On the eve of release for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, I wanted to give my impressions of the demo, but instead of just giving a general preview of the game itself, I’ll also be comparing the Xbox 360 version against the PC version.

I know what you’re thinking, the PC version will be better, it’ll have better graphics, more hot keys, and the possibility of mods, how can you even compare the two?  Well, that’s usually my attitude about games (Skyrim, for example), but this time, I’m not so sure.  Granted, I only played the demo, but there was a lot more polish on the Xbox 360 version than the PC!


To start with, I am a very stickler for camera angles.  If a game doesn’t have good camera angles, I can’t stand it.  Also, the ability to zoom out to a great distance is important for me, but also something that I realize consoles can’t do very well, which is one of the many reasons I pick PC over them almost hands down.  However, in Kingdoms of Amalur, the PC camera felt slow, even when I turn up the sensitivity on my MX510 mouse (To give you an example, I can make my character jump a 1080 easily in WoW when it’s all the way up).  It also felt like it had a lag to where when I tried to turn, it was almost like a stutter.  The 360, on the other hand, was very responsive and smooth.


Now, I mentioned that the ability to zoom out is very important to me.  This, unfortunately, is not an option, even on PC.  Being so close to the monitor, I felt like I was so tight on the character that I lost my place multiple times.  Granted, I was playing on my 19inch monitor compared to my 48 inch TV, but it just felt wrong.  That was strike 1: the camera system felt sloppy and unresponsive on PC.


Strike 2 came after I left the tutorial area.  The demo gives you 45 minutes to play in the world pretty much freely.  You come out into a beautiful forest town that has a stream nearby.  Common sense would tell you that PC would look better, crisper graphics, more colorful, but it did NOT!  I had the graphics turned up to max and my resolution as high as my monitor can handle and still it was not any better than the Xb0x 360 version.  This was very surprising as I’m usually impressed with the difference between console and PC.


Strike 3 isn’t major, but still an annoyance.  The controls did not feel intuitive and almost felt like they didn’t want you to concentrate on magic, even though it’s supposedly a viable way to play through the whole game.  I believe the key binding is locked at the left and right mouse buttons as main and secondary weapon and the wheel to magic.  Problems with this arise when someone doesn’t have a wheel or people that don’t use them.  I know plenty of people that hate using the wheel and even as someone who does use it, it felt like magic should only be used when you have a few extra seconds, instead of in the heat of battle.


The UI also felt like an after thought, almost as if they took the Xbox 360 UI and added a few hot keys and said “DONE!”  Another minor issue, but might be important to many.


The bottom line is I think the game will be good for both home consoles and PC, but I would much rather play it on Xbox 360.  If you can get past the problems I talked about above, the game is going to be a lot of fun no matter what system you play it on!