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5 things Kingdoms of Amalur does better than Skyrim

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3. Loot

Skyrim: Loot eventually became “the heavy stuff that you’d need to find ten different merchants to buy so that you could buy more potions.” You’d occasionally find better items, but it wasn’t that common, and they were usually only slightly better than what you had, adding one or two more fire damage over your old sword.

Above: We'll admit that one item in particular was really awesome

Amalur: It’s more akin to a traditional loot-fest game, with enemy’s corpses exploding with rewards and chests hidden around every bend. There are still plenty of trashy items to be found, but the good items usually come with a wider variety of stats, making different swords, bows, helmets, and boots feel… different. There are also more classifications of items, including Set Items that will reward you for collecting multiples of the same set.

4. Combat

Skyrim: Combat in The Elder Scrolls is usually clunky, and Skyrim’s is no different. Using a melee weapon is slow and draining, and ranged attacks are sometimes imprecise. The magic system isn’t terrible, but digging through menus to access spells is a UI nightmare. Plus, the best part of any combat situations is using your fus ro dah and knocking people down.

 
Above: Amalur's combat makes Skyrim's look downright dull

Amalur: The third-person action is fast, and more reminiscent of God of War or Zelda than anything else. Amalur rewards players for mixing up different combat types, and though it might seem run of the mill, it’s still somewhat deeper than expected. The blocking system is timing-based, and puts an emphasis on moving around the battlefield and countering attacks instead of just mashing buttons. It’s more rewarding, more complex, and just more fun, with the ability to chain together different attacks to create long, fast, fluid sequences.

5. User interface

Skyrim: The UI in Skyrim felt like an amalgamation of several ideas that didn’t work all that well together. Leveling up had the player looking to the stars, using the map was a chore, and finding certain items requires you to dig through dozens of inventory screens. It wasn’t uncommon to need to pause the game several times each battle to find the right weapon to use or potion to drink.

Above: UI is boring to look at, so here's a guy killing a thing with a sword instead

Amalur: While far from perfect, Amalur’s UI is significantly better than Skyrim’s. Everything works together cohesively, and it all feels like part of the same game. Everything can be found in the same menu, and sorting through the inventory is much easier thanks to collapsible screens that made finding items simple. Even the quickslot feature is nicer, mapping things to a radial wheel instead of a long, encumbering list for faster access.

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125 comments

  • fredrik-nilsson - August 2, 2012 12:25 p.m.

    Aaaw for crying out loud, you're downright bashing Skyrim and saying it's a shitty game. Stop doing that, you're supposed to be professionals, not some freaking twelve year old fanboys. About the skillpoint system. In Skyrim, focusing mainly at combat skills in the beginning and getting a nice base for your character and then going with social/crafting skills later (level 20+) works out great. Why is everyone rushing so much? And second of all, it's kinda self explanatory. If you go social/crafting instead of combat first you're obviously gonna get raped in battle, makes sense doesn't it? Multiclassing in Skyrim works out great as well, if you make the right choices. Everyone seems to forget that there are 81 levels in Skyrim. Some people believe that they're basically done when they are level 30, and they have spread out their perks in different skilltrees, of course they'll be disappointed. I'm only level 45 on my latest playthrough, and even at that level I have a multiclass character. A Destruction/Conjuration mage with a Heavy armour and Two-Handed twist. I have a maxed out smithing level, and a maxed out enchanting level. AND, I play on Master difficulty. Just focusing one thing at a time is all you've gotta do. Since I have 4 pieces of equipment each enchanted with 25% less mana consumption for Destruction and Conjuration magic, I don't need to spend any perks in either of those trees that will decrease my mana consumtion. Simple, I have 10 extra perks I can put somewhere else. All of a sudden I want to switch to Archery? I smith 4 new pieces, and enchant them with a percentage of increased bow damage. Maybe I want a super sneaky character, able to assassinate people in their sleep? I need only to spend 2 - 4 perks in the sneak tree and enchant some armour and jewelry with sneaking and one handed skills. Easy. You think the combat in Skyrim is poor? Seriously? That's what's so awesome about it. It's realtime, and you get to aim by yourself. Meaning it requires some sort of skill not only from having to be able to use the right ability at the right time, maintaining a steady health/mana but also having to be able to aim your attacks. KOA looks just like any other hack and slash compared to the combat in Skyrim. The loot in Skyrim is also a lot better, no other game franchise has ever come close to how good it is in TES. Why? Because you can actually pick up what the enemy is using. If I see an NPC with an awesome looking armour, I want to be able to kill him and pick it up. In most games, can't do that, it'll be like you just killed someone who looks like Sauron and then when you come to loot him all you get is a leather shield. In Skyrim, that's never the case. About the UI, that's probably the only thing I can agree with you about. The UI for the PC version of Skyrim is garbage. Although, with the click of a button and some replacing of files you can change the UI to a PC optimised UI mod. Even without this mod, you can go on fighting for hours without ever needing to go into the UI. Ever heard of shortcuts? You can bind your 1-8 keys to any spell, weapon or armour you'd like. Really easy. In about a second I go from my fireball/lightning casting mode into a tanky melee warrior and I can just as easily go back. I'm just curious, to you who wrote the article, have you even played Skyrim at all? I mean, you don't have to be a huge Skyrim fanboy with 300+ hours of gameplay to know what I've just written, I have a merely 50 hours of gameplay on all my characters all together, and I've known this since the first 10. And another thing, Skyrim would be a lot easier to understand if you had ever played Morrowind and Oblivion. The Elder Scrolls is kind of a unique franchise which differs a lot from other RPG's.
  • halo44327 - March 23, 2014 6:48 p.m.

