Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Game Poster Image

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

(i)

 

Bloody but magically remarkable RPG for mature gamers.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The story focuses on weighty concepts such as fate and freedom that will likely make players wax philosophical on everything from religion to determinism. However, it also glamorizes medieval-style and fantasy combat.

Positive role models

The player’s character, a man or woman whose appearance can be completely customized, is nudged toward good and noble acts, but is also forced into aggressive behavior to carry out objectives. There is some wiggle room for him or her to do evil rather than good (you can steal from innocents, be belligerent in conversations, and even attack civilians), but most players will guide the game’s protagonist into becoming a true hero or heroine.

Ease of play

Three modes of difficulty let players select a suitable level of challenge, and the combat system is easy to come to grips with. Navigating the game's enormous world could prove tricky for some, but excellent maps and an efficient quest log help keep things manageable. 

Violence

Combat involves the use of various bladed weapons, such as swords, axes, and daggers, as well as bows and magical spells. Blood gushes from enemies when they are struck, and they lie in crumpled heaps when killed. Cinematic assassination and “reckoning” attacks sometimes slow down time so that players can watch particularly vicious choreography usually involving impalement, dismemberment, and large torrents of blood. Players fight mindless, fantastical beasts, but also encounter aggressive humans and humanoid creatures. They can also kill civilians.

Sex

Some of the game’s female characters and monsters wear revealing outfits that expose cleavage. Both male and female avatars can be seen in their underwear when not wearing armor. Some of the books and letters players find in the environment discuss steamy situations without detail, and some characters are possessed of romantic feelings.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a violent and sometimes gruesome action role-playing game for adults set in a fictional, fantastical world. Players spend half their time chatting with non-player characters and unraveling a complex story, and the other half engaging in bloody and brutal combat with bladed weapons, bows, and magic. There is no drinking, profanity, or sex in the game, though players may read in-game books and letters that reference romantic situations without going into detail. Players will also see male and female characters clad in naught but their skivvies.

What's it about?

The massive single-player fantasy role-playing game KINGDOMS OF AMALUR: RECKONING isn’t based on any previous license, but still comes with an impressive pedigree. Its visuals were developed by renowned graphic novel artist Todd McFarlane, its story was conceived by famed fantasy novelist R. A. Salvatore, and the game itself was designed by the same fellow who masterminded the enormously popular fantasy RPG Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The story focuses on a soldier resurrected after falling in battle to an evil force of immortals rising in the East. He is apparently the first person the world has ever known not to have a predetermined fate, and this lack of destiny begins to wreak havoc with the future of the world. Amalur’s most powerful figures begin to take an active interest in manipulating our hero to serve their own purposes, which sets up multiple climactic showdowns. Expect huge environments to conquer, hundreds of challenging quests, and a slowly evolving and fully customizable avatar.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning stands out as a strong new competitor in the popular genre of Western RPGs. It provides players with a staggeringly large and beautiful world that can only be fully explored through weeks or months of dedicated adventuring, a complex and thoughtful story filled with memorable characters and subplots, and a remarkably satisfying, diverse, and dynamic combat system that will help ensure battles remain as interesting in the 100th hour of play as they were in the first. 

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a surprisingly polished experience, right from the start. Menus are simple and intuitive, the interface is easy to learn, and the lush visuals and rich symphonic score make for some truly magical moments. Some of the characters lack the detail and sophisticated animations found in rival games, but if that’s the worst criticism to be levelled at this remarkable new role-playing game, it’s in pretty good shape. Fans of fantasy won’t want to miss it.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about violence in games. How do you determine what is acceptable for your teenagers? Does it matter if the violence is fantastical or gritty in presentation?

  • Families can also discuss some of the ideas presented in this game such as the notion of fate versus free will. Do you believe that, either by the laws of physics or religion, we are bound to a single path through the world, or do you think that we have free will to act randomly and as we choose, thereby altering the world and the future of those around us?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
Price:$59.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Electronic Arts
Release date:February 7, 2012
Genre:Role Playing
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Adventures, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Suggestive Themes

This review of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 17 year old Written bymattwe June 30, 2013

A Note To Parents

If you've ever been on commonsensemedia before, you know how they grade their reviews. So, I'll tell you this: With video games, they are incredibly biased. For a video game review, take the age they give you, and subtract about 5 or 6 years, and THAT'S the suitable age. So, for this, it's really OK for about 13 plus. I put 12, though, because, a twelve year old would have no problem playing this. It's literally like a cartoon. I've seen more graphic violence in Spongebob, and that's not a joke. Two of the very most graphically violent movies I've ever seen in my life (Saving Private Ryan and Evil Dead(2013)) both got OK for 16+ and iffy for 17+, respectively. Well, my kid saw me watching SVP, and he had nightmares about for a week. I let him play this, and it didn't phase him in the slightest.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Safety and privacy concerns
Parent Written byCareing Father April 11, 2012

ESRB IS CRAZY!

This game is about exploration and fantasy. It has elves, gnomes, troll, ogres etc. This game is similar to the amazing game s k y r i m only it is cartoony so everything doesn't look that real. The best Dad is right though, The ESRB really screwed it up this time. Also like the best Dad said, there is nothing wrong with this game. This honestly should be rated T. I hope I was helpful and that you consider allowing this wonderful game into your home. Peace.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Parent of a 13 and 15 year old Written byThe best dad April 11, 2012

Another mistake the ESRB made

Hello! I am a father of two. I have a 13 year old and 15 year old. When I was at the store my child came to me and asked for this game. As usual I looked at the back to see what the ESRB rated it M for. Then I looked the game up on YouTube,(Because they usually over exaggerate) and found that the ESRB was exaggerating on EVERYTHING. I saw no blood. None. For the violence, it is equivalent to M i n e c r a f t. I allowed this game because I knew my 13 year old could handle it, I even think a 10 year old could handle this game but he/she should be mature. This is coming from a deeply religious father who frowns upon violence. All in all, 13 is an absolute okay for this game, I have no idea what the ESRB was thinking.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Family Media Agreement