A new ballgame for Curt Schilling: ‘Kingdoms of Amalur’

By Mike Snider, USA TODAY

Already a lord of the rings with three World Series bands, former Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling now has a kingdom to his credit.









Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the first game from 38 Studios, the development company he founded six years ago, arrives in stores Tuesday ($60, for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PCs, ages 17-up).

Schilling’s pitch for Reckoning: It has more action than the standard fantasy role-playing game.

MORE: A Q&A with Curt Schilling

In typical RPGs — you take the role of a warrior, magician or other class — the combat between your hero and adversaries has a detached feel, Schilling says. He charged the designers of Reckoning with making its fighting scenes as personal and smooth as those in adventure games such as God of War and even fighting games such as Mortal Kombat.

“I really believe we’ve created a first of its kind,” says Schilling, a longtime game player whose past pursuits include EverQuest and World of Warcraft. “We made (the combat) a lot closer to God of War than anything the genre has done before.”

Beyond those in-your-face fight scenes, the game has the depth of a traditional RPG. Reckoning is based on a 10,000-year Tolkienesque history written by best-selling author R.A. Salvatore (the Forgotten Realms series). Also part of the Reckoning fellowship: Spawn creator Todd McFarlane, who provided art direction, and game creator Ken Rolston, who oversaw the design of acclaimed games such as The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind and Oblivion.