Kingdom Come: Deliverance has been on my radar for quite some time now. I first followed it when I found a link on Reddit to a Kickstarter for a game that promised more in a medieval RPG, "Dungeons and No Dragons" was the initial tag-line. It was a refreshing take on the genre and one that I was eagerly anticipating, It has been a couple years since that original announcement and the game is finally out. The question is though, will it come through on its promises or fall short? Let's find out!
You are the son of a blacksmith, and not just any blacksmith but one of the best in the land, one that could easily be working in a larger city making much more money, but who have chosen to live an easier life with his family in a smaller town. You play as his son Henry, a young man who hasn't quite figured out his life yet and who spends a lot of his time lollygagging around with his friends and drinking ale. Your father has been hard at work building and creating a sword for Sir Radzig Lord of Skalitz. Life is pretty simple for the family, until one day when a large foreign army attacks your village and sets your world asunder. You are tasked with getting the sword you and your father were building to Sir Radzig, but the simple task may be harder than you think.
Personally, I think the story of this game is it's absolute best quality. There is a rich and diverse story-line that plays out like a very long movie, cutscenes keep you enthralled and enveloped whether they have action or they are as mundane as sitting in on a meeting with nobles and lords. There were several times throughout the game where I found myself truly immersed and empathizing with the main character of the game who has been through a great deal and also grown as a human being.
This is where Kingdom Come: Deliverance get's tricky. While playing the game I encountered MANY bugs, and while none of them was game breaking it showed off the lack of polish that I was hoping this game would have. From the combat system glitching out when I try to attack my opponent, to the cinematic camera effect not functioning for 10-20 seconds after I started talking to someone, there were a lot of little things that were very noticeable and broke immersion for me.
Despite these pitfalls, there is one thing to remember however and it is that this game was not designed to be your typical RPG. I have seen many people complaining about the lack of combat in the game and a large amount of dialogue and storytelling they were subjected to. Going into the game after following the development of the game it was something that I was definitely ready for. The game sets itself apart from regular RPGs in the fact that you are a person in a world, and you have to do your best to live in it and complete your mission. You are no better than anyone else, and there is nothing about you that inherently overpowered like you see in most video games. When you get into combat, you better be ready to fight because it will not be an easy task, as it's not only your life on the line, but the character your fighting against has his own life and it is also on the line.
Outside of the combat, the world of Bohemia is very rich and detailed and I think that the developers made great use of the CryEngine to help display the game. When you load in you instantly feel like you are in a medieval land.
The last thing I would like to mention, is there are tons of little details the game offers to help immerse the player. From accidentally pulling your sword out in the wrong spot and it having blood on it and scaring the townsfolk, to randomly walking into someone's house and having them be extremely uncomfortable with it, there is a lot of detail that helps put the player in the game and that is something that as an avid RPG fan, I can respect a lot.
Graphics and Sound
There is a lot to be said about the graphics in the game. As I was saying above, when you are in the game you definitely feel immersed. The texture and lighting quality the game offers is on par with some of the triple-A titles we have become accustomed to in recent years. When you get dirty in the game, it shows, when your character is dirty or clean it shows. The environmental effects for when it's raining or when it's a cold foggy morning definitely feel a lot more real than your average game. Other than the story of the game The graphics are what I liked the most.
The sound in the game is also amazing, I hate to use the word "epic", but it truly feels that way. Cutscenes make great use of cinematic music to help propel the story and the ambiance you experience when wandering the countryside of Bohemia fit extremely well. When out and exploring the world the game doesn't try to excessively use music as a guise to make the game more interesting, it's there to serve a purpose and function as it does a pretty good job of that.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the 20 or so hours I played, so much so that after writing this review I am going to continue to play it and hopefully complete it. I do hope that the developers release a patch here in the coming weeks that address many of the issues because if the polish was integrated into the game it would be very amazing. I don't know if it was because of the pressure of releasing the game long after the Kickstarter promise or from pressure from the publishers to get the game out in a timely manner.
In the end, I recommend this game to anyone interested in playing a true RPG, in the fact that you are a person living a medieval life and exploring the world it has to offer. If you are a person who cares about min/maxing the character and becoming the strongest in the land this game will probably not be for you. If you are looking for a game with superb storytelling, crazy attention to detail and overall immersion you will absolutely love this game. A historical journey like none other.