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Big Huge Games

38 Studios photo
38 Studios

38 Studios assets to be auctioned this November

Kingdoms of Amalur rights, proprietary technology for sale
Sep 29
// Kyle MacGregor
The cautionary tale that is 38 Studios is nearing its conclusion. The company shuttered its doors last year, laid off its entire staff, and defaulted on its Rhode Island taxpayer-backed loan en route to ba...
38 Studios lawsuit photo
38 Studios lawsuit

Schilling looking to dismiss lawsuit over 38 Studios loan

State was aware of situation but didn't act
Mar 05
// Kyle MacGregor
Curt Schilling has requested a judge throw out the lawsuit against his now-defunct development house. Following the dissolution of 38 Studios, the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation accused Schilling and his busine...

Remembering studios that closed in 2012

Dec 22 // Sterling Aiayla Lyons
Hudson Soft Founded on May 18, 1973, Hudson Soft has been a force in this industry for so long that it seemed as if it would always be around. By 2003, the company had over 500 employees, with studios in both Tokyo and California. Throughout its history, Hudson designed a vast amount games and characters, including the iconic Bomberman, as well as less-iconic-but-still-identifiable Bonk. This story was one that was drawn out, as last year saw the closure of the offices in California. The final nail would come this year, when even the Tokyo offices would also be shut down. It’s something that is definitely heartbreaking for many a fan of the company's works, as well as people who loved the classic bee logo -- doubly for people in both categories like me. With the closure came the announcement that Konami would be absorbing what was left of Hudson, and retiring the name. So while the cute bee might be put out on the rocker on the front porch, hopefully the properties that bee ran won’t be neglected in the future. THQ & THQ San Diego Yesterday we reported that THQ had filed for bankruptcy. The company may not intend to reduce its workforce size during this period, but it's not a very optimistic situation. In March, the company reported a net loss of $239.9 million for the end of the fiscal year, which was over $100 million greater than the previous year's loss. Shortly after, THQ publicly made a deal with Electronic Arts to sell off its license to the UFC franchise. This directly lead to the closure of the THQ studio located in San Diego, the team behind the UFC games. This is one of those times that just goes to show you how fragile some things are in the industry. One deal sealed the fate of a whole studio, and all the workers there. While this might not be the end for THQ yet, the company's long-term survival is by no means guaranteed. I don't usually root for a publisher, but my heart is out for this one, if only for Saints Row 4. Black Hole Entertainment Black Hole Entertainment might be known for a few different games. It developed a couple of Warhammer games: Mark of Chaos and Black March. The company's most notable recent achievement would be Heroes of Might and Magic 6, which can be claimed as the reason for its downfall. Shortly after filing for bankruptcy, an insider from the company came out with claims that Ubisoft, the publisher they worked with, was at fault. The claims laid down include a lack of accountability from Ubisoft for missed deadlines, consistently sudden changes and feature removal demands by Ubisoft, and Ubisoft restructuring the key development team numerous times. Supposedly, the penalties from the missed deadlines, as well as the losses from money spent on features taken out of the game after completed made it so that an unreasonable 200 million copies needed to be sold before Black Hole would see any profit. Whether these claims are true is unknown, but the fact that the company went bankrupt still remains. Radical Entertainment Radical Entertainment is mainly known for the recent series Prototype, but it has been around since 1991, getting passed between multiple publishing companies through its history. There were layoffs, and many claimed that these layoffs lead to the crash of the Vancouver game design market. It was the oldest studio located in Vancouver, after all. This story happens to have a silver lining, as it appears that the company is still partially intact, functioning as a support studio for Activision Blizzard. Rockstar Vancouver/Barking Dog Rockstar's Vancouver studio is known for Bully and the recently released Max Payne 3. Shortly after the release of Max Payne 3, it was announced that Rockstar would be dissolving the studio to refocus its efforts in Canada on its Toronto-based studio. This story does not bring the saddest news of closure though, unless you're someone complaining about the decline of the Vancouver market. All 35 of the Vancouver employees were offered positions within the Toronto studio. With the additional claim of more positions being created afterwards, hopefully this leads to big new projects coming from those folks. Sony Liverpool/Psygnosis Sony Liverpool, perhaps better known as Psygnosis, is the studio behind the WipEout series. At the start of the year, Sony Worldwide Studios came out with an announcement that they would be restructuring the Liverpool studio. Many of the projects they were working on were halted as a result. It wouldn't be until August when the announcement finally came about the studio's closing. The studio employed roughly 100 people across two development teams. The studio was reportedly working on two projects at the time, each for the next-generation Sony console. While the facility at Liverpool remains functional, it is only to house other Sony Computer Entertainment Europe departments. The status of the two projects, one being a new WipEout, is unknown. BigBig Studios BigBig Studios, I feel, is mainly known for Pursuit Force, one of the better launch games for the PlayStation Portable. The studio was formed from a core team of four former Codemasters employees. Sony acquired the studio in 2007, and assigned them to work exclusively on games for the portable system. That might have been the major component in the downfall of the studio, due to the generally dismal life of the portable device itself. The last game they made would be the recent Vita game, Little Deviants which released to less-than-stellar reviews. The studio would be shut down at the beginning of the year as part of restructuring of Sony's European studios. Zipper Interactive Zipper interactive started out making computer games before it became tied to the franchise that would rule the company for the most of its life span, SOCOM. In 2006, the studio was acquired by Sony Computer Entertainment and would go on to make games exclusively for the PlayStation brand.  Not to let SCE Europe have all the fun restructuring studios, SCE Worldwide Studios announced in March that Zipper Interactive would be shut down. The reason given was that it was part of a normal cycle of resource re-alignment within Sony. The studio had roughly 80 employees at the time of closure. Its recent games, SOCOM 4, MAG, and Unit 13 are still going to be supported, according to Sony. Paragon Studios NCSoft is one of the few companies that almost exclusively deals in MMOs. Of course, most of that is acquiring studios that make those kind of games and just putting the monetary system on top of that. There are two things that usually happen. Either the game becomes too bloated to sustain from a financial standpoint, or the people calling the shots shift their focus to something "new." Such is the case with City of Heroes, which was finally shut down this year, much to the outrage and disappointment of its players. The really sad part comes with the liquidation of Paragon Studios, the developers behind the game. As of now, I don’t exactly know what happened to the folks who worked there, whether they were reassigned, or just let go entirely. At the very least, I hope that they are all still out there making games. 38 Studios and Big Huge Games 38 Studios started in 2006, originally named "Green Monster Games." Founded by Baseball star Curt Schilling with a dream to make his own MMO, he seemed to start out the right way, hiring talent that had great experience in the game world. In addition to writer R.A. Salvatore and artist Todd McFarlane, former general manager of games at Comcast Jennifer Maclean, former lead engineer at EA Jon Laff, and a former lead designer of EverQuest Travis McGeathy were in the employ of the studio. To further bolster the prestigious talent base of the company, 38 games acquired studio Big Huge Games, of Rise of Nations fame. The single-player RPG that BHG was working on at the time would be turned into a tie-in to Schilling's MMO. It all looked like it was going the right way, and in 2010, the studio received a $75 million dollar guaranteed loan from the state of Rhode Island to relocate their business to the state, in the hopes of creating new jobs. In February of this year, that RPG would see release in the form of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, which received favorable reviews. A missed loan payment just a few months later, and very shortly after, the entire 379 person workforce was laid off, with 38 Studios entering bankruptcy. Schilling and his studio has come under investigation since then for criminal charges, though at the time of writing, no federal charges have been filed against him. A state-level investigation is still underway. As for the folks under Big Huge Games, they're still happily together as Epic Baltimore.
Studio Closures in 2012 photo
Taking a sec to pay respects
This year was great in general for videogames. Beyond the predictable success of games like Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops II, there were a ton of hits that came out of nowhere, including not just big publisher titles, bu...

