Kingdom-Come--Deliverance-Review Kingdom Come: Deliverance Review

   19/02/2018 at 17:33       Chris OToole       0 COMMENTS. - Score 5/5
 - RPG, Xbox One, PS4, PC, Survival

It's all kicking off in 1403 Bohemia, Charles IV has kicked the bucket, and left the empire to the (not so good) King Wenceslaus IV who spends most of his time partying rather than attending all that boring old state business. So this pisses off the nobles who ask his half brother King Sigusmund of Hungary to have a word. Unfortunately he decides on a more radical solution. Sigusmund invades Bohemia, kidnaps Wenceslaus and starts to loot and pillage all the King's estates, which include Skalitz, a mining town in which you, as Henry, son of the town blacksmith, is about to have one hell of a day.

First impressions aren't so good, with some dodgy textures displaying a pretty flat scene on the title screen, but in the game proper things take a turn for the better, with some stellar texture work and really nice lighting work. The cut scenes are really well staged and mostly look fantastic, though now and again these can also look a little basic for some reason, though in a game this size a few mis-steps can be forgiven I feel.

I'm not going to sugar coat it here, Kingdom Come: Deliverance didn't grab me at all at first, it looked very like Skyrim or Oblivion in what I'd seen leading up to release, and the structured nature wasn't really what I was expecting at all. Little did I know I was still in the five hour tutorial, yes you did read that right.

As the game opened up I found myself warming to it more and more, Henry is a likeable character, and setting the game in actual history is something very refreshing, I loved delving into the codex which explains more of the real life characters, customs and world. The way skills work is also very well thought out, the more you use them, the better you'll get. Though you'll still need a teacher to set you on your path. It was quite the revelation to find a treasure map, but then be told you can't read it because you are just the son of a blacksmith, time to learn young Henry.

This realism even extends to hunger, the more hungry you are the weaker you'll get, with your stats all tumbling as your tummy rumbles, open your inventory to eat some bread you picked up a while ago but lo and behold it has spoiled because you left it there too long. Also of note is how people interact with you, the gift of the gab can save you from brutal fights you didn't need to have, but only if you look the part, if your clothes are scruffy and full of blood people aren't going to think much of you, but fresh from a visit to the bathhouse and folk will be more inclined to give you the time of day. These are all elements which start adding to a game that is starts to feel more and more special.

The decision to jettison all magic and fantasy elements from a role playing game is an exceptionally brave one by Warhorse Studios in their first game, but it really pays off as you are slowly but surely drawn in by Kingdom Come: Deliverance, everything takes practice,  from lock-picking and pickpocketing, to riding your horse in an accomplished manner, but this makes it all the more satisfying when you can finally nail it.

Obviously some gamification does make it through, health potions are still a thing, although they can't be used in combat and work over time (though if you are bleeding you'll need a bandage too), and saves can be made anywhere by drinking some Saviours Schnapps, though if you do this too many times you run the risk of becoming an alcoholic. This can be very useful to do before some quests however, because they can be time reliant, and will resolve whether you are involved or not after you trigger them, which is very clever indeed.

I don't think I've ever had a turnaround of thought quite this extreme in all my days of playing games, after a couple of hours I was close to hating Kingdom Come: Deliverance, but after the opening titles the game clicked with me, I understood more what Warhorse where aiming for, and now, many hours in, I absolutely adore it. It's brave, it's different and you should definitely play it, just make sure to have a lot of time spare, because you're going to need it.

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Better late than never, eh Ror?
 
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Enjoyed this, cheers!
 
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