King­doms of Amalur: Reck­on­ing

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Games -

PC, PS3, Xbox 360 Out: 2012 SOME­TIMES it’s the most unas­sum­ing ti­tles that have the big­gest ef­fect within a genre. King­doms of Amalur: Reck­on­ing holds this po­ten­tial.

With the kind of de­vel­op­ment pedigree we’d call ‘‘all star’’, fea­tur­ing in­dus­try vet­er­ans such as Ken Rol­ston through to comic-book artist Todd McFar­lane, King­doms of Amalur: Reck­on­ing is hold­ing a great com­bi­na­tion of cards.

More­over, it could just have that mag­i­cal com­bi­na­tion of great game­play, ster­ling art direc­tion and crit­i­cal fo­cus.

It also comes from a ster­ling de­vel­op­ment pedigree; Ken Rol­ston, who is head­ing up de­vel­op­ment at Big Huge Games, is a le­gend in his own life­time. He came from clas­sic table­top, pen-and-pa­per roots and has fronted teams re­spon­si­ble for The El­der Scrolls: Mor­rowind and Obliv­ion.

Ac­claimed fan­tasy au­thor R.A. Sal­va­tore, who penned The De­monWorks Saga and ti­tles within the For­got­ten Realms se­ries, gives weight and qual­ity to the story and di­a­logue. But it’s the strik­ing de­sign work of McFar­lane that will im­me­di­ately grab you.

Gone are the stag­nant browns and beiges that plague so many ti­tles, re­placed with sat­u­rated hues and the kind of bub­bly an­i­ma­tions and de­signs that would make Bliz­zard, cre­ators of World of War­craft, take pause.

The game­play is sur­pris­ingly fluid and ac­tion-ori­ented, but with the depth that takes us back to the days of Black Isle Stu­dios’ Bal­dur’s Gate saga.

Rol­ston has broad and am­bi­tious plans for the King­doms of Amalur. A huge mul­ti­player spin-off is al­ready in the works.

PA­TRICK KOLAN

Im­pact:Ac­tion in King­doms of Amalur: Reck­on­ing.

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