Review: Kingdoms of Amalur – Reckoning (PS3)

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Bethesda Softworks’ first Elder Scrolls game, Arena, took FRPGs by storm in ’94 packaging an entire continent on a set of eight 3.5″ discs requiring only 25MB of space on your hard drive and experiencing it all in first-person.

The randomly generated terrain and quest system created the illusion of endless adventure spanning a vast wilderness rife with cities, isolated towns, secrets, swamps, and barren deserts. Nearly 20 years later, new entries into the series herald hundreds of hours of lost productivity and countless memes as players take extended vacations into the worlds that Bethesda crafts under its banner.

Others have also tried, with varying success, to emulate that success and now 38 Studios’ freshman effort has boldly staked its own claim. After years in development and with EA taking on the publishing duties on this sandbox, history could be repeating itself.
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Review: Red Dead Redemption

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Six-shooters, riding into the sunset and a steely-eyed lone hero walking slowly to the twang of Ennio Morricone-style music in the background — these are the things that come to mind when you think of Westerns.

Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption knows this, but it also sports an acute awareness of time and culture. It finds a way to romanticize the days of the “Wild West” while ominously reminding us of the era’s mortality. It’s not content to simply be a Western for the gaming set, but a comprehensive, compelling ode to a bygone time.

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