Kingdoms Of Amalamadingdongdemo

By Alec Meer on January 20th, 2012 at 6:20 pm.

BLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM

38 Studios/Big Huge Games’ promising but awkwardly-named RPG Kingdoms of Ham Sandwich: Baconing is only three weeks away now, and you can treat your EYES and EARS and FINGERS and WHATEVER OTHER ORGANS YOU USE TO PLAY GAMES WITH to a fairly sizeable Amalur demo from the Steams right now. So far it’s content I already played for a preview a while back, but it’s well worth a look yourself, to grasp the tone of the game (exposition-heavy fantasy wibbling, I fear, but generously the cutscenes are skippable), the look and the slightly weird-feeling controls, as well as exploring the different playable races, the beard-tastic character customiser and the first touches of combat/skill specialisation.

Yeah, it comes off as fairly console-y and it’s a bit light of touch as RPGs go – I’m thinking a less restrictive, significantly more statty Fable to some degree, much as comparisons are the devil’s work – but gut feeling so far is it’s probably going to be pretty good time if approached on its own stabby-stabby merits rather than by holding it against an RPG wishlist. Obviously much depends on the finished product though: I don’t want anyone calling my blither here a ‘review’.

Anyway, grab the near-3GB demo from right over here. Yes, you need to use Steam. Yes, it’s an EA game on Steam. In fact, the demo appears to be exclusive to Steam – while you can pre-order the game from Origin (and get some kind of bonus DLC gubbins), there’s no sign of the demo. Howzabout them apples, eh?

Important updatey update: aha, it was hidden on an entirely different part of Origin. Here you go.

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109 Comments »

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  1. povu says:

    For anyone who gets just a black screen with a minimap when starting the game, turn post processing off. That’s an issue I had.

    Edit: If I was unclear this is the case for the demo only, they already said it would be fixed in the final game.

    • caddyB says:

      I haven’t tried the demo
      But apparently that issue is fixed in the release version.
      Just posting here to make sure the game doesn’t get bad rep for issues it won’t have on release.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Had this problem too. Overcame it and tried the demo. Realised I would have been better off with the black screen.

    • Premium User Badge

      Makariel says:

      Thanks povu!

      However, it didn’t save the rest of the demo from being underwhelming. The controls are awkward, I spent more time trying to tweak the controls than playing the demo. I just came from playing Dark Souls, which has excellent melee combat just to be confronted with THAT. Somewhere along the way the demo froze and I wasn’t able to do anything anymore.

      I already deleted the demo, made a cup of tea and am going to play Witcher 2 instead.

    • Chirez says:

      Ah, that’s good to know. The game basically displays all hud elements and menus but nothing but blackness where the actual world should be. It’s kind of like being blind, but with hypersenses that let you know where the walls and enemies are.

      I played through the first part of the demo like that, stabbing, shooting, stealth kills and all. It was strangely entertaining.

  2. Shizzlick says:

    You can get the demo on Origin, I did, you just can’t get it from the same page you buy/pre-order the game from, strangely. You have to click on the Free Games page in the Store.

    Rather odd they don’t let you get the demo from the games main page though.

    • sneetch says:

      Ah, I was wondering why there was none on Origin, that’s a… strange place to put your demos, oh well, might get it off Origin, just to stop Battlefield 3 crying about being all alone there.

    • Commisar says:

      well, the demo IS free.

  3. Rasga says:

    There is a demo on Origin and it even was there before it was on the Steams. It’s under the free games section. But if I were you I would get it on Steam.

    ninja’d

  4. QualityJeverage says:

    You can get the demo on Origin, but it’s oddly difficult to find.

  5. Neolithic says:

    I played the demo then pre-ordered it. The class system is fantastic.

    • ahluka says:

      I too like the look of the class system, but the controls are getting on my tits. It’s not the button mapping, it just feels… off. Is it just me or is it impossible to zoom the camera out? Call me picky, but I need it further out than that.

    • noodlecake says:

      Right analogue stick down, I think. Clearly a game made for gamepads if you’re not using one.

    • ahluka says:

      Ahh now I feel like a tard for not trying my pad — it’s just sitting there, already plugged in.
      Facepalm? Facepalm.

    • RaytraceRat says:

      same feelings here. Tried it with mouse+keyboard and it felt like trying to swim in a pool full of pins and nails. Switched to pad and suddenly everything was really nice and playable.

