Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter
markgritter

Curt Schilling's RPG

So I have been playing "Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning" and enjoying it a fair amount. I am almost to the end.

What it is most impressing on me is how much better of a story "Skyrim" is. (Amalur had some Elder Scrolls alumni and it debt to "Morrowind" and "Oblivion" is quite clear in many places.) In Amalur, I find myself confused by most of the side quests--- "what the heck did I just do"? The gnomes are particularly bad this way, I don't understand their politics at all.

There is basically one large-scale set piece (so far) and it takes place in an area you haven't been in before and never will again. Skyrim has big battles in the cities you visit all the time (if you pursue the rebel or imperial quest line) and it really feels like you have more of an impact. Also Amalur's temporary companions are are useless whingers--- what I wouldn't give for a decent Huscarl.

I have mixed feelings about the crafting system. I like the Diablo-esque nature of the the equipment enchantments; playing dress-upgear optimization is one of my favorite subgames. On the other hand, the unique sets suffers from the same problem as Diablo and its clones: by the time you get enough pieces to be interesting, you probably have something better. And tracking all the separate components is a pain. I didn't learn the hack for getting the enchanted components you want until too late in my play to bother with it.

What I absolutely hate is that quest items are both un-droppable and occupy an inventory slot. (Capacity is by # of distinct items, not weight.) One or the other is acceptable but not both. Particularly annoying was the quest you get early in the game to collect 10 missing books. They are, of course, scattered across the entire game world. The resulting reward is a pitiful handful of coins (which I have basically stopped needing anyway...)

My other peeve is the 2-dimensionality of movement. You can't fall off a cliff except for designated jump points, or climb anything that is not a pre-set path. As a result your character is frequently baffled by small ridges in the ground.

On the other hand, I found the combat entertaining. I found myself using a variety of attacks rather than sticking with the same thing over and over (although some parts of the skill tree still seem pointless to me.)

Next game up is probably "The Wolf Within", but the further I get in Amalur the more I want to take another pass through Skyrim--- maybe take the Imperial side this time.
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