A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning is an action role-playing game (RPG) for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PCs. The game is a re-release of a title that originally launched in 2012, and has all of the previously released downloadable content (DLC) included in the title. Players assume the role of a fallen warrior brought back to life with missing memories and a drive to fight the evils that have befallen the land. Combat against both humans and monsters (such as boggarts) is viewed from a third-person perspective and involves magical spells, various melee weapons, and bows and arrows. Enemies call out in pain, and some bleed when struck. Their bodies remain where they fall, sometimes in pieces. Players have some capacity to control the customizable protagonist's reactions and choices, electing whether or not to steal items, help those in need, or even kill some civilian characters. Parents should also be aware that text and spoken dialogue contains occasional references to sex and sexuality, and some scenes take place in taverns with patrons drinking what appears to be alcohol.
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What's it about?
KINGDOMS OF AMALUR: RE-RECKONING is a remastered rer-elease of a single-player action role-playing game that originally launched for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Windows. It tells the story of the Fateless One, a fallen warrior brought back to life through gnomish magic into a world suffering an ongoing war between mortals and immortals. The hero's destiny is unwritten, rendering him (or her) a chaotic force capable of messing with the once-fixed threads of fate in ways that make the powers that be uncomfortable. The story unfolds over dozens of hours as players journey ever eastward through diverse lands and dark dungeons, slowly improving their skills, collecting new weapons and armor, and learning more about the lore-rich world of Amalur. This remastered edition features lightly enhanced graphics plus a handful of subtle changes to the way characters level up and loot appears. It also includes all of the original downloadable content released for the original game.
Is it any good?
While this ambitious and expansive role-playing game (RPG) labored to find an audience when it first arrived in 2012, its small but devoted base of followers spent subsequent years pining for more. Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning isn't really more (though it will be getting an original expansion sometime after launch) so much as it's a lightly refurbished take on the original. But it's still a treat for people who want a resolutely single-player old-school role-playing game. Featuring an enormous amount of voiced dialogue, great writing, and grand world-building, it's a transportive experience, successfully delivering a busy fantasy world that feels alive and bursting with possibility. It's also devoted to providing players with choice -- not just in dialogue and in what tasks you take on, but also in how you want to play. Players can grow their character in a variety of ways, and experiment with multiple play styles ranging from sneaky to strategic to brutish. And while the size and scope of the game is massive, there's barely any noticeable slowdown or technical hiccups, regardless of the platform. The Switch version runs just as well as the more powerful consoles, with only a few muddy textures here and there that remind you of the age of the original game itself.
But be warned: this is a very grindy and loot-driven game. Players will spend hours exploring every last nook and cranny of each area looking for treasure chests, hidden caches, and plants from which to harvest reagents while picking fights with every creature they see in order to eke out as many experience points as they can in their slow quest to level up. This is the sort of Zen action experience that some RPG fans crave, but others will understandably find it a bit repetitive and dull. This rerelease is, in all likelihood, a means of gauging which side of the fence most gamers fall on: whether there's still a place for single-player old-fashioned RPGs with grand scope and vision to thrive in a world where many modern players are looking for social and competitive online gaming experiences. Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning gives a second life to a good game that never got its due when first launched, but which could potentially grow into something more now.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about screen time. Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning is a long and grindy game filled with missions and quests that bleed into each other, so how do you decide when to take breaks or end play sessions?
What weighs into your decision when choosing an action, response, or behavior for a video game character? Is it based of what you'd do, or what you think your character would do? How do you determine the difference?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Deep Silver
- Release date: March 16, 2021
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Suggestive Themes
- Last updated: March 15, 2021
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.