Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 71 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 71
  2. Negative: 0 out of 71
  1. Feb 7, 2012
    100
    Deep, polished gameplay wrapped around an interesting and engulfing universe with all of the bells and whistles RPG and action game lovers crave spread across enough content to keep you busy for months.
  2. Feb 7, 2012
    100
    Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning presents a world that is immaculately crafted and beautiful, yet still simple and accessible. Every corner reveals a person in need, a treasure to collect, a secret to uncover, a battle to wage. I don't know how much more time I'll spend in Amalur (dozens of hours? hundreds?), but I plan on savoring every minute.
  3. Feb 13, 2012
    97
    Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning isn't the first action-RPG, but it is the first to put the focus on the action. This is easily the must-own, must-play RPG of 2012 so don't miss out.
  4. Feb 7, 2012
    96
    KOAR is simply staggering; it's a tremendous achievement and an experience you shouldn't miss.
  5. Feb 14, 2012
    93
    An amazing game. I can't suggest it enough. RPG fans will fall in love with the customization of both your character and equipment, action fans will love the thought out combat and fantasy fans will love the lore and story.
  6. Feb 7, 2012
    93
    This is a must buy for anyone interested in fantasy RPGs.
  7. Feb 7, 2012
    91
    The combat is what really sets the game apart, and once you play Reckoning you'll notice how stiff the combat in other RPGs is. I have to hand it to 38 Studios and Big Huge Games with their first RPG attempt. They have not only hit a home run, they hit it out of the park.
  8. Mar 22, 2012
    90
    Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a hoot to play. It feels like Fable done right, like a third person Skyrim edited to a workable size.
  9. Mar 8, 2012
    90
    Ultimately, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a game for the nerdiest RPG aficionado AND the regular Joe who wants just a splash of fantasy. Featuring wonderfully original graphics, gameplay that is fun and approachable, and a story that entertains without entrapment, this game is definitely worth a spin. But even in light of all it does right, Amalur's greatest accomplishment is boasting a very complex and intricate game while giving the appearance of something straightforward and effortless.
  10. Feb 13, 2012
    90
    Its weaknesses – generic world, bland story and lack of innovation – are easily forgiven because the game is very well put together and extremely addictive. On every step it gave me a reason to spend 'just 15 more minutes' with it. I really couldn't wait to play it again at home. [March 2012, p.44]
  11. Feb 7, 2012
    90
    Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning was clearly a labor of love from creative people with the ways and means to bring their ideas to fruition, and it shows.
  12. Feb 7, 2012
    90
    If you love any or all of the following - RPGs, rich fantasy worlds, action games - Reckoning is a rich action RPG with a deep narrative, even deeper character customization, and plenty of content right out of the box. Go get this game.
  13. Feb 7, 2012
    90
    An impressively strong showing from 38 Studios. Considering it's an original IP, the team have created a wonderful world for us to explore, and it wont be going anywhere. From the fantastic combat to the polished visuals and audio design, this title has so much to offer. The comparisons in quality to Skyrim shouldn't be laughed at - Reckoning is the first title to offer a legitimate challenge to the Elder Scrolls juggernaut.
  14. Feb 6, 2012
    90
    No matter what you're looking for, whether it be amazing gameplay, immersive storytelling or perhaps a riveting new world to explore as you fully customize and re-customize your character at will, Reckoning has it all.
  15. Feb 8, 2012
    87
    Still, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is one hell of a game. It leads the way for action RPGs bringing with it a whole new level of awesomeness to combat without sacrificing expansive plotlines or an incredibly immersive world.
  16. Feb 7, 2012
    87
    Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a huge game and a good mix of genres born to prove that CRPGs can have a good combat system.
  17. 86
    In terms of laying the groundwork for future iterations, Reckoning does an incredible job of establishing the lore as well as the world of Amalur itself. On the other hand, it fails to dish up a compelling single-player narrative, as the main plotline lacks substance and culminates in an almost cliché boss encounter by today's standards.
  18. Mar 2, 2012
    85
    Offering much more action-heavy gameplay and battling with weapons and magic than Skyrim, but lacking some of Skyrim's RPG complexity, Kingdoms of Amalur is still a long-lasting, adventurous game that will provide plenty of fantasy-infused dungeon-crawling fun.