38 Studios declares bankruptcy, investigation begins

Jun 07 // Samit Sarkar
Rhode Island officials are hopeful that the state can get some return on 38 Studios' assets, which it now owns. Jonathan Savage, legal counsel to the Economic Development Corporation, told reporters today that the state has had discussions with investors offering upwards of "tens of millions of dollars" for 38's former intellectual property. "We're going to do everything we can to maximize the return on our investment," said Gov. Lincoln Chafee. Here's hoping Rhode Island gets something for its trouble, since the state's taxpayers are on the hook for nearly $90 million through 2020.Bankrupt 38 Studios will be liquidated [WPRI via Joystiq]Criminal probe launched into 38 Studios [WPRI]Schilling's 38 Studios declares bankruptcy; law enforcement investigating [Providence Journal via Joystiq]38 Studios liquidation valued in tens of millions by RI, gov. will get every penny he can for taxpayers [Joystiq]

The death knell has sounded for 38 Studios. Following the layoff of its entire 379-person staff two weeks ago after missing a $1.125 million loan payment to Rhode Island, the developer of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and the...


Epic Games saves Big Huge Games staff, now Epic Baltimore

Jun 03
// Kyle MacGregor
After effectively gambling with this month's rent money in a bid to pay for next's, things were looking pretty bleak a for Curt Schilling's 38 Studios. Running into financial difficulty following the release of Kingdoms of Am...

Entire staff at 38 Studios and Big Huge Games laid off

May 24
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
It's a very sad day in the gaming industry, as 38 Studios has laid off its entire workforce -- including Baltimore-based studio Big Huge Games -- due to the financial turmoil the company has been in. That's 379 people suddenl...

Review: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - Teeth of Naros

Apr 25 // Maurice Tan
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - Teeth of Naros (PC, Xbox 360 [Reviewed], PlayStation 3)Developer: 38 Studios, Big Huge GamesPublisher: 38 Studios, Electronic ArtsReleased: April 17, 2012MSRP: 800 Microsoft Points, $9.99 The "Teeth of Naros" story can be started relatively early on in one's journey through the world or Amalur. Whereas "The Legend of Dead Kel" made players reach the city of Rathir -- a mid-way point in Reckoning -- before being able to embark on their new quest, "Teeth of Naros" can be accessed from the area of Ettinmere, south of your starting location in the lands of Dalentarth. The Teeth of Naros (Naros is the name of a troll god) is a mountainous area, locked off from the rest of the world, where giants of all sorts reside. The Kollossae, a race of giant living Greek statues, had once split off from their other giant kin after surpassing them in cultural development, intelligence, and control over magic. Of course, not all is right in the Kollossae's refuge, and only the Fateless can help them out. Again. As stories in Reckoning go, the story of "Teeth of Naros" is better than most of what you're subjected to in the main game. A tale of faith, fate, and the corruption of religious fanaticism, it's an okay story even if almost all major events in Reckoning are more or less centered around the same themes. The Kollossae had once built a city -- Idylla -- to be worthy of their god Ethene's attention. Unfortunately, like the builders of the Tower of Babel, they tried to raise their city to the heavens before they were "ready," and disaster has struck. This incomplete floating city is a hub with a few areas where the Kollossae reside, yet it's strangely small for what is supposed to be a miraculous city made by giants. Idylla floats above the lands of the Teeth of Naros, which hosts enemies such as bandit Kollossae, giant dodos called Pteryx, Jottun, and trolls. Compared to the island of Gallows End from "Dead Kel," however, the Teeth of Naros is a bit of a boring area to explore on the surface. As a mostly circular area, you'll spend about an hour or more running around and doing a few mop-up quests before you get to Idylla itself, but it's your regular Reckoning fare of mowing through mobs. Slightly more interesting is the optional underground dungeon of Nerotelos, which offers some choice loot if you can make your way through its maze-like structure of stairs and jumps. While the quests and stories in "Teeth of Naros" offer a decent romp for Reckoning fans -- helped by a few small yet entertaining sidequests involving debates by force, and a general sense of complete and utter boredom that the Kollossae suffer from in their isolationist plight -- the main draw for most players will be the new loot. Within the first hour or two, you'll finally find better items than what you could've found in both Reckoning and "Dead Kel" -- the latter of which didn't offer great loot to start with. Whether your destiny of choice lies with the sorcery, might, or finesse trees, the weapons, armor, and accessories that drop in "Teeth of Naros" are great. They'll very likely offer an improvement over what you may have used before, although none of the new items or armor sets are going to beat a fully crafted set that gives you critical hits of three million damage. A new addition to loot in "Teeth of Naros" is the Primal damage attribute. When using a weapon that deals Primal damage, you have a chance to trigger a Primal damage buff which lowers all magical resistances of enemies for a few seconds. In theory, you could use these Primal weapons, as well as other items that give bonuses to Primal damage, to trigger the Primal damage buff, and then lay waste to enemies with weapons and spells that deal elemental damage. In practice, however, you'll already have much better weapons than any of the Primal damage-dealing ones you will find in "Teeth of Naros," and an Archmage's meteor spell will instantly kill almost any new enemy you'll find (on Normal difficulty) whether they have resistances or not. One major drawback of all the new loot is that there is no stash in the entire DLC area. You'll find plenty of new set items, weapons, and other gear that you may want to put away for a future respec of your character, but the result is that you are just overburdened all the time. While you can warp to one of the cities outside the Teeth of Naros area and stash your gear there, it's an annoying omission. A merchant will sell you a backpack to increase the inventory by 10, but the stash itself remains limited in size. It would have been nice if the stash was finally made to be infinite in size by this point, but alas you'll still be stuck with scrolling through hundreds of scrolls, books, various quest items, and equipment of all sorts. Just like in "The Legend of Dead Kel," you'll be able to continue questing after completing the main storyline in "Teeth of Naros" which is a nice touch of Reckoning's DLC, but these quests aren't as good this time around. The handful of small sidequests on offer mostly involve fetch quests or running around a lot, and while a few of them are slightly funny, they are nowhere near as entertaining as building your own keep in "Dead Kel." It's also a bit confusing what audience "Teeth of Naros" is targeted at. You can access the new content early on, but most of the loot at level 40 is better than what you find in the end-game with the same character level. I didn't have a save game from this early in the game to compare how much the loot scales with your level, but knowing that you can find some of the best items in this piece of DLC, I would never even think of entering it before I reached level 40 again in another playthrough. Then again, what would you use the items for if you've already finished both Reckoning and "Dead Kel"? All that said, if you haven't finished the main game yet, "Teeth of Naros" will give you a fun, focused distraction away from the primary conflict, and the Kollossae are a distinct race that still fits well in the world of Amalur. Although you'll spend nowhere near the promised "at least 20 hours" of time in "Teeth of Naros," it's not a bad adventure for Reckoning fans; just not a great one, either. The main storyline will take you around four to five hours if you take the scenic route and complete a few sidequests along the way, and after finishing the main story of the DLC, you're looking at perhaps an hour or two of sidequesting, tops. If there will ever be end-game DLC with more challenging areas for veterans players of Reckoning, perhaps the new loot in "Teeth of Naros" will make it worth picking up in preparation. Until then, this is a piece of DLC reserved for either the most die-hard of fans who just can't get enough, or for players who need the distraction and change of scenery before they finally finish the core game.

