"Kingdoms of Amalur demo.... pretty impressive" Mon Jan-30-12 01:31 PM by wallysmith
Anyone else try this yet? Seems like the game is flying under the radar because I hadn't heard of it till I saw the demo in the Marketplace.
It's another action RPG but a couple things stand out about it. The combat seems to be in between the deliberate, heavily skill based pacing of Dark Souls and the more casual combat of Skyrim... ie, you can button mash and get away with it but if you plan your attacks you can set up pretty impressive combos. There are different weapon types with different movesets, various magic/skill types and bows/arrows. I'm really digging combat... your primary weapon is mapped to X, your secondary is on Y, and holding down RT lets you bring up a skill menu that maps skills to the face buttons. So in one fluid combo you can slash with daggers, use your bow to take out the archer, resume with daggers then finish them off with your lightning spell.
Character development seems really robust, with the standard skill trees for the Warrior, Rogue and Magic User archetypes. However there are "Destiny" cards you can unlock that give significant bonuses to how you create your character. You can go the standard route and build up a class to extremes or you can spread out your skills to have a more balanced character, and there are different Destiny cards that reward you for doing so. There's also a gem system for weapons, alchemy for potions and sagecraft for something else, not sure what.
The world itself seems pretty big, and while it doesn't seem as sandboxy as Skyrim where you can literally go in any direction at any time (barring terrain), there still seems like a ton of content to explore (and the game includes fast travel).
Oh and the dialogue system also has the radial menu like Mass Effect, but (I think) without the clear "Good" or "Bad" morality system so your decisions matter more on a smaller scale vs like ME. I could be wrong about this though.
The demo itself is how demos SHOULD BE DONE. After the initial tutorial segment, the world opens up and you can pretty much explore how you want. After a specific required event, a 45 minute timer starts that stops when you're talking to NPC's or when the game is paused. When the world opens up, there's a pretty significant amount of area you can explore... although some sections were closed off, I wasn't able to explore nearly the amount of area available to you in 45 minutes. The timer also allows you go a pretty decent ways into character development so you can test out different weapons and skills. And the great thing is each subsequent time you play the demo you can skip right over the tutorial segment... simple yet brilliant.
This may be the first demo that I actually play multiple times to try different aspects of the game. I wasn't checking for this before but I'm pretty sure I'm going to pick it up now.
Edit: Oh and at the very least I recommend playing through the demo once, because at the end of the timer you get a Kingdoms of Amalur themed weapon for Mass Effect 3 (and you get something else for ME3 just for starting the demo.)