A Pirate I Was Meant To Be: Amalur Dead Kel Trailer

By Andrew Smee on March 19th, 2012 at 3:30 pm.

We'll surely avoid scurvy if we all eat an orange. Door hinge?

The Legend of Dead Kel, the first big DLC for swords and conversation RPG Kingdoms of Amalur is arriving tomorrow, letting you loose on the treacherous island of Gallow’s End in search of haunted pirate booty. It’s a chunk of story-driven content with a focus on player housing, featuring “the most expansive player housing option yet,” and if there’s one thing I need in my life, it’s a holiday home with options in a location that sounds like where Satan goes for the weekend.

Honestly though, the new trailer below begins with “At the edge of the frostbreak sea lies a sprawling isle of mist and stone” and crikey! It might be the dragon-obsessed teenager grabbing at my brain stem and taking control but stuff like that just does it for me. Flowery descriptions of windswept fantasy lands full of decay and adventure, that’s what it’s all about.

I don’t know if that’s Dead Kel himself at 0:50, because it sure looks a lot less like a creepy zombie pirate king and a whole lot more like some mad bloke who’s strapped a skull to his face. None of my timbers are shivering matey, I can see your goatee!

Dead Kel and his Hanged Men will be on Steam and Origin (and PSN/Xbox Live) tomorrow for $9.99.

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37 Comments »

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  1. Urthman says:

    I thought “swords and conversation” was a label for games as conversation-centric as Dragon Age. And I thought Amalur was a brawler with perfunctory fetch-quest conversations. Is there more to it than that?

    • Andrew Smee says:

      There’s a Speechcraft skill tree, so I’d say so.

      • Tacroy says:

        I haven’t finished the game yet, but so far in my experience using Persuasion gives you:

        An inconsequential line of extra dialog
        Maybe some vendor trash.
        Maybe not having to stab someone (which kinda defeats the purpose, stabbing mans is what the game revolves around).

        The thing is, you so rarely care about whether or not you’re supposed to be stabbing the mans; at one point I walked through a dungeon killing all these gnomes just because they were red on my minimap, only realizing that there was a less-violent solution after I’d stabbed them all in the back. I didn’t bother to reload, though I did go down the less violent path and stab all the Jotun, too.

        Nobody ever cared that I killed all those gnomes, so why should I care to reload?

        The game really does cater to the utterly amoral PC stereotype, there’s almost no consequences at all – which means that there’s no reason to ever take the less slashy path.

        That being said, I’ll probably get the DLC – this is a damn fine man stab, and in lots of amazing environments (as long as you look up every once in a while, because the game almost actively discourages you from doing so – presumably because the console toys can’t handle it)

        • gschmidl says:

          That’s not quite true — there are a few decisions that will or will not turn an entire area against you.

    • Max.I.Candy says:

      i took KoA as a loot heavy hack & slash (with good customization), and it served its purpose well. (The conversations were skipped quickly.)

    • CaspianRoach says:

      It’s a singleplayer MMORPG. Not even brawler-style fighting can save it since it has very little variety and all you do is spam one single combo over and over and over and over again for hours on end. It gets really boring and overly repetitive pretty soon.

      • Advanced Assault Hippo says:

        All of this I disagree with. It’s a proper single player experience, there is much variety in combat tactics and enemy types – if all you’re doing is spamming the same move over and over again then you’re doing it wrong.

      • RegisteredUser says:

        I agree that its a nice approach to try and have more tactically oriented combat; but the game itself then goes and admits with the Might tree that its really just mashing buttons again(which I find utterly despicable, as it paints a picture of the gamer condition of just being a mashy-mashy-monkey) when you basically get skills that make blocking or pondering block/parry/retaliate/any kind of not-just-hit-hit-hit approach pointless.

        Why introduce an attempt at deeper combat(bless you Mount&Blade for actually doing this so surprisingly well and different for a budget title) when you don’t make use of it properly and even half-admit this by giving the gamer a rather direct way around it..

        Its a shame, because I would have loved actually having to beat more things by skill rather than mashy-mashy-potion-clicky.

  2. Eskatos says:

    Looks kinda cool but I’m not spending any more money on Amalur till they release a patch that fixes the difficulty. Long story short, even hard mode is way too easy.

    • Drinking with Skeletons says:

      I agree. There are dozens of quests that I ultimately just ignored (including basically the entire Gnome city region!) once it became apparent I had already outleveled, well, everything the game had to offer. Why would I want to spend ten dollars to add more (easy, boring) content to the top of the stack?

      Better balance and more skills are what this game needs. It’s good, but I can’t justify more money on it until and unless those weaknesses are corrected.

      • CaspianRoach says:

        It needs interesting not-fetch quests. It needs likable interesting characters. It needs more variety for combat combos. It needs a loot system where I don’t end up selling 99% of the stuff because I have no use for it or because it’s tons weaker than what I have. It needs alchemy to not be stupidly weak, a few seconds potions that take forever to gather ingredients for for very little gain. It needs Sagecrafting not to have just 3 tiers of gems and these gems need to be way more powerful because they’re pretty much worthless now. It needs a sprint toggle. It needs a camera that doesn’t show me my boots and the floor all the time. It needs better quest tracking. It needs player character to show at least some emotions. It needs to be a better game.

        • Drinking with Skeletons says:

          I can forgive the game a lot of its weaknesses–which you laid out pretty clearly–for having pretty fun combat, but it’s easy to the point of dullness.

          However, I disagree with you that the PC doesn’t show emotion. My character always had a bemused, “Do you hear the bullshit coming out of your mouth?” look on his face when speaking with other characters, which seemed about right to me.

