'Kingdoms of Amalur' Lead Designer Talks Game Genres & Character Progression

Kingdoms of Amalur Lead Designer Talks Game Genres

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is causing quite the stir within the gaming community. Already receiving highly positive reviews before its release tomorrow, the teams over at 38 Games and Big Huge Games should be very proud of themselves.

What exactly is contributing to the success of KoA? Lead combat designer, Joe Quadara, says it's the blending of so many game genres together that Amalur has essentially become its own hybrid.

Describing Kingdoms of Amalur to someone can be difficult because the game itself embodies so many different styles. Quadara, in an interview with VG 24/7 put forth the comparison of "Bayonetta or God of War with a Diablo-like loot system." A comparison like that should pique many gamers' interests and as seen in the Reckoning launch trailer, the game has a very specific feel unto its own and can't be compared readily to anything else - Not to mention the world trailer, which depicts an in-depth and vast sand box to play in.

The KoA design team has also taken to criticizing Skyrim's combat system to up-sell their title, although they might not have to worry about doing that with all the positive reviews coming in. Quadara has no problem promoting the merits and qualities of his game as he talks about what makes Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning much different than other games on the market now.

"I hate to use comparisons, because they imply so many things. Then once you combine everything, it really becomes its own thing.

The world has no comparison that I can think of (despite many people comparing us to the Fable series, Reckoning is much larger and open). It is open and lovingly hand crafted with over 120 unique dungeons to explore and hundreds of hours of content. The written dialog could fill ten novels, and the voice acting is top notch."

One of the most intriguing features that KoA offers is the chance to experiment with classes and powers without penalizing player choices. Most, if not all, RPGs have the player select a class or specific set of abilities to focus on for the duration of the adventure. Skyrim did allow players to essentially create characters that excelled at everything if players put the time in to do so, but many there's still a focus on particulars. Quadara mentions the KoA's Destiny system which rewards players with Destiny cards according to what abilities the player invested in: Might, Finesse, and Sorcery, in describing what makes leveling up characters unique in their game:

"The ability to make hybrid characters actually worthwhile in the later stages of the game is what makes the Destiny system so cool. In most RPGs, investing uniformly across all trees is a terrible idea. In Reckoning, it’s a completely valid choice and play style.

The Destiny system itself does a great job at keeping people’s choices competitive. Also, all of the weapons cost nothing to use at the base level, so players are free to try out the weapon before they invest in it."

Including a system that allows players to re-spec and experiment without penalty and still be able to progress through the game at their leisure is pretty sharp. There are always the people who play an RPG and find themselves suddenly wanting to try the game as a dedicated magic user or dedicated melee fighter or a mash-up between the two. To that, Joe Quadara might beckon those individuals to try his game out and see if they enjoy it.

Fast-paced combat, a large scale world to explore and investigate, and a unique character design/customization system should be enough to lure in any RPG or action game fan to check out Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning releases February 7, 2012 for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.


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Source: VG 24/7

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