Back in the old days, when the PS4 was but a glint in the eye of Sony, I played Kingdoms of Amalur on PS3. It was free, sort of, being a PS Plus game, and ya know what? It passed the time.
Coming back to Amalur eight years later, I’ve got me some opinions.
Let’s get physical
First things first; the Re-Reckoning re-release fixes most of the issues I had with the original game, with a sprinkling of prismere dust on top.
Combat is fluid and enjoyable, with hack and slash mayhem meshing comfortably with abilities and magic. With two equippable weapons at a time, there’s also a fantastic feeling of versatility. Close the distance with a bow, then do a murder with daggers, or yeet some fireballs before bringing out your greatsword; there’s something for everyone, and fun for all the armory.
Mix and match and mix some more
Getting bored with your current build? Well, this ain’t Skyrim, friend; visit your friendly neighbourhood Fateweaver and respec into that magical knight you’ve always dreamed of being. I went from bow and dagger assassin, to bow and longsword ranger, to a chakram and dagger wielding nightblade. It’s the Amalurian dream, and you can be whatever you want to be. It’s awfully fun.
The Dark Souls of voice acting
Speaking of awful, the speaking is awful… The dialogue, I mean. Admittedly I’m probably a bit sensitive, what with being born and raised in Ireland for 24 years, but the accents out of some of these Fae would make you want to lamp them.
It barely stops short of leprechauns, sometimes, and I was not a happy expat. However, it’s still great to see Gaelic mythology and folklore being explored without being too exploitative, so we take what we can get.
At least it’s not Shay, right? Remember Assassin’s Creed Rogue? Shudder.
Sounds like trouble
The revamped Faelands look great, and the PS4 Pro purred like a contented puma while running it. Aside from a couple of stretched texture glitches and a bit where I got stuck in a rock, the polish is noticeable; there’s a lot of effort gone in here.
What though, in the name of all that’s holy, is up with the pot breaking sound effect? Was it on sale or something? While the rest of the game sounds good or at least inoffensive, the noise of pottery breaking sounds like someone threw a mug at an intrusive badger, missed, and hit a different mug in 1987. It was clearly recorded in someone’s grungy garage thirty years ago and, while this makes it very funny, it also shatters the immersion like, well, a vase being shattered in the last century.
It’s very jarring.
The Energiser Bunny of games
Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning is longer than any game has the right to be. Back in 2014, The Witcher 3 reminded me of Amalur. Now we’ve come full circle, and Amalur reminds me of The Witcher 3. The map teems with respawning beasts, collectibles galore, and seemingly endless quests and tasks to keep even the most voracious gamer busy.
Of course, you could just sprint across the map if you like, and there’s something freeing about blasting across the alkali flats like a jet-powered, monkey-navigated… And it goes on like this. Honestly, I legged it over to the gnome city of Adessa early on to check a glitch from the original game, but mostly I played at a reasonable pace, and loved it.
That glitch wasn’t there, by the way, so good catch y’all. No Skyrim Special Edition shenanigans here, where decade-old bugs are left in as ‘features’. No, Amalur hasn’t just been re-reckoned, it’s be re-patched as well, and many of the issues I had with the original edition are nowhere to be found.
I re-reckon it’s pretty good
I always judge remasters by how necessary they are. This time, we’ve had a criminally underrated game finally get its time in the sun.
Am I hoping for a sequel, after all these years? Yes. Am I hoping for another port to PS5, XBX, or Switch? Yes. Am I hoping I can find someone selling a Collector’s Edition because I missed out? Again, a resounding yes.
With this world, you won’t be done anytime soon, I reckon.
Also I’m not kidding about that Collector’s Edition, email me.