Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - The Legend of Dead Kel DLC Review
Developers: 38 Studios and Big Huge Games
Publisher: 38 Studios and Electronic Arts
Genre: Action RPG
World Release Date: March 20, 2012
Trophies: Total: 5 / 1 / 0 / 4
Release Price: $10.00 USD
The Legend of Dead Kel DLC brings in a few specifically pirate themed extras into Kingdoms of Amalur. First off, you have an entire new island to explore known as Gallows End, where you go in search for the pirate Dead Kel. Also, the DLC will introduce new enemies and loot to acquire while expanding the story and lore of Amalur. However, one draw back from the DLC is that you will not be able to gain access to the new content until you are level 10 and have reached the eastern city of Rathir, further into the game.
Everything that you love about the gameplay in Kingdoms of Amalur remains the same here with The Legend of Dead Kel. Combat and combos will all work virtually the same, with nothing being expanded upon in terms of new abilities or skills. The developers stuck with the saying, "If it's not broken, then why fix it" here in this regard so expect the same experience, but take note in case you wanted more.
The new enemies you will encounter are known as Scavs, which are parasitic vermin creatures with scythe-like limbs and the ability to fire acid sludge at you. There will be nothing exceptionally new or difficult to challenge you here by these critters. Some new versions of other monsters will also be seen in the game, but this only consists of alternate skins. Other than the Scav enemies, you will encounter barely a handful of new bosses and the same generic NPCs for the most part.
Enough is enough! I've had it with these mother-bleeping Scavs, on my monkey-jumping DLC!
The biggest addition in The Legend of Dead Kel, you will find, is the Gravehal Keep. This, at first, is just a random old fort that has become completely infested with some monsters. Once you have cleared them out, you are capable of slowly restoring it with new NPCs and upgrades making for a very nice home to store items, among other things to do. As the game progresses and more time is invested into the Keep, you will gain even more content such as bonus loot and quests.
You will gain a quest related to the DLC Legend of Dead Kel as soon as you load up any game save or start a new game. However, as mentioned before you must be level 10 before you can "officially" partake it. Simply speak with the relevant NPCs in Rathir and you are told of the pirate, Dead Kel, terrorizing ships and taking away certain supplies. Accept their mission to bring Dead Kel to justice and once you are ready, you will board a ship with a new NPC named Captain Brattigan. The Legend of Dead Kel's story starts to roll as you're caught up and become ship wrecked onto Gallow's End. Ofcourse, you wake up on the shore, surrounded with debris and left stranded, but proceed on to take care of your mission.
From here the story continues, sending you on different quests to find out what you can about Dead Kel and ultimately find a way back to Amalur. You will engage in a decent storyline, nearly on par with the main quests of Kingdoms of Amalur, and can definitely get hooked into the search for the pirate. Some sidequests and additional secret content make the DLC even more entertaining for the exploring types of players, but can be skipped if solely in it for the main questline. One draw back is that the DLC is relatively short and may be completed in under a few hours or even in a single sitting if played through heavily. For what it adds, players will enjoy the new missions and find it well worth the price alone for the extended story.
I don't like the looks of this place ...
You will encounter new dungeons within Gallow's End and will enjoy the new zones that encompass it. However, if you are playing a higher level character, most of the enemies will be somewhat weak and the loot not as great as some of the later game gear you may already possess. If you start the DLC around level 10-20, you may find that it is more enjoyable and worth the challenge, as well as being able to use the loot found to it's full potential. Keep in mind, everything will be relatively pirate themed through The Legend of Dead Kel and may fit closer to different players interests more so than to others.
Technically, this DLC pack of Dead Kel feels identical to the standard game content. You will notice the same clipping issues, but overall, you will not see any game-breaking glitches or problems occurring. The soundtrack is still on par with the original masterpiece of Kingdoms of Amalur as well for those attracted by the score of the game. Nothing really notable is brought in or adjusted with The Legend of Dead Kel DLC, but retains the normal system. You will have no worries of installing your extra content and begin seeing game freezes or backwards flying dragons.
Overall, this game does everything good that it does add in. The pirate theme fits nicely into the world of Amalur and is definitely a nice experience. Dead Kel, himself, is a bit of a let down in the DLC. I expected a bit more from him and his general appearance. Everything else does the Pirate theme very well and works great.
You only have a handful of trophies added in with this DLC, that weren't originally included with the PS3 version of the game, however that has been patched in. Nearly all of the trophies involve multiple collections or questlines to accomplish, and none are story related. You will find yourself collecting secret items that add to the story or just adventuring to complete sidequests. Only one actual trophy requires grinding - simply kill 50 scavs - however that may come through normal progress of the game.
The Legend of Dead Kel is a very fun and worthwhile expansion to the Kingdoms of Amalur world. Players will find themselves immersed into the story behind it and enjoy virtually every minute of gameplay as they track down Dead Kel himself. You will acquire some new loot for the early players, but have the end-game Gravehal Keep home to enjoy and tinker with. This proves to be a technically sound DLC pack as well and will briefly extend your adventures of Amalur. Price wise, some may feel it isn't justified, but for the additional story and fun factor I felt it didn't demean my experience that heavily or lower the overall scoring.
The gameplay is still very fun and addicting for those that love the original Kingdoms of Amalur. You will find new gear and loot to further upgrade your character while exploring to uncover hidden secrets and treasures.
Fantastic story missions are included in this DLC pack. Numerous additional sidequests to keep players entertained after they have completed the main questline of Dead Kel as well and capable of interacting with some new faces.
This DLC is technically sound and functions very similar to the standard Kingdoms of Amalur experience. Nothing new is really added, but the developers left everything intact coding wise to ensure the game plays correctly.