The Amalur “franchise,” if you can call it that with exactly one piece of media, has had a rough start. It was generally well received, with its action-RPG combat and deep lore, but its future quickly became unknown after a series of events too complicated to go into here. Let’s just say some people did some bad things. Now after 8 years THQ Nordic has made this remaster of the 2012 game to bring Amalur back into the public consciousness. Unfortunately, that’s about all Re-Reckoning seeks to accomplish.
In Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning, you play as the Fateless One- a created character recently risen from the dead with the ability to defy destiny and basically do whatever you want. It’s a neat way to contextualize player choice within the story and what follows is a fun romp across the medieval style fantasy world of Amalur, doing quests, defeating monsters, and leveling up as you go. You can equip two weapons at a time, one bound to the Square button and the other to Triangle, as well as cast various spells and dodge roll out of danger. It’s a very customizable system that, when combined with skill trees and classes, has a lot of statistical depth, if not a ton of mechanical depth. One of the biggest complaints about the original was the camera, which was far too close to the player, and one of the few new additions to the remaster is the ability to adjust the position and field of view of the camera however you like.
The textures are a bit cleaner and level scaling issues have been fixed but that’s it in terms of what Re-Reckoning brings to the table. I’m not going to lie: I had to check a few times I had installed the right game on Steam a few times since it looks and plays almost exactly the same as the original release. If you’ve played the game on PC already, there’s no real reason given to jump back in here. While it is still a good game and I would recommend it if you haven’t already tried it, I was expecting more from Re-Reckoning. Maybe some better lighting, redone UI (it’s still pretty bad, especially character creation), fixing the too close draw distance, or even a new quest or two. If anything, this game is more to reestablish the brand than it is a remaster. We already reviewed the game upon its initial release, and I don’t really have anything to add that wasn’t already stated there, I agree on almost all fronts for the game itself, but as a remaster this is an astonishingly half-hearted effort.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning
Re-Reckoning is the most barebones remaster it could possibly be. It’s only barely been touched up visually, and the most gameplay changes are under the hood. If you’ve already played the game, there’s no reason to return here.