When Skyrim first came out, it was a dream come true for The Elder Scrolls fans worldwide. Some of my friends locked themselves in their room for days, conquering the world of Skyrim while diminishing the world of Reality.
While you were enjoying Skyrim, 38 Studios has been working hard to make us a Western RPG game that can contend with such game. But though 38 Studios went bankrupt after releasing the game and closed it's doors later, Bethesda still had a hell of a competitor to face! And if you stick around for a little longer, you'll know exactly why...
38 Studios wanted to make us a well-rounded game that not only can blend the fun in games like Fable with the depth of games like Skyrim, but also have a distinctive signature of its own.
So Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning came out..
You're about to google that name aren't you..?
Indeed, the majority of you folks have never heard of KOAR, you just came here to see how in the world would Skyrim be ever given a thrashing by any game.
So, I made a list of the top reasons why KOAR is in my opinion so much better than Skyrim.
Note: this is my opinion, you have the right to express your own in the comment section, but lets just keep things civil.
- Quests -
In Skyrim, you get to choose to fight alongside either the Imperial Legion or the Stormcloaks. Choosing one severely limits your gameplay since they are both fighting each other, satisfying one end means waging war against the other. Don't get me wrong, there are still dragons and tons of other quests, plus lots of caves to explore, but I just felt the game should've had more since the side quests were a simple fetch-that-from-there style.
The game has a main storyline about Amalur, the no longer peaceful land after the eternal Fae of the Winter Court marched to war against the mortal beings plunging chaos into the entire region.
During harnessing the power of Reckoning and deciding the future of Amalur, you get to experience Amalur to its fullest.
There's Faction quests. You get to join either the House of Ballads, the House of Sorrows, Scholia Arcana (That one's pretty cool), The Travellers or The Warsworn.
There's also Side Quests, these quests quickly escalate from bringing some plague shield potions to an infected village, to fighting off hordes of giants who are carrying the infection. I found myself easily distracted by these quests that I've actually forgotten about the main storyline.
And finally, there's Simple Tasks, where you have to bring back a lost treasure and then decide either to keep it for yourself or return it to it's rightful owners. Or bring a dozen of magic herbs for a mage trainee hoping to impress her master by setting the whole place on fire (funniest quest in the game).
Winner - KOAR
While, Skyrim had tons of Quests, they quickly became repetitive and boring after a while that I stopped caring. But after playing KOAR, I still remember every side quest I've done, they were widely divergent than the other quests I've played in any game.
Winner - Skyrim. Period.
- UI -
Skyrim's UI was the most disturbing aspect of the game. You had to go through several menus just to find what you're looking for, and sometimes you'd have to pause combat for minutes to gulp all your food and drink all your potions so you'd survive a dragon attack. Plus, the levelling up system was a nightmare, it was slow and unbalanced. Levelling up your single handed skill means you'll fail every lockpicking and blacksmithing challenge, levelling up your blacksmithing and lockpicking means you'll die from the first strike and so on.
The favourites menu was even worse, you had to scroll through hundreds of things (While pausing a Giant with his club three inches away from your head). Just to select something you're not even sure you put it there, and on PC there was a bug were it would select the item beneath what you wanted, though it got fixed recently, I still had to mention it.
On the other hand, KOAR had a very nice interface. Some nicely organized quick slots with a Star added to new items, a Comparing System and a method to Junk unwanted items to be sold later with one click. It was really easy to navigate through these menus.
Winner - KOAR
- Combat -
Skyrim's combat was like the previous games, which was a disappointment since I was looking for a faster paced combat system. You'd easily swing your axe and accidently decapitate your partner, same with magic spells. It seems like not much thought was put onto it.
KOAR's combat was much tighter and faster paced, it introduced some awesome stuff like silently killing your enemy when he's looking away, or the Fateskill which gives you some awesome God of War moves to gain bonus experience for killing an enemy. There's also a durability for every weapon, that's why you need to have it fixed up every now and then. Also, I found the gemstones bonuses to be a very nice addition to the game. There was also weapon's speed and rarity, from common white to the legendry purple, every colour has it's bonuses. It felt good to have all these stacked into one game
Winner - KOAR
Skyrim had shouts and a couple of special moves. KOAR had Fate, special moves for every weapon, faster, tighter and more intriguing combat, stealth kills, evade moves, destiny cards and an Aggressive Mode to inflict damage to non hostile targets (No more accidently killing chickens.)
- Variety -
Skyrim had lots of things to do, you can fight dragons, clear caves and learn new shouts. Plus, you can spend hours simply walking the vast world of Skyrim. Too bad everything becomes boring after a while. Yet horses do make places more interesting to visit.
If you have no quests, there's probably nothing interesting to do. Yet, there's hundreds of tasks and side quests that can keep you busy for weeks. And the world of Amalur isn't small either, you'll find Shrines and Lorestones everywhere, there's also hidden treasure to be discovered all over the place. But then again, it gets boring without quests to keep you occupied.
Winner - Draw
Skyrim is huge, but so is KOAR, I found it really fun to play and enjoyed it to the last minute. I don't even remember what the final battle at Skyrim was like.
Support 38 Studios!
38 Studios took a total of 75 million dollars as a loan to make the game, but they were never able to pay them back, so 38 studios had to shut down, and with our dreams of a sequel or additional content shattered, there's one more thing that we, gamers, should do. Buy the game, support the devs so they'd get back on their feet.
Play the game and be the judge, do they deserve to end up like that?