Platforms: PC | PSN | Xbox Live (reviewed)
Developer: Big Huge Games
Kingdom Of Amalur: Reckoning's first singleplayer DLC pack, The Legend Of Dead Kel, was a microcosm of the original in many ways. It's big, very big, but value and size came at the expense of a genuinely fresh and interesting world to explore. Recycled enemies were the status quo. The story felt inconsequential and pointless, never making the most of the protagonist's freedom from destiny. And apart from the horrendous Captain Brattigan (who made Fable's villagers look like Commander Shepard by comparison), the characters were bland to the point of narcolepsy. I can't even remember their clichéd personality hooks, let alone their names or what they look like.
But Teeth Of Naros is different. Though shorter, its campaign and setting proves to be genuinely exciting, and make you feel like part of something much greater than yourself.
I'd go as far as saying that Kingdom Of Amalur: Reckoning would have been vastly improved if Big Huge Games had approached their world-building with the same level of detail and imagination on show here.
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Developer: Big Huge Games
"But is it as good as Skyrim?"
Bethesda's monstrous RPG has a lot to answer for. It irrevocably raised our expectations for what RPGs can achieve, and Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning has suffered under the weight of countless comparisons over the last few weeks and months. Luckily for Big Huge Games, though, these comparisons are reductive and irrelevant. Reckoning is a product of the old school; a more compartmentalised take on the genre that shares many similarities with Fable and KOTOR... yet offers a truly epic amount of content.
Speaking of old-school, Ken Rolston doesn't mess about when it comes to creating epic RPGs. The grizzled architect of Morrowind and Oblivion is no stranger to scale and scope, and his influence is felt throughout every square mile of terrain. Excitingly, though, Reckoning aims to bridge the gap between expansive and impenetrable; to make the action as accessible as possible and providing thrilling moment to moment gameplay through dynamic, responsive combat. It's an ambitious mission. And Rolston has delivered where it counts.
First things first: Reckoning is huge. I can't stress this enough. Each and every expansive area teems with chests to unlock, towns to visit, dungeons to delve through and countless sidequests to embark on despite being expertly hemmed in by plenty of impassable valley walls. The thrill of discovering that Reckoning's staggeringly vast first zone is just a tiny district of an unbelievably capacious continent is enough to make your head spin and leave RPG fans convulsing, frothing at the mouth, in front of their televisions.Click here to read our big huge review >>