The role-playing game Kingdoms of Amalur has risen from the dead and has now also been released for Nintendo Switch with the addition of Re-Reckoning. THQ Nordic also accuses Nintendo disciples of remastering the Big Huge Games title from 2012. Almost 20 years after its debut, the action role-playing game is celebrating a revival - and, as much has already been revealed, it is of a very good quality. Yes, you can tell its age in many corners of the game, especially on the weak Nintendo Switch, however, that's the least problem, because Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning is fun. Especially because of the successful story. 


It was an entirely new brand that Big Huge Games and publisher Electronic Arts created nearly twenty ago. The courage should also be rewarded commercially, even if the action role-playing game did not make its big breakthrough in the end. Ken Rolston and the popular fantasy author RA Salvatore had created the world of Amalur especially for the video game, albeit in a roundabout way, because actually one would have liked to tinker an MMORPG with the Amalur setting. In the end, a solo role-playing game was developed. After all: the title draws from the story. Rightly so, because the story in front of a classic fantasy setting is successful, entertaining, even if it is knitted along tried-and-tested scraps of story. Oberfiesling Gadflow, ruler of the court of winter, wants more power than he is allowed to. He sends his marauding hordes through the Feienland - a region of the Amalurian world. The villains plunder, pillage and murder. The player character has also been killed. And so everything begins with death.

Kingdoms of Amalur - Re-Reckoning: Monsterkloppe without detours

Carted away by gnomes as supposedly dead, the hero or heroine rises from the dead - and sets off on an adventure. The introduction succeeds, everything interwoven with the background story, including the character creation, in which the warrior is tinkered with moderate customization options. It would be hard to believe today that Kingdoms of Amalur was once an AAA project. The look has rough edges, is not beautiful, but not necessarily ugly either. Especially on the Nintendo Switch, Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning looks atmospheric and inviting. It flashes and flashes, sometimes it's gloomy, sometimes bright, often candy colors dominate, and it is not uncommon for light effects to create a mood. In short, there are a lot of much worse looking action role-playing games out there. 

The game world is large and varied, but not necessarily full of freedom. Source: Spielpunkt

The game world is large and varied, but not necessarily full of freedom. Source: Spielpunkt

The big advantage is obvious: the action role-playing game runs smoothly on the Nintendo Switch. This is also necessary, because in contrast to modern role-playing games, Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning is a beast of speed. The hero runs fast, there is even more gas at the push of a button and even outshines Carl Lewis in his prime. Even in heavy iron armor, you perform quick evasive roles and hit the enemy hordes with combos as if the equipped two-handed sword were light as a feather. The combat system in Re-Reckoning is fast, direct and varied. You attack opponents with the bow from a distance, then push into close combat and then conjure the monsters to death. It all goes hand in hand, almost like a hack and slay game. In any case, witcher Geralt looks like a sleeping pill compared to the Amalur hero.

This is especially fun in combination with the different equipment and skill options. You can choose from different types of weapons, such as one-handed sword and shield, fighting hammer or two-handed sword, use daggers to assassinate opponents or equip the magic wand with which you then set opponents on fire, among other things. Theoretically, you can also choose your armor and accessories freely, but there are of course limitations: the bonuses on clothes and certain requirements for being able to put on the pieces of equipment. Nevertheless, mixed classes can also be implemented with it - with all the advantages and disadvantages that this entails. So shred, crackle and beat your way through the upper worlds and high systems, looking for treasures here and there, venturing into dungeons and otherwise following the main story as well as the numerous secondary tasks. That is motivating and at times demanding. The latter is mainly due to the fact that Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning was not implemented as a 1: 1 copy, but thankfully, especially with the level system. The areas scale with the character level, which is no longer innovative for a role-playing game these days, but proves to be essential for titles like the Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning. For what reason? Very simple: The flood of side quests lets the character rise faster than the areas would actually allow. As a result, the level of difficulty drops enormously, which is not particularly good for the fun of the game. In the remaster you are now at eye level with your opponents, which in principle was a necessary trick that noticeably increases the fun of the game.

Always firm druff. The hero figure can do one thing above all: beat up! Source: Spielpunkt

Always firm druff. The hero figure can do one thing above all: beat up! Source: Spielpunkt

There are also downsides: The overly intrusive hose-like nature of the world and of the dungeons. As a player you are guided, sometimes you can decide between left and right, only to run in circles in the end. No matter, Loot takes care of it - at the end of the day there are rewards for the excursions. The same applies to the dialogue options in conversations with the NPCs. Moral decisions are fooled into being that are actually already made before they have even been selected. It doesn't matter, the story goes on and still entertains. Playing Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning is like reading a good fantasy book. 

