Currently based out of Providence, RI (though they do have another location, Big Huge Games, in Baltimore, M.D), 38 Studios was founded by former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling in 2006. They are a company that excels in the development of a broad range of products, including online and console video games, toys, novels, comics, film, TV and other forms of digital media. The true test of the studio comes in the form of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, their first console game. There will be no middle ground for the game, which was released last Tuesday. It will either be great or flop. So far it seems to be the former.
Ken Rolston served as the lead designer for the game, a man who has worked on other greats such as Elder Scrolls III: Morrowmind and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. He, along with author R. A. Salvatore and Spawn creator Todd McFarlane worked together to create the game. With that in mind, one can only imagine the style of gameplay this game will have. Well, some of the reviews are in and here is what some online publications are saying about the game:
It’s an extremely well-crafted action role-playing experience with all the bells and whistles fans of the genre crave and countless hours of quality hack-and-slash entertainment in a fully-realized new fantasy world.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is nothing if not ambitious. The game is the initial point of entry into a new fantasy world that promises to span various media and game genres.
Deep, polished gameplay wrapped around an interesting and engulfing universe with all of the bells and whistles RPG and action game lovers crave spread across enough content to keep you busy for months.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning presents a world that is immaculately crafted and beautiful, yet still simple and accessible. Every corner reveals a person in need, a treasure to collect, a secret to uncover, a battle to wage. I don’t know how much more time I’ll spend in Amalur (dozens of hours? hundreds?), but I plan on savoring every minute.
Be mindful, however, that these are only some of the reviews available out there. Don’t take these for granted as it seems the game is well worth the time and effort to play. It even scored an 80 on Metacritic, which combines and averages review scores from various sources. Read more reviews and read user reviews to get a feel for the game. Go on and play the demo if you must, just remember, all games are innocent until proven guilty.