Title: Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One (reviewed)
Developer: Warhorse Studios
Publisher: Deep Silver/Warhorse Studios
Release date: Out now
tl;dr: Witcher 3-lite. With glitches.
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Kingdom Come: Deliverance takes place during a war in Bohemia in 1403. After Cuman mercenaries have raided the mining village of Skalitz on the orders of Hungarian king Sigismund, and by the same token massacred the village, a sole survivor escapes: Henry. Fueled by vengeance, the game’s protagonist joins up with Lord Radzig Kobyla and his army of resistance who’s looking to push back Sigismund’s invasion. Not one to rest on his laurels, Henry also lends a hand in restoring Bohemia’s rightful king.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a first person open world RPG where players start off in the Skalitz village running errands for Henry’s father as he needs to finish making a sword for a friend of his. Running around the village acts as the game’s tutorial as you’ll learn basic gameplay mechanics such as negotiating, fighting and decision making during certain conversations.
The game’s combat is spotty. Hand to hand combat feels random and unresponsive. Early fights requires players to use their fists and half the time, controls aren’t that responsive and you end up on the receiving end of a knuckle sandwich. One interesting feature is that with the right joystick, you can “aim” where you want to punch. While it won’t mean anything when your opponent is blocking, it makes sword combat more fun and strategic; especially when building up a three or four hit combo.
One of the fun things of the game is the ability to choose answers during certain conversations with NPCs. While it’s nothing new, it makes for fun or frustrating results based on the reaction from the other party. Trying to bully someone who has more influence than you? They’ll laugh at you and shrug you off. Certain answers will also cause the NPC to attack you. As your reputation improves throughout the assortment of interactions, you’ll find that you’ll be able to influence people with greater success. Having the option to negotiate when purchasing goods is an interesting feature; while it’s tough at first, once you get the hang of it, you can save some money.
One of the game’s severe lacking point is a save anywhere system. While the game saves at crucial times, it does *not* after every quest (I lost about two hours of progress because I assumed otherwise). There’s also no regular auto-save system, meaning the only way to save is to buy Schnaps because… reasons. The alcohol can be purchased or crafted if you have the required ingredients. This can prove quite frustrating in an RPG of this magnitude; while I can certainly applaud the developer for adding an old school mechanic which requires an item to save, failing a quest and having to make up 30-45 minutes of lost progress can prove very frustrating. Having a quick save feature would’ve been a welcomed addition that saves a lot of frustration.
The game unfortunately features some questionable designs. For example, if you walk up to a stand and do not place the reticle on NPC to begin the shopping sequence, you’ll open up the Stealing option. While it’ll take a ballsy player to steal right in front of everyone, you’re screwed either way. Even if you don’t steal anything, the NPC will alert the guards who will mercilessly hunt you down. And they’re near unbeatable, especially early in the game. Once caught you can either surrender, flee, fight or bribe. If you surrender, you end up in jail. If you flee, they’ll hunt you down forever. If you fight, you die (most of the time). And well if you try to bribe, they’re asking price will be much higher than what you have. There’s also times when enemies will directly and randomly spawn next to you and beat you like a dog.
The game’s presentation is hit or miss, well mostly miss. While I do appreciate and enjoy the character models whose lip-synching is overall well done, the rest of the presentation is fair at best. Environments look the part and it’s actually pretty fun walking around, but the game is marred by glitches. My first hour of game was plagued by stuttering; as I tried to reach my objectives, my character would make one step forward, the game glitched and make it look like I was taking five steps back.
Audio wise, the game is actually quite pleasing. The banter between characters, while some laughably cheesy, is overall enjoyable. Interaction with your band of misfits is entertaining and you can feel the camaraderie. Every time I’d go to get healed by Henry’s mom, I’d laugh at his tone of voice as he was crying to her. Good times. But alas not everything is perfect. Sometimes the game’s score would go silent or character’s lips wouldn’t synch with what’s being said.
In the shape this game is currently in, it’s a hard pass. Sure the medieval ambience might be enticing for some players, but the game is marred by technical issues, questionable design and poor unresponsive hand to hand combat. Despite a handful of updates/patches being released, it doesn’t fix the core game’s issues. Don’t get me wrong. I wanted to like it; very much so, but unfortunately, every aspect of it falls short. If you want to get your fix of massively open world RPG, wait until the game is fixed or save yourself the trouble and pick up The Witcher 3 Complete Edition.
- Surprisingly great character models
- Enticing medieval atmosphere
- Overall decent voice acting
- It has a medieval save system (ba-dum-dum-tsh)
- Hand to hand combat is wonky
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is rated M for Mature and PEGI18 as it features blood, gore, intense violence, nudity, strong language, strong sexual content and use of alcohol. I mean way back when, people didn’t have much class.
This review is based on a copy of the game provided by Xbox UK for the purposes of this review.