Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a large scale, node-based, open-world RPG developed by Big Huge Games & 38 Studios. Its structure combines RPG systems of morality, conversation, loot gathering, leveling up, and crafting with third-person action combat involving weapon and and attack combinations all housed in a world of towns and dungeons cordoned-off into manageable sections.
On June 3, 2020, a remastered version of Reckoning, called Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning, was leaked on the Microsoft Store and confirmed the following day on the game's official Twitter account. The remaster is being developed by German studio Kaiko.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning begins with a short scene involving the disposal of the player's corpse, followed by the player's resurrection through The Well of Souls, invented by Fomorous Hugues, a gnome.
At this point in the history of the Faelands, the ten year Crystal War is taking place. The Fae, an immortal elven race split into the growth of Summer and the decay of Winter, are in turmoil. One of the Winter Fae, Gadflow, has usurped the Winter Court and now leads his army of Tuatha Deohn in the destruction of the Faelands and Amalur itself.
Gadflow's army changes the very makeup of Amalur. The Tuatha have become a third faction, unbalancing the strict harmony between Summer and Winter Fae. They are unmitigated evil, given no sympathy by any character and acting as pure, immortal agressors in a seemingly hopeless war.
The player's character enters this world as another agent of change. Whether the player chooses to breed chaos or order, the player is resurrected as The Fateless One. With total agency, the player is the only character unbound by the chains of destiny. Thus, the responsibility of the world falls upon the player's shoulders.
A band of once-legendary warriors turned mercenaries, though they still consider themselves more. In the midst of the new war, an ancient enemy of the Warsworn returns.
Home to the Summer Fae, is in the midst of the Telling - the cycle of ballads each Fae lives out in unending succession. The player finds a place within the House.
A famous throughout Amalur, known for their skills in trade and thievery. They have three main camps – Star Camp, Moon Camp and Sun Camp.
The Faelands' mages' guild, home to students and scholars of all things strange and magical.
The home to the Winter Fae.
The team that developed Reckoning consisted of several industry veterans as well as several Bethesda alumni. The game's art was developed by Todd McFarlane and its fiction by R.A. Salvatore. Ken Rolston (Lead Designer of Oblivion) is credited as executive producer. As part of the creative process for the Amalur franchise, Salvatore developed nearly 10,000 years of history and asked the developers to pick a point in which to set the game.
Earlier known as Project Mercury, development on Reckoning started at Big Huge Games while it was still owned by THQ. In 2009, Curt Schilling's 38 Studios rescued Big Huge games from its closure by THQ. On March 9, 2010, Electronic Arts announced a new publishing deal for the game and credited the close relationship between Curt Schilling and EA Sports' Peter Moore as the catalyst for the deal. The game was expected to receive strong support from EA's own BioWare team.
Reckoning's base combat skill progression model is the standard warrior, rogue and mage skill trees, each of which improve combat with a given weapon set as well as provide additional active and passive skills for combat use. The weapon skills bound to each tree are the following:
Based on the ratio of talent points invested in these trees, the destiny system unlocks special dynamic classes that grants players additional special abilities and passive bonuses corresponding to their playstyle. These bonuses include increased damage for a certain type of attack, better movement during combat, additional health or mana regeneration, etc. Destinies are available for each combination of skill trees, including one for the jack-of-all-trades player.
The combat is based on timing and combos. This can include single-weapon timing combos as well as the inclusion of secondary weapon attacks and activated skills. Timing moves more effectively can juggle enemies, and the use of combos and skills increases a fate meter. Activating the player's fate shift begins bullet-time event and slowly drains the fate meter to zero. During this bullet-time, the player has vastly increased power and, at the conclusion of the meter or by activation, the bullet-time event ends in a button mash quick time events that provides additional experience based on the player's effectiveness.
Parrying, blocking, and dodging are also core to the action. With appropriate investment in a skill tree, the player can unlock special attacks with their primary and secondary weapon out of parry, dodge, and block, and each of these avoidance/mitigation moves can leave enemies vulnerable to longer juggle combos. Certain passive bonuses found in the skill trees can cause extra damaging or utility effects during a dodge or mutate the dodge into a short-range teleport.
Loot is an important part of character development and improves magic and weapon fighting abilities. By and large, based on its type, loot will give bonuses to a particular play style, i.e. heavy armor benefits might and block effectiveness, medium armor is primarily intended for finesse and increases crit damage, and light armor benefits mana regeneration for sorcery-invested players.