    • ahluka says:

      It feels (and no doubt sounds) like bollocks saying this, but it’s like playing a different game when you use a pad. It’s like they clearly spent a lot of time on the controls for the console version, and just threw the mouse & keyboard scheme together in an afternoon, played it for an hour, and concluded “yeah, it’ll do”.

      I’m still not 100% on-board with the camera, though. The right stick changes it, but when you leave combat it resets, meaning I have to click-click-click to get it back where I want it every time I get into a fight. Sometimes I need more clicks, sometimes less, which is bizarre.

      Having said that, the game is surprisingly good enough that I’ll put up with it. Tempted to pre-order.

    • aDemandingPersona says:

      I agree.. who really thought that caps lock makes a good lock on button?

  6. Vivi says:

    Combat reminds of Divinity 2 the most. Not a bad thing, all things considered, but it’s similar to the point that I’d rather just go play Divinity 2.

    The dialogue system is weird though. Half the time it’ll be the Mass Effect word wheel thing and then it will switch to a plain ol’ list for you to pick topics from. I guess it’s for those time you accidentally end a conversation before selecting all the choices, but it’s still odd.

    All told, it’s about as “wait and see” as a game of its type can be.

    • Ringwraith says:

      The wheel is for points when you have multiple different conflicting responses, whereas the list comes up when you’re just inquiring about general topics, like how The Elder Scrolls games, particularly Morrowind, tend to do it.

    • Unaco says:

      That decides it for me… Divinity 2 had appalling combat.

    • Vivi says:

      Ah, well that makes sense I guess. Though other games have manged just fine with format or another.

      The only thing this game may have on Divinity 2 are the combos you see in the trailers, though who knows how long you be stuck going clickclickclick before you unlock enough abilities to use said combos.

    • Ringwraith says:

      I don’t know how apt the comparison to Divinity 2 is, as I’ve not played it, but it’s like if someone made Fable’s quick-switch combat lean towards a more typical hack ‘n’ slash style, as there’s some varying combos you can pull off, like delayed attacks.
      The first free non-spammy combo you get with longswords actually is a launching move, so you can mess around with it almost from the off.

    • noodlecake says:

      I haven’t played divinity 2 but looking at a video clip the animations look terrible and overly fast and jerky. The combat in KoA feels quite satisfying to me. Beats your typical RPG combat.

    • goatmonkey says:

      The combat feels nothing like Divinity 2 it is much closer to something like Darksiders (I can’t speak for the Fable comparison), I must admit though it wasn’t all that fun for me until I started using a gamepad where it felt a lot more natural.

  7. eraserhead says:

    The cutscenes are special for their total lack of facial animation! I was surprised how much that bothered me.I had to turn off post processing to see anything first but I’m afraid no amount of post processing can save this game me.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      That screenshot does look a bit like someone rubbed petroleum jelly all over it.

  8. Creeping Death says:

    “I’m thinking a less restrictive, significantly more statty Fable to some degree”

    That pretty much sums up how it felt to me. Not that that is a bad thing at all, I always thought Fable could be excellent if the developrs weren’t afraid of actually challenging a player.

    It comes out a week before my birthday, so that’s me sorted ^^

    • Ringwraith says:

      The area progression also feels Fable-like, except with much larger areas to muck around in, and generally being a bit more open.
      Sort of like a halfway house between Fable and massive openness of something like The Elder Scrolls.

  9. TormDK says:

    I liked the demo alot, but it’s not worth the full 50 euro asking price currently.

    If it stays on Steam I’ll pick it up during a sale sometime, because the game is good – just not 50 euroes good.

    • Ringwraith says:

      Americans and Europeans are really getting ripped off with the price, with $60 for the former, whereas it’s only £30 for UK folk, which seems like slightly odd pricing.

    • TormDK says:

      EA even wants 400dkk if I pay in my local currency though the Origin Store (which is 54 euro).

      I wonder why you brits get off the hook that easily. Prehaps I need to find myself a british friend to gift the game to me? Hmm :)

    • Ringwraith says:

      I have a feeling they’ve kind of admitted defeat to our retail side, as they tend to have some very aggressive pricing to constantly try and undercut each other with most games, so have simply set the price low to not be quite so horribly undercut by stores.

    • CaspianRoach says:

      It’s 899 roubles in Russia (~28.7 USD) and it doesn’t even have a russian translation. The deal just screams ‘abuse me please’.

    • Highstorm says:

      I’ve been looking forward to this, but that $60 price tag is holding me off. I know it’s only $10 more than the (increasingly less) usual 50, but it’s a change I’ve never been fond of and only begrudgingly ponied up on big, well-known releases. Voting however futilely with my wallet and all that.