    Just because the loot is the same as the enemies doesn't mean its loot system is good. That odes not make a lot of sense. You OBVIOUSLY put way too many "perfects" into Skyrim. Skyrim is not a perfect game. Its still flawed. Your just too much of a "fan" to realize it. Framerate drops heavily in that game and the game is heavily bugged and was never fixed. Freezing/crashes is also a common problem both PC and console. Also a game is heavily flawed if you (using a PC) HAVE to TWEAK a game to work smoothly. Games should not have to make you change your game's doc files and change its game files to make it work right. I have played the original Elder Scrolls and I know what I am talking about. The controls were awkward. Realistic is not the right answer here either. Have you actually PLAYED this game? Instead of judging a game by appearance, how about renting a damn copy and trying it. THEN you can criticize it. I agree with Gamesrader's article here. Even Dragon's Dogma did a better job on combat than Skyrim's. Skyrim is still a fun game, but its beyond frustrating to get to boot. I own BOTH PS3 and PC copies will the Legendary Version and my god are they both a pain in the ass to work right. Skryim despite fun, is really broken and is really buggy. And they did not much to fix the problems.
  • caleb-ross - June 26, 2012 5:36 p.m.

    All the Skyrim fan boys please leave..the combat is veryyy clunky and the framerate on Skyrim even on the console is TERRIBLE. It's boring, it's repetitive and it comes nowhere near the excitement you get out of KOAR:Reckoning.
  • daredevil1935 - December 29, 2013 7:38 p.m.

    How is the combat system ''clunky''? Its supposed to be realistic. Can you spin circle blades at 40 mph? The frame rate on consoles is set to 30 and can't go above. On PC, it can go as high as your system is capable of. Personally, I got prob the same excitment out of Skyrim as KoA: Reckoning. Your just bashing Skyrim.
  • mykolas5b - January 11, 2014 2:45 p.m.

    Because firing flames out of your hands is realistic. Seriously, I understand that Skyrim is an amazing game and has a lot of fans, but you can't go around saying that it's perfect. It's not, while it's atmosphere size and explorability(?) is astounding the combat system is pretty horrible for a game.
  • halo44327 - March 23, 2014 6:42 p.m.

    I agree with you, friend. The Skyrim is indeed a great game but i is flawed too. Sure the PC does fix it up but you still have to "tweak" it just to get it work right. A game shouldn't have to FORCE you to tweak it lose frame rate and other things. Its realistic in some sense, but a game should be more based upon its gameplay, not just graphics and how "nice" it looks.
  • fg094 - March 30, 2014 3:56 p.m.