The second piece of downloadable content in the Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning saga has arrived to further pad your already ridiculous list of quests. The previous DLC, "The Legend of Dead Kel," was a varied and fun adventure ...


New Reckoning DLC 'Teeth of Naros' releases April 17

Apr 04
// Maurice Tan
A set of new achievements already hinted at new downloadable content for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, set in the Teeth of Naros area. EA and 38 Studios have now officially annouced the DLC to be titled "Teeth of Naros," a l...

Achievements hint at Kollossael new Reckoning DLC

Mar 27
// Maurice Tan
A list of achievements for yet to be announced downloadable content for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning has appeared on Xbox 360 Achievements. The five achievements look similar in nature to those found in the recently released...

Review: Amalur: Reckoning - The Legend of Dead Kel

Mar 26 // Maurice Tan
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - The Legend of Dead Kel (Xbox 360 [Reviewed], PS3, PC)Developer: 38 Studios, Big Huge GamesPublisher: 38 Studios, Electronic ArtsReleased: March 20, 2012MSRP: 800 Microsoft Points, $9.99 Dead Kel is somewhat of a notorious and undead scallywag, enough to deserve his own legend in Rathir. He has been raiding precious supply ships important to the war effort, so it's up to you to embark on what sounds like a suicide mission; travel to the island of Gallows End from which no ship returns, and hunt down Dead Kel. As if your prospects couldn't get any worse, you are accompanied by a new character, Captain Brattigan, who is as naive as she is a nymphomaniac who can't swim, with a reputation of wrecking her ships to boot. It comes as no surprise that you end up shipwrecked on the island of Gallows End, which isn't quite worth calling a continent, but comparable in size to the desert lands of Detyre. You are not the first to crawl ashore on Gallows End like a drowned rat, as other shipwrecked survivors from decades past have carved out a living on the island in the form of the small village of Cape Solace. All is not right, however, as the village is full of zealots who are mysteriously tied to a deity named Akara, who protects them from the rage of Dead Kel. [embed]224522:43167[/embed] The main quest of "The Legend of Dead Kel" is your standard Reckoning fare. You are sent to different locations on the island in your quest to find the dread pirate and a way home across the seas, and encounter a few of his boss henchmen in the process. Along the way, you learn more about the God Akara, the village's history and religious rites, and unweave a few strands of Fate wherever you go. If you enjoyed Reckoning, you'll simply find more of the same kind of combat and exploration in this DLC's main quest. However, it's the side-quests, additions to the Reckoning formula, and the small touches which provide the most, and more novel, forms of entertainment. The side-quests provide some of the more humorous conversations and thought-provoking quests in the entire game, with many a darker and adult theme permeating life on Gallows End, even if these themes are ultimately not explored to their full potential. Messages in bottles can be found across the idyllic shipwreck island, and pieces of treasure maps can be found in chests to lead you to dig spots for shiny new loot. While the search for collectibles keeps you occupied and eager to explore, much of the fun in "Dead Kel" comes from the completely optional renovation of Gravehal Keep; a ruined fortress of the Dverga, a race of Dwarven mariners who last ruled the island. The monster-infested Gravehal Keep looms over the Cape Solace, which can be claimed for your own. What is without a doubt the best addition to Reckoning is that you can upgrade and populate this ancient fortress to turn it into our own castle from which you can eventually rule like a king. With each upgrade, which costs materials you'll easily find while completing quests, a new wing or shop will open up and new NPCs will offer distractions. A scout can be sent off to collect various items and materials from unsalvaged wrecks, a combat trainer will present you with gold if you quickly kill creatures in a makeshift arena pen, and a bona fide animal trainer can provide you with pets if you supply him with meat, fish, and bugs. These pets offer bonuses to your stats depending on which one you choose. Feed them some more food, and these bonuses will increase. It's a silly bonus addition made sillier when you send the animal trainer to find and domesticate one of the new enemies in "Dead Kel," the Root Golem. This is basically a troll, but a kind that can tunnel underground to move towards you, or grab Boggarts from below the earth to throws at you. Yes, it's Maokai from League of Legends. Eventually, Gravehal Keep offers a host of characters, like a librarian who will translate ancients books you find on your travels on Gallows End, NPCs on the island you can direct to seek safety in your keep to serve as shopkeepers and armorers, and other characters who will offer rewards you wouldn't expect after having played through Reckoning. Some of it is fan service, while other elements such as being able to sit on the throne and listen to petitions make stabs at Fable III's end-game. The thing is, while the whole range of activities supplied by Gravehal Keep can feel a bit like doing fetch quests at times, much of it is supremely fulfilling to waste your time on, and a lot more entertaining than being the King ever was in Lionhead Studios' "innovative" title. More than anything, "The Legend of Dead Kel" offers no shortage of fun and silliness. Captain Brattigan is crafted to be annoying with a high-pitched voice, yet you can't help but come to like her. This is quite an achievement, since not many characters in Amalur are actually likable or even worth remembering the name of. (Go ahead, think of five memorable characters with actual clothes.) Gallows End becomes a home away from home in the world of Amalur, where the island's areas aren't just spaces to run through as you mop up quests in an efficient order, but instead become the locales where you found a hand inside a crab, or where you were asked to provide meat to feed chickens. It experiments with additions we might see in the Amalur franchise down the line, and a sense that the developers working on the DLC had a lot of freedom to come up with, and flesh out, as many crazy ideas as they could. Unless they were directed to do so, which is arguably just as good. On the downside, Dead Kel himself is remarkably boring. The story behind how his fate is tied to Gallows End is decent if unsurprising, but the resolution of the main quest leaves you unfulfilled and wondering if there couldn't have been better ways to decide how Fate is inevitably disrupted by your hand. It's hard to turn an undead pirate captain into the blandest part of an island adventure, but somehow they've managed to do so. The new loot is a mixed bag, depending on how much you've already played Reckoning. Weapons are not as good as you may have already crafted or found, although some of the new items feature some cool new designs. For the loot-hunters, rings and amulets offer a safer better bet of finding improvements for your build of choice, as does the wealth of blacksmithing components you'll collect throughout your adventures on Gallows End. What could have easily been "just another bunch of quests on a new location" has been crafted into a variety of enjoyable elements to occupy yourself with. It's quite long, too, easily taking you six hours or more to complete nearly everything there is to do on the new island. Moreover, it offers an excellent opportunity to try out a new build if you've been stocking up powerful equipment in your stash, but never bothered to commit to a full respec of your abilities before. The additions to the Reckoning formula and the distinct style of the island of Gallows End serve to turn "The Legend of Dead Kel" into the DLC equivalent of a tropical island vacation. It's a fun trip to a relaxing setting far away from the Crystal War, which lets you explore yet another piece of the Amalur's world at your leisure.

