75 million dollars. Apparently, that’s what you can get from the Rhode Island government as a game development studio, despite having no prior published games at all. No wonder this state is broke. Well, as a gamer, RI resident, and taxpayer, I feel that it is my duty to at least try out the demo that was recently released (and provide faint praise) in order to do my little part. But wait! This first game, called Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, isn’t even developed here in RI. The studio is actually created by the Maryland-based subsidiary of 38 Studios. Well, that does it. Time to bust out the gloves of bashing +5
First of all, a demo is supposed to TEMPT you into buying the game. If this is their attempt at that, Reckoning falls flat on its face before it even reached that stage. After a hefty 2 gig download (wow, I hope there’s lots of Todd Mcfarlane art in there!), the very first thing I end up staring at is a stupid EA login prompt.
I received my second unpleasant surprise shortly afterwards. Apparently, the demo did not like the fact that I had to switch out of the demo to find out what my EA account was . It did not like it so much that it crashed when trying to switch back in. At this point, restarting the demo did not get me past that crash and I had to reboot my computer. Once that was done, I had to think long and hard about whether or not it was worth it for me to continue down this path. Since I am naturally stubborn, I decided to doggedly push onwards.
As soon as I reached the main menu, I burrowed my way into the options screen to see what kind of tweaks and modifications I can make. Although there was nothing that stood out too much, I did see something that looked promising:
Hey, when your experience with a demo has been a EA login prompt, a game restart, and a computer reboot so far, you have to hold on to the tiniest good thing about the game for as long as possible (faint praise, remember?).
I finally get around to starting the introduction chapter. A very (supposedly) dramatic scene began with lots of blood and killing, and then I heard some woman mumble in the background. Oh wait! That was supposed to be the narrator? The clanking and dramatic music of the intro totally blanked out the voice. I had to turn the volume way up and concentrate in order to pick out some of the words being spoken. Here’s a suggestion, find a louder voice, like James Earl Jones or Patrick Stewart (oh wait, that’s been done, sorry) for your intro. After another obscenely long wait, I finally got to create my character (yay) and jump into the game:
Well that about sums up my entire experience with this “demo”.
As a parting gift, attempting to exit the demo forces you to watch an extremely long trailer with heavily pixelated graphics at certain points. I couldn’t alt-f4 out fast enough for my own liking
All I have to say is, if the demo is this buggy and glitchy, then there is a high likelihood that the final product may end up on this list. I am so happy that it’s stupid Maryland taxpayer’s money being wasted on this game instead of RI. Oh, and the game does provide a nice shade of black.