A review of the game Kingdom Come: Deliverance: from rags to riches

About the game Kingdom Come: Deliverance I first heard from my good friend who is a huge admirer of Czech game designer Daniel Vavra, gave us a wonderful game of Mafia. After in 2009, Vavra left 2K Czech, he founded an independent Studio Warhorse Studios using crowdfunding to raise money for my new video game. It was an incredibly ambitious project, combining elements of RPG, action and hardcore simulator of the middle ages. Today I’d like to tell you about this game, paying maximum attention to the smallest detail, because she deserves it like no other.

Game: Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Platform: Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: RPG
Release date: 13 Feb 2018
Developer: Warhorse Studios
Publisher: Deep Silver

We must start with the fact that Daniel Vavra has always been famous for the fact that suited to the creation of their games with an incredible meticulousness. If we talk about Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven, he meticulously recreated the atmosphere of 30-ies of XX century, focusing on the clothes, the cars, the authentic scenery of the time, while thoroughly studying each character, bringing the scenario of the game to perfection and filling it with excellent dialogue and wonderful sense of humor. In the case of Kingdom Come: Deliverance his attention to detail and desire to make the game as realistic as possible has reached a fundamentally new level of quality.

The dream project, which Vavra was carrying in my head for several years, is a role-playing first-person game that unfolds in the beginning of the XV century on the territory of the Kingdom of Bohemia (now part of Czech Republic). Work on the game began in the composition of the absolutely tiny team. A while Vavra was looking for a decent investor to put their ideas in life, but in the end decided to use the platform Kickstarter, which enabled him to collect over a million pounds to develop. After such success immediately and investors tightened, and publisher in the face of Deep Silver was found. In the end, the game’s budget was more than $ 35 million (including marketing costs). Impressive amount, given where the project began, but still do not reach the same “the Witcher 3” with its 67 million.

To create a video game, the setting of which is based on the history of your native country — it is fascinating and good, but is extremely difficult. Specifically to work on the Kingdom Come: Deliverance Vavra resorted to the help of several experienced historians. Together they worked the scenario of the game, carefully reconstruct the lives of people who lived at the time, paid special attention to clothing, weapons, architecture and even the open world game created on the basis of old maps, taking into account the height of points above sea level. Have you ever faced with a similar fastidiousness to recreating stories in other video games? Just below for example, here is a photo of a real location and photographed in our days, and the scene from Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Appreciate the work done by the staff of the Warhorse Studios, to accurately transfer a video game to real world locations.

The game’s plot is based on real historical events that took place in 1403. An old and very dear king Charles IV dies, and instead ascend to the throne of his goofy son Wenceslas IV. Václav by and large to spit in their state, so all my free time he spent in a drunken stupor with half-naked girls. Meanwhile, his half brother Sigismund, feeling weak ruler, decides to play the situation in their favor. He kidnaps Vaclav and force trying to force him to abdicate. The army of Sigismund, for the most part consisting of the Polovtsy, invades Bohemia and begins to ravage the rich resources of land and to suppress the unhappy situation of the gentry.

Unlike many other role-playing games, Kingdom Come: Deliverance will not allow you to create your own character in a special editor. All spelled out in advance, and will have to play by the rules the writers and Director. The main character is the young son of a blacksmith named Henry (for ease of pronunciation all called Indro, and the English voice acting in the name of the protagonist turned into Henry). Hometown the main character Silver Skalica attack the Cumans, and since it is not courage, and the sword in the hands never held, he had no choice but to watch helplessly as those of the arms of the barbarians killed his parents, and then shamefully running aimlessly, trying to save his life.

Not a very encouraging beginning, isn’t it? In Kingdom Come: Deliverance, the main character — not an experienced fighter, and one left able to overwhelm any opponent, and green, inexperienced commoner, which is not enough to stand up for themselves can not, he can not even read. He had no horse, no special skills, no weapons and money. Surprisingly, this approach developers to create role-playing impresses the most. Initially armed only with sticks and shit (excuse my French) the protagonist must have the courage to learn to keep a gun, make useful contacts and to make new friends, and then take revenge on the killers parents and return the stolen Polovtsy sword forged by his father especially for the local Lord.

The game slowly introduces you to the Bohemia of the fifteenth century, and with a huge variety of game mechanics, some of which can scare pampered with modern amenities gamers and, conversely, to fall in love with once and forever. Daniel Vavra is making its games as realistic as possible, which is not like all the players. Recall the fact that his Mafia you could be fined for violation of traffic rules. In Kingdom Come: Deliverance is still more tricky. You truly live the life of the main character, feeling all of his suffering, deprivation and passing with him through heavy blows of fate. You grow with him, so every achievement of Jindřich is your personal victory. A very rare feeling in video games today almost never occurs.

