With the Kingdoms of Amalur demo about to be released, Electronic Arts has thought up a deviously clever way to drum up some more interest in the new franchise: offer bonus content from the upcoming Mass Effect 3. Players who complete the demo for KoA: Reckoning will unlock two bonus items to be used in the full version of ME3. One is a special assault rifle called the Chakram Launcher that will apparently use explosive rounds. The second is a special suit of armor called the Reckoner Knight Armor, which increases both melee & ranged damage. This armor was also designed by Todd McFarlane.
I don’t really care much about the assault rifle. I’ll most likely be playing as an Infiltrator again (because I love using a sniper rifle & cloak), so I don’t think my Shepard will have access to it. That is, of course, assuming the weapon system works like ME2 where characters only carry the weapons their class is skilled in. That being said, it’s also likely my squadmates who can use assault rifles will have access to it.
The armor, on the other hand, looks very cool & the perks sound useful. Anything that increases your damage output is a safe bet. And since the third game is supposed to include more melee combat, the added melee damage should come in handy. My only complaint about the armor is the helmet is completely enclosed. A shallow reason, I know, but I like being able to see my character’s face. Hopefully players will be able to mix armor around like they could with some of the armors in ME2.
Playing through the demo is also supposed to unlock three items when you play the full version of Amalur: a Twist of Fate card, Twinned Soul Chakrams & the Infernal Helm. However, I couldn’t find any information on the specifics of those items. As well, a bonus armor called Shepard’s Battle Armor, based on the N7 armor, will be available with an online pass. This pass will be available in all new copies of the game, or can be purchased separately.
But the cross-promotion doesn’t stop there. Players who complete the Mass Effect 3 demo will unlock the Omniblade Daggers for use in Amalur. These dual daggers seemed to be designed after the Omniblade Shepard uses in ME3. They look pretty cool, but I have two issues with this promotion. One, BioWare has yet to announce the exact date the demo will be available (although I suspect it will be towards the end of January). Two, the demo is supposed to include both single & co-op gameplay. It’s not clear if players will have to complete both demos or just the single-player. If both are required, I can kiss this bonus goodbye because I only have a Silver account (I’m not paying a monthly subscription just to ignore other players).
This might seem like a strange move for EA, since the games are only connected by publisher, but I think it’s actually a good attempt to get people more interested in the new franchise. By enabling players to unlock content for a game that is already so popular, it will encourage those who might not have played the game otherwise to check it out. This means potentially more sales. And in a market where new ideas are becoming rare, anything to get people interested in unique games is welcome in my book.
The Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning demo will be available January 17.