The Kingdoms of Amalur Wrap-Up

The last screenshot!

After six or eight or whatever (I can’t remember when I started) months and apparently 304 hours including AFK time, I decided that I’d gotten my full of Kingdoms of Amalur and clicked Exit Game for the last time. As the screenshot betrays, it was actually about a month ago, but some recent, happy changes in my life have me locked in one of two states: 1) at work 2) unconscious (I know it doesn’t sound happy, but I swear it is!), neither very conducive to game write ups.

I played through the whole storyline, did all the non-bugged quests I could find and completed both DLCs. I did Legend of Dead Kel before finishing the story and Teeth of Naros after. Apparently, I accomplished 82% of the achievements – I think most of the ones I didn’t do were the lawbreaking ones…I’m way too goodie-goodie for games with a crime system. According to the global stats page, 11.9% of players beat the game. Which is actually pretty good given that only 87.4% finish the intro and the game is LONG.

About the DLCs

If you’re reading this and are considering playing, I recommend not spoiling the DLCs for yourself. I had a blast playing through them but most of the fun came from having no idea what to expect and being constantly surprised, asking myself “what will they think of next?”. I bet the devs had a grand time designing the add-on content. The tone in both of them is definitely more…out there… than the regular game.

I’ll spoil this: Naros, where the best views are from the sewers.

Storywise the DLCs take place before the ending but tonewise, they feel better after the SRS BZNS of the war is taken care.

I was sad at the end

The main story kind of takes a backseat to you kind of, um, walking around and looking at stuff. Since I was adamant to do ALL THE QUESTS, toward the end (or more accurately, toward 2/3s in), I was itching for something to happen. I mean, there’s only so many ways to keep “help this village” fresh.

The story does climax and resolve nicely. I wasn’t overly invested since 98% of my time was spent killing spiders and breaking curses for villagers (you know how it is) so it would have taken something seriously awful to disappoint, but still. The game fed me line by the line the information I’d been digging for over the last 250 hours and while it doesn’t give up everything (I think at this point, the writers were still hopeful for a sequel), there was enough to quench my thirst. And as the ending bit played, I was surprised at the pang of sadness kicking me in the chest.

Was very impressed by the voice acting of Abby Craden as Alyn Shir, and really, the character of Alyn Shir as a whole. No fashion or practical sense whatsoever, but otherwise a character that I got quite attached too. Would have probably been way less sad if the game didn’t make her go foreshadow the Sequel That Will Never Be. (Was that a spoiler? Sorry if that was a spoiler.)

What’s up with all these gear sets?

Yes, that’s my ending thought on the game. Probably remnants from when the game was supposed to be an MMO, there are SO many gear sets. But by the time you get around to collecting enough pieces to wear, the gear is completely useless. (In fact, most of the pre-made gear is so inferior to what you make via blacksmithing that even early on, almost all the loot you find does nothing but take up room in your very limited storage box.)

Amalur gear – pretty but useless. Good for making collages that take way, like waaaay too long.

Overall, Amalur was a fun time. I don’t think I’ll be revisiting it soon (replayability is ehhhhh but YMMV!) but I’m glad to have explored all the zones, talked to all the farmers and kicked out evil invaders for a good 300 hours. It’s a shame the journey ends here. The game’s weaknesses mainly come from how we get a single player RPG in an MMO-intended infrastructure. A sequel with the right aim: to be a single player RPG in a single player RPG environment- would have the potential of creating that elusive exquisite gaming experience that I’m always looking for. It seems, however, that I need to keep looking.

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3 Comments on “The Kingdoms of Amalur Wrap-Up”

  1. Redbeard Says:

    I’m actually looking into downloading the game soon to check it out. (ESO is downloading now, and I’m wondering whether that’s a mistake or not given the 90+GB size of the Steam download.) The more I look at the data behind the game, the more I shake my head as how it ended up. How could a company blow it when they have R.A. Salvatore as one of the writers?

    Then again, Bioware kind of blew it a bit with DA2 and ME:A (and Blizz with the original D3), so I guess having really good writers doesn’t guarantee success.

    I hope the non-gaming stuff turned out really good!

    • Ophelie Says:

      My understanding (but I could be wrong) was that R.A. Salvatore wasn’t actually a writer for the game. He just designed the world and lore. And he did a great job! The world and the lore are fantastic! The dialogue and story are actually pretty good too, especially given how big the game is. I don’t feel like KOA had a writing problem at all, just a “last minute single player RPG in an MMO world” problem. Plus the game didn’t deliver anything newer or better than other games being released around the same time and targeting the same audience (Skyrim, SW:TOR, ME3). It’s still a good game though! I hope you enjoy it!

      And yeah, good writers can only do so much! I took your advice and read Blood, Sweat and Pixels and was very interested in the difference between The Witcher 3, which was designed around the writing, and Destiny, where the writing ended up being an afterthought (and DAI, I guess, being somewhere in the middle). We all know what each of those games are remembered for! I thought DA2 had good writing (possibly my favorite story in the series) and the problems came everything else being rushed. And ME:A just wasn’t finished. A shame on that one. I would have loved to explore the mysteries of Andromeda had the devs found the time to, you know, put mysteries in.

      Thanks for the wishes on the non-gaming stuff! So far so go! 13 weeks! (and like 27 to go *dies of impatience*)

      • Redbeard Says:

        I’ve been talking to Syl of MMO Gypsy, who has been checking out the newest update to No Man’s Sky, and it seems that NMS has finally rounded into the form everybody expected it to be. It seems like it is a success after all, a tribute to the dedication of the dev staff.

        This makes me think that ME:A has a future, if EA lets Bioware finish it after Anthem. The problem is that EA often thinks like Sony does and only looks at bottom line, units sold, etc., and may not give Bioware that chance.

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