  19. Feb 12, 2012
    85
    A very solid title, capable of successfully merging the depth and complexity of TES-like RPGs with a more spectacular and satisfying combat system. Nonetheless, it fails to really shine due to a somewhat generic and bland main story, even if the world and its background story are very well crafted.
  20. Feb 8, 2012
    85
    Fantastic and groundbreaking combat linked to a rich character building makes Reckoning a really enjoyable experience. There is a lot of content in Amalur and a remarkable passion for detail but the way it´s designed sometimes makes this hard to notice. However, it´s a highly recommendable experience, especially for ARPG fans looking only for loot and combat.
  21. Feb 7, 2012
    85
    If you are looking to fill the void left after you completed Skyrim then I can refer no other game than this one. It has everything you expect from the Elder Scrolls series and the combat is really good beyond its minor flaws.
  22. Feb 7, 2012
    85
    Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning is not perfect. Its graphics and sound are nothing to sing about, and frequent loading times kind of spoil the experience. Still, it's a gigantic and deep action-rpg, with fast paced combat, an astonishing amount of quests and sub quests, and the best character development system we have seen in ages. If you love role playing games, you will love Amalur. It's a Big Huge Game indeed.
  23. Feb 7, 2012
    84
    38 Studios and Big Huge Games stayed true to old fashion Action-RPG games and delivered the game one would expect. Reckoning doesn't bring any true innovation to the genre, but is a great game and a very good start for the Kingdoms of Amalur series.
  24. Mar 14, 2012
    83
    Mixes the best of action games with (some of) the best of role-playing adventures. [Apr 2012, p.94]
  25. Feb 22, 2012
    83
    While Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning isn't the best game I've played in this genre, for a first outing I must commend them on being so ambitious and trying new elements that appeal to many different players on the hopes to hook in a nice variety of gamers rather than just one. On the whole, I think Big Huge Games has accomplished this and they will find their audience or audiences as the case may be. I look forward to seeing what they have up their sleeves in the next go round.
  26. Feb 12, 2012
    83
    There's nothing groundbreaking about Reckoning, but fans of The Elder Scrolls will still find a lot to love.
  27. Feb 7, 2012
    83
    Occasionally, Reckoning plays it too safe. As good as the combat is, it cannot make fights against giant rats any more interesting. Crime follows the Fable route of, "if you disappear and come back later, all is forgiven." Reckoning teases with consequences, but either doesn't follow through or does so in wacky ways.
  28. Feb 13, 2012
    82
    A really hard game to grasp. It can't decide what it wants to be. Is it a hardcore RPG, a light-hearted action adventure or a serious and bloody action game? That said, once you come to terms with the overtly cute graphics and strange Nintendo-like dialogue scenes the action is fun and there is a lot to do. In the end it's a fun game, but be prepared to spend some time getting used to it. [Feb 2012]
  29. Feb 7, 2012
    82
    Though it leans a little too heavily on well-trod genre conventions, there's no denying that Reckoning has a whole lot to offer in terms of sheer breadth. Similarly, though the challenge tapers off dramatically toward the end, its combat is welcoming, gratifying, and hypnotic.
  30. Feb 8, 2012
    81
    Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning mixes the open-ended gameplay of games like The Elder Scrolls with a hack and slash combat system. The result is good, dynamic and fun, although lacks some more depth or strategic elements, and this can result repetitive in a game of this length. It is a huge world with plenty of things to do that can keep us engaged for weeks, and its only shortcoming is the story and its characters, which lack some more charm, and the repetitive design of the quests.
  31. 81
    Despite its generic story and shallow characters Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is worth a try if you know every inch of Skirym in and out by now. The best thing about Reckoning is the fluid combat that leaves you hoping for more like it in future RPGs.
  32. Mar 10, 2012
    80
    One of the best-designed but least original games we've ever played. [Issue#82, p.86]
  33. Mar 9, 2012
    80
    It is almost as camp as it is addictive. In a genre that is all about streamlining, the mechanically perfected combat system and no slack questing carries a gigantic and driven action role playing game that should be accessible for pretty much everyone.