One might wonder if a game like Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning really needs a downloadable content expansion along the lines of "The Legend of Dead Kel," given the enormous amount of quests and content already available i...


Kingdoms of Amalur first content expansion hits March 20

Feb 29
// Conrad Zimmerman
Electronic Arts and Big Huge Games announced today the first downloadable content pack for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, "The Legend of Dead Kel", will be arriving on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Steam and Origin beginning March...

A class guide to Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Feb 17 // Maurice Tan
For the purpose of this guide, I'll focus on a Normal difficulty playthrough and on a general playstyle of XP efficiency. Reckoning allows for a lot of different playstyles -- although most of them involve a lot of button mashing -- so this isn't so much a guide for the best builds as it is one that is simply intended to help you choose what you'll want to work towards. General rules Loot. Every. Thing. A set piece can be in any chest or under any hidden pile of rocks, so look everywhere you can. Don't worry about gold. Sell your excess baggage and the purple items you won't need, until you get a nice amount of cash. You won't likely spend a lot of money, since you'll find the equipment in the world or you'll craft it yourself. Once you have enough (a couple of hundred thousand is plenty), simply salvage everything through Blacksmithing. More about that later. Fateshifting You should use the Fateshifting ability as often as possible. It can be tempting to save up Fate for that one big encounter or that one boss, just so you can get double XP for the big fish. That's smart, but just don't overdo it. More often than not, you'll save up a full Fate bar and fight through 10+ encounters just so you'll have a full bar when it will yield the highest expected bonus -- or to help you deal with finishing off that boss. In that time, you could've used your Fateshifting ability and filled up a new bar, provided you use different special attacks to generate Fate efficiently. Being conservative with your Fate bar isn't a bad thing, but after 8+ hours you'll have a good idea of how the dungeons and big quest encounters are paced, so use Fateshifting when it seems likely that you'll get plenty of chances to fill it up again. The four abilities One of the downsides of Reckoning's ability system is that you effectively only have access to the four abilities you map to the face buttons. You can cast sustained abilities and remap them afterwards, but it's worth keeping this in mind when you start investing in more than four abilities; there's a good chance you will never use those remnant and excess abilities from earlier in the game. The Finesse tree The rogue's ability tree. Meant for the sneaky and stabby-stab types, the Finesse tree is actually more about dealing damage through hit & run attacks than it is about being a thief in the purist sense. Weapon of choice First off, you'll want to decide whether to go for Daggers or Faeblades. To be honest, there's not a very large difference between them if you're mashing the same attack button over and over. Faeblades have a wider reach, so they tend to hit more enemies with a single combo. Faeblades also tend to do more damage than Daggers when you find them along the way, but they are slower -- if marginally so. While it's mostly a matter of what feels best to you, my personal preference goes to the Faeblades. The dodge-attack from Precise Weaponry III lets you spin upwards and attack enemies all around you, while giving you extra Fate once you've upgraded this ability. While the Dagger's charge lets you poison more enemies in a group, the charge attack for either weapon isn't that great and doesn't usually do more damage than using that time to perform basic attacks. If you're serious about the Finesse tree, you will also end up with a few sustained and passive Poison abilities. If you mix the Finesse and Sorcery trees you'll have enough mana to always keep Envenomed Edge -- the poison attack buff -- active at a 15% mana cost. Combine that with the wider reach of the Faeblades, and you're more likely to poison everyone in a group without ever having to think about it. Again, when it comes to just attacking enemies, there is not a huge difference between Faeblades and Daggers, so just experiment with what feels the most fun to play with. The Arrow branch is a different story. A good bow can absolutely destroy enemies at range, but you have to pace yourself given the limited amount of arrows and the short delay before your quiver fills up again. Arrow Storm does not do a huge amount of damage so it's not a must, but you'll want to put points in every other Arrow branch ability if you're going to make an Archer character.Sneaking and backstabbing Being all sneaky might sound intriguing. It's not. Although you'll come across a dozen or so enemies that would be better off dispatched with backstabs so nobody notices you, Reckoning is about creating your own personal über hero. A successful one-hit backstab will save you about 10 seconds of combat at best, not counting the time required to sneak your way to your target. You can dodge while sneaking, which makes sneaking a lot faster, but in the end it's not a very effective ability to put points in. If you really want to play a rogue who assaults people from behind, you could try combining backstabs with Smoke Bombs and some of the other wide-area stun abilities found in the other ability trees, but it's not as effective as simply slicing and dicing your way through your foes. Key abilities Besides the Weapon Mastery branch and the damage output for your weapon of choice, you may want to give Shadow Flare a miss. It doesn't do a lot of damage, and being able to push away some enemies is actually counterproductive to a melee Finesse class. Why push them away when you can hit them instead? Putting one point in Shadow Flare does unlock Enduring Agony later on, which gives you a great bonus to all typical Finesse attacks. The four abilities in the Poison branch can be a mixed bag, but the first (Envenomed Edge) and last (Paralytic Poisons) abilities in this branch are worth exploring. Not only do you get bonus damage over time, but the ability to get a chance to stun poisoned enemies later on is something that costs very little, yet gives you oh so much. Poison resistance mostly keeps you from doing less melee damage against poisonous attackers, while the ability to make the odd corpse explode in a poison cloud is not terribly useful to melee Finesse players. You'll often combo enemies away from the last corpse. Blade Honing is a must-have for melee characters. Just getting an increase in Critical Hit damage doesn't sound like much on paper, but in practice you're going to end up with very crit-heavy weapons once you start tinkering with Sagecraft and Blacksmithing. Because Blade Honing also works for Longswords and Greatswords, it's the main reason to bother with the Finesse tree if you are focusing on a damage-heavy Might character. Execution, the high-level passive ability, is mostly useful for Archers. You'll do passive bleeding damage with every arrow by the time you unlock this ability, and most Daggers and Faeblades don't do that much bleeding damage unless you craft them that way. Combine the fire rate of your bow with the multi-shot of your bow's charged attack, and rack up the bonus Bleeding damage. Gambit, which lets you throw 7 traps in an area in front of you, is great for all types of players, especially ranged ones. It stalls a group of enemies for a little bit, but most of all it's a lot of fun to see them bounce from trap to trap. At 80 mana, it's also a very expensive pleasure that doesn't