Kingdom Come: Deliverance Preview — A Realistic Take on the Medieval RPG
This year at E3, DualShockers got the chance to go hands on with Kingdom Come: Deliverance, a realistic and immersive medieval RPG that looks to turn some genre conventions on their heads.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a very realistic and unique take on the typical medieval RPG. While many RPG’s set in this time period adopt more fantastical elements and make the players some kind of all-powerful savior that can use magic, Kingdom Come doesn’t. You aren’t the Dragonborn; you’re the son of the blacksmith. You can’t take on hoards of foes with your power; one or two strong enemies can easily kill you if you are not careful.
These changes initially sounded like they would take away from the experience at first but, after going hands-on with the game at E3 this year, I found the opposite to be true. Those aforementioned things actually made what I played of Kingdom Come: Deliverance feel more real and immersive, even if it may not be for everyone. I can’t wait to see more when the game launches next year.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is set in Bohemia (modern day Czech Republic), and recounts how Henry, the son of a blacksmith in a mining town, responds to attack on Bohemia by the Hungarian empire in a story based on true events. However, the part of the game I played at E3 recounted the calm before the storm, showcasing the day-to-day hijnks of this village while getting me accustomed to the controls.
The demo started by following Henry’s mother as she talked her husband, who was annoyed that Henry went out drinking with his friends the night before. When I returned as Henry to my house later that morning, she asked why I was out. I had multiple ways to respond to her question, and my answer here would help shape Henry’s stats. For example, I could say that that the reason I was out so late was because I was chatting with tons of people in the tavern, raising my charisma stat.
There are no classes in Kingdom Come: Deliverance; skills only level up when they are used, like how leveling works in titles such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim. My Henry was very low leveled, so I didn’t see the true effects of this system, but this does seem to reflect the game’s realistic nature, as one usually refines a skill in real life by practicing it over and over again.
Dialogue seemed to be very dynamic in Kingdom Come: Deliverance as it is based on your previous actions. Depending on the order you do quests or what you do to certain characters associated with your NPC, dialogue options can change. While this isn’t anything new to RPG’s, there did seem to be a bit more depth here than in other games, though I couldn’t say for sure until I play the final game a few times.
Afterwards I visited my father who tasked me to do multiple things, such as purchasing coal from a merchant and collecting a debt owed to my father by the town drunk. When I approached the drunk on the other side of town, I found there to be a couple different ways to handle the situation. I could use my charisma to getting to man up and pay is debts, or I could engage in a good old round of fisticuffs and beat the money out of him. You could guess which one I went for…
Fighting in Kingdom Come: Deliverance is quite tough. The entire game plays in the first person perspective, really throwing you into the thick of combat. Henry attacks quite slowly, and enemies require multiple well placed blows to be taken down, especially when punching.When I later played a combat tutorial, I found that if you charge haphazardly into a group of enemies, you will easily be taken down, as you can not block all of there attacks, and they will be coming at you from all sides.
Luckily, it was easier to take the drunk down one-on-one, so I beat him up and got Henry’s father’s money back. Before bringing it back to him, I decided to walk around the town a bit and interact with the NPCs. They all had some simple, well written dialogue, and I even learned how to play “Farkle,” a centuries old dice game included in Kingdom Come: Deliverance, with a little help from the developers. The game’s world looks to be quite lively, so I am looking forward to seeing what some of the sidequests and minigames might be.
After playing a bit of Farkle, my Henry went to bring the money back to my father, but was interrupted by a screaming Deutsch (German) man, who supported Hungary’s (soon to be personal) invasion of Bohemia. This angered some of Henry’s friends, who came and asked him afterwards to help throw poop at the aforementioned German’s house. I could’ve rejected the offer, but I gave into my inner rebel and agreed to go along with their plan.
When we got to the house, I saw that the German’s wife was there, minding her own business, so I had to distract and convince her that her husband was causing trouble elsewhere in town so she would leave. After she was out of sight, the feces throwing began. A good part of the wall was covered in excrement by the time Hans, son of the German, returned to his home alongside his posse.
A fight soon broke out, giving me an idea of how crowd battle will work. The AI seemed quite competent in these situation, taking advantage of every opportunity where our opponent was weakened. The fight was soon broken up by a guard, ending my time with this little taste of the game’s story. While my time with the story portion of Kingdom Come ended here, it certainty left me wanting more, as I never even got close to touching the real meat of this adventure.
Afterwards, I tried out a basic combat tutorial to learn how to use the different weapons, which all feel uniquely pleasant to use. Then, naturally, I went on to another large crowd battle with two groups of soldiers. The developers showed me that you could don a knights armor at the cost of having your vision severely limited due to the knight’s visor, so I instead opted to be a simple archer, striking enemies from afar. There was no aiming reticle, making shooting the bow precisely tougher, but more realistic.
That is the one place I could see having people having problems with the game. While its realism is great for history nuts like me, with there even being a whole encyclopedia of historical information for players to look through, I can see Kingdom Come: Deliverance being off-putting to some if it is too frustrating or difficult to play.
That being said, if you are yearning for a more realistic RPG that will truly immerse you in the game’s world, Kingdom Come: Deliverance seems like it will scratch that itch, as what little I played did that for me. It was the most immersive game I played at E3 this year, and is definitely a title I plan on returning to when it releases on PC, PS4, and Xbox One next February.