  34. Feb 24, 2012
    80
    Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning isn't the RPG to end all RPGs, the characterisations might be a little dour and the plot a little to straight-laced for its own good, but its still an excellent example of a hybrid genre – and a triumph for 38 Studios and Big Huge Games in every sense that counts.
  35. 80
    An interesting universe, a decent story and excellent action are the deciding factors when determining whether Reckoning is a game for you. For us, there is no doubt – we are itching to get back to the world of Amalur.
  36. Feb 17, 2012
    80
    A gigantic and compelling RPG experience. It's not quite ready to topple the big guns of the genre, but despite feeling "inspired" by every RPG or fantasy ever made it manages to offer a unique and entertaining alternative. Even if it does add yet another surly scantily-clad elf girl to the genre.
  37. Feb 11, 2012
    80
    Reckoning is a loot fest with a lot of content and strong battle mechanics. It is not without fault - for example there is a distinct lack of memorable characters and the story is somewhat lacking. But it's still a great game.
  38. Feb 8, 2012
    80
    Much will no doubt be made of the similarity between Reckoning and Skyrim, but both offer sufficiently different experiences to keep all RPG fans attentive. Those growing weary of Skyrim can certainly look to Reckoning to provide another world in which to become wholly absorbed, and although not professing quite the sophistication or polish of Bethesda's juggernaut, there's plenty here to cause Hallmark to run out of "I'm Sorry, Please Forgive Me" Valentines cards this year.
  39. Feb 7, 2012
    80
    Reckoning surprised me with its energetic combat, rich story, and dazzling visual style. The weight of all its parts threatens to pull it down, but the rigid skeleton holds strong.
  40. 80
    With a great combat system and lots of yummy loot, Amalur is sure to be spinning in your console for months.
  41. Feb 7, 2012
    80
    There are plenty of really great things to see and do in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and that stuff--the main quest line, the faction quests, and the interesting combat--makes the game fairly easy to recommend. But it's hard not to be at least a little disappointed when you start seeing the various spots where the game doesn't live up to the high bar set by its best content.
  42. Feb 7, 2012
    80
    Yes, Reckoning is a Big Huge game. The sum of those parts don't all gel together in some kind of revolutionary way, but the influence from them stands out sufficiently that fans any of those games will find something to love here. Be prepared for the long haul if you intend to see the epic conclusion, but don't expect the next generation in open world free option exploration, though allegedly there are numerous conclusions…but that will take just another epic wade through this world to discover.
  43. Feb 7, 2012
    80
    Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a taste of what happens when a developer decides to contend with nearly every good fantasy RPG idea. It's an astoundingly extensive-and foolhardy-task for an original IP, whose largest mistake is not that it's unpolished in spots, but that it, of little fault of its own, comes only a few months after The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. Knowing this well ahead of time likely propelled 38 Studio and Big Huge Games toward a cel-shaded, casual, jack-of-all-trades design, but all things considered, Reckoning carries enough momentum to sustain its lengthy journey and sweeping world. It will not change the way you think about fantasy RPGs, but it certainly fits right in.
  44. Feb 7, 2012
    80
    As it stands right now, the loot-gathering is outstanding and the combat, with the full character progression system supporting it, is faster and more responsive than any other RPG out there.
  45. Feb 7, 2012
    80
    It's a workmanlike interpretation of what makes an RPG tick, placing a spotlight on all the right mechanics and features that most titles struggle to perfect. Regardless of the game's bland exterior, Reckoning is considerably well crafted.
  46. Feb 7, 2012
    80
    There's good ideas to Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and the story's got potential. However, it often feels too much like an MMO and from an purist role-player perspective, things like run-by harvesting are atmospheric killer flaws. Its strengths lie in a classless class system and an action-oriented combat system, which should appeal to Action RPG fans who felt that Skyrim was too much of a drag.
  47. Feb 7, 2012
    80
    Despite being made of patchwork parts, it is never less than good fun to play and, at its best, a surprisingly intense experience – all credit due there to the twitchy and intelligently designed combat system. Reckoning is a big, meaty game that will thoroughly satisfy both RPG and action fans, and if you are a Skyrim player, then you should definitely make room for this too. You'll love it.
