Saturday, April 14, 2012

A drop in RPG

For all my complaining about the 'game-ness' of Amalur versus the 'world-ness' of Skyrim, Amalur certainly makes the hours fly by almost as well. I find myself grouping side and guild quests by area instead of following one arc until it is done. This works both because there are quite a few quests in every area and because they are in now way connected to each other. The most interesting one so far was a fetch quest that morphed into the quest giver trying to sacrifice me using the items that I got for him. He just didn't understand why I wouldn't comply; he assumed that I knew that the seeds I was gathering were for plants that spawned pixies whose first urge would be to rend the tender flesh from by bones. How in the world did I miss that.

What little plot I have uncovered so far centers on an immortal race, the fae, becoming annoyed with the mortal races and attempting to wipe them out. I am sure there is going to be more to it than that, but it seems kind of silly to me. If you knew that you couldn't die, and that even if you were 'killed' you would simply reappear somewhere else, why bother with messiness of war? Let the ravages of time do the work for you. You still get what you want, don't have to deal the weapons and armor and blood and all that, and in the mean time you can watch the mortals destroy themselves. Schadenfreude is the only joy an immortal being has.

It doesn't really matter. I am not playing Amalur for the main or sub-stories. I am playing it because the actual act of playing the game is fun. The combat forces the use of more than one or two skills, there is a reasonable flow of new items and armor (though I have read that this tapers of at higher levels), and it just plain looks good. It is not a sandbox, and I cannot do whatever I want, but it is a very good guided tour through an amusement park where even waiting in line gives me something to do or look at.

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