        • Tacroy says:

          I know this is the least of your complaints, but there is a sprint toggle – if you check in the options, there’s a setting that makes the sprint button a toggle. I’m not sure why it’s off by default, it was on in the demo.

        • Stephen Roberts says:

          Look up the Auto Hot Key stuff on the KoAR forums. There’s something approximating a sprint toggle, but it’s not much better than the in game setting. Push to cast spell keys though! Whoever thought select it then cast it was a good idea can… be hectored at for a few hours by me? Wouldn’t that be nice.

  3. psychoconductor says:

    This sounds really cool. I am definitely looking forward to it.

  4. akeso says:

    Because what this game needed was ANOTHER tired cliche.

    -We’ll surely avoid scurvy if we all eat an orange-

  5. megazver says:

    Would be nice if they fixed the fucking camera before releasing DLCs.

    • Stephen Roberts says:

      There is truth in every single comment here. I think a hell of a lot could be said for Kingdoms of Amalur. What it is, what it isn’t. What it wants to be. I’m not intending to go into it here but I have a feeling there will be something interesting said on the topic some day.

      As always I just get hung up on stupid little design choices like the awfully low camera or the useful and very welcome PC only spell bar (ooh, they care!) that functions by clicking first the button to select then the ‘cast’ button, un bindable from right click. Curtailing this rant now because I’m tired.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Gundato says:

    Shame it looks like only the redcoats got it on sale during the Origin sale.

    Based off of the demo, Amalur has potential. Just not worth 50 bucks (let alone 60).

  7. Premium User Badge

    Anthile says:

    Is this a ghost, zombie or demon pirate?

  8. Premium User Badge

    Man Raised by Puffins says:

    My first thought: http://www.snopes.com/radiotv/tv/kelmitchell.asp

  9. Premium User Badge

    Llewyn says:

    Good form, Smee. A pirate you were indeed meant to be.

  10. Vjaas says:

    Looks like LeChuck with a little less chub.

  11. wonderpookie says:

    Is there an FoV option for KoA yet?

  12. Premium User Badge

    Mo says:

    … trimmed the sails and roamed the seas!

    • akeso says:

      Stop Stop Stoooop…..
      The brass is what we’ll polish and the deck is what we’ll mop

      You say you’re nasty pirates
      Scheming, thieving, bad bushwhackers
      But from what I’ve seen you’re not pirates
      You’re just slackers

      A Pirate I was meant to be
      Trim the sails and roam the sea

      • Premium User Badge

        rokenroleg says:

        We’ll surely avoid scurvy if we all eat an orange…

        • akeso says:

          And umm…
          Well… err… Door Hinge?
          No… no..
          Guess the songs over then.
          Guess so…
          Okay, back to work

  13. RegisteredUser says:

    This is a “milk for $$$” DLC.
    The intro for it was already done when the original shipped(hello dlc1_opening.bik and dlc2_opening.bik..gee I wonder if there will be 2 DLCs?); they had additional content they fully well intended to sell seperate from the main game to generate additional revenue.

    This may be a legitimate way of conducting business for some.

    • trjp says:

      When you buy a car, it has the potential to contain equipment which you didn’t get when you ordered it (because you chose the cheaper model or didn’t select the options).

      That doesn’t mean that charging to add options to a car after purchase is wrong does it? You’re not entitled to free sat-nav or isofix or whatever just because you bought a car which they COULD have fitted those things to?

      So how is additional content for a game any different? Why were you entitled to get it ‘for free’ just because it existed at the time you bought the game?

      When you buy Heroes of Might and Magic 6 should they include HOMM 1-5 as well – and all the other games they’ve developed for that matter – because they existed at the time you bought HOMM 6?

      Stop being a berk…

  14. trjp says:

    I’d have been excited about this if it wasn’t

    a – a massively tired cliche – any game containing Pirates or Zombies now needs to be ignored completely I think
    b – in a game I now hate with a vengeance…

    I tried to like KOA but I cannot put time into a game which is so fucking LAZY.

    I started-off in normal mode and got bored stiff of a game which had zero difficulty
    I started-off in hard mode and got infuriated by a game with random difficulty spikes which render progress near impossible (enemies who’ll take off 80% of your health in a single hit – for example)

    How can you get that so wrong? – it’s like a choice of “Baked Beans with loads of added sugar” or “sulphuric acid” – how about something inbetween which is edible eh?

    Also seconding the camera/FoV thing – it gets really, really fucking tiresome playing a game with blinkers on which is actively trying to make you puke with every move.

    Upshot is that every time I returned to Skyrim I thought “ah – money well spent here”…

    • Jarenth says:

      Baked beans with loads of sugar sounds goddamn awful. No wonder you had a hard time with this game.

      For what it’s worth, I thought it was amusing, but ultimately soulless. A marketing-committee mash-up of elements that worked well in other games, set in a world that should have been an MMO. Really, if we’re doing the food metaphor, I would have picked a single-topping sandwich. Somewhat nourishing, but bland.

    • trjp says:

      For the record, most Baked Beans contain sugar – it’s the 21st century, people want sweet things – they buy Chocolate Flavoured CHEESE for fucks sake…

  15. Stephen Roberts says:

    There is truth in every single comment here. I think a hell of a lot could be said for Kingdoms of Amalur. What it is, what it isn’t. What it wants to be. I’m not intending to go into it here but I have a feeling there will be something interesting said on the topic some day.

    As always I just get hung up on stupid little design choices like the awfully low camera or the useful and very welcome PC only spell bar (ooh, they care!) that functions by clicking first the button to select then the ‘cast’ button, un bindable from right click. Curtailing this rant now because I’m tired.