(Eds. Note – this post is from our newest writer, Eve Guevara. Check out her bio here.)
Hi all! Resident gamer here, about to blow your mind. Well, I’m actually not about to blow your mind; this new game coming out is going to blow your mind.
Even if you’re not a hardcore gamer, most people know the basics: the consoles, the big games, even gamer jokes (Leroy Jenkins, anyone?)
Video games usually follow a generally accepted format. For example, if you’re playing a shooter, it doesn’t matter the story or setting, all shooters play the same way. All platformers play the same way (think every Mario game you’ve ever played). I could go on naming genres, but y’all are intelligent folks, so I’ll just let you think about it for a sec.
I’m right, aren’t I?
Of course I am. However, a new release by EA sounds like its going to be genre bending to say the least. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a role-playing game. Now before anyone rolls their eyes about RPGs, listen to what this game brings to the table:
It’s a massive single-player role-playing game along the lines of Fable and the Elder Scrolls series (Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim, among others), only it’s available for console gamers as well. Show of hands, who else was pissed because Star Wars: The Old Republic isn’t Mac compatible? Just me then? Well, screw you guys. I for one am super stoked about getting to play this on my PS3. While at the moment it is single-player, there are rumors that this game release is one step towards a new massively multiplayer role-playing game like Star Wars: The Old Republic and World of Warcraft. And no, I won’t divulge my sources on that rumor. Gameplay for the main quest is estimated at around 30 hours, but with side quests that time can be effectively tripled.
You know how in most RPGs you have to choose your race and class, then you’re stuck there for the rest of the game? In KoA:R, you don’t pick that stuff until after the tutorial, which means that you can actually play as the different classes before choosing. Nifty, right? Oh yeah, and classes are far more fluid. Who else had looted a kill and gotten an awesome item, only to not be able to actually use it because of class restrictions? Yeah, sucks ass, right? KoA:R has customizable classes. Let that sink in for a second. Your. Own. Class.
How freaking awesome is that?! Really freaking awesome, I’ll go ahead and let you know.
Combat isn’t like your normal RPG either. Strategy and planning are important for any game, but especially for the RPG, where most combat is turn-based. KoA:R integrates “twitch” gaming, which relies on the player’s quick reaction time and aim, much like in any action or shooter game on the market. This makes the game harder to master, but also opens up your attack options. It also makes this a game that people who wouldn’t otherwise touch an RPG are able to pick up and enjoy.
Finally, the crafting and production value that went into the game is star-struck. The creator of the world and story is none other than R.A. Salvatore, author of the Forgotten Realms series and father of Drizzt Do’Urden, one the best developed and most beloved characters in contemporary fantasy. Todd McFarlane, the guy who did Spawn, headed up the artwork department. Finally, to complete this circle of amazingness, the executive designer of the game itself is none other than Ken Rolston, who was lead designer of two Elder Scrolls games. In case these names are making some of you scratch your heads, I’ll just say that it’s like Dumbledore, Gandalf and Doctor Who all came together to create a whole new universe. That is how freaking awesome this game is.
Now, I’m not getting paid to say how awesome this game is. Because it’s not out yet (release date is February 7) I haven’t played it. However, I’m willing to bet good money that this is going to be one of the greats, and will spawn a series that, like the interminable Call of Duty series, will last for years.