Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning

There’s something to be said about playing solo in a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). Sometimes you want to experience all the MMO trappings, such as a series of interlocking, extremely complex game systems and a world with immense depth to it. You can often find these things in action-RPGs, though usually they’re a bit watered down compared to their MMO brethren. Playing an MMO is like having Thanksgiving dinner, where you invite the whole family and spend the whole day cooking and the whole evening feasting, whereas playing an action-RPG is like reheating that same turkey the following day to make a sandwich.

So, for those of us who want to feast on the game’s offerings rather than just snack on them, we’re sort of forced to go to MMOs to fill our proverbial bellies.

Yet, there we have to deal with the antics of other players, or spend 30 minutes queueing for a dungeon, or have our progress roadblocked by group quests until we can find a group with the right dynamics. When you want to just sit down after a long day of work and immerse yourself in a high-fantasy game word, an MMO will saddle you with the baggage of other players.

I’ve often fantasized about having the best of both worlds. I’ve been looking for something that feels MMO-ish that I can play on my own. I dabbled with Final Fantasy XV for a while, and that managed to satiate some of those cravings, but not all of them.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning might be the closest I’ve come to finding that “single-player MMO” experience I’ve been looking for. It certainly helps that the game actually was intended to be an MMORPG at some point in development. You can see some of those formulas at play, not just in the design elements (which bring WoW to mind), but in the game’s pacing and structure as well.

The game starts out with a series of canned action sequences with some low-stakes battles to teach you the very basics of combat. Then it thrusts you into a vast open world, guiding you to the first village of Gorhart, but then giving you absurd amounts of freedom once you get there.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning perhaps feels the most MMO-like in its sidequests, which are almost overwhelmingly numerous. You’ll go into one village, end up with more sidequests than you can count, complete those, and come back to find you’ve only opened up more. The main story sort of guides you through these hubs one at a time, encouraging you to stop and help out the locals for a while before moving on to the next portion of the main story.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning

So if you tilt your head and squint your eyes, and maybe use a little bit of imagination, Kingdoms of Amalur starts to resemble an MMORPG.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning won’t scratch every MMO itch. It’s still an action-RPG at heart, after all. But it does have some MMO in its DNA, and that might be enough to tide you over until your next eight-hour session in Elder Scrolls Online or Black Desert Online or Final Fantasy XIV. And that counts for something, I think.

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