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Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Posted by GG Goblin On March - 2 - 2018

A Medieval action RPG. What? No Dragons?

 
Warhorse Studios’ Kingdom Come: Deliverance, which can be picked up on PC, Xbox One and PS4, tempts gamers with what is an incredibly epic title. It sounds almost biblical, and certainly gives the impression that it should only be played by those who want to save the world from some kind of evil force. However, the reality of this action RPG is somewhat more sedate, offering a more realistic jaunt through Medieval life around the year 1400. It was a fairly grim and gritty time, and as such Kingdom Come: Deliverance has its fair share of grim and grit. There are some more light-hearted moments as well in the game, but I am not so sure how many of those were intentional.

 
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KC:D casts players into the muddy boots of Henry, your average son of a Blacksmith. Henry’s life was pretty laid back before the player takes the reigns, and begins fairly innocuously with a few errands for Henry to run. Nothing too taxing, at least until an army attacks the village, killing Henry’s family and friends, forcing him to flee and then vow revenge. This all happens fairly quickly in the game, and sets the player up with a clear objective for the rest of their adventure, alongside a whole gamut of different side quests and distractions, both mundane and exciting.

 
That is how the game is supposed to start, anyway. For me, it started a little differently. Sure, I made my way through the early, multi-part missions that show up on an easy to use map, making it quite simple for the player to find where they needed to be. However, at one point I came across a locked chest and, already having some handy lock picks, decided that I would help myself to the contents. The problem arose in that, despite a small and very unhelpful tutorial, I could not get the lock picking mechanic to work. Then the owner walked in, discovered me, and I found myself running from the law. It’s not the first time this has happened in a game, so I figured I would try out the old “hide until they hopefully forget about you” trick. Turns out they have long memories in this game, and Henry got caught. He was then presented with the choice of paying a fine or spending the night in a cell. Not having any money, I chose the cell, figuring “how bad could it be”? Yeah, they put me in the cell, I missed the invasion that is the key beginning point of Henry’s adventure, and got burned to death.

 
But I did get an achievement for dying during the first mission. Yay me!

 
That embarrassing start to my Medieval life came down to an obtuse mechanic. That being said, the reality is that picking locks is probably a little more difficult than wiggling sticks on a controller, and Kingdom Come: Deliverance prides itself on injecting that realism into the game. Players will have to keep an eye on Henry’s hunger, with over-eating being as detrimental as starving, and his tiredness. Players will even have to consider how dirty he and his clothes are, with the way other characters react to Henry being affected by how he looks.  There are some lovely little touches that make the game feel more involved than the majority of open world RPGs out there.

 
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Like the fact that Henry is no hero, just an average guy that has been thrown into a chaotic world. He has no super powers or masterful skills that will help him in his quest for vengeance, so it will have to be a case of learning on the job. A nice selection of skill trees that become available give Henry that chance to improve himself, and Henry earns experience in given skills by using those skills, be it with the various different weapons in the game, or the much maligned lock picking.

 
The combat is a big deal in KC: D, with a whole lot of fighting between Henry and his ultimate revenge. Of course, the game gives players plenty of choice in how they approach situations, but knowing which weapon is best against plate armour, and how to string a nice combo together will get the player out of some sticky situations. The combat is much more based on skill than simple button mashing, and players will find themselves having to pick their battles carefully rather than running in, sword swinging. Players choose the direction of their swing and block by watching the stance of their opponent, similar to For Honor. Time the swings right and pull off impressive combos, while missing a block and allowing an enemy to start their own combo will do the player no favours. With perks unlocked and new moves available down the line, the combat’s complexity doesn’t let up, forcing the player to struggle for every victory.

 
This realism will not be for everyone. I must admit I spent more than a few minutes looking to the skies in the game, hoping that I would see a Dragon or some dark, magical cloud. And some of the things that Henry will have to do will seem a little boring. There are also more than a few bugs and glitches in the game, not that I came across anything game breaking. In fact, some of the graphical glitches added a level of comedy that helped raise the dour atmosphere of the game. Some of the awkward mechanics however, are just plain frustrating.

 
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is set in a nice looking world. It is large and expansive, and there is plenty to look at. The buildings are nicely created, fitting in with the authenticity that the game strives for. However, the close up visuals are not always as shiny as players would expect in a game like this. The audio work is mostly good, although some of the voices are not of the highest standard.

 
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Players who are looking for an authentic medieval experience would do well to consider Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Sure, it has a few obtuse mechanics and the occasional glitch, but it is very large, quite involving and really does feel like the struggle that life would have been in the 1400s. However, if you struggle to imagine your adventures featuring mundane tasks while lacking magic or monsters, then Warhorse Studios’ open-world action RPG may not be the best choice.

 

 ★★★★★★½☆☆☆ 



 

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