Kingdom Come: Deliverance is as ambitious in presentation as it is in depth. This is a historically accurate take on the traditionally fictional medieval setting – dragons and magic have no place here. Players will instead live a life in the 15th century while experiencing first-hand some very real historical events, an incredibly intriguing proposition to say the least.
My time with a hands off demo of Kingdom Come at E3 exhibited an immaculate attention to detail that certainly attributed to my immediate level of excitement. Players will have access to over 16 km of land to explore, all of which is in accordance with the layout and structure of its time period. The team at Warhorse Studios includes a historian as well as a painter – two perspectives that do well to reinforce the accuracy of Kingdom Come‘s historical representations. Everything from the quests you encounter to the paintings on the walls of monasteries have a factual foundation that creates a convincing medieval world full of subtle additions within the reconstruction of its environments.
Freedom is everything in Kingdom Come, but actions are not without their consequences. In the demo the player was tasked with finding a way to get into a monk-filled monastery to find a person of interest. Players are presented with a few options here. Sneaking into the building is entirely possible, but you’ll immediately be thrown out if discovered. Killing everyone is an available path for those without remorse, but any witnesses left alive will certainly report the crime – not an ideal scenario for most.
Want to join the monastery in order to gain access to a specific person? You absolutely can, but you’ll have to dress, act, and generally live like a monk in order to be accepted. This means that learning to read, praying, eating with your fellow monks, and other monk-like actions are required to stay in the monastery – break too far away from the monk’s lifestyle and you may just find yourself in a perilous situation.
Battles utilize an interesting star-based mechanic in combat, allowing you to aim towards different points of the star to attack the different limbs of your enemies. This seems to mesh incredibly well with the game’s armor system with an intricate slot/layer mechanic that continues Kingdom Come‘s trend of historical accuracy. Sixteen armor slots are available for players to create their very own playstyle, offering a depth of customizable defenses that fuses fantastically with the game’s weaponry.
Swords, shields, maces, axes – these all have their boons and flaws that must be taken into account when equipping your character. Heavy armor will fare far better against a sword than it would a mace as blunt attacks will physically crumple the metal into a fatal cage for its owner. The game calculates the physical collision of a weapon type against the armor’s properties to create a multitude of outcomes in battle. Certain types of garments will have a higher resistance to the various damage types, so wearing a specific chain mail as a layer underneath your main armor can help bolster your weak points. The combinations here seem nearly infinite and allow players to strategize their approach to a truly accurate depiction of medieval combat.
Your outfit will do far more than just aid in your fighting ability – it represents your status among society. Cheap, unkept armor will place a poor taste in most peoples’ mouths as they’ll look down on you for seeming too poor to afford a clean aesthetic. Having too much blood crust on your armor will instill terror in many, causing people to run away from the seemingly murderous psychopath walking around town. The better your armor, the better your reputation. Maintenance is necessary, however, and Kingdom Come offers a few minigames to, once again, accurately represent the old methods of craftsmanship as you repair your gear.
Stats like charisma and visibility are granted by the caliber of your armor, while stats such as strength and agility can be increased by leveling up your character. Even horses have their own armor slots and RPG stats. You can kill a horse, of course; in fact, you can kill and loot everything in Kingdom Come. Picking the right time to commit a crime is paramount, and players will quickly learn how to cover their tracks. Tournaments will attract most of the townspeople and grant you clemency in your actions thanks to the distraction. Winning these tournaments can increase your reputation among the people, making any identity players choose to pursue become uninhibited by the gameplay mechanics found in Kingdom Come.
Beautiful graphics from a dynamic weather system and heavily modified Crytek engine aside, the game seems as marvelous to play as it is to behold. Kingdom Come: Deliverance boasts an incredible attention to detail fused with the freedom of player choice – a potent combination for a game with this much content. Fictional dragons and the existence of magic is not necessary (apparently) for this game to be remarkably intriguing.
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