Games then. Games are a direct and very personalised way of transporting yourself into another world that someone else has toiled and sweat over to create for countless hours that are set to fill our precious time with memorable tales and journeys into the deep unknown. During my many years of gaming there has always been one pivotal moment that has remained with me ever since and that moment was when I was guiding my 3D based character down a long winding colourful path deep within the forests of a place kniown as Ashenvale within World of Warcraft. That moment I discovered just what gaming was all about, in that moment I found true enlightenment nay fulfilment and a specific feeling that has rarely been repeated since...
Moving back to Amalur an excerpt taken from a 2013 RPS article on the ultimate fate of the game...
Amalur is impressive on a number of levels. The two most important are its distilling of the very best of an action-RPG MMO into a single-player game, and its meta-commentary on the very nature of games.
It’s not a surprise that the game should have so many similarities with a game like World Of Warcraft. Of the two teams that made it, 38 Studios and Big Huge Games, the former was already working on an MMO. The doomed developer, with all that money via the deals of baseballist Curt Schilling, had been developing a massive universe along with author R.A. Salvatore, with a 10,000 year history, and all the background needed to create an ongoing, online game. After 38 bought BHG, along with them came not only the Big Huge Engine, but an RPG they’d been working on for THQ. The two, like the studios, were combined. Goodness knows what either might have been, but the combination is a purely single-player RPG with the depth and breadth of an online world.
Therein lies the true magic of the game. Everything that an online world provides minus the hassle of other players constantly harrising you for spare gold coins or being suddenly ganked by an unruly enemy group. It's all about catering to your own pace, your own rules.
As a gamer himself of no less than thirty years one time baseball legend "Curt" Schilling had a dream all his very own - to create an RPG the likes of which had never been seen before. That game was to be known as Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and it was a personal project he believed in so deeply he even invested $50 Million of his own money into getting it developed by 38 Studios (formerly Green Monster Games) and through publisher EA. His intentions while true and oh so noble were also very much the ultimate risk as not only was Reckoning a completely unknown IP but the developer was also unknown and this was their very first AAA delivered undertaking. The fact it even got made and released to the masses was its first overcome obstacle.
Two years earlier the much anticipated Fable III released to a less than favourable reception from gamers and considering Fable II was and remains to this day so highly renowned the fact Fable III turned out to be just so damn generic spelled the end of an otherwise fantastic IP's lengthy journey. Two years on and fresh faced Kingdoms of Amalur finally releases to not only great reviews but a just as positive reception from those who took the plunge on it. I mean just take a loot at these review scores...
Joystiq – 5/5
IncGamers – 9
1UP – B+
GameTrailers – 8.2
Videogamzone.de – 81/100
Videogamer – 8
GamingXp – 8
GamesTM – 8
GamesRadar – 8
Destructoid – 8
Eurogamer – 8
GameInformer – 8
CVG – 7.8
Gamespot – 7.5
Eurogamer Italy – 9
OPM – 8
Guardian – 5/5
PCGames.de – 81/100
GameStar.de – 8
GameFront – 85/100
RipTen – 8.5
So how exactly then does a game as an unproven IP receive mostly positive review scores, sell an estimated 330k in its first month alone and yet end up with both dreaming the dream Schilling losing the vast majority of his personal fortune and the obviously very talented developer 38 Studios & Big Huge Games closing down? Poor marketing? Nope. I remember the game was plastered all over TV leading up to release. Why the game ended up being so overlooked has always remained a complete mystery to me personally.
This game is beyond beastly. it's like WOW and skyrim had a child, and that child grew into the shoes of both titles accordingly. why 38 studios and big huge went bankrupt making this, I have no idea, but this game is magnificent.
As I'm now on my 4th playthrough of the game myself I'd just like those of you who were among those who overlooked the game to simply take a quick look at the games most recent reviews Steam page below...
http://store.steampowered.com/app/10250 ... views_hash
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is currently £4.99 in the Winter Steam Sale. If you are in the mood for a great (and very time consuming some have reached 300+ hours) RPG experience then what the hell are you waiting for? Glory awaits. We may never have gotten Project Copernicus but I will always always be thankful that we got to play Kingdoms because death is not the end, death is merely the beginning.