Big Huge Games didn’t “set out to do something deliberately” familiar with Reckoning

Friday, 27th January 2012 18:29 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Ian Frazier, lead designer on Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, has said each designer working on the game brought various ideas to the table in terms of development in order to create an IP Big Huge Games hopes will be redefine combat for the RPG genre.

Speaking with CVG, Frazier who’s previous works include Titan Quest, said due to such varying backgrounds for each of the developers, it’s no wonder Reckoning strikes a familiarity chord with some gamers.

“We didn’t set out to do something deliberately Fable-esque,” he said. “We set out to do good action combat in an open world, and this is where we ended up. It’s got a lot of influences in there from a lot of the team, so you get a lot of reactions from the press: ‘It’s like a single-player WoW’. Okay, I don’t feel that personally, but more power to you. I’ve heard it compared to Fable, Dragon Age, even the Elder Scrolls.

“Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, they’re all great games, and I think they’re progressively better, but they’re all the same game. It’s not like they’re radically changing with time. [Ken Rolston] wanted to do something new – what can we do to take RPGs in a new direction? With Reckoning, there’s a lot of things we’ve upped the bar on, but the really exciting one was combat: he was just excited to do combat well which, frankly, they didn’t do in the Elder Scrolls series.

“They have a lot of other strengths, but combat isn’t really their thing.”

Frazier said one of things the team wanted apply to the game’s combat, was variety in both weapon classes and abilities so gamers would have “a lot of different toys to play with.” In all, nine weapon classes are included in the game, and players change choose between 60 different abilities which were imputed into the combo system.

“We didn’t want to make an action game, we didn’t want it to be like God of War where you have to know, XXYYA or whatever,” he said. “[There's] nothing to memorize. RPG gamers in my opinion don’t want to deal with that. I don’t want to. I love God of War, but I don’t want that here, and a lot of people simply can’t memorize seven different combos. It’s hard.

“That said, we wanted the variety of moves those games offer, so our system is all contextual. Let’s say you have the longsword: tap the button four times in a row and you’ll get a basic attack chain. If you really don’t give a crap about action combat, you can just dump your points into passive things, make yourself more durable, more damage-dealing and whatever and mash through the whole game – probably not on hard mode, but on normal, you can get away with that.”

However, those who are more into action combat can hit buttons more slowly and pull off alternate combos which will do everything from launching players in the air, to defensive moves and parrying.

That being said, there will be differences between the difficulty modes in the game, and while hard mode will indeed be hard, it won’t be anything like Dark Souls which relished its ability to “kill you and pee on your corpse.”

Reckoning is out early next month on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.



  1. fearmonkey

    “but the really exciting one was combat: he was just excited to do combat well which, frankly, they didn’t do in the Elder Scrolls series.”

    The Elder Scrolls series was never about combat, it’s about immersively exploring a vast open world without restrictions. From the Demo, Kingdoms isn’t trying to do this. One thing that I wished Kingdoms had, it wasn’t in the demo, is a first person view mode rather than over the shoulder view. like what Fable 2 had.
    I liked the demo and I’ll get the game, but The game didn’t feel that different to other games. It felt like many of the MMO’s I have played control wise, with fast action fable style combat.
    The menu system seemed a bit clunky, getting armor selected and equipped, it felt like a PC interface mapped to a controller, and just wasn’t that streamlined.
    Graphically it’s a pretty game, but I would have stayed away from the World of Warcraft color scheme, and the music at times feels exactly like in game Wow music.
    I think I’ll enjoy the game but it did feel familiar as it felt like a mixture of many RPG’s, rather than something unique.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. noherczeg

    Hope they fix the bugs wich were in the demo, because I had issues quite a lot in it :<

    Other than that the class system is kinda new for me so I'm pumped :)

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Phoenixblight


    Demos are not part of the final build they are typically put on a seperate development track of when a part of the game is the most stable and they take that part out and make it a demo for the public, reviewers and conventions.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. TheWulf

    1. They keep fixating on the combat and never on their exceedingly dull world, which is more of the same generic fantasy nonsense. You don’t get more typical that a world that has elves, nords, humans, and dryas with keyboard-hammered nerd names attached to them.

    2. They keep feeling the need to attack other games in order to explain why their game is… well, so awesome, dudes. If their game wasn’t lacking then they’d be able to explain what makes it so incredible without making deliberate attacks on past games.

    Sorry, but it is a truth.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. OlderGamer

    Wulf, I like you. I enjoy reading your posts.I don’t always agree with you, and this would be one of those times. Amular is such a great looking(and playing) game based one what I have seen and played.

    The combat is freaking amazing. It is fast paced and fun. Period. The game world doesn’t look dull at all to me. And the story is one that I am actualy looking forward to. And I hate video game stories by and large.

    I don’t think they attacking over games.

    Lest not anymore then to say “look at this game” if you like those games, you will love our game type of stuff. Same type of thing that happens to many many other games. BF3 wanted to point out they were better then CoD, every interview seemed to begin with the words Unlike in CoD, our game …. blagh blagh…

    Can’t hold talking up their game against them.

    Amular has me more excited then any game I can think of in recent memory.

    I didn’t like Skyrim. It was boring. Slow and clunky. And I wasn’t the lest bit excited for it to come out because I had already played Morrowind and Oblivion, and found both of them slow, clunky, and boring also. I figured Skyrim would just be more of the same. And it was.

    I don’t hold generic fantasy settings against fantasy based rpgs. That would be like getting upset with Pro Football Manager for featuring football. Thats what it is about. SciFi shooters will feature space marines and Aliens. Racers often feature cars and tracks. Mario features a kidnapped princess. And rpgs often feature a fantasy based settings and icons. Yep, I am looking at you elves, and other not so human humaniods.

    Its all good, and thank you Tolkien.

    I have read some of your other posts. i get what your saying about enjoying for and even looking for something new. But you can’t expect every game to be so different. After all if their weren’t average games, what would different look like? In that respect we have to expect that generic games will exsist, even thrive. And that is ok in my book, it doesn’t make em bad.

    Getting back to Amular, the one thing that i see that does set it apart is the fast and fuild gameplay. So if I was them, I would take that up every chance I got. I loved being about to start one attack and seemlessly flow right into another type of attack. It made the experience fun(I dispise auto attack games), and I am very much looking forward to seing what types of combinations I can come up with when the full game comes out.

    This isn’t aimed at you Wulf, but about the only negitive I see surounding this game comes from Elder Scrolls fans. I am sorry, but not everyone think that Elder Scrolls Shits gold. The games are decent, and have some really nice ideas. But they are sluggish to play and lose me everytime. I have yet to finish one. And even if you loved Skyrim, there is still room for another well done Action RPG? Just because I own/enjoy GT5, doesn’t mean i am not still interested in other quality racers.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. ManuOtaku

    I did like the demo a lot, i think this game will be great, it is what fable should have been, good combat mechanics, good open world, good setting, and nice graphics, i like it a lot, and for me it has many asspects of other great games like skyrim,fable, etc,you can easily compare to anyone of this games, is true, but i think this will be like darksiders a great experience of its own, of course it has a lot of inspirations but i think the end result would be great, i cannot wait for this game.

    I played the demo when it opens and you get 40 minutes of playing time, i did get the feeling it will be a big open world game with lots of characters and things to do, based on that brief experience, like i said it has ton of potential and i think it will deliver.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. YoungZer0

    God the game looks so dull. I played the demo for like 30 min. and already lost interest. What a boring world. This is exactly the same problem Japanese RPG’s have. Everything looks the same.

    I think the developer really lives in a fucking bubble. They remind me of the guys behind Homefront. Talking about how unique the game is when in the end its just a mix between CoD and Battlefield. They say one thing but show the complete opposite.

    Same goes for Big Huge Games.

    The Art-Direction is World of Warcraft. The Combat is Fable. The world looks shallow and empty and misses its own charm and personality. The story, from what i can tell is the usual save the world bullshit.

    And yes, if you create a new fantasy game and want it to be unique: Show me more than elves and nords. How hard is it to take the human anatomy as a basis and just give it more than pointy ears?

    This game is not unique, so stop bullshitting yourself.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Edo

    #7 Couldn’t agree more,I started to follow this game long time ago(back in 2010 when it was announced)and so far after playing the demo I can say that it screams GENERIC!The world looks MMOish,the combat is nothing we haven’t seen before and it’s filled with QTE which destroys any kind of immersion that the rest of this game could possibly offer.

    #8 3 years ago

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