The Elite Institute’s ‘impressions’ series are not full reviews of titles. As we pride ourselves on providing in-depth reviews for games that we have beaten or completed, our ‘impressions’ instead focus on providing you with details on the game along with our general thoughts on the title, to help shape your opinion. This means that there will be no score, but we can hopefully give you an idea of the quality.

The reasons for doing an ‘impressions’ rather than a full review vary: perhaps it’s a genre that we don’t feel comfortable reviewing due to gaming tastes, maybe it’s too hard or too bad that we are unable to make it through, or maybe even it’s a game that just doesn’t really have an end goal.

Many thanks to THQ Nordic for the game code.


The Xbox 360 era was a grand old time (well, once Microsoft fixed its red ring of death issue). There were some fantastic titles during that generation, and it was that console that properly introduced me to RPGs. 

Whilst I’m not exactly a huge fan of them, I did play some great titles, including: Dragon’s Dogma, Eternal Sonata, Skyrim, Blue Dragon, Fable, and so on. Many of those received remasters for the current generation, allowing me to revisit them and reassess them with my more cultured gaming tastes, but others were sadly left behind.

Last year saw the release of Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning – a game that I never expected to get a remaster. It got overlooked on its original release, so I expected it to be forgotten to time. Needless to say, I was thrilled to play it again.

Due to my familiarity with the original, it would be unfair of me to grade the title on its own merits as I have a fair bit of nostalgia for the original. As such, an impressions is more appropriate as I will be able to demonstrate how much of a fun action RPG it is without stressing over an actual score.

Death is usually the end, but for you it is the beginning. The game starts out with you being carried away by mortuary staff to be dumped on the pile of bodies caused by the violent war raging on by the Tuatha. As your dwarven escorts carry you, you get to use the character creator to choose who you want to be. There are lots of options to play around with, much like the best RPGs, so you can probably waste hours here getting your character just right. 

After waking up on the pile of corpses with no memory of who you are (you are dead, after all), you quickly learn that you were resurrected by the Well of Souls: a device designed to make war pointless by revitalising the dead. Very fantasy, if also a little stupid. Not only are you undead (ex-dead?), but you quickly learn that you also have no fate either – making you completely free to choose the path forward and shape the world around you.

It’s an intriguing setup, and is pretty captivating all the way through. The dialogue is really well written, complete with voice acting – although the protagonist unfortunately lacks any VA of their own, which I found to be quite off-putting. This great dialogue extends to all the sidequests too, and there are many of interesting characters and quests designed to tear you away from the beaten path. Whilst the actual tasks themselves are nothing special, the theming around them motivates you to seek out as many as possible.  


Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning is an action RPG with an open world to explore. Unlike something like Skyrim though, areas typically are introduced to you at a comfortable pace, rather than dumping you in the middle of nowhere and expecting you to find your own way. This linear opening works to the game’s favour as it introduces you to the key races, as well as the general gameplay mechanics. Even side quests in the opening area encourage you to utilise things like shops and crafting to help you feel comfortable with how the game plays.

Quickly (or at least quickly for an RPG), the game will then send you off in varying directions, with side quests leading you to different areas of the map completely, allowing you to choose where you want to go. If you want to follow the main story and work out just what is going on with your fate then you can do, or you can do some side stuff that can net you some extra goodies and help your character level up.

Combat is pretty straightforward for the most part, with your character having access to a dodge attack in addition to two main weapons and some magical attacks. Everything controls fast and fluid, making combat a breeze. Your character can follow a particular class depending on your playstyle, and there are various weapon and armour builds that will help compliment your build. I opted for a stealth archer (boring, I know), and the Faeblades and Bow proved to be a great fit for that. Using the game’s skill tree I could help boost my character’s strength and sneak damage, whilst also soaking my weapons in some deadly poison to help make things go down quicker. The great thing about the game is that you’re never tied down to one build, and the ease of altering your fate to a completely different playstyle meant that I could turn into a heavy brute or a warlock with little effort if I ever felt the desire to do so – which I didn’t, of course.

It’s a pretty compelling game and the amount of content on offer can be pretty overwhelming, easily lasting over 100 hours for the completionists out there. it can be quite dated in places, with an archaic dialogue system and a visual style that just screams Xbox 360 RPG, but any fans of the genre who hasn’t tried the game before should have a good time with the game.

Below shows some footage from early on in the game, and nothing from the main quest for those wanting to avoid spoilers. Take a look and if it seems of interest, then you may want to add this to your wishlist!