from the demo desk
38 Studios’ Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the prequel to the upcoming BigWorld-powered Copernicus MMO now officially has a demo. The Amalur demo takes players through the character creation and intro dungeon tutorial and exposition, then provides 45 minutes of open-world exploration. Fourty-five full minutes of wolf slaying, chicken bashing, and slaughtering of innocent townsfolk (er… so we’ve heard). As a bonus, 38 Studios has teamed up with Bioware to reward players with Mass Effect 3-themed gear for their full purchase of Amalur.
Our early estimation, based on one playthrough, is that combat is the jewel of the title. This probably comes as little surprise to anyone who’s been following the game’s press, but we were nonetheless pleasantly surprised to find that combat is varied, responsive, weighty, meaty and ultimately very rewarding. The game’s environments are rich and immersive, drawing from a wide variety of fantasy palettes, all conveyed extremely tastefully. Character body and facial animations, combined with dialogue, are on par with any of the best AAA RPG titles available. The game provides an excellent balance between quick-draw action and a level of character visual and stat customization that is accessible, and not too shallow nor too overwhelming. The narrative, environments and character design are all exactly what you’d expect from R.A. Salvatore and Todd McFarlane, and the same can be said for the rest of the staff. Amalur may just be the sleeper action RPG hit of the year, this early into 2012.
We look forward to the game’s official release, and are even more excited about being able to tell you more about the BigWorld-powered MMO followup, Copernicus.