    • TormDK says:

      Russian stuff is region locked though right?

      I really must find a nice brit and say “Will you be my friend” in a Chucky-like fashion.

    • CaspianRoach says:

      I don’t think it is actually. There are definitely some games which are region locked but they tend to have russian translation and even an another steam app ID for the russian version. I’ve recently bought Deus Ex: HR + Missing Link english version for a russian price (234 roubles total with a daily deal (7.46 USD)) for a friend who lives in Europe and he was able to activate and play it on steam.

  10. AMonkey says:

    Its pretty damn fun, plays like Fable which is a RPG-lite. I’ll probably buy it after release to see if it needs bug fixing.

  11. Joof says:

    “I’m thinking a less restrictive, significantly more statty Fable to some degree”

    That sounds really good. Fable, but with more stuff I like. I think I’ll download the demo tonight.

  12. Tei says:


    _-_-, | /
    // , ' _ \ ||
    ||/\ \ \/\ / \ / \ /'\ \/\/\ _-_, /'\ =||=
    ~|| < || || || || || || || || || || || || ||_. || || ||
    ||/\ || || || || || || || || || || || || ~ || || || ||
    _-__,\, \ \ \ \_-| \/ \,/ \ \ \ ,-_- \,/ \,
    /
    '----`
    ___
    - -_, ,,
    ( ~/|| _ ||
    ( / || \/\/\ < , || \ \ ,._-_
    /==|| || || || /-|| || || || ||
    /_ _|| || || || (( || || || || ||
    ( - \, \ \ \ /\ \ \/\ \,

    You are on a green valley.
    Exits: north, west, east.

    [] _

    I kind of liked the demo. But the flaws are really big. For me: horrible menus, possible grindfest, possible generic quests. I say possible, because almost everything I did on my time with the demo was epic, but I noticed the mmo feel in the borders. Without playing the full game I can't have a real opinion.

    • JoyChiro says:

      Negatives:
      -Interface
      -Navigation (Mini-map)
      -Keyboard+ Mouse Control (interface events like keystrokes and mousescroll gets infinitely looped)
      -Cliched Dialogs (so much so that I read like 10% and Spaced through the rest)
      -Depthless Characters
      -KritterFest
      -Shallow Quests
      -Claustrophobic and Candy like World (0% immersion)
      -Too MMOish for my comfort
      -Shallow lore (every NPC gives you the same shit on something)
      -No Facial Expressions
      -Destiny System Dubious
      -Skilling Up is very Linear (Don’t confuse with Skill tree, These are mundane ones like Crafting and Smithing and Alchemy)
      -Lore System (Lore Stones) A huge #fail you must be pushing too hard if you didn’t ignore

      Bottomline: It feels like a slightly glorified Torchlight, a bigger scale required reducing Flashiness and increasing Depth. Not there, not there at all. Even the Skills and Powers seems exactly like Torchlight. Also smashing those boxes. Its a light RPG wrapper on a Depth-Less Hack-n-Slash Game. With no Co-Op its a #fail

      Positives:
      +Combat
      +Combo System
      +Skill Tree
      +Leveling
      +(…errrm..I’m pushing too hard really)

  13. Protome says:

    I’m surprised at the Fable comparisons, I mean I guess the actiony combat is like Fable, but other than that it reminds me more of an Elder Scrolls game, albeit with a slightly less wide open world.
    It’s certainly closer to Elder Scrolls than Fable at least.

  14. parlinotomte says:

    Is this best played on PC or console?

    • Baconwhich says:

      I registered to reply to this and misspelled my own username…

      But I’m playing it on the 360 and it’s buggy as sin. Sounds cut out constantly, every now and then it’ll just start auto-skipping NPC conversations on its own, and my first 360 RROD’d after some graphical glitches in-game the other night(potentially unrelated).

      But it’s not really a game that lends itself to mouse and keyboard moreso than control pad, so I guess the only difference would be whether there’s going to be a modding community for the PC version in the end.

    • xGryfter says:

      It’s most definitely a console minded game but the demo seems to run better on the PC. If you have a 360 controller for the PC that’s the way to go IMO though keyboard and mouse works well enough.

    • Jae Armstrong says:

      Anyone want to weigh in on the PS3 version? I could potentially play this on any of the three platforms, though all else being equal I’d prefer PC or PS3.

    • stache says:

      I tried the PS3 demo. Halfway through the tutorial bits the sound cut out; everyone’s dialogue zipped past at lightspeed and I couldn’t read anything. PC + gamepad looks like the best option.

