Unravel their fates, turn them into a hammer, and pummel them with it!
Kingdoms of Amalur - Reckoning is a Western RPG in the same vein as The Elder Scrolls or Neverwinter Nights, but whereas most WRPGs have very shallow excuses for combat, KoA boasted of having a much more involved combat system. The game pits you as The Fateless One, a player created character that resurrects very early in the game, he knows nothing of his past, but having already faced death, he is the only person in Amalur that Fate has no control over. He writes his own destiny, and he can alter other people's as well. The story is very engrossing, and the game has a very engaging lore to discover. You have the Fae, elves if you will, that have a very different concept of death than humans, or the Gnomes, think dwarves, who strive for machinations and arcane-technological advancements.
Enemies are plentiful, your get Wolves, Giant Spiders, Two-headed orcs, Trolls, Skelletons, Mermen and a bunch of others, and The Fateless One can equip many weapons in order to handle them. You can equip two weapons at a time, one on the Triangle Button and another on the Square button. While you can mash your way to victory, you can swap weapons mid combos or perform special moves, both features unique for every weapon type, and perform better combos. Maybe use the Long-Sword launcher, which is pretty fast, and use the Daggers to juggle them while they are helpless in the air, and before they fall, use the Grapple skill to get them closer to you, again. Even mages and their Staves get pretty cool looking attacks! For defense, you can either roll out of harm's way or block attacks, in order to reduce the damage taken. If you are feeling daring, press block just before getting hit in order to parry their attack, and counter with yours! Right between the HP and Mana gauges, you have the Fate gauge, which increases as you defeat enemies or mix your many spells, skills and moves. Unleashing Fate makes everything slow down, and you gain a huge damage boost, defeat every enemy while under Fate and Execute the last one in order to gain a experience boost. It's pretty handy, although if you save it for bosses, you can cruise through the game pretty easily.
As fun as sidequesting is, most of them can get pretty repetitive. Go to point A, kill B, profit. Or maybe kill a certain number of enemies, go to point A and kill the boss that spawns. Almost every quests involve killing something, there are exceptions, but there are not many. The NPCs and situations are not very memorable either. Faction Quests, on the other hand, are worth following through to the end, you'll get nice bonuses and they present fairly interesting narratives, usually with different outcomes according to your choices. Oh, and glitches. I came across my fair share, including: Getting stuck in a spot. I could attack all around me, and tried using moves that relocated or made the character dash, but just couldn't get out of. Another one in which I couldn't open the door that led outside the house, leaving me stuck(Luckily, saving and loading cleared the issue) and once the game froze once I initiate a Fate Execution, so tread carefully and save often, luckily, the auto-save feature is pretty smart.
Kingdoms of Amalur : Reckoning was the kind of Western RPG I was looking for. A game with a large world to explore, the freedom to do what you want when you want, and a fun combat system to boot! The glitches I came across were very annoying, but I only suffered about 4 of them in over 40 hours of gameplay, I think that's not bad. Not bad at all.
9.0 out of 10.