Reckoning: Kingdoms of Amalur

While playing Skyrim, I found out that there is a very active community on Reddit. It’s a good source of laughter and frustration that players share while playing the game. One fine day, I noticed that the Skyrim Reddit was sporting an Ad … of Reckoning: Kingdoms of Amalur.

Another RPG. Hmmm, tell me something new!

Well, what grabbed my attention was that the game was the creation of Todd McFarlane, the creator of the hit cartoon character Spawn. Add to that the game sports Ken Rolston as its executive designer, the one who is famous for The Elder Scrolls series. Initially, I made the mistake of thinking that the game is going to be an MMORPG, pitting itself directly against leaders such as World of Warcraft and the fast catching up series, Rift.

Normally, I would ignore such games, however the superb online marketing that the good folks from Reckoning were doing ensured that I try out the demo of the game. A massive 2.8 GB download of the demo later, I started playing this game.

Immediate things to note is that Reckoning: Kingdoms of Amalur is made by Big Huge Games (also the creators of Dungeon Siege III). A lot of the game play and cut scenes seemed a mix of Mass Effect series (also an EA title) and DS3 (which flopped due to bad controls). A lot of artwork and creatives seem to be simply lifted and reused from these titles.

Having said that, the demo was a good experience. The story was riveting (good lore!), game play wasn’t cumbersome (I could easily shift from melee fighting to spell casting) and more importantly, I was having fun playing the game (2 runs so far and about to start my 3rd!). One good thing about EA titles is that they have differential pricing, so the game priced for USD 59 in the US is available for a cool INR 1000 in India. Finally a company which values India as a definite revenue generating segment!! Kudos EA, my congrats to you :-)


If you have played the Fallout series and the Oblivion series, then you would know that Bethesda Softworks attempts at creating Fallout 3 was a botched up mess. The storyline was good enough, but the game itself contained so many glitches that gamers hardly got any smooth experience of game play. The game would crash so often that many would leave this game untouched.

That space of post-modern warfare which is FPS + RPG which was initiated by the likes of Halo (only hints of RPG) and Bioshock was left empty.

In comes Borderlands, a game by Gearbox Software. They have created this unique blend of RPG and FPS (its touted to be Mad Max meets Diablo). Interestingly Gearbox is no stranger to FPS games, with 6 contributions to the Half Life series, and massive contributions to Counterstrike … the company is a giant in the FPS series. They the elements well … shooting, crouching, crouch + jump, duck … they have a rock solid base.

The game is based on the planet Pandora (creativity at its peak, huh??), with the hero (to be chosen between a Rifle touting Soldier, a Sniping Hunter, a Covert Siren and a hulking Brick) searching for the mythical Vault and aliens. The search for aliens and Vault leads him onto many game quests and many more bosses which lead us to the uber-loot. The game designer did have a sense of humor … all the special equipment has funny comments written for us to figure out what the equipment does.

Borderlands has an interesting multi-player aspect where a player can complete certain plots of the game by himself, then go online and play co-op to complete the hard parts.

All in all a good smooth experience to play and it ensures you keep coming back for more. Give this a whirl if you are a CS and a Diablo fan!!


I am a huge fan of the Diablo series, so much so that when I had an important exam to study for, I had a friend come over and play on my machine … that way I could study and not get tempted to play the game!! 3 months later, I cracked that test, Nikhil got hooked on Diablo :-). After battling the hordes of Baal, both of us tried different variants of the game, I think I have completed the game with all characters while Nikhil has completed the game in all difficulty levels (yep! Hell!!).

It was 2009 and the folks at Blizzard were keeping the Diablo3 plans hush-hush. So how do we fill the void? Believe me, I have tried … Oblivion, KOTOR, Assassin’s Creed, Fallout … RTS games like Rise of Nations, Rise of Legends, Anno 1404 … the list goes on. My thirst for Diablo remains, until I saw on the xfire community a game which seemed to resemble Diablo, a LOT!! Screenshots looked like an old friend with a new hair-do … sleeker, trendy … but underneath, it was the same old friend.

I did my research and read through the wiki of the game, an excerpt –

Pre-production on Torchlight began in August 2008, shortly after the dissolution of Flagship Studios. Runic Games was founded by Travis Baldree (lead developer of Fate and Mythos) and veterans of Blizzard North and Flagship: Max Schaefer, Erich Schaefer and Peter Hu. The “entire Flagship Seattle team” consisting of 14 people (the branch of Flagship which created the original Mythos) signed on to Runic Games at the time of its formation. Having lost the rights to Mythos, the Runic team saw the development of a new game as a way to “finish what [they] started,” although they would have to start over with none of the code or art assets from Mythos.

The game is touted to be the best Diablo clone that is there in the market. With a standard storyline, and lots of drops, I found the game an excellent hack and slash game. Also with an upcoming MMO to be launched soon in tie-up with Perfect World (a Chinese firm), the rights to play online would be free with the game.

One more game to look forward to in 2011 :-)