The Walking Dead: RPG Not Hack & Slash

The Walking Dead episodes should not be judged by their cartoony look. In-depth storylines, fast decision making and impacting conversation choices make it a very personal RPG. Your choices dramatically decide the outcome of not just the first episode, but the entire game. This looks like a good one to play a few times through.

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Neverwinter Teaser Trailer

This extremely short teaser trailer is Part 1 of 3 trailers to be released in the coming days. Neverwinter is a free-to-play MMO based on the Dungeons & Dragons rule set.

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Diablo III: An In Depth Look At The Monk

Diablo III brings you the Monk. A no armor, punching (or dual wielding) version of the Diablo II Paladin. The Seven Sided Strike looks particularly fun.

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Neverwinter Gameplay Trailer

Pen and paper Dungeons and Dragons is what inspired PC RPGs way back in the late 1980s. It seems fitting that with the popularity of Massively Multiplayer Online games that it was only a matter of time until a D&D based RPG would surface.

Neverwinter builds upon the success of Neverwinter Nights and Neverwinter Nights 2 in an open world MMO based in the Forgotten Realms. Below is the latest gameplay trailer showcasing what you can expect in this possible World of Warcraft killer.

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Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning – Breathing New Life into RPG’s

Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, Playstation 3

Release Date: February 7th, 2012

While most RPG’s today tend to rehash the old and tiresome play, the developers of this game sought out to change that.  Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning seeks to breathe new life into a genre that is quickly melding into the same bland old style.

Big Huge Games, who is developing this game, wants to make single player RPG’s fun again. How are they doing this? Well, simple. They’re giving the control back to you. They’re not restricting you to choose a class and stick with it the rest of your character life. They give you awesome weapons and armor and then let your character kick ass with them and look good doing it. Finally, they let you do all this in a massive world with seemingly endless quests.  I’ll explain…

Move Over Classes, Make Room for Destinies

Pretty much every PC RPG game that comes out the gates these days lets you choose from a short list of classes and then forces you focus on that one class the entire game. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning has devised a brand new class based system, called Destinies. Destinies are not chosen at the beginning, but earned as you level up and progress through the game.

While you are leveling, your character gains ability points to spend in three basic trees; Might, Finesse and Sorcery. Each tree is filled with unique and appealing abilities that enhance your characters power, combat maneuvers and passive abilities. As you spend those points, the game rewards you with equippable Destiny Cards. Destiny cards give your character a class title and award you stat bonuses and sometimes additional combat maneuvers to make your play style even more powerful and fun.

There are 40 different destinies you can acquire and every one is a viable and fun play style. You can swap out destinies at any time in the game. Should you also decide you are not happy with how you spent your ability points, you can visit your local Fateweaver and for a cost, reset all of your points and start fresh.

Finally! Awesome Combat and RPG Mechanics in One Game

In the past, you pretty much have a game that either has crappy RPG Mechanics but awesome combat or visa versa. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning may well be the title to successfully marry these elements into one awesome game. I have to admit; watching the combat videos from Reckoning leaves me breathless at times.

Every nuance of movement has been scrutinized for natural flow, enemy AI is interesting and unique, and the special effects are quite appealing. If I only mention one weapon style that has impressive flow and effects, it has to be the chakrams. These are circular blades that when thrown seem to have a life of their own and truly have to be seen to be fully appreciated.

Attacks are controlled by just a few buttons or keystrokes but combos are employed by your timing of those buttons. You have variances in attacks by timing and what position the character is in at the moment. The game boasts to have a very natural and easy feel to it. No matter which general play style you are using (Might, Sorcery or Finesse), all of them are very engaging combat. It’s not your typical pull, spam attack button until dead and repeat, it’s much more challenging where oftentimes you have to manage multiple enemies of differing types with varying strengths and weaknesses forcing you to crowd control is.

200+ Hours Play! Oh yeah!

It was stated by the Lead Designer, Ian Frazier, that they had a competition to have the game testers and developers attempt to complete every single quests as fast as they possibly could on speed running and nothing else. The fastest time to do this was just over 200 hours. That should give you some idea of the scale of the size of this world and just how much there is to do in it.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning takes place in the massive open world of Amalur, during the Age of Arcana. Amalur has a history comprised of 10,000 years of unique and compelling lore fathered by New York Times Bestselling Author, R. A. Salvatore. The writers have entwined this lore, with strict adherence to Salvatore’s writings, in every facet of this game to characters, settings and of course quests. There is the main quest line that threads throughout the game, 6 major faction quest lines each with their own involved and compelling stories, and hundreds, if not thousands, of side quests to immerse yourself in.

Other key elements to the open world worth noting is the game comes with fast travel, player housing, sneaking, traps, hidden objects and doors, lockpicking, full day/night cycles, crafting systems, combat with a bow, a slim moral system, crime and punishment, no in-depth character romance, hundreds of unique armor sets and weapons, a prefix/suffix item generator system with millions of possibilities, and hundreds of hand-crafted dungeons.

My advice to you is to pry your fingers away from that tired old RPG genre you’re playing and watch a few videos of this game. I’m confident you’ll be as excited about it as I am.

Read my full article filled with videos, pictures and information about Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.

Patrick Dunkley

RPGReviewer.com