do very good damage by the time you unlock it. Frost Traps, (poison and smoke) Bombs, and Lunge simply depend on your playstyle. If you're going pure Finesse, these abilities will give you the crowd control you need to manage a large battle. Bombs stun enemies and project a poison cloud once upgraded, turning you invisible in the process so you can sneak in a quick backstab, but the question is if you need enemies to be stunned. If you're fine handling groups on your own with basic attacks and dodges, you won't need these. There's something to be said for Poison Bombs since you'll inevitably have the +70% Poison effect from Enduring Agony, but the bombs are very slow to reload and require you to be near a group of enemies for maximum effect. Frost Traps can be used to plan ahead and lure enemies into your traps, followed by ranged attacks with your Bow (or Chakrams). If you're more of an offensive type of melee player, just put your points into damage abilities instead. When building an Archer, you'll want these traps to give you the necessary breathing space between quiver reloads, though. Lunge costs far too much mana to be effective. It reaches about twice the distance of a dodge, and after putting 5 points into it you get a measly 100 Physical Damage in return. For the melee rogues, you're better off just using the dodge-attack abilities for your Daggers or Faeblades. Equipment In general, mana can be a problem for a pure Finesse player. Most Finesse armor doesn't give you a lot of mana or mana regeneration, but you don't really need all that much if you play smart. If you forgo spamming Bombs and Gambit, and ignore Lunge, you'll be fine with the sustained cost of keeping up your poison and critical hit buffs. Similarly, health can be an issue if you don't have access to the Healing Surge ability from the Sorcery tree, or its bloodsucking Faer Gorta minion. If you're going pure Finesse, make sure to put some points in Alchemy for health and mana potions or, better yet, just buy a ton of them since gold is not a problem in this game. Another option is to create your own equipment to fulfill these gaps in your build, socket specific health and mana regeneration gems into the odd useful socketable piece of armor, or use a few rings or an amulet to give you that regen. Since you'll also find more useful rings and amulets that give you bonus damage and XP, you might just want to stick with a socketable regeneration gem or the potions solution. The Sorcery tree I doubt I need to tell anyone how to be a mage, but there are a few nuances to the spells you can pick. Weapon of choice There's not a lot of choice here. The Staff is your main weapon, and your Chakrams keep groups at bay. You can use the Scepter if you must, but the mana drain for every attack is a downer. It doesn't hit and stagger groups of enemies as nicely as the Chakrams do, so you're probably better off ignoring the Scepter altogether. The Chakrams are worth looking into for every player, as they are perhaps the most effective secondary weapon in the game. They don't seem that powerful if you focus on the stats, but they hit anyone in a long wide strip in front of you and the damage output in groups can reach ridiculous proportions. A full combo of attacks will also make the discs hit enemies in close proximity around you when they fly back from the final attack. Time it right, and you'll evade getting hit in close combat just by sticking with the Chakrams. The dodge-attack move from Arcade Weaponry IV is also a fun way to juggle anyone who happens to get in your way. The downside is that in order to unlock the dodge-attack, you'll need a point in Arcane Weaponry III. This ability lets you do a delayed attack for your Staff and Chakrams, but it bounces you backwards when you do this with the Chakrams. This in turn puts you further away from the enemies you want to hit, but what's worse: it takes too long to recover from the dodge-attack and leaves you open to attack. Especially when in Fateshifting mode, it can happen that you try to time your Chakram attacks to hit single enemies at range and sometimes you'll accidentally do a delayed attack when you turn to swap targets. It costs precious time, so learn to work your way around it if you can. Still, the mix of physical and elemental damage combined with the reach and damage potential make the Chakrams a worthwhile addition to any arsenal. Use some fire damage Chakrams to deal with most of the annoying enemies you want to take out at range, and never worry again. Finally, the charge attack for the Chakrams can be risky, but it gives you a lot of Fate when executed in the middle of a group of enemies. Abilities The Faer Gorta minion is the main attraction, since it's a skeleton that gives you health while it distracts enemies and staggers them. Did I mention it's a skeleton? Trust me, you'll want one. For the dedicated Sorcery player, the Tempest (lightning storm) is arguably the weakest spell. It takes forever to charge, doesn't have a very large radius, and the damage is not very high. If you ignore the entire Lightning branch, you can put the remaining points into Skillful Defense from the Might tree instead. However, the Storm Bolt does have the ability to stun small clusters of enemies which can be helpful to close the distance when playing with a mixed class. If wreaking havoc with spells if your jazz, focus on Elemental Rage, Meteor, and Winter's Embrace instead. Meteor slows down the action and does massive amounts of damage. Follow it up with Elemental Rage to stagger the enemies even more, and then charge up and cast Winter's Embrace (ice storm) while they recover. If anyone is left standing, they will be slowed by the freezing attack and you can wipe them out at your leisure. Because these three elemental damage spells only leave the Faer Gorta as the fourth ability, you probably won't use Healing Surge very often once you reach level 30+. Any small-to-medium amounts of health you lose can be returned through the Faer Gorta, and during combat you can rely on health potions to escape death. If you are still low-level, you'll have to micromanage your spells a little bit more until you get to the massive damage dealing spells. Mark of Flame in particular requires a bit of positioning and skill. Damage-wise, your Chakrams should outperform the Storm Bolt, but as a pure Sorcery player you'll end up with points in the Storm Bolt simply to unlock the later, more useful branches. Since you have it, you might as well use it in the meantime.Equipment Your Sorcery equipment should provide you with all the mana and mana regen you need to keep casting during any regular encounter. Some extra (elemental) resistance is always nice to keep you from worrying about the ranged spellcasters that are harder to evade, which you'll get from most types of equipment. If you want, you can tailor some socketable equipment to give you bonuses to health and mana, or elemental damage output. I suggest just trying out what playstyle works for you, and tailoring your equipment around it. If you tend to dive into the action and take a lot of damage, add some extra health and health regen to your build. If you hardly ever get below the 50% health mark, opt for damage output instead. The Might tree The Might player will be slow but unstoppable. You know what a knight is, right? There you go, then. Weapons of choice Another case of "how you like to play" here. Personally, I found that Greatswords are where it's at as your primary weapon. The charge attack lets you mow through enemies and adds some mobility thanks to the whirlwind attack. Greatswords tend to have the second highest amount of single hit damage as well, but lack speed. Longswords are faster, but come on now. Do you want to be Eddard Stark or some hedge knight with yet another peasantly Longsword?  