Let's be honest, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning's quality came as the first nice surprise of 2012. Our quibbles with this first installment in what we hope to be a lasting series didn't detract from it being a great fantasy RPG. Although other outlets weren't as smitten as us, the RPG from Big Huge Games, a studio that built its rep on real-time strategy series Rise of Nations, is getting some solid reviews.
- IGN (90/100): "Its random technical hiccups and inconsistent art style certainly holds it back from even higher levels of greatness. But no matter what you're looking for, whether it be amazing gameplay, immersive storytelling or perhaps a riveting new world to explore as you fully customize and re-customize your character at will, Reckoning has it all."
- Escapist (80/100): "Reckoning surprised me with its energetic combat, rich story, and dazzling visual style. The weight of all its parts threatens to pull it down, but the rigid skeleton holds strong. ... Don't pass on Amalur just because it's a new IP from a new company. Fans of RPGs with a focus on action won't be disappointed."
- Giant Bomb (80/100): "But it's hard not to be at least a little disappointed when you start seeing the various spots where the game doesn't live up to the high bar set by its best content. If you finish it fast enough to prevent those doldrums from setting in, you'll have a much better time than the person who digs through every nook and cranny to finish every single side quest."
- Eurogamer (80/100): "It's an unglamorous kind of success story, admittedly. And perhaps it's worrying for 38 Studios that the bland fantasy world it's hanging its future on is the least enticing aspect of its debut game. But it's not all elbow grease - Kingdoms of Amalur adds a splash of color and a lick of polish to the open-world RPG, and they couldn't be more welcome."
- Edge (60/100): "At its heart, Reckoning is an interesting tale about disrupting cyclical fate – ironic, considering the game's largely repetitive nature – and when the story gets to shine, 38 Studios and Big Huge Games' friendlier design presents a welcome change of pace."