firm, lads. Lads?”
Helmets with eye-
holes are for losers.
Weapons and armor are
suitably over the top.
kingdoms of amalur:
played it Trouncing Tuatha and beating Balor in an action-heavy RPG
J umping into the shoes of a mid- level character, I find that Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning isn’t quite the RPG I’m expecting. A major set-
piece battle—the siege of Mel Senshir—is
well underway by the time my magic-
wielding elf lady arrives. The forces of
good are holding out against the Tuatha:
nasty-looking bald folks in gunmetal
armor with spiky red pauldrons.
Reckoning’s “Destiny” system stands
in for classes, enabling you to switch
between different sets of bonuses on the
fly. I’m an Acolyte—a mage who can
teleport short distances—but I’ve got
stealth and melee skills as well. I’m not
sure how useful stealth is likely to be: I’m
wielding a pair of enormous chakrams
(bladed discs) that crackle
with mystical lightning,
my hands stream with
poisonous energy, and
I’m surrounded by a
shield. I’m a walking rave.
Combat is more
38 Studios and
Big Huge Games
Darksiders than Diablo, with a combo
system tied to timed button presses and
an energy bar that can be used to trigger
finishing moves. I use a charged attack to
send my chakrams whirling around each
My character rams a
spear of spirit energy in
the Balor’s eye. The siege
of Mel Senshir is over.
fight like Tron discs, before switching to
my secondary weapon, a pair of flaming
glaives, to finish enemies in close combat.
Magic attacks range from a lightning
blast that paralyzes enemies to a fan of
throwing knives and freezing landmines.
The creator of the Spawn comic books,
Todd MacFarlane, is credited as Reckoning’s
art director, and his influence shows in the
cyclopean monster, a Balor, that lurches
towards the battlements. It’s a vast, one-
eyed green slug with insectile talons, rows
of shark’s teeth, and a powerful ocular laser.
What began as a health-bar-whittling
skirmish has become a boss battle, of the
pattern-memorizing, attack-dodging kind.