Thursday, January 19, 2012

A more colorful Skyrim

When they realized that they would be releasing two very similar games just months from each other, the makers of Skyrim and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning agreed on a deal to differentiate their games by splitting up the color palette: Skyrim would get all the black, white, grey, and brown tones, and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning would get all the candy bright colors.

While this story might not actually be true, the final result sure looks like it. You can now get the demo for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning on Steam or elsewhere. And it is hard to play it and not draw certain parallels to Skyrim. KoAR is an open world single-player RPG with action combat, an open skill system, and a control scheme which makes you wish you had a console. As Skyrim did do rather well in the market, that is not necessarily a bad thing. But as a PC gamer the console control scheme sure is annoying.

Imagine you killed a mob in KoAR and it dropped some gloves that are better than the ones you are wearing. So you hit a key to open the menu, click to open inventory, click to open the armor section, click to expand the gloves section, click on the new gloves, then hit enter to equip the gloves. And then you need to close all those menus one by one. Aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrgggggghhhhh!!!!!!

While the demo is only the tutorial introduction plus 45 minutes of open world (not counting dialogues), I didn't even make it to the end of that time allowance before being thoroughly fed up with the controls and the camera. I'll be generous and assume that they work well on a console with a gamepad, but I think I'll just skip this game on the PC.

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