Hammers are a good secondary weapon because of their moveset. The do more damage than the Greatsword, but are too slow as a primary weapon. In fact, some players might find them too slow altogether. The block-attack and parry-attack can be a good counter with the Hammer, but it's far too easy to get hit by surrounding enemies. It's the same for your charge attack. On paper, it's powerful. In practice, you're going to need some time to get skilled at timing all the Hammer moves.  With 109 points in Might, you might be better off with a Hammer than a pair of Chakrams as your secondary weapon, though. You can unlock the Chakrams if you want, but the question is whether you want reach to hit those faraway foes or pure melee damage output whenever you can get away with it. Abilities Most of the Might player's abilities are Passive, letting you focus on dishing out damage instead. Relentless Assault is your most useful active ability, keeping you from being staggered in mid-combo. Adrenaline Surge keeps you alive when you are low on health, plus it stacks well with the Bloodlust upgrade for Relentless Assault to give you back some health through attacks. Battle Frenzy should be active at all times. It's not so much the added damage bonus you need, but the Stoneskin and Celerity upgrades can be very helpful during large fights; it gives you that edge to stay alive and mobile. Having said that, if you're not purely speccing for a Might build, Battle Frenzy isn't always very useful unless you know you can kill a lot of enemies in a row. Concussive Force gives you 60% bonus vs. stunned enemies, which is excellent in combination with a Smoke Bomb or the Finesse player's poison stuns. Quake on the other hand is an early skill that you might not use that often later in the game, especially once you unlock Wrath. Quake itself does too little damage, and the only benefit is being able to stun groups of enemies. Once stunned, they'll suffer bonus damage from your attacks thanks to Concussive Force. But from the moment you unlock Wrath, you can simply roll into a group, mash the assigned button to stagger the group, and then deal massive amounts of damage all around you. If anyone is left after Wrath, throw in a War Cry to reduce their armor, or make them panic if you upgrade the ability with Terror. The downside of panic is that you'll need some Chakrams to hit them from afar unless you want to run after the little buggers. Finally, Harpoon is simply a low-level ability to mess around with. You can use it to snatch single enemies from afar, or to close the distance to a group of larger enemies, but the damage is negligible. Since it also costs you an Ability slot, you're not likely to use this later in the game. Cross-spec builds Finesse/Sorcery Arguably the best thing about a Finesse/Sorcery build is the bonus you receive from the mixed Destiny. Your dodge move is replaced with a Poison Blink (teleport) which doesn't just poison everyone in your path, but also gets you out of buggy situations when you are stuck behind an NPC. The bonus to Piercing Damage, Elemental Damage, and Critical Hits from the Destiny means you'll want to try out a Faeblade/Chakram build. The Chakrams usually do Elemental Damage and stagger a lot of enemies in front of you. When they get close, wipe them out with your Faeblade (or Dagger) combos. Then Blink a lot and use the special attacks to gain bonus Fate so you can Fateshift more often for bonus XP. In the process, you'll unlock the health siphoning Faer Gorta to control the crowd, meaning you won't need those points in Frost Traps or Bombs. Casting costs will also be low thanks to points in the Sorcery tree, and you'll have enough mana to sustain your active melee buffs from the Finesse tree. The downside to this build is that it can become a bit repetitive. Any direct damage spell from the Sorcery tree pales in comparison to the damage output from your weapons, and at best you'll hurl a lightning bolt here and there since you put a point in there to progress through the Sorcery tree. Because you won't have the required amount of ability points to unlock the high level fire and ice attacks, a lot of the battles are going to feel the same; expect a lot of button mashing and looking awesome while doing it. A more radical approach is to just ignore all the melee Weapon Mastery abilities from the Finesse tree in favor of bow abilities, and put points in the Sorcery tree to unlock Chakram bonuses, the upgraded Faer Gorta, and the Spheres of Protection. That way you usually don't have to worry about health, and it only costs you 80 mana once in a while to summon the critter again. The big drawbacks for this build are that you require a high level character to get the most out of this build, the lack of melee damage output, and the amount of points you'll have to put into Sorcery just to get that Faer Gorta and failsafe shield. You'll also lack the points to become a master Archer since you will no longer be able to unlock the ultimate Finesse Destiny which gives you the bonus to ranged damage. If you want to go ranged, you're better off focusing on damage output in the Finesse tree and Destinies. Finesse/Might If you're feeling particularly risky, combine your Faeblades or Daggers with the Might tree. What you'll want to go for here is the Battle Frenzy ability to deal increased damage as you slay enemies, and the upgraded Relentless Assault ability so you won't get interrupted and steal health with your quick strikes. The Finesse weapons will give you the speed to dish out a lot of damage, and since you won't put any points into any of the Might tree's weapon masteries, you'll gain some more durability from the other abilities. After all, you need to put points into something in order to unlock the higher level Might abilities. When you do run out of health, Adrenaline Surge kicks in to let you deal even more damage, at which point you can simply use Relentless Assault again to steal that health back. The reason for the Finesse weapons is that they are simply faster and tend to keep you close to your enemies, whereas the Greatsword will usually make encounters with more agile enemies very annoying. You won't die easily, but in order to benefit from a Battle Frenzy trigger it's better to stay close to your foes. The Piercing Damage from your weapons offsets the lack of a War Cry Might ability that reduces enemy armor, and the bonus to Critical Hits from the upgraded Adrenaline Surge is a killer combination with your crit-heavy weapons. For even more damage, throw a Smoke Bomb to stun a group and then destroy them with your +60% damage bonus against stunned enemies from Concussive Force. Ouch! Might/Sorcery This build has a few options. Pick your favorite Might weapon (Greatsword/Longsword/Hammer) and combine it with either the Scepter or the Chakrams as your ranged secondary weapon. You'll still want your typical Might build with extra health, resistance, and Relentless Assault. Battle Frenzy is an option, but with a slow weapon you might not find that much use for it depending on what types of enemies you are fighting. For the Sorcery tree, choose between an elemental branch or the trusty Faer Gorta. You should be beefy enough to not require the minion to distract anyone in combat, and he costs a lot of points to become effective. At best, you'll unlock Elemental Rage or Tempest -- the latter of which takes too long to cast to be effective for my liking. The benefit of going for Tempest is being able to use the Storm Bolt to stun enemies and close the distance. The Sphere of Protection might be a bit overkill unless you want to play as a tank. If you ask me, the Mark of Flame is too much hassle to cast and activate on a group, so why not try out the upgrade for Ice Barrage? Frostshackle increases damage, and adds to the freezing effect you could craft into your Might weapon. Enemies