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Posted on Mar 6th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (Addicted)
Posted under RPG, Hidden Gems


I play a lot of games these days and it takes a special game for me to spend more than a couple hours on. I hadn't followed any media on Kingdom Come Deliverance so I didn't know anything about it going in. What I found was a historically grounded first-person RPG whose gameplay loop is akin to the Elder Scrolls series. Join me as I take a look at the good, the bad, and the buggy in Kingdom Come Deliverance.





It is the year 1403. In the medieval Kingdom of Bohemia there is unrest as the rightful king, Wencslaus IV, has been dethroned and his half brother Sigismund the Hungarian king with his army, of mercenaries are pillaging the countryside. You play as Henry the son of a blacksmith in the mining village of Skalitz. During the tutorial Sigismund's army invades the village of Skalitz murdering Henry's parents and everyone in the village. After the massacre Henry takes up arms starts off an a quest for vengeance.

Those of you who have played a game in the Elder Scrolls series such as Skyrim will be instantly familiar with the gameplay loop. You have a set of stats and skills such as strength, agility, lockpicking, archery etc. The more you use a skill the faster you level up in that skill. You'll need to work on all your skills as being the son of a blacksmith Henry doesn't have a lot of survival skills. This is especially true of reading. Henry starts the game illiterate and you have to complete a special quest in order to be able to read. You'll need to be able to read in order to brew potions to give you strength, help you get over a hangover, or save. Wait you need a potion to save? In order to make a manual save you need to have a potion called Saviour Schnapps. By requiring you to have a potion to save manually it adds weight to your actions and keeps you from save spamming. You really have to be careful before you try and pickpocket or pick a lock.


Combat again apes the systems in Skyrim and Oblivion but adds complexity. When engaging in combat you use the right analog stick to move your weapon and right trigger to attack. If you to attack from left to right you move the stick to the left, press the right trigger and move the analog stick to the right. You can also try stabbing by pressing the right button. You can try to fake out your opponent by pretending to strike high but then stabbing or quickly moving the analog stick so you strike left or right. Defense is handled using the left bumper. You can hold it down if you have a shield equipped or you can wait until you see your opponent ready to strike and press it to give you a split second to parry by pressing the left bumper and moving the right analogue stick in the opposite direction of your opponents strike. It's a dance to the death and you'll constantly be trying to get the upper hand on your opponent.


The game is visually striking and feels lived in. Characters will talk to Henry differently depending upon what clothes he wears and if he is dirty or clean. Guards will confront you if they see you sneaking around and attack you if they see you steal something. If a character tells you they will be riding from point A to point B they don't magically teleport from point A to B they ride or walk. This means you can find them on the path from A to B and intercept them. If you owe a NPC money and take too long they will send thugs after you. One of my favorite moments in this game was infiltrating an enemy camp. I couldn't just stroll in to camp killing everything so I found a guard on the outskirts of camp knocked him out, hid the body and dressed up as him so I could walk in to camp and kill the bandit leader.


The game has been called a Medieval life simulator and with the strive towards realism came some choices that I feel detracted from my enjoyment of the game. Just like a real person Henry gets hungry and must eat. In the beginning hours of the game this feels like it happens all the time but you can eventually activate skill perks that allow Henry to go longer without eating. Saving is another point of contention. I understand that requiring a bottle of Saviour Schnapps to save is a good idea from save spamming [and] adds weight to each action you take, but it might turn off some people who would have enjoyed the game. Weapons and armor wear down with use and must be repaired and mended. While this adds to the realism it can detract from the fun. Henry is only human and can only carry so much. Henry can increase the amount of items he can carry by increasing his strength stat or investing in a horse.



Kingdom Come Deliverance is a large open world RPG that's rough around the edges so there's going to be some bugs. I had to reload a couple of times due to being stuck on some of the geometry when trying to jump a fence or a wall. Not all of the bugs are bad though and you can use one to your advantage. I found a poacher in the woods and he attacked me. I started punching him and knocked him unconscious and dragged his body to the river and dropped it in. I walked in to the water and started punching the the body. Because the body was floating at waist level my punches were able to hit and the game registered that I was in a fight and gave experience accordingly. Due to this I was able to quickly gain levels and upgrade my skills.


Kingdom Come Deliverance is a good game with rough edges. It walks the line between fun and frustrating and will hopefully serve as a framework for future titles. 


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Comments
 
I've been interested in this game for a while.  Your write-up seems to be in line with other opinions I've heard.  I'll probably pick this one up when I can get it for about 50% off, and hopefully by then patches will have fixed most of the bugs.
 
My hang up is the realism. Part of my live for Skyrim is the dragons and magic etc.

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