E3 2011: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning – God of War’s combat in Oblivion’s world

This will be thesecond timethis E3 we’ve written about Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, but you can’t blame us for being interested. Once you get over the generic title, this may be the first game ever to truly blend God of War-style combat with an Oblivion-esque open world. And that sounds amazing to us.

In a world in which every person’s fate is already decided, the player character awakes upon a pile of corpses – you’re back from the dead, the first person successfully resurrected by an unnamed group. Because of this resurrection, you have a strange connection with fate, or lack thereof, as your fate has clearly already played out. And now that you’ve returned to the living, you can fully customize your character with everything from facial piercings and tattoos to elf ears and haircuts. Then figure out why it is you’re alive again.

The world of Amalur is massive and includes more than 120 handcrafted dungeons, no two being alike. Hundreds of items lying around the world can be crafted into hundreds more items using alchemy, blacksmithing, or sage-craft, all of which create different objects ranging from swords to enchanted crystals. Along with crafting, your character can learn nine different non-combat skills.

The development team at Big Huge Games explains they wanted to incorporate fighting game elements into an RPG, and have done so rather successfully. In the demo we saw, the character used his sword to smash the ground, lifting up his opponent, then charged and stabbed him. From what we’ve seen so far, the combat looks smooth and fast and comes complete with special moves, counters, charge attacks – all concepts more familiar to fighting game fans than RPG players and a welcome disruption to the typically combat-bland RPG genre.

Another fun and innovative shake-up is the way the player ends up in a specific class. Instead of choosing what you want to be at the beginning of the game and being stuck with that class for countless hours, the player’s decisions shape what he will be later on in the game. Big Huge Games believes this will make for a truer role playing experience. For those looking for something with a bit of a kick, keep your eyes on Reckoning.

Jun13, 2011