Kingdom Come: Deliverance brings 15th century Europe to life (PC review)

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is one of those games that comes out of nowhere and absolutely surprises the crap out of you. I knew of this game during its infancy and development, but nothing about it really shouted out at me at that time. Fast forward to the present day and all I can sing currently are praises for this absolutely immersive game. When I say immersive, I mean immersive because you really feel like you’re in Europe during the 15th century.

Humble Beginnings

The game starts you off as Henry, the son of a blacksmith in the small town of Skalitz in the medieval kingdom of Bohemia (Note: All the cities in this game are actual cities that are still around in the Czech Republic). Basically, you are a low-class peasant, living your low-class life. You fetch food, interact with the local villagers and see what they have to say about their current rulers (what they’re speaking about plays a major role in the story), and you also speak to your current peasant heartthrob. In actuality, during this prologue of the game, it teaches you how to play the game by showing you how to speak to NPCs, how to fight (basic), and how to manage both your inventory and survivability in this harsh medieval world.

Since you’re a lowborn character, you do not know the ways of the world. Anything and everything at the beginning of the game can kill you. There will come a point where you do have to pick up a weapon to defend yourself, however, it’s not that easy and there is a bit of a learning curve. You can’t go willy nilly and start swinging any weapon as if you’ve trained all your life, and your character gets fatigued after 2-3 swings. This is what separates Kingdom Come: Deliverance and other RPGs like Skyrim. There’s a complete sense of realism, and you are very vulnerable – at least in the beginning.

Combat and Survival in 15th Century

The imitation of the 15th century in this game seriously took me for a surprise. Europeans at this time were God-fearing and the superstitions and belief systems of our world are very prevalent in the game. Villagers believe in terrors occurring during the dark emptiness of the night, the church’s teachings and fear-mongering keep the people in check, and plagues and sicknesses were blamed upon living an unholy life. When speaking to the NPCs of this game world, it does make it feel like life is all about the pain caused by God or the monarchy.

Speaking to NPCs can lead to fights and I will say this: you won’t survive combat if you think this is another hack and slash kind of RPG. I stated earlier that your character does get tired swinging his weapon, and this is something that you will have to learn to manage. As an RPG, you will gradually level up your stamina and health, which helps to strengthen your character’s physical attributes so that you can eventually swing your sword more times than normal. You will also eventually learn how to block, parry, and utilize specific combat maneuvres (based on weapons) against your enemies. You will learn to cherish each kill since fighting more than one person at a time can be a death sentence.

Fatigue from combat is just one factor in the survival portion of this game. Your character, Henry, will need to sleep and eat like a normal human being. When you attain a horse, travel across the country is a little faster, but it still will tire your character out if you do not stop and rest. If you do eat in overabundance, then it causes your character to become sluggish and drops some of your stats due to your gluttony. This stops you from attempting to eat 300 cabbages to heal yourself, which keeps this game grounded close to reality as possible.

The clothes that you wear also affect how the world reacts to you. If you dress like a peasant, you’ll be looked at and treated as a peasant. If you dress like a ruffian, most merchants won’t give you a good price or people will somewhat scorn you for being shady looking. How you’re dressed coupled with the crimes that you commit also play a major factor in people’s attitudes towards you. You could eventually clear your reputation with higher speech skills and perks, but you still ultimately have to be wary of how you treat the people and the world.

Since clothes are important, wearing armor is just as important. There is a possibility of your character bleeding out to death if you don’t dress your wounds and let yourself heal. Also, if you’re not properly clothed/armored, Henry can be affected by damage done to his extremities; which I thought was a cool addition. There was a time when I walked with Henry without shoes for quite some time, only to realize that I damaged my bare feet from all the running and jumping throughout the wilderness – be wary of your attire!

Alchemy was a large part of medieval society, and it has a large bearing on this game. You will actually have to gather plants and herbs and then concoct potions with these raw materials. The alchemy station in the game is a mini-game of itself. If you don’t follow the instructions especially with the boiling of the materials correctly, you’ll end up with a bunk potion that could give you a random effect, so be careful of what you attempt to create on your own.

Graphics and Controls

The 15th century has never looked so good! Warhorse did a great job with the texturing of the environment that there was a time in the game that I would just slowly ride my horse and enjoy the beautiful scenery. I slowly walked from sunrise to midnight as the light cascaded through the meadows and fields – the towns and people were well textured as well. Since I’m running with a Nvidia GTX 980, it helped a lot with the aesthetics of the world. Because of the attention to detail in the texturing, the immersion into the world was multiplied for me.

The controls were fine, in most aspects, but since I was using a mouse and keyboard it felt wonky and unresponsive during combat. You’re able to target appendages of your enemies and at times the mouse wouldn’t connect to the direction I was moving the mouse. This game isn’t necessarily a pure FPS, so I can forgive the minor control bumps that I encountered during play. The controls were properly responsive to everything else, just the targeting and combat were the issues I encountered.

Final Reaction

Kingdom Come: Deliverance blends everything that you’ve wanted from many different genres into one game. The absence of magic and fantastical creatures doesn’t deter this game in the traditional expectancies of an RPG. In fact, the closest game that I’ve compared Kingdom Come: Deliverance to is Skyrim. You’ll see the similarities in the game, but Kingdom Come: Deliverance actually stands on its own two feet. I personally think that because of its immersion into the realities of our world, it made it much more enjoyable. Also, I personally love the world and European history, so this game was an absolute treat to experience. A story of vengeance, colorful NPCs, realistic combat, a gorgeous world, and a fairly great leveling system? It’s all here in this game!

The DRM-free edition is available on GOG.com.

Rating: 4.5/5 Atoms

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Alger Alama
Alger Alama 327 posts

Highly sociable and having been entrenched in Nerd\Geekdom since he was a kid, Alger has seen it all. During his spare time he loves to go out clubbing, sing karaoke, and attend parties. This Nerd is no wallflower. He'll always greet you with a warm smile and a drink in hand.