Posted: February 27
My brief take on KoA: I recommend this game if you enjoy action RPGs in fantasy settings. Having said that, I should point out that I haven't actually finished the main quest, and have been on a hiatus from the game for a couple of months, but I am looking forward to getting back to it in the not too distant future. I've started the game with a couple of different characters in order to see how different choices and character builds affect progress, and I feel like doing that has been reasonably rewarding, although there are not many choices with significant ramifications (they typically relate to which reward you get for completing a task or side quest).
I do recommend you wait to get it and its DLC on sale.
My less brief take:
For me, this game's strengths are an open world that's fun to explore and nicely designed, a combat system that encourages players to try different combat styles, fairly engaging stories within the main quest and the factional side quests, and some interesting/funny NPCs, particularly in those factional side quests. I'm sure I could have finished the main quest in the amount of time I've played, but I really liked doing the factional quests and spent a lot of time on the Legend of Dead Kel DLC. That was among my favorite storylines in the whole game, at least so far, which is why I recommend getting the DLCs in addition to the base game.
The most noticeable weaknesses are that the simple side missions can get repetitive, inventory and crafting could have been designed better and crafting is not very useful until you've leveled your crafting-related skills up somewhat, and there'll come a point where your character and weaponry is leveled up past the point where combat is very challenging in most instances. (On that last point, take a look at the article on the Amalur wiki that describes the "Area-Level Cap" - apparently you can compensate for this to some extent if you want to amend your play style to do so.)
I bought a discount bundle containing Steam keys for the base game and the two story expansion DLCs from another online retailer; I paid about 25% of the current full price of $40 for the collection. I certainly feel I've got my money's worth so far; I'm not sure I'd recommend paying full price for it, but it does go on sale on Steam pretty often, and it's definitely $20 worth of entertainment if not a bit more.
If you're considering buying the game, you may be wondering why the game doesn't have a great deal of name recognition, and whether that lack of recognition reflects the overall quality of the game. While it has shortcomings, I think the game was unlucky in that (a) it was somewhat overlooked upon release because it was viewed as competing with Skyrim, though the two games are pretty different in terms of tone and overall experience and (b) the developer went bust in a very public fashion not too long after release, which I think cast something of a pall on the game's ongoing reputation, or at least did not help it any. If you like open world action RPGs and are willing to overlook some minor flaws, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by this game.
If someone buys the game's intellectual property, I'd love to see either a sequel in similar format, or further development of the idea for the MMO that was supposed to succeed KoA.