all around you will be even slower while your damage keeps increasing thanks to your Might abilities. Slow and steady wins the day! Might/Sorcery/Finesse As the Jack of All Trades, you're going to lose out on some of the more fun high-end abilities in each tree. At best, you'll wield a Might weapon for close range melee in combination with some Chakrams for long-range group attacks. You won't have enough points to fully unlock the Arrow branch, the Faer Gorta minion, or the elemental spells. The Universalist Destiny gives you a trophy/achievement and unlocks all the Weapon Mastery branches, meaning you can tailor your last few skill points to fit your weapons and attacks of choice. The +20% damage bonus to melee, ranged, and magic attacks is nice, but you'll likely find more enjoyment in focusing on two ability trees at the most -- if you want variety, just respec your build. Skills Whatever class you'll tailor for yourself, you'll want a few skills maxed out as soon as possible. In particular, Blacksmithing and Sagecrafting. Once you have enough cash from selling equipment (200K should be enough), start salvaging every single item you can. The most powerful equipment has to be crafted, especially if you are going on a melee route. I've seen a build that crit for over 3 million damage on the official forums, which is about 1,000 times more powerful than you need to be on Normal difficulty. Damage % components (Improved or Master Damaging Bindings) are a must, and for a nice overview of which weapons use what kind of components, check out this Wiki entry. One trick people seem to use a lot is saving, salvaging an item with the specs they want in a component, and reloading until they get a component with the right specs. Another option is to insert a gem into a socketable weapon, then salvage it. The stats the gem provides can transfer to a component. Also, buy Repair Kits. It's cheaper than paying for repairs, and as long as you only use them when an item is reaching critical durability, you should have enough on you at all times. If you are one of the 1%, buy every single items in a shop and salvage the whole lot. You're probably better off doing this in the higher level shops of the game, of course. Detect Hidden needs 5 points into it as soon as you can afford it. 2 points lets you see hidden treasures on the map, which is incredibly useful. 5 points lets you see Hidden Doors, which is also nice. You don't want to run around knowing there might be a piece of armor from a set behind that door you cannot open, do you? You can max out this skill if you want, which shows you all the treasures and lorestones on the map. If you tend to explore everything anyway, you won't need it. However, "collecting" all the lorestones of a type can give you a very nice permanent bonus, so it's up to you how anal you are about finding these map collectibles through mere exploring alone. Because you won't run out of gold, Alchemy is not a necessity for most players. There are enough vendors around to just buy your potions. Besides, you'll often just forget to use the buff potions or you won't even need them if you aren't playing on Hard. Just keep a few special ones in your backpack for the boss fights, and sell the rest. Lockpicking is useful for those locked chests, but you don't need a massive amount of points in this skill because lockpicking is easy. Simply try out if lockpicking works with the pick's initial position in the minigame, then try it 30 degrees to the right or left, and then try out the other side. 9 out of 10 times you'll find the right spot without losing too many picks. Dispelling is another matter. With 4 points into Dispelling, you won't get the "dark sigils" anymore -- the penalty icons that kick you out of the minigame. It can still be hard to time it right, so if you want to open every single chest, put some points in here. Mercantile is useless because you'll have enough gold. If you can spare it, just put 3 points into it so you get some gold whenever you have to discard white items in the middle of a dungeon. You'll feel less bad for destroying an item, and it lets you scan which items that are worth the least before you destroy them. Persuasion is a tricky one. It can open up some dialogue options, usually just leading to a little more gold or items you won't need. Sometimes it will save you part of a questline, but then you could lose out on XP from killing monsters along the way. Unless you are a terrible thief, you're not likely to ever have to bribe anyone for your crimes, so don't worry about that aspect of the Persuasion skill. If they bust you, just go questing in another area for a day or two. Just put points in Persuasion if you tend to go through all the conversation trees in Mass Effect. Finally, Stealth is only useful if you like to backstab enemies and steal items in the various Traveler faction quests. With a few points into Stealth, you shouldn't have much trouble stealing anything as long as you are patient enough to let the alert indicator fall back to 0%. Trainers Trainers give you an extra point in a skill, permanently. It costs you some cash, but you'll always have enough cash. Trainers only allow you to buy a skillpoint if you already have the required amount of skillpoints in that skill, and higher level trainers require higher levels of skill. One trick to game the system is to buy the skills you can, respec at a Fateweaver according to the trainer requirements, and then buy the rest of the skills that weren't available before. Finally, respec to your old build with the added bonus of extra permanent skillpoints. You can't exploit this by going to the same trainer 10 times in a row with this method, but it's a decent way to actually use all that gold you'll collect. It's also a bit lame and a slightly lengthy process, so it's up to you if you want to max out your character this way. Progressing through the storyline Finally(!), while you may have set out to create your ideal character based on those abilities and skills that match your playstyle, there is still one issue. Sidequests. There are hundreds of them! Chances are, you've played an RPG before and you don't mind a bit of reading, or you would never have made it this far. And in that case, you know you're going to accept all of those sidequests until you get sick of them. If you do that, you'll also likely ignore a few Story quests in favor of wrapping up the sidequests in the areas leading up to the Story quest locations. Don't. Complete a line of Story quests, and fulfill a handful of sidequests and Faction quests along the way so you don't end up being underleveled at a boss. The reason for doing so is that Story quests will give you a permanent Twist of Fate bonus. (The Faction quest lines do so as well.) After you've received one of these Twists of Fate, then by all means go wrap up your sidequests and ignore the Story for a while. Some of the early-to-mid game Twists of Fate give you bonuses like +5% XP, so you'll want to have that before you start spending 10 hours on doing various sidequests. The easiest solution is to just make the Twists of Fate the points in the game where you take a break from the storyline, and use the permanent bonus to get through sidequests a little faster. Above all else... Just have fun with it! Experiment. Make a build that lets you be a powerhouse without wearing pants. A respec is practically free since you end up with millions of gold near the end of the game, but you can always save and try. Of course, that would be a very inefficient usage of your precious videogame time. But Reckoning is about finding what "clicks" with your personal playstyle, so don't feel obligated to stick with a certain build just because it has a higher damage output. Fun trumps all aspects of building your character, especially when you're going to spend 70 hours.

