Kingdoms of Amalur’s Handsome Combat

Fight fight fight!
What I presume will be the final 2011 “insider” video for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning focuses on its action-RPGness, which means talking about the combat and the stuff that articulates the combat, the art and animation. It’s quite an interesting angle to take, actually, looking at how the animators have to try and portray the fight ’em up mechanics that the designers are trying to put into it. And it looks good. There’s no doubt that Kingdoms will be quite a light Swords & Conversation sort of a game, and I’m certainly interested to see exactly where they take it, particular in terms of how open their open world actually is.


  1. Njordsk says:

    One of my most anticipated title of 2011. I wonder why, but it really appeals to me.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      I’m uncharacteristically enamoured with the idea of this. Bound to disappoint me, but there’s always hope.

    • Njordsk says:

      Looks like some kind of single player MMO, with lots of environnement, lots of skills, lots of mobs. A 3rd person hack n slash with chatting, I like the feel of what I see.

      Hope it will turn out good, EA has the money to make it good.

    • pakoito says:

      On paper its nearing the perfect action RPG, all subsystems and numbers perfectly hits the genre. Not the deep moral storydriven emotion-touching kind, but more of a badass story that also plays combat as well as any simple action title (Skyriiiiiiiiiiiiim)

    • apocraphyn says:

      It looks and sounds as if it could either be very, very good, or just kinda mediocre. Here’s hoping for the former. February ain’t far away, after all.

    • voidburn says:

      @Njordsk: You wish MMOs had the kind of combat that (to pick a proper implementation) darksiders delivered. All that remains to see here is whether or not the animation blending delivers a fluid experience, in which you always remain in control of the character and don’t just wait for the end of the animation before being able to react to what’s on screen (example of many a poor ways this kind of combat has been implemented so far).

    • IDtenT says:

      I’ve not been anticipating a game this much since Dragon Age Origins. It’s difficult to decide between this and Crusader Kings II, but I’ll wait for an expansion on the latter anyways. This game however… getting close to pre-order – and I’ve never pre-ordered.

    • irongamer says:

      This is on my watch list. I love the look of the combat but not sure how the rest of the game will hold up. If the combat is as entertaining as it looks I hope it makes it into their follow up mmo title.

    • Metriculated says:

      The problem is that I was highly excited by Dragon Age 2, and once bitten, twice shy etc. . .

      The pacing and difficulty of the combat, and engaging nature of the story will be the key factors for me. Both of which DA2 got badly wrong, hope EA just don’t want too much of the “awesomeness” button in the game.

      Have to say though the sheer range of combat styles/options make this an exciting prospect all the same!

  2. thekeats1999 says:

    This should release around the time i have finished with vanilla skyrim but still waiting for all the mods to start coming through from creation kit. So nice timing really.

  3. ntrailz says:

    I think there’s some speculation that this isn’t going to bring anything new to the RPG scene. The combat looks cool though and I might be wrong but I think Chris Cox wants to kick some ass!

  4. Branthog says:

    I hope for good things from 38 Studios and I hope their eventual MMO does well. However, I have no interest in this game. The only stuff I’ve seen regarding it has been some sort of shitty looking Naruto-esque crap. The art style is so unbelievably unappealing that I can’t bring myself to care enough to find out what it’s really going to be.

  5. Rao Dao Zao says:

    And they didn’t once mention “weaponised fate energy”.

    • Daniel Is I says:

      If I remember correctly, back during their first major preview at PAX, they were keeping those Fate-Shift Kills a secret until release. Didn’t want to say anything about them other than that they existed.

      Combat looks good enough without them, I feel.

  6. BoZo says:

    I don’t care much for all these flashy lighting effects and odd acrobatics. I wish games would use combat systems much more similar to the Mount & Blade games.

    • Blackcompany says:

      I am equal parts with you, and with Big Huge here. More games do need to use realistic, strategic combat systems like the melee in Mount and Blade. Or even in Skyrim, where melee is still sort of subdued and strategic. At least, Sword/Shield melee is, anyway – can’t vouch for two hand weapons here.
      On the other hand there exists more than one type of RPG Gamer now. And as I said in my own post I think Big Huge has nailed this as their target demographic. This demographic favors huge, over the top action combat. They want their character to be a super hero at their fingertips. Hell, I have these moods myself, though I still favor the more realistic and challenging combat found in Mount and Blade and Skyrim on most days.
      So to each their own. My only worry is that the action folks outnumber our ilk and that one day soon Elder Scrolls devs are going to notice this. And cater to it.

  7. JackDandy says:

    It’s really looking pretty cool, but the Origin thing may be the final factor on whether I’ll be buying this or not.

