Curt Shilling, a retired baseball player who founded a videogame company after his retirement. I get the impression that Mr. Shilling wanted a game, so he took his money and gave it people until they released Reckoning.
There's also a whole bunch of big names attached to the game. Ken Rolston, an experienced game director with titles like Oblivion and Morrowind under his belt. R.A Salvatore, a best selling author with a lot of experience writing for the Fantasy genre (if the popularity of Drizzt is anything to go by). And Todd "let's make everything look scary" McFarlane, who spawned Spawn (and also drew some pretty terrible Spiderman comics back in the day).
But how does it all fit together? I have had a lot of trouble finding the words to describe that answer, and I'm going to settle on "potentially awesome while still being fun".
The combat is arcadey, theres no doubt about that, but there were times when I'd get a nice sense of satisfaction out of beating a roomful of baddies without getting hit, weaving between foes with a light blade before switching to a hammer to put the smackdown on someone.
I settled on a Might/Sorcery build that gave me the ability to bash baddies with a greatsword, but also wield magical chakrams and spells to affect larger areas. The thing is though, you can visit a Fateweaver to reset all your point allocations for a fee, and then try out a completely different build, if you feel like it.
The world feels a bit too spaced out, like it was designed for multiple players instead of one character running around in it. A leftover from it's roots as an MMO maybe?
What about the story though, I mean, this is a Role-Playing game, what's the role you play? Reckoning puts you in the shoes of the Fateless One, the result of an experiment to defeat death. Everyone in the world of Amalur is governed by fate, but by dying and coming back, you have somehow detached yourself from the tapestry of fate, and can change the fates of others. This serves as an explanation for the aforementioned ability to reset your skills, seeing as how you are no longer governed by fate.
So you have this interesting concept in an admittedly huge world, but what Reckoning falls short on is delivering a well paced or even sometimes coherent story. The main questline itself is such a slow burn, combined with the multitudes of sidequests that proceeded to get me sidetracked, everything just seemed like it took too long to get into gear.
When the main plot does get going though, it has some pretty epic moments. And while the world is definitely fleshed out, I failed to feel anything for any of the characters. I mean hell, I loved the characters in Saints Row the Third, but the cast of Reckoning failed to give me anyone to relate to, or even care about. What Reckoning needed was an Alistair or a Varric. (No gold star for you, Mr. Salvatore)
Maybe if they had taken out 50% of the sidequests and used that time to polish the main story, there would be something here. As it stands its bland and has been done to death.
TLDR version: Reckoning is a decent RPG with some fun and interesting combat. It's not going to break any molds or win any awards for groundbreaking mechanics, and it definitely could have used some more polish in the story department.
However, I got the story of how my girlfriend slaughtered an entire inn of people by accident, because she didn't know she was stealing a book off a shelf. She felt bad for a little while, then proceeded to go back to bashing things with a hammer.