Explore the fantasy world of the Faelands again, now with even more content to enjoy! Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning is a remaster of the 2012 action RPG that was on seventh generation consoles. This re-release brings with it new visuals, new quests, and new accessibility options. Unfortunately, the accessibility features are not in every version of the game, so getting access to these options depends entirely on which console you own.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning plays very much like the original game. You’ll fight magical creatures with hack-and-slash gameplay and make narrative decisions that have consequences in the story. You’ll also accumulate “fate points” through combat which let you enter Reckoning Mode, a slow-motion mode that allows you to take out enemies quicker and easier. As a Fateless character, you choose from three different classes, which correspond to the rogue, mage, and warrior types (called Finesse, Sorcery, and Might in the game). However, you aren’t locked into these classes, as the skill tree lets you pick and choose the abilities you want even if you decide to change your fate completely. The gameplay in Re-Reckoning remains largely unchanged from the original except that aspects of the difficulty modes have been refined. More on that below.
For transparency’s sake, I’m reviewing the PC version of Re-Reckoning. The PC port has many features that are either tweaked or completely missing from the console versions of the game. The mouse is used for attacking and using the camera, while the keyboard is used for interacting, movement, items, Reckoning Mode, and bound spells. These controls are the same as the original, but now you have the ability to rebind keys. Unfortunately, the mouse functions are locked, which could be a major obstacle for disabled gamers with fine-motor impairments. Even worse is that remapping the keyboard keys will often cause irregularities and game-breaking glitches (At the time this review is published, I’ve heard the developers are aware of this issue and are working to fix it).
Thankfully, all the difficulty modes in Re-Reckoning have been completely rebalanced and retooled. There are still Casual, Normal, and Hard modes, but now health and enemy levels will be determined by individual player experience. In this way, the remaster will accommodate you based on how well you’re doing. There is also a new “Very Hard” mode for those who want more of a challenge. QTEs are prevalent throughout the game, like in the original, and sadly there is no way to turn them off. This mainly involves Reckoning Mode, but there are other moments where you have to rapidly press buttons as well. Camera controls now have an auto-follow option that orients the camera to wherever the character is facing (strangely this function is absent on PC, but console versions of the remaster do have it). Enemy Focus returns from the original, which automatically locks on to the nearest enemy. Toggling Sprint also returns, giving the player the option to hold down or tap the button if they prefer. The inventory itself has an increased amount of space in Re-Reckoning, and you now have the ability to bind eight spells to your dashboard instead of the four you were given in the original. One of the bigger selling points for the remaster is that you get all of the 63 DLC items from the original right when you start the game. Before, you would have had to preorder the game from several different outlets and also pay extra on top of the main game’s price just to get all of these items. The DLC weapons and armor give you a major advantage against enemies in the early game, but if you decide to sell all the items you can get up to 20 thousand gold automatically. One of the more obnoxious things in Re-Reckoning is the tutorials. Like the original, when a tutorial pops up you are forced to press the button that the game wants you to press. There’s no way to bypass a tutorial. Thankfully, Re-Reckoning does now offer the option to turn them off, but even then, there are many moments in the early game that force you to press certain buttons. Fair warning for those with fine-motor impairments.
For the visually impaired, there are a host of new accessibility options in Re-Reckoning. One of the biggest complaints about the original was that the font and game icons were very hard to see, especially for those with visual impairments. The HUD has been completely resized in Re-Reckoning. There’s a larger font and icons that stand out. There’s also a new HUD scaling slider with three options: Default, Small, and Hidden. The mini-map itself is considerably larger than in the original, and it takes up more of the screen, so quest markers are easier to see. Textures have been touched up or completely replaced. The overall visual design of the game has been brightened, and the colors are more vibrant. Even so, there’s a brightness slider in the options menu you can customize if you prefer. There’s also a new field of view slider that lets you pan the camera back much farther than the original. The PC version of Re-Reckoning has more camera customization overall. The console versions have limited FOV range, and I’ve heard it’s because consoles are locked at 16/9 aspect ratio. Unfortunately, enemy levels are still distinguished by color like the original (grey = below your level, yellow = your current level, purple = above your level). Colorblind players be aware there’s no way to change this in the options menu. For the hearing impaired, Re-Reckoning is fully subtitled, and they’re very large and easy to read. Background noises and dialogue are sometimes subtitled, but it’s not always consistent. Individual sound levels can be altered, for sound effects, music, and dialogue.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning successfully captures the magic of the original while adding some helpful accessibility options. The larger HUD is a welcome addition, and camera controls have been expanded. Still, there’s a lot to be desired when it comes to options for disabled gamers. The remappable controls on PC are very buggy, and colorblind players may have trouble distinguishing the colors of enemy levels. There is hope for some of these issues to be addressed in a later update, but until then disabled players may have to weigh the pros and cons if they decide to purchase this remaster.