The piece of Amalur we've seen in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning may only be a slice of the franchise plans for a larger world, but it's pretty damn big already. As with any role-playing game, it can help to know what kinds of...


The DTOID Show: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Review

Feb 07
// Max Scoville
Good morrow, beloved kinfolk of the ethereal scrollrealm of Destructoid. I, Maxus The Pasty-Waif, have returned from a scouting mission into the faraway land of Amalur. I was accompanied by my trusted sister-in-arms, T...

Kingdoms of Amalur gets special GameStop midnight release

Jan 31
// Victoria Medina
Regardless of how you feel about GameStop, you have to admit they have some pretty great promotions and incentives, like what they're doing for the Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning midnight release. Three different stores will h...

Big Huge Games discusses the visual design of Amalur

Jan 20
// Conrad Zimmerman
Here's another look into the development process which has gone into Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, as the gang at Big Huge Games talk about the opportunities and challenges in crafting a fantasy world from scratch. There's ...

Choke on some new Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning screens

Jan 19
// Jim Sterling
Here's a great big wad of screenshots for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, full of massive swords, bright colors and pointy ears. Some of these are old, some of them are new. All of them are worth checking out. After playing th...

Demo Jimpressions: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Jan 17 // Jim Sterling
What really intrigues me about the game, however, is the way in which it's added flexibility to a rather rigid, established set of concepts. At its core, there are three basic character types -- your mundane fighter, mage or rogue. However, these character archetypes can be mixed and matched using "Fate" cards that confer special class bonuses and abilities. For example, you could be a straightforward mage or rogue, or you could combine the two to become a stealthy warlock. Or you could mix rogue skills with the fighter's melee abilities to create a lightning-fast bruiser.  Switching up magic, melee and ranged attacks in combat is fluid and simple, and so far I have a hard time deciding what type of combat I like best. I am excited by the prospect of every character type, to say the least.  What Amalur seems to be doing is taking old fashioned ideas and giving them a fresh coat of paint. It's no great revolution, but it is a very promising way of injecting new life into familiar concepts. I'll need to spend more time with the game, which is out next month, but if it lives up to the demo's promise, this is definitely a brand new IP to keep a close eye on in 2012. Imagine Fable, but better and not full of totally unrealistic promises. That's the vibe I'm getting so far.

I've heard mixed things about Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Some say it's great, others feel a little disappointed. After spending time with the demo on Xbox Live, I'm not prepared to judge one way or another -- after all, i...


Good morrow, warriors of the realm! I know a lot of you are excited for Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning, so here's a little interview I did this week with the game's producer Andrew Frederiksen, from Big Huge Games. We di...


DTOID Show: Hands-on with Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Dec 08
// Max Scoville
Hey guys! Earlier this week, I got some hands-on time with Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning, the mutant brain-baby of fantasy author R.A. Salvatore, comic book artist Todd McFarlane, and Elder Scrolls series alumnus Ken Ro...

Kingdoms of Amalur's All-Star team shows off class system

Nov 11
// Kyle MacGregor
When Nick Chester previewed Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning earlier this year he made mention three-time World Series Champion Curt Schilling. The former MLB pitcher, much like many of us, is a lifelong gamer with aspirations ...

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning deals with destiny

Oct 31
// Jim Sterling
A new trailer for the incredibly good looking Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning has arrived, and it deals with destiny. More explicitly, it deals with the player's destiny and how it can be shaped during the course of the game.&...

E3: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning looks pretty damn great

Jun 06
// Maurice Tan
Big Huge Games showed off a tiny bit of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and it looks pretty good already. "A Hero is reborn ... to hunt his killer ... and change the fate of Amalur" the trailer said. And from the looks of it, t...

38 Studios has a PlayStation 3 RPG in the works

Oct 08
// Jordan Devore
Curious about what 38 Studios is up to these days? Yeah, same here. Ever since Rich Gallup enthusiastically spoke about the company's mystery projects at Giant Bomb's "Tour Legit Tour Quit" PAX 09 panel, I have been...

THQ scoops Big Huge Games into its loving arms

Jan 15
// Joseph Leray
Buying up developers and adding new fully-owned subsidiaries seems like the cool thing to do lately. Between the BioWare/Pandemic acquisition and ActiBlizzard, I feel like I need to find something to bring under my umbrella c...

Samus: I don't need no plasmids, bitch

Sep 04
// Leigh Alexander
Samus likes it on top, boys. Gamasutra and CVG are both reporting that Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is in the top spot on the all-format sales charts, possibly outdoing BioShock in its first week of sales.Actually, it looks pr...

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars beta confirmed

Jun 17
Straight from the development blog at the official site, comes news regarding the highly anticipated public beta of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars:  At long last, we are delighted to confirm the impendin...

AoE3 getting Asian expansion; Buddha git yer gun!

May 19
// Earnest Cavalli
With the massive geekgasm surrounding the official announcement of Starcraft 2, now would probably be the worst time to announce anything unrelated to Zerglings, Vespene Gas or the socio-political climate in the Korean penins...

Big Huge Games and THQ hold hands, making a next-gen RPG

May 03
// Nick Chester
THQ announced today that they've made nice with Maryland (what, what represent!) based developer, Big Huge Games. The mighty duo will be creating a brand new Role-Playing Game for release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and P...

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