Shortly before Kingdom’s of Amalur: Reckoning was released this year I played the demo and I speculated that the game could perhaps be a better RPG than Skyrim was. If you read my blog regularly you’ll know that Skyrim was my game of the year for 2011 so it should be obvious that I was impressed by the demo for Kingdoms of Amalur. Sadly, though the game is good, it was nowhere near as good as Skyrim was.
Later this month Capcom will be releasing their own fantasy RPG which, like Skyrim, features quite an emphasis on both dragon’s and roaming bosses that you can stumble across whilst exploring. At this stage, like when I speculated about Kingdom’s of Amalur, all I have played is a demo but that demo has left me feeling very impressed by what Capcom have achieved.
One of people’s biggest complaints about Skyrim involves the combat which can feel a bit limp wrested at times. Fortunately Dragon’s Dogma features a great combat system which is controlled easily but isn’t simplistic to the point where it is boring. Also, and this perhaps is a complaint that is more personal to me, the dragon’s in Skyrim, although very cool, were too easy and too repetitive to fight. This is something that, from the demo at least, it seems Dragon’s Dogma will not suffer with.
The game features a variety of different bosses which can be tackled in a number of ways, in case you haven’t played the demo I won’t go into details I’ll just say that you can climb onto stuff and lop heads off or, if you’d prefer, you could hang back with the Mage in your party and shoot it from afar whilst the more melee oriented party members take it on up close.
That’s the other great thing about Dragon’s Dogma, having other characters fight along side you lends more of an epic feeling to the fighting, in Skyrim you are a one man killing machine but in Dragon’s Dogma it’s important to use your allies to take down the beasts you fight. This adds something that Skyrim is quite frankly lacking. A world as big as one in an RPG such as Skyrim can be lonely and many people find it all too easy to simply miss any of the companions you can meet in Skyrim, this isn’t a problem in Dragon’s Dogma.
All in all the demo has left me excited for the game, sadly I still haven’t finished Mass Effect 3 and I bought Killzone 2 and Heavy Rain the other day, neither of which I’ve played before, so I might have to wait a while before I have the time to get into Dragon’s Dogma, but I can’t wait to try the full game and everyone who is a fan of RPGs should definitely try the demo and get the game.
Late last year The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was released to massive critical and commercial success. Many thought it was the best in the series and whilst it had more than its fair share of flaws it is widely considered to be a truly great game and is, at present, untouchable in the world of fantasy RPGs. I believe however that that could be about to change. In February there will be a new fantasy RPG, Kingdom’s of Amalur: Reckoning. Reckoning promises to do right what Skyrim did wrong and if it succeeds then I believe Skyrim may well have met it’s match.
Where Skyrim’s combat seemed limp wristed and at times frustrating and dull, Reckoning promises an intense, almost arcade type feel to its combat that is lacking in RPGs of this stature. The problem with combat has plagued the Elder Scrolls series since its inception and it would be good to have an RPG of similar ambition give us decent combat.
Combat however is not Skyrim’s only issue, though there were a number of cool moments during the story it was, as a tale, dull and inspired. Reckoning features a story which currently consists of 10,000 years worth of history thanks to R. A. Salvatore who is one of the most esteemed fantasy writers in the world.
On top of this Reckoning, from what we have seen so far, looks to be balancing Skyrim with elements of Fable in terms of its style and feel, but obviously ditching the tongue in cheek humour that Fable games are full of. Borrowing elements from a revered RPG (Skyrim) whilst borrowing also from a series that has great potential but has never truly been great in itself (Fable) could very well give the Reckoning developers a huge hit.
The last reason why it may likely be a Skyrim killer is one we can’t really see decided until the game is out: bugs. Skyrim has been plagued with bugs and they are still present despite Bethesda’s best efforts to rid the game of them. Gamers really shouldn’t be expected to deal with bugs to the extent that we do and if Reckoning comes out as a polished game then it will put shame on Skyrim’s shoddy finish.
Ultimately of course we will have to wait until Reckoning is out but my money is firmly on Reckoning in this one as I feel that it would be far harder for it to fail than succeed due simply to the potential in its design and ideas.
It’s finally here and better than ever,
the newest elder scrolls game will lead you on the adventure of a lifetime in the land of Skyrim!
Video made by IGN Entertainment