    • Necanthrope says:

      I tested it out on my PC and PS3. As you’d expect it looks better visually and the gameplay was smoother on the PC. The PS3 also had numerous problems with the game not starting or freezing. The PC demo also froze on me once as well. In terms of which platform I’d suggest PC with a gamepad. I played through on PC with m/k to contrast it with the PS3 experience. The only advantage was in the ability to look around fast. This is probably not enough to overcome the awkwardeness of the keyboard controls though.

      As for the game itself I liked it. I just wonder why we can’t have a huge rpg with Demon / Dark Souls inspired combat.

  15. Blackcompany says:

    My experience with demo. Posted this elsewhere but here you go:

    Played this last night. Tutorial plus 45 minutes of free-roaming exploration.

    .

    Amalur is a low-res, console Action RPG. You hack and slash your way through a cartoon fae world using oversized weapons and acrobatic, super-hero combat moves. Weapons and even magic spells do have some real impact, usually in an over-the-top way. Hits stagger even the player and you can find yourself caught in a combo of two or more hits and unable to escape temporarily, which can make things tough.

    .

    The camera is wonky as hell. Almost no FOV to speak of, its zoomed extremely close. Character movement is too fast and thus the camera is jerky. Dodging can send you willy-nilly (technical term) across the screen, causing the combat camera to suddenly zoom out to near-torchlight perspective.

    .

    After all this…Amalur does not seem a bad game. Just a rather…immature one. Except for the writing. Apparently, your character exists without ties to fate – a big deal in this world. Free to forge your destiny, you exist in the war-torn Fae lands, where Tuatha run roughshod over everyone in typical bad-guy fashion.

    .

    The writing is intriguing. Dialogue does stop time and zoom in, but character mannerisms actually match speech patterns and statements – no random idle animations here.

    .

    And speaking of dialogue. I was twice able to persuade someone to help me, based on my skill level. On the second occasion I convinced a bandit that an item she wanted was cursed and kept the item while also avoiding the fight. Some role play in there, apparently.

    .

    Kingdoms of Amalur is good at what it does. Whether that is something you like or not is utterly up to the player. For those seeking immersive, realistic worlds stick with Skyrim or look elsewhere. If you want to hack-and-smash your way through the cartoon lands of Fae with super-hero moves, then pick up Amalur.

    • Blackcompany says:

      Damn. This posted. I posted another one because this one didn’t show up. Oops.

    • Commisar says:

      that is a pretty good assessment, but i enjoyed it and will pick it up, but probably not on launch

    • kemryl says:

      Sorry Commisar, but the nice man on the loudspeaker said not to believe your lies. After all, Nazis don’t torture and kill prisoners!

  16. magnus says:

    ‘Beardtastic’ I hate that term and the suffix ‘tastic’ . Ban them both,NOW!

  17. Coxswain says:

    Played it on PC with an xbox controller.

    One thing that really bugged me about this demo was that by default the sprint / dodge buttons are on the wrong keys (according to my brain). Especially coming from Arkham City, not being able to double tap (A) to dodge threw me for a loop. Fortunately it appears the game’s controls are 100% customizable.

    It was pretty fun, all told. I’m not sure I want to buy it at launch – the textures are blocky, the characters are oddly proportioned (which is really bugging me for some reason…), and the lack of facial animation is a turn off for sure. But it was a fun, fun game. It plays out as sort of a cross between a simplified god of war and fable-with-stealth, and I’ve always likes the fable games but wished there was more depth to the combat so.. I’m still on the fence over whether this is a day one purchase or not, but if i don’t buy it at release it is definitely a “pick up the moment it drops below USD $30″ purchase for me.

    • Tams80 says:

      I was put off by the faces as well. They seem slightly creepy. Voice and animations didn’t sync well for me either.

      It was good fun though, even if the most of the enemies could be killed by spamming attack.

  18. DickSocrates says:

    Bit of a shame there’s no pre-order discount, but instead more useless tat for Team Fortress 2. Yeah, that really sweeten’s the deal, thanks. Not even items for the game you’re buying!

    Hope the game’s good, but by the time it comes out I should be about 2% into Skyrim (I’ve only played 50 hours, give me a break.)

    • Blackcompany says:

      That’s 2% into Vanilla Skyrim. Have to allow for modded Skyrim, so, 50hrs…

      I’d say about 0.2%.

