The Legend of Dead Kel (LoDK) is the first expansion pack for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (KoA:R). Featuring a whole new island to explore, new enemies to fight and new items to find, LoDK is is more of the same with some new, exciting bits that aren’t as fleshed out as I’d like.
You are recruited to put an end to the dead pirate Kel, who is once again terrorizing the seas after being killed by the navy. So you set out and wash up on shore after a shipwreck. Of course, you wind up on Gallows End, the lair of Dead Kel. From there your adventure starts; tracking down Dead Kel is you primary mission but, like the rest of the game, there are numerous side quests to keep you occupied.
If you are diggin’ on KoA:R, you will be diggin’ on this expansion pack. You have more side quests. New enemies to fight. New bosses. New items. Everything you would expect to find in an expansion pack.
This is a pirate themed quest, but it is not overly cheesy. It is more Pirates of the Caribbean and less Cutthroat Island. During your hunt for Dead Kel, you will come upon a fixer-upper stronghold, called Gravehal Keep. By pouring money into it, and doing quests to find the materials, you eventually upgrade the keep. The upgrades include an armory, a library, and a full courtyard replete with an arena.
You will also find a diplomat, a scout, a couple of merchants, a weapons master, a beast tamer, a librarian, and an artist to round out your keep. The diplomat can be sent to neighboring areas to spy, trade, or pay tribute. The scout will salvage shipwrecks. The beast tamer will allow you to recruit monsters who will give you bonuses, such as improved poison resistance. Once completed, you can sit in Gravehal Keep and listen to your subjects and solve problems for them. Sadly, this whole new mechanic doesn’t hold up as well as I’d hope.
When you send the diplomat, you wait 24 hours until she returns and tells you whether you succeeded or failed. Same with the scout. There really is little to do other than send them then come back to collect the loot. Occasionally, the scout will fail and you will have to go collect the goods yourself, which means fighting the monsters that chased him off.
The biggest flaw is sitting in on your subjects problems. They will give you minor quests that you must accomplish to solve their problems, and you can only do one at a time. They are basically fetch quests or solving little problems. While the controls and gameplay functions correctly, I just found it to be a good idea that was just kind of slapped on. It has no real bearing on anything. I would have liked to have seen a more fully fleshed out experience.
Overall, LoDK is a large, time consuming expansion that fires on most cylinders. I enjoyed it immensely and have high hopes that they will put out at least one more expansion of this quality for the game. I just wish they would have raised the level cap (which sits at 40) and would have fleshed out the Gravehal segments. Like most games, when you hit the level cap it’s hard to continue playing. Come on, raise the level cap!