    Ok, i had to make an account just for this. Skyrim's combat is not in the least bit realistic. not in the slightest. even with heavy armor an bow would one hit kill (an arrow from a long bow would go through plate armor, muscle, bone and still stick out the other side a good six inches) have you ever swung a greatsword? the tip of the blade moving at 40mph would be about right. the slowness should be the recovery between swings not the swing it's self (and honestly by the time you would be "level 100" you should be able to use momentum between swings rather than just loose it.) if you want realistic play war of the roses on steam. that's about as real as your going to get in a game.
  • patrick-bronn - February 7, 2014 4:16 p.m.

    Oh come now! You have to give the graphics of Skyrim SOME credit! Everyone has a favourite, whether it be Skyrim or KOA: Reckoning. Personally, I prefer the old DOS games. DOS was boss back in the day. Was much simpler then. Not nearly as many bugs to worry about.
  • ahmet-ozturk - March 15, 2012 4:12 a.m.

    I used to love Skyrim, but then I took a generic arrow in knee. Also I played Fallout 3 and Oblivion all the way, so its quite confusing when skyrim beaber fever boys start talking about "generic" in terms of kingdoms of amalur. What's generic is a company able to make the same glitchy game 3 times over with different graphics and top sales each time is generic. For gods sake they even carry over the same npc quests and the famous glitches that Bethesda is known for.
  • Xtra_Tasty - February 10, 2012 6:20 a.m.

    for some reason, havent played nearly as much skyrim as i thought i would... i lost over like 400 + hours playing morrowind... i havent even beat skyrim yet.. only made it thru oblivion all the way once... so morrwind was the funnest for me.
  • zachariah-wagner - February 5, 2012 8 a.m.

    frist off I played the demo for KOA and it was good, but it had a fable feel then skyrim. I played all three and you can not compare skyrim to KOA.
  • mothbanquet - February 4, 2012 4:41 a.m.

    Having played the demo, I felt a bit 'meh' at first but after being given a glimpse of the potential depth of some of the things mentioned here, notably the skills and classes, I re-evaluated my opinion. I played it a little more and now it's sitting on preorder. Will it be as good as Skyrim? Probably not but it's an unnecessary comparison. Both are good quality RPGs that will deliver many, many hours of entertainment and fantasy goodness. What more could we ask for?
  • yaswanth-veeramachaneni - February 4, 2012 9:03 a.m.

    Yes you are right both are different games,I don't know others compare it to skyrim
  • DeathbyFira - February 3, 2012 9:31 p.m.

    I CANT WAIT TO BUY THIS GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • yaswanth-veeramachaneni - February 3, 2012 5:27 p.m.

    Guys dont compare Skyrim and Kingdom of amalur. yes skyrim combat is worst but skyrim has a lot of depth.Not in story but in gameplay.Random encounters are great in skyrim and every side quest has a story of its own and how many of you actually read books?I read a lot of them,reading them makes a me to learn more about the skyrim world. I put 160 hours+ into skyrim but still playing,because i like deadly dragons mod:-)
  • Mavarious - February 3, 2012 6:09 a.m.

    You had me at "magical warrior with enchanted blades and the ability to teleport around the battlefield."
  • FaceEater - February 3, 2012 5:02 a.m.

    What will gaming look like 100 years from now? Can programmers predict how games will evolve in the future?
  • FaceEater - February 3, 2012 5:03 a.m.

    Wrong article. My bad.
  • Elementium - February 2, 2012 8:05 p.m.

    Yeah.. When it comes down to it skyrim is great because it's the only one of it's kind. Single player open world RPGs are in short supply for some reason.. Bethesda just adds tons of greyscale generic stuff to a huge world and gives people tools to fix and finish their game. If blizzard for instance were to hop in that ring we'd all be saying "Bethesda who?"
  • talleyXIV - February 2, 2012 5:06 p.m.

    Kingdoms of Amalur has a terrible name and trailer. Kingdoms of Amalur: The Reckoning is one of the worst names for a video game in a while. It is long as hell but is still extremely generic. Just call it The Reckoning or Kingdoms of Amalur. The trailer was hilariously generic, "A Hero Will Rise," I have never heard that line before. And oh wow that guy is running at a monster! Seriously? You couldn't think of anything better? I am not judging the game, just the name and trailer.

Showing 1-20 of 125 comments

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