Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning: The Legend of Dead Kel

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning: The Legend of Dead Kel Steven McGehee Hot

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Written by Steven McGehee     March 26, 2012    
 
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The first DLC pack of what will likely be several for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning has arrived. The Legend of Dead Kel features more quality content for an already massive game.

The Legend of Dead Kel (TLODK) is about a dead pirate named Kel and his crew, and is more about new content as opposed to new gameplay. The expansion opens up a new area on the expansive Amalur map. Located to the north of the main continent and just across the Frostbreak Sea lies Gallow's End, where Dead Kel takes place.

 

KoARKel-1

I think he's saying Yyyyarr.

While you can answer the call of the Alfar Merchant Navy no matter what level you are, it's recommended that you be at least a level ten before embarking to Gallow's End. This is because there are some stout enemies, and players cannot leave the island until some of the new quest line has been completed. Even after completing the main quest it's worth pointing out that you cannot fast travel between Gallow's End and the main continent. Just bear that in mind and load up on potions and you should be in good shape to enjoy the new enemies and environment that Gallow's has to offer.

The main quest of TLODK is fairly short, but as with the original game, there are numerous, intriguing side quests. Gallow's End is home to many unique and prestigious items that can be yours by completing quests, defeating bosses, or purchasing them from merchants. The Flotsam Chakrams have been awesome, as has the Pothole Buckler. The bosses seemed to be the only new enemies, except for the Scavs, but there are variations of enemies from the main campaign, such as the trolls, boggarts, brownies, and barghasts.

But not everyone that you meet is your enemy -- there are also lots of new NPCs to chat with. As you may recall from Amalur, the amount of dialogue options available for most conversations is quite a bit, and that's the case with Dead Kel, too. NPCs are happy to share with you how they arrived to Gallow's End and about how the legend of Dead Kel began.

 

KoARKel-2

They don't much care for strangers.

You might find yourself settling down for a while in Gallow's End yourself thanks to an impressively large new estate that you can commandeer by defeating a tough boss character. Gravehal Keep is yours for the taking to sleep, change appearance, and store items in. That's nice, but even better is that you can renovate the estate, which has multiple buildings, over time. Players can actually higher NPCs to fulfill various jobs such as a beast trainer, scout, and battle master. The beast trainer can provide you with up to three pets. While the beasts, or pets, do not physically fight alongside you in battle, they do provide you with statistical boosts. The battle master runs a combat arena from which you can spawn an enemy of your choosing and earn rewards by completing challenges, great for practicing tactics. The scout will scour shipwrecks and return with items, seeing what loot he discovered is always a fun little surprise.

Should you desire, you can also hire a painter, librarian, and diplomat at Gravehal Keep. The librarian is used to translate ancient texts that provide skill boosts. The diplomat is pretty cool -- they can negotiate item trades with other islands or even spy on them for you. The painter will create fanciful works of art to liven up the appearance of Gravehal Keep. There is also a Throne Room where your subjects ask for your assistance by offering up new quests.

 

KoARKel-3

Gravehal Keep is a major part of this DLC.

At some point I should drop in a few numbers, so here we go: three new Twists of Fate, nine new armor sets and shields, and eighteen new unique weapons come with Dead Kel. Take all of this additional new content and combine it with a basic, but interesting new tale about a legendary pirate, and you have an impressive content-loaded expansion. There is no level cap increase or new abilities, or really any changes to the core gameplay, just in case you were hoping or expecting that.

To the summary...

Editor reviews

The Legend of Dead Kel is a quality five-plus hour expansion that is fairly priced. Fans of Reckoning should strongly consider it, unless they're holding out for a eventual re-release of Reckoning with all DLC included.
Overall rating 
 
8.8
Gameplay 
 
9.0
Presentation 
 
9.0
Value  
 
8.0
Fun Factor 
 
9.0
Tilt 
 
9.0
Steven McGehee Reviewed by Steven McGehee March 26, 2012
Last updated: March 27, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (941)

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning: The Legend of Dead

The Legend of Dead Kel is a quality five-plus hour expansion that is fairly priced. Fans of Reckoning should strongly consider it, unless they're holding out for a eventual re-release of Reckoning with all DLC included.

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Gameplay
No major gameplay changes, but it does open up another area on the massive Amalur map, along with new enemies, friendly NPCs, a huge estate for you to live in and manage, new items, and so forth. It's more quality content for a game that was already stacked with it.
Presentation
I really liked the presentation package from the original game and this is obviously just a take from that, so, it's mighty impressive.
Value
Not bad at all for $10, assuming of course you enjoy the original game and don't plan to get the eventual Game of the Year or complete edition of Reckoning which is likely due out within a year (totally guessing, but things are looking that way). Expect a solid 4-6 hours or more of content here, depending on your playing style.
Fun Factor
I liked that this expansion wasn't all about finding Dead Kel and getting new items. The inclusion of Gravehal Keep was a great idea and it's fun hiring NPCs to fill jobs and being rewarded for doing so.
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