    • Tams80 says:

      O, but for playing the demo you get a special ‘reckoning’ weapon for Mass Effect 3! ¬.¬

  19. Crane says:

    I hated the demo of this.

    “You have equipped a shield! Shields can be used to block attacks! When not in use, they’re stored in an extradimensional space up your arse, not rendered on your model! Pressing block instantly teleports your shield into position, regardless of what your hands are doing! Being unable to use a shield as a trade-off for two handed weapons? Don’t be silly, that would add nuance to your weapon choices!”

    “In certain locations you can jump down from ledges! Press ‘F’ when the icon appears to overcome your character’s crippling acrophobia and descend the two-foot drop! Be wary – you can only do this where your character feels comfortable though!

    “Now use your bow. What, aim it? No, don’t be silly. Hold left-mouse, and it will automatically aim at an enemy roughly in the direction you’re facing. What, you want to unstring that arrow instead of shooting? Don’t be silly.”

    “You are out of arrows. You only have a limited quantity of arrows. Wait for them to regenerate.”

    “Now use your Storm Blast ability! How, you ask? Face roughly in the direction of an enemy and right click to auto-shoot them!”

    • Blackcompany says:

      As someone who has played the demo I can state with certainty that this is 100% true. Some of the more negative (and immersion killing) facets of the game detailed with 100% accuracy.

    • PostieDoc says:

      Sounds like a severe case of consolitis to me.

    • lefishy says:

      Dark Souls called. It wants to have a word.

    • Maniacal says:

      @Crane: I really wasn’t impressed either. The combat is some of the worse I have ever played in a game on my PC. The archery is just pathetic. Maybe the story and world get a lot better later on, i hope it does because most of that I saw in the demo was average at best.

    • povu says:

      For a game that frequently advertises itself as having great combat for an RPG (advertising which only comes second to their advertising of having R.A. Salvatore and Ken Rolston on board) I found the combat pretty mediocre. Auto aim all over the place as you said, slight delays after swings and rolls before you can do your next move which take just a little too long, the magical shield out of nowhere… It just feels clunky.

    • cavalier says:

      I wan’t all that impressed witht he combat either for pretty much the exact same reasons. the interface is a nightmare as well.

    • Tams80 says:

      I saw a bit of potential in melee combat, with the dodges (even if they can make the camera go berserk). BUT:

      -I don’t quite understand the stealth. It felt broken.
      -Auto aim for archery makes it boring.
      -Archery seems to do utterly random damage sometimes (when charged, sometimes it almost kills an enemy, sometimes it hardly does anything)
      -Archery is pretty much useless as your main skill. You run out of arrows too fast.
      -While the shield can be useful. I’d prefer it if you could use it with a weapon (and see it on your back).
      -There is a poison ability that seems to almost one kill enemies (this might not be so overpowered later on)

      The demo was fun. If there are significant improvements later in the game, then they should have at least alluded to them in the demo I doubt there are though. For all those negatives, though, there were far more positives. It certainly wasn’t perfect.

      I’m hooked by the story though. The world and lore seemed rather interesting.

  20. Blackcompany says:

    Never played Fable. Can’t make that comparison.
    ….
    The demo was not an unpleasant experience. I know that does not bode well as opposed to a “great gaming experience” but there it is. I will see if I can break it down some:
    ….
    Graphics: Here Amalur is a console game. Period. Low res textures. Pop-in. Nothing impressive, certainly. Makes Skyrim look like high-end PC fare. Don’t expect much, but what is here is pretty in its own way.
    ….
    Controls: Take something for motion sickness before your first play. The camera is fast and wonky as hell, and it moves all over the place. Movement speed is far too fast, and sometimes dodge rolls cause you to move off camera or cause the camera to zoom way out. (That last also happens in fights, a lot, though it happens seamlessly.) You do get used to it, but it takes a bit.
    ….
    Also, plan on using an XBOX controller. Game’s just made for it, making it easy to cast spells, sneak and switch weapons in one touch of a button.
    ….
    Combat: This is…over the top. Think Action-RPG, complete with airborne, character-juggling combos and enormous weapons. Warhammers, in particular, make it seems characters are compensating for something. Well, male characters, anyway. Movement is fast and strikes stagger, knock down and juggle opponents. It is also possible for the player to get hammered or caught in a one-two punch they cannot immediately get out of. Enjoyable in an over-the-top sort of way, except for bow shots. They have no punch, no weight and almost no real flight physics. If you are one of those always seeking to make bows more realistic and dangerous in Skyrim, avoid this game.
    ….
    Immersion: Forget it. Period. Shields aren’t on backs. Or arms. They just…pop into and out existence depending on whether you are blocking or not. Not a good thing, that setup. Bad choice, really. This is not a game built with immersion in mind. Near everything in the wilds is hostile to you, and attacks onsight.
    ….
    Inventory and Miscellaneous stuff: Inventory is good. Comparing items is reasonable. Neither the best nor the worst out there and certainly better than Skyrim at what its trying to be. I was able to use Speech to persuade a bandit down from a fight at one point, and even to keep the item they wanted from me. Nice touch, really.
    ….
    In Summary: Kingdoms of Amalur is a good game. It is particularly good at being what it is: An RPG-Lite, over-the-top action RPG. It never claims to be an immersive experience, and it never tries to challenge Skyrim in terms of graphics or a believable world.
    .
    And yet what there is…just works. The writing is particularly good, and I am curious to know more about what it means to live entirely without ties to fate. Which, in Amalur, is a big deal, apparently. And therein lies the rub: I want to know more about this world, the lore and the story taking place. But I am just not sure whether I can stomach the game play and graphics required to get there.