  48. Feb 7, 2012
    80
    It's an honest, undiluted acknowledgement of what Western RPGs are all about, and I can respect that. Rather than try to be too deep or too meaningful, Reckoning simply presents players with a direct feed into the vein of empowerment and expects you to gorge until you're bursting. While the combat can often undermine that feeling of acquired strength, there's still enough rousing success to be had that keeps one returning for more.
  49. Feb 7, 2012
    80
    Does all the boring, difficult parts of RPG game design very well, and marries them to exceptionally slick combat and a towering stack of stuff to do. This well-oiled machine keeps you motoring through all the sludgy fantasy cliché and through a sluggish first act. Then - just as the world opens out and the story picks up traction - that motor really starts to sing. That's when a solid, workmanlike game becomes one that's virtually impossible to put down.
  50. Feb 6, 2012
    80
    Despite its problems, Reckoning is a good game with a lot of stuff worth checking out. But even with all of the talent backing it, it's just on the edge of being something much greater than it is. For a game that's all about breaking out of the confines of fate, it's a shame that so much of the content feels stuck within such narrow conventions. [Mar 2012, p.88]
  51. 80
    [A] few soft spots are what keep Kingdoms of Amalur from being truly dazzling. It's a great RPG - one that gives you an almost Bethesda level of freedom - and it has so much content that you could be playing the game for a couple of months. [Mar 2012, p.72]
  52. Feb 7, 2012
    79
    Don't be fooled: If you pit Kingdoms of Amalur against Skyrim, Reckoning will be pulverized – Bethesda's roleplaying epic is superior in every aspect. But as a hack-and-slay in an expansive world with entertaining fights and more loot that you can carry Amalur stands out. It is exactly what I've been waiting for since the good old days of Champions of Norrath or Dungeons & Dragons Heroes – even though the inventory system lacks usability.
  53. 75
    Absolutely get Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning if you're looking for a deep fantasy world - but if you can't handle the MMO flavour, you might want to give it a pass. KOA:R shines when it is being creative or original - when you get lost in the depth of the combat, or the wealth of backstory - and falters when it apes other games. And seriously - it's 2012... lose the invisible walls already.
  54. Feb 7, 2012
    75
    Kingdoms of Amalur's combat and character advancement are fantastic enough to overshadow how bland everything else is.
  55. Feb 6, 2012
    75
    Kingdoms of Amalur looks like an arcade version of Skyrim, packed with the visual style of World of Warcraft and an action combat system. The Destiny system is not enough to craft an immersive and unique experience, and, from the beginning to the end, Reckoning lacks in identity and originality.
  56. Feb 28, 2012
    74
    An enjoyable combat system isn't enough to save what is otherwise a rather lackluster RPG.
  57. 72
    Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning offers fantastic combat, a decent story, intuitive menus and the occasional visual flourish. Yet it's almost entirely lacking in creativity.
  58. Feb 13, 2012
    71
    The gameplay mechanics are there, but the essence and soul of a true RPG, is absent. The world is beautiful, but somehow feels like you've been there before.
  59. Mar 6, 2012
    70
    I wanted to love Reckoning. I really did. And don't get me wrong, it's a good game; I did enjoy it. But I also got really tired of playing it.
  60. Mar 2, 2012
    70
    With some more selective content editing and a more carefully crafted balance, 38 Studios could have something unbelievable in their hands. For now, Amalur is an interesting proof of concept, and one to watch.
  61. Feb 24, 2012
    70
    This Fable-esque game is one that anyone who enjoys the genre is going to have a good time with for the thirty plus hours it'll take to complete as it opens itself to many different play styles, here's to hoping for a patch to fix the quest markers and my 'frozen' character though.
  62. Feb 23, 2012
    70
    Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is an ambitious and good looking game, and if you're into more action packed role playing games you'll find a lot to like here. The sense of freedom is a bit of an illusion though, and the linear layout is a bit of a shame. But as long as you're aware of this you'll have a good time in Amalur.
