here I am playing a game I was seriously on the rocks about. Kingdoms
of Amalur. Why was I so iffy about this? Cause it looked a lot like
Fable...and I hate Fable with the fire of a thousand burning suns.
Why do I hate Fable so much? Cause its squandered potential. The games
should have been good...but gameplay was bland, combat amounted to "get
overpowered spell 1" "spam overpowered spell 1" "win game" Story was
blah. Character interactions were horrible. (...Fart? Really? Why is
this a valid character interaction when your game isn't a comedy?) I
could go on all day.
So then why do I love Kingdoms of Amalur so much? Because this is what Fable would be like, if it didn't suck.
Combat for starters is genuinely fun, and I love all the options it
has. Want a spellcaster that can sneak attack people? Go for it.
Thief that sneaks up on a group, backstabs one, and proceeds to beat the
allies with a warhammer? Got that, too. Find out you don't like a
build and wish you didn't do it? You can find the right npc and just
reset the appropriate skills and start over.
The story thus far
is interesting as well. Nothing terribly fancy, but it works, and I'm
enjoying it. NPCs have plenty to say, and the world is very well
detailed...which is only to be expected, given who wrote it. There's
also a TON to do aside from the main story...oodles and oodles of side
quests if you decide, you simply don't wanna advance the main story.
Which brings up how you go about some of those quests. The game also
has quite a nice level of detail to them, as well. NPC gives you a
quest which will result in you getting a key you need to proceed
further? You can, say...kill him and steal the key. Bribe him. Do the
quest. Or, if you stole the key from him before you ever got the quest
in the first place...all of a sudden, the whole quest line changes a
bit to reflect that.
One other thing I find myself enjoying is
the game doesn't have a tacked on morality system. Wanna be an evil
mofo and kill a town just for kicks? You can do that. Goody two shoes,
saving kittens from trees, and the like? Yep, got that, too. But
if on the other hand you wanted to play someone who just got done
murdering all the women and children of a city, only to go into the
countryside and decide to save the village of Snugglemore from a pack of
angry bunnies, because you're just suddenly feeling nice...you can do
that, too, without some morality system telling you "Sorry, you're a
murderer, you can't do nice things."
Of course, it's not all
goodness, the game is not without its flaws. One of the big ones being
the expressiveness of NPCs, and most notably, your character. NPCs have
some expressions...but as a whole, just look kind of uninterested in
what they're saying. Your main character of course seems to have no
facial expressions at all beyond indifference. I have not yet, gotten
into a conversation with an NPC and had my character actually look like
he gives a damn about whats being said...even when whats being said is
really interesting or important. The audio can be a lil wonky too
during these conversations. For instance, early in the game you come
across a fae who'd been beaten, and while talking to the guard, the
ENTIRE conversation you hear her moaning in pain...loudly....which is a
The graphics too to some people may be a lil
cartoony. I see nothing wrong with it myself, and really, anyone who's
ever played a Warcraft game...be it WoW, or the original strategy games
(Remember when Warcraft was a fun strategy game?) has seen its like
before. It does feel like an odd design choice though.
I could ramble more, but I think this is enough for now. All in all, the games fantastic, and I very highly recommend it.