dog also improved the shooting mechanics as well. Another remaster where the graphics shined was Saints Row: The Third Remastered which came out earlier this year.

Sadly though, not all remasters really improve the visuals and gameplay of a game. Some games just look exactly the same and it can feel like nothing has been changed or improved. This is how I feel about the remaster for Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning.

Even when I played/reviewed Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning on a PS4 Pro on a 4K television, I failed to see many differences in the graphics. The 2012 original looked okay on PS3 and Xbox 360, but those graphics are horribly outdated when playing it on either a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X console.

Saints Row: The Third Remastered is a remaster done correctly. In that game, developer Sperasoft Studio actually made the effort to make the character models look more realistic. Not to mention the lighting in that game was improved to make the city look prettier too.

It is also very surprising to me that the loading times are so slow when you enter a building or a new dungeon area. An open world game like Ghost of Tsushima had very fast loading times and those graphics looked really good. On the flipside of this, Kingdoms of Amalur has mediocre graphics and longer load times!

Even though the graphics of the game aren't great, I was more impressed about the gameplay. Sure the gameplay hasn't changed since 2012, but I enjoyed the combat system in this game. It's nice to play an action RPG style game that does not copy Demon's Soulsor Dark Souls.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning offers four different difficulty settings, so it's kind to both casuals and veterans. I also liked the fact that this game does not tie you down into one class type. As you progress further into the game, you have many choices on how you want to play.

For example, when I started playing the game the first weapon I picked up for my character was a basic sword. As I progressed, some other weapons I managed to wield were a staff, a bow and arrow, a better sword and even a hammer.

Using the staff and bow and arrow as a combination was pretty cool because I was able to defeat enemies from a long distance. Your character has both a primary and secondary weapon so you can dish out punishment in many different ways.

The sword and shield combination was pretty effective from the start, and I also enjoyed blocking certain attacks from my shield. When I got a hammer, the hammer was much slower but its effectiveness was great because it did a lot more damage.

Another thing I like about the combat is that there is no stamina system. Your main character doesn't get tired so you can pretty much attack with all your might for as fast as possible. There is also a dodge mechanic that allows you to evade attacks from enemies and bosses.

There is also a great variety of enemies and bosses that you can kill in this game too. One of the highlights of combat is a mechanic called ‘Reckoning Mode'. This is where your character becomes stronger and can do lots of damage for a limited amount of time. I thought this was very useful against bosses and stronger enemy types.

The only thing I hate about combat is the fact that this game has weapon and armour degradation. I hate this mechanic and it's one of the reasons I disliked Breath of the Wild compared to other 3D Zelda games.

Weapon degradation is just annoying because you will need to find more weapons if your original ones loses its effectiveness. It can also get very expensive if you need to buy or repair weapons already in your arsenal.

Aside from weapon and armour degradation, action RPG fans will have a lot of fun playing Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning. The main story takes well over 30 hours for you to complete, but there are a ton of side-quests you can do as well. Side-quests easily prolong the longevity of this game by a lot.

As an action RPG, Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning is a fun game with a surprisingly enjoyable combat system featuring hours of gameplay. That being said, this remaster does nothing new as the graphics are outdated, plus the game still has long loading times…

Verdict: 7.0/10

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