Kingdom Come Deliverance Tries to Balance Fun and Realism

Promotional image for the game.
A Mixed Medieval Bag: Kingdom Come Deliverance is certainly different than most role-playing games, but its execution is sloppy.

Kingdom Come Deliverance is the first major game by developer Warhorse Studios. It is also the first in a three-act series. The game is a first-person role-playing game in a style similar to Skyrim.

What sets it apart from other massive RPGs is the focus on historical accuracy. Instead of slaying dragons or conjuring up spells, players live the day-to-day life of a peasant during medieval times.  

The story features Henry, the young son of a blacksmith, who lives a pretty normal life with his parents in a quiet village. One day, a Hungarian king raids his village and kills his parents, prompting Henry to set off on a quest for vengeance.

Warhorse has done a good job of making characters feel realistic. The game also offers a lot of choices. Instead of the standard good or bad choices, there is a lot of depth to the decisions a player can make. Unfortunately, the quests themselves lack that same depth.

The gameplay itself is host to many issues. The directional combat is fun, allowing for greater strategy. The whole thing is bogged down by a multitude of bugs. Quite often Henry would not strike or raise his shield when he was told to. Some bugs were so bad that reloading the save file was required to progress which was made even worse by the confusing lack of healing during fights. The pacing of fights is completely killed and reloading a previous save is the only way to gain more health.

Archery felt unnecessarily difficult. There is no aiming reticle and the character wobbles until he gets the archery skill up.

The realism does cause issues. Henry will starve, fatigue or succumb to illness if not cared for. The learning curve is steep, taking a few hours before one can enjoy the experience.

The level system is another high point. Similar to Skyrim, every skill that Henry uses makes him become more and more powerful. Unlike Skyrim, the enemies do not get stronger as Henry does, so it becomes easier as the game progresses.

Overall, Kingdom Come Deliverance is a flawed game but not a bad one. For those looking for an excellent story paired with a large open-world, it is definitely recommended.  Despite the rough spots from time to time, this is a promising start to what could be a major franchise.

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