Gameplay details from Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
have been fairly scarce, since the game’s initial announcement back in July 2010. However, the open-world fantasy RPG made an appearance at this year's Game Developers Conference, and 38 Watch
have both provided accounts of the preview. Here is a summary of the information.
The game is set during the Age of Arcana in the midst of war. Every creature that is born into the world of Amalur has their own pre-determined fate or destiny. Once this destiny has been fulfilled, death will shortly follow. However, a gnome called Fomorous Hugues has built a magical structure called The Well of Souls. This structure has the power to resurrect people, and you are the first person to return from the dead.
Players return from the dead without a chosen fate; therefore players can choose their new destiny as they see fit. You have a choice of four races. The Almain and Varani races are human races, whereas the Liosalfar and Dokkalfar are elfish races. Each race will have certain advantages and disadvantages for certain statistics and abilities, and each comes with a choice of a spiritual sign. The sign gives additional bonuses to some statistics, and these are especially helpful at the start of the game.
Both male and female characters can be created, but the only differences between them will be aesthetic. There will not be any advantages or disadvantages between genders. The appearance of your character will be fully customizable too. As players progress through the storyline, talent points will be gained characters level up. These points can be placed into any of the three talent trees: Might, Finesse and Sorcery. As more points are gained, more destinies will be unlocked and further statistic bonuses will be awarded. Executive producer Mark Nelson said:
As you invest points into the various skill trees, you unlock new destinies. If you start investing points into Sorcery, you unlock Apprentice Mage and then Wizard and Archmage if you're just plugging the one line. If you invest into Might as well, you unlock Battlemage and Spellsword, your kind of combo destinies.
As mentioned above, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
is an open world game. As with any RPG, there is a main quest line and additional side quests, equalling “hundreds of hours" of gameplay for players who take their time to explore everywhere and do everything. There will be five main areas in the game, but the demo only covered the locations of The Well of Souls, Dalentarth, the town of Didenhil, and the dungeon Urul-Tusk, a very small part of one of the main areas. Dungeon-crawling enthusiasts will be pleased to know that there are over 100 dungeons in the game.
There is a wide variety of enemies. These are the few that were showcased in the demo:
• Faer Gorta: skeletal warriors.
• Assassins: dual wielding, human fighters.
• Boggarts: small, mask-wearing pests.
• Banshaen: the brood mother of the Murgan.
• Murgan: trident-wielding warriors, capable of summoning lighting alongside the Banshaen.
• Kobolds: low level cave-dwellers that throw fire and spears.
• Troll: a massive mini-boss wielding a huge wooden club.
In combat, attacks start out mapped to single-button combos using a single weapon. After a while, players get the use of a shield and will learn to block and parry attacks (also made possible with a magical talisman). When timed correctly with your foe's attack, parrying can cause your foe to become stunned, or even cause extra damage. Dodging and teleporting are the player's main defence moves. Soon, multiple weapons can be assigned to different buttons, and more complicated combos become possible.
Combos depend on a variety of actions, such as attacking out of a block, pausing, holding down the attack button, or attacking out of a dodge. Weapons can be switched mid-combo. There are Fate-shift attacks controlled with quicktime events, which are finishing moves with extra damage. These give players a bonus that will affect your destiny.
In the Age of Arcana, the use of magic is increasing; even a warrior uses magic to "bring spikes up out of the ground or slash with a flaming sword". However, spell casters can also get into the heart of the battle, as melee combat looks just as good as magical combat. Mages can dodge using teleportation, and can attack with "a mid-range dual-disc weapon called a chakra". Players choose the spells that they would like through the distribution of talent points.
Looting plays an important part of the game. There are over two million possible permutations in the loot, leading to a fair amount of unique equipment. The user interface allows players to compare equipment in a side-by-side manner, and it can either be equipped there and then, or added to junk to be sold to a vendor later in the game. Equipment has a set durability, and will not last forever. Aside from the aforementioned chakram, the demo also showcased two different long swords, a great hammer, and an ice staff.
Loot upgrades are also important in weapon crafting. There will be at least three types of crafting: Blacksmithing, Sagecrafting, and Alchemy. Only Sagecrafting was demonstrated at the GDC; this is the placing of gems into weapons. This adds attributes to weapons that not only changes the appearance of the weapon, but upgrades the specific weapon behaviours. Examples were "a gigantic broadsword with ornate metal inlays, and a huge hammer with blue magical details".Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
is due to be released in 2012. Check out our post from July
for further screenshots and a trailer.