Longer than you can read a book

You will be busy with the action-packed role-playing game for around 60 hours if you want to take all the content with you. It's definitely worth it, because the quests tell nice little stories, are mostly well set and also rewarding. This is partly due to the fact that you can always discover treasures while fulfilling the task, which actually result in useful loot. This is also new with the remaster: Instead of filling the player with tons of useless stuff, a revised loot system ensures that you get loot based on your character level. This does not guarantee that the item class given out corresponds to your own playing style, but the chance is significantly higher than with the original, in which the players' inventory was flooded with scrap according to the simple motto “quantity instead of quality”.

Finish him: Opponents get a good kick in the head - but then you have to do quick-time pushes. Source: Spielpunkt

Finish him: Opponents get a good kick in the head - but then you have to do quick-time pushes. Source: Spielpunkt

This is really good for the game. The new version is better than the good, in places only solid, original. Nevertheless, even with Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning, the feeling from back then comes up again and again: Couldn't you have done something differently here? Couldn't a more intense story have been worked out? Couldn't quests have been made more varied? Yes, the action RPG is not perfect: the world is big but limited; the combat system fun but simple, the quests numerous, but sometimes irrelevant; the freedom of choice in the skills available, but limited. The role-playing game has its construction sites, but it's fun. Sometimes it seems like it's the newfound simplicity that makes the Wekr so good. Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning doesn't want to be the ultimate open-world game, it doesn't want to shine with an innovative combat and magic system, it doesn't want to take the classic fantasy story to the next level - the remaster also wants a rock solid one Be an honest roleplaying game in which you beat opponents with effective combos and then move on to the next group. 

There are still dry spells. Sometimes Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning plays like a kind of solo World of Warcraft in Classic times. Kill this x times, collect y times - this repeats itself, sometimes too often. One should not expect finely interlocked quest series, Re-Reckoning offers fantasy action with the rough trowel, including rough quest design. Is that less fun? Not necessarily, because after a few hours you know where the hare is, you will hardly be surprised by the solid design - and you can enjoy the game in peace and quiet.

 Infobox

Number of players: 1
Age: USK 18
Difficulty: easy to medium
Long-term motivation: medium
Genre: RPG
Sub-genre: Action RPG

Publisher: THQ Nordic
Official Website: Link
Year of publication: 2021
Platforms: Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch
Language: German voice output, German subtitles
Costs: from 39,99 euros

Summary

It's a little crazy with Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning. The original was a commercial success, but it was still relatively unknown. This is due to the age and the ultimately unsuccessful attempt to build a series brand out of Amalur. Despite good critics, the role-playing game never made its big breakthrough - until today. The remaster also offers upscale role-playing quality without being outstanding. Solid fare, but always entertaining - that's the best way to describe the impression of Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning. The action role-playing game is not imposing, you have to get actively involved. However, this will be rewarded mainly due to the adjustments to the loot and level system. 

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning is by far the better - and despite its visual weaknesses, it is also the prettier game. A nice filter ensures that Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning also looks on the Nintendo Switch as if you didn't want to be stingy with the soft focus. Brightly colored, sometimes absurdly proportioned and charming is the representation, which optically always looks as if one were moving through an underwater world. 

The direct battles develop a dynamic that one would wish for in Assassin's Creed Valhalla: the player rolls around quickly, runs and sprints. He flogs, does magic and shoots arrows - all without further ado. Thrashing opponents in this way is fun, there is - unless you find nothing in the simplicity - no criticism. So you follow the entertaining story that obviously has the focus. It's twice as much fun on the Nintendo Switch, because the selection of classic role-playing games is extremely limited on the hybrid console. Those who can't do much with JRPGs have to search longer to find a real action RPG. With Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning there is now a new, old genre representative that Nintendo disciples will be only too happy to accept.

It almost seems as if Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning was made for the Nintendo Switch - despite the remaster quality, the game is just old. This does not detract from the fun of the game. And it actually raises the question of whether, given the improved quality, a full-fledged successor shouldn't be developed.


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Kingdoms of Amalur Re-Reckoning (Nintendo Switch) Kingdoms of Amalur Re-Reckoning (Nintendo Switch) * 28,98 EUR

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Last updated on 25.09.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API