    • cjlr says:

      Thanks for the wot you thought; with a review like that who needs to actually play it? Maybe I still should, though… I can’t see myself paying for this until it hits a steep discount.

    • Blackcompany says:

      Glad I could help out. Unless you really like action RPG’s – and are willing to overlook some just plain childish design decisions – I would avoid Amalur. It strikes me as a game intended to introduce either the very young, or the very new, to the RPG genre.
      .
      On the other hand…who says that is absolutely a bad thing? I am torn myself, mainly because of the writing. It might peter out later and turn out to be nothing…but it might not, too.

    • Chesterton says:

      Good thoughts there, I felt pretty much the same.

      Story is great, and I can appreciate the art style, but the crazy camera really is jarring. As well as the feeling my character is sliding all over the ground. I also attempted to remap keys and play with my keyboard & mouse – the UI doesn’t do well in this regard….but, that seems the norm these days.

      I’ll be picking this up after a hefty discount. It seems nice enough, and the world looks great – but with the problems mentioned above, I won’t be paying $60 for it.

    • Wizardry says:

      It strikes me as a game intended to introduce either the very young, or the very new, to the RPG genre.

      I thought that’s what Skyrim, Oblivion, Fallout 3, New Vegas, Fable, Mass Effect, Dragon Age II and Alpha Protocol were for.

    • IDtenT says:

      Oh come on Wizardry. AP wasn’t trying to be an RPG anymore than ME was, it was a spy game with RPG elements tacked on. Pretty good game though; had some interesting C&C.

  21. Teronfel says:

    Played,liked and preordered it.

  22. Flint says:

    Just a heads-up for everyone like me who doesn’t use WASD – the demo doesn’t support movement control configuration (everything else is perfectly configurable). Apparently they didn’t have time to do it for the demo (??) but should be in the full game. So keep a pad ready, my non-WASD comrades. I’ve no idea how DVORAK keyboards behave, though.

    In any case, I really enjoyed the demo. It’s got some wonks here and there – the combat’s slightly messy and desperately needs a lock-on feature of some kind, a fair amount of light glitching which might just be rough demo code, etc – but overall I found myself really getting into it. When you start wandering around the forest after the tutorial dungeon, I got the same sort of enchanting feeling of a vast world waiting for you to set foot in its nooks and crannies that these games do at best. Character development looks good too with all its various types of skilltrees (more customisation like that is always good to me). I know a lot of people might find this very eyebrow-raising but when the proper game began, I started getting the same excited feeling I always get when I start out in MMOs, with the way the opening of the game after the tutorial unfolded from quests to setting afoot in the new world to slowly getting more and more into crafting and skills.

    Definitely giving the full version a try at some point.

  23. PostieDoc says:

    Does the game have co-op?
    Looks like something I would enjoy playing with my brother rather than on my own.

    • pakoito says:

      It will have a sequel that is a MMO. This one is kind of a test of the engine, the setup and how well people reacts to it.

    • slabgar says:

      I’m afraid that it is single player only, though it may well be testing the waters for their upcoming MMO.

  24. Vagrant says:

    The game was favorably compared to Secret of Mana by a former Joystiq editor. That’s enough to make me excited.

  25. TormDK says:

    If they are making an MMO I do hope they plan on upgrading that engine.

    While I like the boobies that I saw, it could use a higher res upgrade!