Inserting tradeskill-created gems into weapons and armor is also possible; for example, inserting a magical fire gem into a long sword will create a flaming sword. Players will also find components in the world and/or break down gear and use the resulting ingredients to create better weapons.
There are nine passive skill trees players can invest in to improve their non-combat characteristics:
Noble and honorable, the Almain are humans who reject the chaotic aspects of life, always looking to input structure and ritual into everything they do. The Almain have a long and illustrious military tradition and their patron deity is Mitharu, the god of Order.
Steadfast and uncompromising, this proud and insular race strives to preserve Nature and shape it to their will. The light elves resist change and revel in the principle of Justice, fighting time and time again to defend Amalur against the forces of chaos and darkness.
Charismatic, intelligent and seductive, the Dokkalfar are regarded as prominent students of both magic and diplomacy, yet it is their enticing presence that makes them so enthralling. The dark elves are the natural born manipulators, and will often control the actions of others from the backstage.
The Varani clans are mostly consisted of nomadic traders and mercenaries. These humans may not be as culturally educated as the Almain, but they were nonetheless key to bringing commerce and a certain degree of civilization to the wilds of the Faelands.
Determined and ingenious, the Gnomes are above all, practical and pragmatic. Highly intellectual, they tend to take a rational approach to all kind of situations. The Gnome society is divided into three sects: the Scholars (inventors of magical devices), the Praetorians (a military force known for their martial skills) and the Templars (the political strategists who set the agenda for their culture).
Regarded as a secretive race, the Gnomes are often the topic of conversation, as other races wonder what kind of secrets and motives the gnomes keep for themselves.
Claiming to be creatures from beyond the Veil, the Summer Fae represents growth, warmth and the coming of new seasons & life. They hold no mortal desires and simply wish to serve their role in the Great Cycle.
Though grim in nature, the Unseelie are not to be mistaken for evil. These elvish folks simply represent the passing of the seasons and death in the endless Great cycle. Their order is in turmoil after a recent coup by the zealot Gadflow, with a few remaining traditionalists refusing his rule and still clinging to their peaceful ways.
A brutal and aggressive subsect of the Winter Fae, led by their new king Gadflow. They're driven by their devotion to a new god and have declared war on the rest of the mortal races in Amalur. They are relentless and once a Tuatha soldier falls in battle, his place is quickly taken by another from the Hollows.
Music is by Viva Piñata and Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts composer Grant Kirkhope. In an interview, Kirkhope said he had never really worked on a game like Reckoning in terms of its breadth and scope but was happy to undertake the challenge. The soundtrack was released on February 7 and is available on Amazon and iTunes. Players who bought either the Collector's or Signature Edition of the game were treated to a copy of the soundtrack as well.
|1.||"Reckoning Main Theme"||Grant Kirkhope||2:00|
|2.||"The Age of Arcana"||Grant Kirkhope||1:53|
|3.||"Dead's End"||Grant Kirkhope||2:26|
|4.||"Well of Souls"||Grant Kirkhope|
|7.||"House of Ballads"||Grant Kirkhope|
|9.||"Mines and Caves"||Grant Kirkhope|
|10.||"Gardens of Ysa"||Grant Kirkhope|
|13.||"The Plains of Erathell"||Grant Kirkhope|
|14.||"Scholia Arcana"||Grant Kirkhope|
|18.||"House of Valor"||Grant Kirkhope|
|20.||"The Erathi Ruins"||Grant Kirkhope|
|22.||"The Ships"||Grant Kirkhope|
|23.||"Mel Senshir"||Grant Kirkhope|
|24.||"To War"||Grant Kirkhope|
|25.||"The Strongholds"||Grant Kirkhope|
|27.||"It Ends Here"||Grant Kirkhope|
|29.||"House of Sorrows"||Grant Kirkhope|
|30.||"Fae Hollows"||Grant Kirkhope|
|34.||"Heart of Amethyn"||Grant Kirkhope|
Starting on January 17, 2012 a demo for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning was released on all three platforms (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC). Playing through the demo unlocked exclusive items for use in the full game. More interestingly it also granted players items for use in Mass Effect 3. And, vice versa, playing the Mass Effect 3 demo granted items to use in the full game of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning:
Kingdom's of Amalur: Reckoning has 2 collector's Editions available exclusively through their own site. The collector's Edition price was set at $200, limited to 700 units and includes the following:
For those ultimate Reckoning Fans they also had a Signature Edition for $275 that includes everything above plus: