Monday, November 14, 2016

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - 9/20 hours

Kingdoms of Amalur is the gaming equivalent of popcorn. It's easy as hell to consume a whole bucketful without even realizing it, but it's totally vacuous, nutritionally. That's not a complaint, by the way. I sunk seven hours into this game yesterday and I barely even noticed. I only quit because I was running out of time to do paperwork.

So what was I doing that was so compelling? Absolutely nothing of consequence. I mean, on the fiction layer, I was helping an isolated village that was under siege by giant spiders and slaying a massive, magically mutated troll that was the fated doom of an ancient, talking tree, but really it's all variations on "go to place, kill monsters, get loot and xp." Kingdoms of Amalur doesn't have any memorable characters or quotable dialogue to capture the imagination, but as a pure, dumb brawler of a game, it's the tops.

It's perhaps a little silly that in a game as story-driven as this, I could spend so much time doing so little of consequence, but I take an existential approach to these sorts of things. The whole purpose of a video game plot is to provide you with a series of excuses to do video game activities, and so long as those excuses are consistent and uncontroversial enough to not be a distraction, then even a dull story can be good enough (though I will say that a good story almost always makes for a better game, so it's not an entirely disposable thing).

I'm feeling pretty good going into the back half of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. I wouldn't be surprised if I reached 20 hours by this time tomorrow.

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