  26. vecordae says:

    Game was definitely console-y. If you like action RPGs you’ll probably like it. If you want something a bit more tactical/cerebral you probably won’t. Unless the reviews are amazing, I doubt that I’ll buy it unless I stumble across it at a deep discount.

    • Commisar says:

      well, this game needs a fun, 3rd person action RPG and Amalur Delivers

    • IDtenT says:

      Tactical? This game’s combat system is a whole lot more tactical than TES and a bunch of other modern western RPGs.

  27. w00tasaurus says:

    I don’t see why a few gaming news websites insist this game has an awkward name? I can’t see anything wrong with it..

  28. Mikhail Popov says:

    My experience with the demo has been a broken one. If you turn the subtitles on, they just stay on. And they keep layering on. After several lines of dialogue, you get an unreadable mess at the bottom of the screen. The same goes when I open the menu. It’s an awful first impression.

  29. wcanyon says:

    Teh bloom. Make it stop. Make. It. Stop.

    Srsly, that screenshot looks awful.

  30. Edawan says:

    What a terrible terrible interface.

    Despite that it was fun, but seriously it shouldn’t be such a hassle to change equipment.

    Also, it crashed near the end. (I think)

  31. rockman29 says:

    I want my Rise of Nations 2 already darnit.

    • LuNatic says:

      A properly fleshed out Rise of Legends sequel would nice.

    • Davie says:

      Dear god, that would be lovely. I hope Big Huge still has some interest in RTS, because both of those games were amazing.

  32. jamesm says:

    I played the PS3 demo, which was glitch-tastic: subtitles staying on screen too long, especially during conversations with NPCs; characters, including my own, suddenly disappearing and then reappearing a few feet away; an entire floor texture outside the mine turning into a weird tearing mirror. Is the PC demo better?

    Despite that, like Dungeon Siege 3, the demo pressed the primordial undemanding-fantasy-RPG button that seems to live deep inside my lizard brain.

    But I couldn’t help wanting the stealth, crafting and skill tree goodness with the less flashy melee mechanics of… yes, Demons’ Souls.

    Maybe the polish of God of War’s combat has spoilt it for everyone else, but here the effects-heavy comboing, rolling and magic just felt lightweight, lacking in inertia and momentum.

    • Jae Armstrong says:

      No, the PC demo is also extremely buggy. Nothing game breaking, but definitely in need of polish.

  33. Cryptoshrimp says:

    I quite liked it. It was standard fantasy fare and -buggy as hell- on vista with an ati card, but it had charm and I really liked the intro. Also, it has the best door-opening sequence I’ve ever seen.

    Sneaky Edit: Am I the only one who expected more from the underground dungeon based on the pile of corpses? Game’s definitely a bit too bright for me.

  34. skyturnedred says:

    Oh dear that game was bright. After the first tutorial dungeon you get outside and the bloom really starts to hit you in the face. Controls were a bit awkward, though I imagine with 360 it would be more natural. This seems like one of those games I might buy at a sale. Probably for 360 too, because it doesn’t look too good this close to the monitor.

  35. johnpeat says:

    I’ve tried really hard to like this but I just can’t bring myself to play it for more than 20 mins without an enormous sense of ennui (and grind) setting-in.

    It’s closest comparison is Fable and I hated Fable in almost every conceivable way – but you go from feeling like you’re playing a TES game, a Zelda game, a beat-em-up – allsorts.

    What you never feel is that you’re playing anything new.

    They’re tried to jam a tonne of stuff into this but there’s not 1 iota of it which is original. It has a cookie-cutter fantasy setting, cookie-cutter enemies, dialogue you’ve seen before, skills and attributes from 10 different games, a combat system from DMC/GoW (but nothing like as responsive or enjoyable) – it’s a ‘supergroup’ of games and it’s only doing cover versions.

    and they invited someone to play triangle AND cowbell

  36. Premium User Badge

    ffordesoon says:

    I’m surprised nobody’s talking about the GLORIOUS menus and UI. Maybe the best I’ve ever seen in a Western RPG, and damn near the best period. They don’t look great, but they’re responsive, intuitive, informative, and functional.

    And the HUD immediately and seamlessly reconfigures itself to conform to keyboard and mouse! EEEE-HEE-HEE!

    As for the game, I’m excited. It’s Fable, but without all the social “gesture wheel” fluff that makes Fable horribly annoying. Or, if you like, Skyrim for people who love Zelda. Or maybe vice versa. It’s easy-peasy, but the combat feels really nice, in a console sort of way. I like the rhythm of it. I’m not really someone who needs my games to be bone-crushingly difficult, though. Obviously, Dark Souls has the best combat in any action-RPG ever, but this is pretty good.