  63. Feb 22, 2012
    70
    Even though it's not the renaissance many were expecting, Reckoning is a decent addition to the genre which will keep fans of western RPGs occupied for many hours.
  64. Feb 15, 2012
    70
    Even though the Kingdoms of Amalur title looks like it's meant for Michey's fans, it is a fair and entertaining video game with a particularly well-made combat system. However, don't expect anything more. Stories of the world along with your hero will be pointless after some time being in the game, and all that's left are vast regions and tens of quests without their own identity. Regardless of my criticism, it's still worth it. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is worth of your playing till the very end, therefore you should reserve a few days and play.
  65. It rivals Skyrim's scope, but as a genre piece (albeit a smart one), it lacks the other game's mystery - there's no craggy elusiveness, no glacial hinting at secrets beyond comprehension, to help you overlook the more familiar elements. It's less a world you discover, ultimately, as one you revisit, and that's a failing no amount of fancy footwork can disguise.
  66. Apr 11, 2012
    67
    Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is not all bad, it's just very bland. For a game that was in development for roughly seven years, the different gameplay systems don't seem all that well-thought-out. And perhaps the lengthy development also explains why Amalur brings absolutely nothing fresh to the table. It simply lacks its own identity.
  67. Feb 10, 2012
    67
    Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning just isn't fleshed out enough to be the product of the three visionaries behind it. The story isn't concrete enough for anyone to feel engaged in it, the art design falls flat due to the handful of repetitive enemies and the combat is halted by strange choices in enemy AI and attributes.
  68. Feb 7, 2012
    60
    Amalur is a very easy world to drop in and out of – if only Skyrim were so willing to share us with our real lives – but it is never a place where we can truly put down roots. And all this is a shame, since Salvatore's encyclopaedic creation is something worth investing in.
  69. Feb 13, 2012
    58
    Had Amalur been stripped down to its bare essentials it would be a much easier game to recommend. This would make for an excellent 12-15 hour action game with its cool combat and fun player progression and a main story that's certainly no worse than most other videogame fare. However, as an especially long RPG masquerading as an open world design it simply overstays its welcome, it feels soulless, and tries to juggle too many balls at once.
  70. Feb 7, 2012
    50
    While it's great to see a developer take a new (and very welcome) approach to spicing up combat in an RPG, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is purely mechanical where the soul and inspiration should be. Players who can content themselves with massive amounts of loot and an endless series of simpleminded errands may be in heaven, but RPG players craving depth and the ability to make real choices or play a role will be out of luck. It might be a great game if the goal is to kill hundreds of hours of free time, but Amalur doesn't have much to offer otherwise.
  71. Feb 7, 2012
    50
    Even with such an elegant combat system, however, Reckoning does not know how to indulge it. The actual combat scenarios themselves are painfully pedantic and lose any surprise after the first few hours of play.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 406 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 176
  1. Feb 7, 2012
    9
    Well, I think Kingdom's of Amalur is that kind of fantasy rpg that u can't really miss. It's world is absolutely astonishing, and even I haven't played for that long, the game is very solid, and is so huge that u can do whatever you like. I really wanted a game like this for so long, and I am happy that KoA appeared. Full Review »
  2. Feb 7, 2012
    8
    Pretty fun game.. Story lacks any kind of focus and the lack of your character speaking or the npc's around having facial expressions you never really get attached to the story. Combat is a big improvement in the genre although judge up against counterparts of actions titles such as DMC or GoW the controls are "far" from tight and responsive and nowhere near as fluent. After 10 hours of play I can definitely recommend due to it's just plain fun factor and at the end of the day who really cares about the comparisons if a game is fun it's fun and this game is DEFINITELY fun! Full Review »
  3. Feb 13, 2012
    10
    I simply love Skyrim, Oblivion, and many other such RPGs and im adding KoA right to the list. Im not saying everything is perfect (difficulty and camera both been addressed by Curt in forums) but the fun of the combat makes it hard to put down. I love the environments also and i know the cartoon type graphics are a turn off for many but i love games that let me see fantasy and not something i can see in the real world. I wish all the best for 38 studios and this IP because with all the generic shooters out there good RPGs are hard to find and i think this is gonna be a great IP. Full Review »