Nostalgic Gaming – Kingdom of Alamur Re-Reckoning
About a week ago, we got our review code for Kingdom of Alamur Re-Reckoning on the Xbox One. Because of a few code delivery issues, we didn’t the chance to start playing the game until after reviews for the re-release had already dropped. Based on the score sand comments I was seeing, I was incredibly nervous to boot this experience up. It was reviewing so badly.
And it was my plan to review it like everything else we get here at GamesReviews, and sadly, was anticipating that the game wouldn’t live up to what I remember, and that this re-release would be an utter disappointment. Boy was I wrong, and hence why I’m providing to you today…”Nostalgic Gaming – Kingdom of Alamur Re-Reckoning.”
If you’ve never played or heard of Alamur before, here is a bit of a primer. A group of folks are running experiments on the dead, hoping to bring them back to life. Until yourself, the tests have been wildly unpopular. You buck the trend, come back to life, and all hell breaks lose in the realm of Alamur. You then set off on an epic question of sorts, looting and upgrading as you go, through the end of the game which should take about 30 or 40 hours. Along the way you will meet interesting folks with side quests for you to complete, hoards of baddies, easy and hard, and lot sof other interesting things. For all intents and purposes, it is an epic quest that, when it was released, recieved some really high priase.
And it’s obvious why, because at the time of the original release, Kingdom of Alamur was a technical juggernaut, harnessing all the console power at the time and producing an excellent RPG. Back when it originally released in 2012, the game received a favourable 80% on Metacritic. So what’s changed in 2020 that lowers the games review score so much?
The reality is, very little. It is what wasn’t added that really irked some reviewers. Re-reckoning was billed by some to be a complete remaster of the game from the ground up – something the development team never promised, I do not believe – but when the game landed with reviewers, they got an HD upgrade on the original, all the DLC bundled in, and not a whole lot else. Think about the upgrades Nintendo made to their old 3D Mario games, and then apply that to Kingdom of Alamur. But why does one get such high praise, while the other does not?
It could be because Kingdom of Alamur isn’t a Nintendo title. It could be that we all give Nintendo a longer leash. It also could be that Alamur doesn’t carry the same level of love that Super Mario 64, Sunshine, and Galaxy do. After a solid 25 hours with the campaign and side quests, however, and I can safely say that Kingdom of Alamur is an epic nostalgic journey for myself, and one I wouldn’t have wanted to miss.
Although I wasn’t in the games press back in 2012, had I scored the game a 90 then, it probably would be a 90 now. Brining Kingdom of Alamur to modern consoles with all the DLC was less about rebuilding the title to fit 2020, and more about making the experience accessible to everyone. That is how I think most remakes and rereleases should be judged. It’s not always about brining something right up to date, but about opening up that experience to long-time fans and new players.
And on that front, the development team delivered in spades. Sure, Kingdom of Alamur isn’t without it’s issues and faults, and although the team did a lot to fix any bugs and issues present in the original, new issues have cropped up from time-to-time. And yes, a bit more could have been done to bring much needed quality of life changes to the experience, especially when navigating the archaic menus. Kingdom of Alamur on Xbox One is not a perfect re-released, but one I’m happy to own and excited to finish. And that’s why it’s getting a solid 8.5/10 from us.