  37. MaXimillion says:

    So, how long is the demo? I played until I was out of the first dungeon, then had to exit and didn’t see a save function in the menu so I assumed it autosaves. When I started up the game later it turned out it hadn’t.

    • Tams80 says:

      You have to get just past the dungeon. After that you have 45 minutes in a restricted zone. If you leave the game for whatever reason or your time runs out you can then restart just after leaving the dungeon and you get most of the items you would have collected.

  38. Premium User Badge

    SealedSun says:

    Graphics are underwhelming, the running animation makes me want to put a paper bag over my character, facial animations… well, I’ve seen better, texture resolution waaaay down on Xbox levels. (There is still hope they just didn’t ship the high res ones to keep the demo download small)

    BUT: I found the combat to be highly entertaining. Reminds me a lot of Darksiders, love it! Played with mouse+keyboard. Really looking forward to this ^^

  39. Davie says:

    I wanted to be really excited about this, but the demo still felt like singleplayer WoW to me. It was altogether too “gamey” for my tastes–disappearing bows that require no ammo, sprinting everywhere, particle effects everywhere in combat, “Open world” design a la Far Cry 2 or Fable, as in a series of wide interconnected pathways. There’s a time and a place for that sort of stuff (say Just Cause 2 or Torchlight) but in what’s supposed to be a setting-driven RPG it breaks the fourth wall and pulls me right out of the game.

    And when the oracle guy acts surprised that he can’t predict your future “OH MAN YOU MUST BE THE CHOSEN ONE” I just lost all interest and quit after five minutes. Neither the gameplay, the setting, or the story was quite interesting enough to keep me playing, which is sad, because it looked pretty cool these last few months.

  40. Selix says:

    On of the many things I find unsuccessful about this thing is its graphical mix of oldschool D&D charm and of conventional, run of the mill WoW comic style. When it tries to balance in such a way, it ends up being neither of these two and just looks like a soulless marketing product. This “some percentage of this, some of this” approach I find one of the major problems in current game design. Games are uncreative and inorganic.
    Imagine The Shadow of the Colossus, for example, taking such an approach. No one would remember it.

  41. Skusey says:

    I really enjoyed this, really reminded me of Torchlight. Although I feel that like Torchlight, I’ll probably run out of steam after 10 or so hours. I’ll definitely pick it up sometime, but not for more than £20.

    • Premium User Badge

      Makariel says:

      I find Torchlight much more enjoyable. And not so bug-infested.

    • johnpeat says:

      I think the problem with comparing this to Torchlight (or Diablo or Titans Quest or any of those games) is that they remove a lot of the guff to allow for long sessions of ‘simply slaughtering stuff’.

      Here you have to take on almost as many badguys but they’re spaced-out – you have to walk to find them – you have to keep handing in quests along the way etc. etc.

      I don’t really see what that’s adding to the mix at all – I’d far rather either

      a – play a proper RPG like Skyrim
      b – play a proper action RPG like Torchlight
      c – play a better action RPG like Dins Curse or Depths of Peril!!
      d – play an MMO like WoW/Rift etc. and share the fun

      than play a game which takes bits of all of them – adds more bits (Zelda, Fable, you name it) and says “there you go – sort that mess out”.

  42. cassus says:

    I had such massive hopes for this game, but.. It, or at least the demo, was not good. Felt exactly like playing an mmo solo, but with less npc’s and all that. In fact, felt a little bit like SWTOR in that respect. Only with a combat system that has at least potential to be somewhat fun. Although personally I had no fun with it what so ever. Probably better on a joypad.

    • johnpeat says:

      I thought the combat would pan-out better on the pad – then I tried a pad and found out that it’s not great there either.

      Even if you get the hang of the (frankly odd) layout – there arre big issues with the way you move and dodge which conspire to make the game less fun.

      The combat is pretty much like the rest of the game really – it’s nicked ideas from loads of other games but made no effort to either make them fit together properly or work properly.

      I know people will say “it’s old code – this demo” but there’s so many little things which grate about KoA that I’d be astonished if the final game isn’t just a slightly more polished version of the same turd.

  43. TheCrippledNewt says:

    I think this just about sums up the demo: http://thecripplednewt.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/the-kingdoms-of-amalur-reckoning-demo/
    OK, so maybe I’m advertising a bit :D. Anyway, the demo is really good despite what I;m hearing of crashes, etc. I’ve had no big problems with it.