  8. Orija says:

    The fact that they have been focusing on combat mechanics and gameplay without saying anything much about the storyline and quests puts me off. Then there’s also the atrocious, World of Warcrafty art-style too.

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      You’re disappointed that an Action RPG is focusing on combat mechanics and gameplay?

      Or are you disappointed that it’s an Action RPG, and not some other type of game?

    • Dragon Master says:

      WoW art style? Really? Going for the “It has colours” argument? If WoW only looked like this though…

    • Orija says:

      Action is just one half of action rpg, The Witcher 2 could do it why can’t they?

      I have no problems with colors it’s just the generic nature of the world that get’s to me, and don’t tell me you don’t see the similarities it has with WoW’s art-style.

    • pakoito says:

      I agree, it needs to be brown. Also, more bloom.

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      Action is just one half of action rpg, The Witcher 2 could do it why can’t they?

      Wouldn’t really classify Witcher 2 as an ARPG. It’s an RPG with good action sequences.

      I think you might be in a bit of denial about what kind of game this is. An ARPG is much more about the action, and you can make an engaging ARPG with nothing more than solid gameplay mechanics and a token story (Diablo), but an ARPG with poor gameplay is no longer really an ARPG, (or a very good game). Gameplay mechanics are much more than “half” the equation in an ARPG.

      They’re selling this game as “God of War” in an open world. Understandable if that’s not a game you’re interested in, but you should probably surrender any expectations of the game being Planescape Torment. Or the Witcher for that matter.

    • Dragon Master says:

      As noted in other comments, it looks far more like Guild Wars than WoW. Although I agree it would be wonderful if they could do the whole RPG part right along with the action, like The Witcher 2. They could learn a thing or two from their world design as well, I feel that it has too much empty space.

  9. says:

    Another Amalur thread and another screenshot that looks like Guild Wars.

    It’s hard to be pessimistic about that.

  10. Blackcompany says:

    My girlfriend will love this game. I may like it, too, of course, but she will completely abandon Skyrim in favor of this game the second it comes out.
    She adores this sort of action-hero, over-the-top combat. Its the reason why she still favors Vindictus long after I grew tired of its stale, mono-colored, repetitive corridors. She just gets lost in beating things up.
    To be fair she works a long, intellectually demanding job all day long. She deals with numbers and logic problems for 10 hours most days. When she comes home, its time to unwind and relax. Me, I do IT support for a major corporation and a local government, neither of whom can get their shit together on a given day. Its easy work. So I don’t mind some mental challenge in my gaming at the end of a work week. Perhaps that is the difference.
    But all of that to say this: There exists a subset of ARPG gamer to whom Amalur will not only appeal, but for whom it will set the new standard in RPG gaming. Those people will fall head over heels for this game. Others of course will likely loathe it with their whole being. Fortunately or otherwise – and probably fortunately, for Big Huge, I think the former outnumbers the latter in this day and age.
    Unfortunately, if I am right, Elder Scrolls and its ilk could soon be taking a page from games like this one.
    At worst though this adds some variety to the open world, ARPG genre, and a little competition helps to avoid stagnation in the genre. So some good might also come of this new open world gaming trend, too.

  11. JohnnyMaverik says:

    This could be really special, as long as it’s well written and a good RPG, not just a good combat system.

    Cross fingers.

    • Burning Man says:

      Ken Rolston specifically mentioned that they’re focusing on combat as opposed to the other RPG elements (he mentioned story, stats and levelling up I think) in an interview. So if you’re looking for a good story, I’d recommend uncrossing those fingers. Doesn’t mean it won’t be fun though.

    • pakoito says:

      Ken Rolston was speaking of gameplay because that’s his part. If the interview was with Salvatore he’d speak about the 1000~ish years of lore he’s written.

  12. boywithumbrella says:

    This kind of action-hero-combat looks pretty appealing to me, but what I miss most is the type of diversified and yet very player-controlled combat that Oni delivered – with really simple controls (two mouse buttons and WASD). I haven’t played Mount and Blade because I don’t care much for a historically medieval setting and (more importantly) competitive multiplayer (I’m more of a PvE type), though the melee combat system sounds like I might like it.

    I wish there were a sequel to Oni though…

    Hey RPS, how about an article about that SF classic?
    Or maybe about different combat systems in games with melee combat.

  13. Tim James says:

    Wow. I thought this was just another stupid action RPG. I had no idea they were putting brawler mechanics into it.

    I’ve had a lot of fun with those games lately — Batman, Space Marine. I don’t get to play many of them since I don’t have a console. I’m excited about this now. They just need to make sure there’s a decent game around the combat.

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