Dim red lighting and stone-carved seating create the perfect dungeon setting to show off Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning. A massive, open world single player RPG, our presenter regretted the limited time he had to show us everything Reckoning has to offer. But what we did see has us yearning for more.
We were first presented with several staple RPG elements that make up the core of the best epic role-playing titles. You can choose from four different races, male and female variations for each, with a myriad of customization features to create a unique hero. The world is home to five distinct environmental zones, and four major cities, surrounded by over 125 dungeons and inhabited by six playable factions.
Over 100 side quests give you plenty of flexibility in your play approach, and crafting abilities like alchemy, blacksmithing, and sagecrafting let you use materials you’ve acquired over the course of your journey to craft powerful items and equipment.
We were then shown several unique aspects that distinguish Reckoning from other similar entries in the genre. At the start of your journey, your character is slain and reborn through the Well of Souls. Unlike everyone else in the world, you’re born with neither fate nor destiny. The game tracks your actions and playstyle in the initial hours of the story. Based on that, certain Destinies are then revealed for you to choose from.
Destinies determine your character’s abilities in combat. The presenter then loaded a character with the Slayer Destiny: a hardened warrior trained to call upon the power of the earth to aid in him combat. Battle plays out as quick and fluid as one would expect from a AAA action title. The presenter slashed an enemy, stunned them, dashed behind, and then ripped up tracts of earth in front of him to knock the creature off its feet. He described how players will unlock new weapon chains and attacks over time, affecting your arsenal of skills and spells with more power.
Reckoning is designed with the backbone of a hardcore RPG with a combat system that looks fresh and visceral. Even the stealth kills are brutally satisfying, as demonstrated by the presenter sneaking up on a couple of bandits, stalking unnoticed before leaping up and taking down his marks in a shower of blood. As he takes down more enemies, his character starts accumulating Threads of Fate. After collecting a certain amount, he gains the ability to enter Reckoning mode. Reckoning mode slows down time, blurs the edge of vision, increases the power of your attacks, and lets you carry out special kills available only within Reckoning mode.
We watched as the presenter activated the powerful mode and battled a gargantuan, fiery monster rushing toward the player with intent to maul and devour. The Slayer responded by opening up a flurry of attacks, dashing back and forth to keep the enemy off balance. They exchange blows until the creature is weakened, at which point the presenter jumped up and drove his blade down into the beast's body to send it collapsing in a heap on the floor.
The demo ends with a bang as we’re shown a cinematic trailer filled with thrilling cuts of a huge battle between immense armies. An enormous creature with one-eye fires burning energy across the battlefield, its grotesque design clearly a product of Spawn creator and 38 Studios Executive Art Director Todd McFarlane. Combined with a world conjured by famed fantasy writer R.A. Salvatore, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning promises to be an epic experience when it launches in 2012.
For everything Reckoning related, visit www.ea.com/Reckoning.