Literally after a couple hours of gameplay in Kingdom Come: Deliverance you realize that you were present in the middle ages. In the game there is no hint of magic or dragons from fairy tales, so forget about it immediately. Extremely harsh and merciless realism. This is not some Skyrim or The Witcher. In my head all the time to keep a huge number of important parameters. The hero can get hungry and die from hunger, tired from lack of sleep and physical stress and just collapse in the middle of the road, and can be poisoned rotten food (which deteriorate with time in your bag). You can break her legs, just tripped over a stump in the woods, or roll neck, clinging to the tree branch while riding, and if you were wounded in battle — do not expect that all will pass by itself if you just step aside and wait a bit. Will have to run away from the enemy to bandage wounds, and then somewhere to lie down and take medication to full recovery. To die in Kingdom Come: Deliverance — a trifling matter. The game is merciless to modern players. But therein lies its special charm.

Don’t be fooled by the fact that the total area of the open world game is only 16 square kilometers. Medieval Bohemia stuffed with points of interest, unique places and most importantly, exciting adventures, in which you can participate. To cross the entire map on foot you’ll need more than an hour (69 minutes!!!) real-time, therefore the most convenient way to travel on horseback. However, the main character will get her at their disposal immediately, so some time will have to tread the dusty roads of Bohemia his two. The game has a system of rapid movement, reminiscent of the one that was in the Fallout series of games. You can only move between open you key transfer points on the map. In the process of moving you can see the figure of the protagonist, moving along the map route. With this you can randomly encounter in your journey, bandits, points of interest, new settlements or NPCs who need your help.

People treat the main character as well as you would in reality. If you are dirty and don’t wash in the local baths for a couple of weeks, your scent will repel even homeless vagrants. Ragged old clothes, blood stains on the mail, open wounds on the body — all this is taken into account during the communication with the NPC. In addition, your social status, gradually changing in the course of the story also leaves its mark on how others treat you. In the dialog you can use the art of rhetoric, to try to bribe the interlocutor, to emphasize their social status in society, or simply to threaten to break his nose with a fist. All good here, and the choice of tactics of the dialogues is entirely dependent on the player.

The most pleasant, in my opinion, in this game that the main character gradually grows and develops, turning from a cowardly brat and paste into a brave and experienced warrior. Grows and his social position in society: he gets his friends among the nobility and gains access to previously inaccessible opportunities and resources. I just used it as the subtitle of the review the phrase “from rags to riches”, because it perfectly describes the process of personal growth of the protagonist during the story. This approach, of course, met in video games before, but the way the matter came Daniel Vavra, is a completely new level of quality for the gaming industry. The first time you really feel like the protagonist developed, and not just watching the growth of its main parameters.

Leveling in this game is really very unusual. You develop certain of your skills exclusively when I use them. In other words, horse riding is pumped only when you jump on horseback, swordsmanship improved during the fights with coaches or enemies, and eloquence — in the course of conversations with people. From time to time will give you skill points which can be exchanged for perks, supplementing and improving your skills. In the list of possible improvements you just get lost — so many of them. However, some are mutually exclusive. For example, “Scent of a man” improves your chance for success while interacting with women, but males will ignore your presence long before you will see that it is not very useful in case when you need to sneak up on the enemy. Another skill that will allow you to gain an advantage during conversations with commoners, but then you will be more difficult to find a common language with representatives of the local nobility.

The main parameters of the main character of all four. “The strength of” pumped during the fight, allows you to better handle weapons and to block enemy blows and to carry in my bag more items. If you’re a fan of archery, then you will have to increase “Agility”. It affects the speed of the protagonist, chance of dodging blows, as well as its ability to handle light weapons. “Vitality” is pumped during exercise, such as running and jumping. The more tenacious the protagonist, the faster restores his health, and the enemies inflict less damage. Well, the most enjoyable, in my opinion, the option is “Eloquence”. Thanks to it you can knock down prices from vendors, to persuade opponents to lay down their weapons and crawl everywhere “no soap”, which is very useful in the implementation of most of the quests.

In addition to the main characteristics that the main character has a number of combat skills such as “combat”, “Defense”, “Fighting without weapons”, “Combat sword/Mace/axe” and “archery”. There is also a set of special skills to fight does not apply. They would be worth much to draw your attention. Such abilities as “lockpicking”, “doing alchemy”, “Stealth” and “Read” you is certainly useful in the course of the game. There is one original skill, as “Alcoholism”. Yes, you heard right. In Kingdom Come: Deliverance is almost all medicinal concoctions based on alcohol, so if you will often be treated or temporarily reinforcing their key parameters a drink (or often in taverns), to avoid unfortunate consequences will not work. In the morning you’ll suffer from a hangover, which your body will be severely weakened. It is in order to become more resistant to alcohol, you need the skill to “Drunkenness”.

As you know, the protagonist can create a character that would meet all your requirements. Fortunately, the scope for creativity here is huge. This contributes to a very interesting system for character equipment. In total the main character has 20 slots where he can place clothes, weapons and other items put on his body, including jewelry. There are four layers of clothing: first, the body put soft gambeson, softening the bumps and warming of the protagonist, then you can wear chain mail, plate armor, and on top of another to throw yourself any cloak. And not to forget that in this game the protective properties of the individual clothing items are not cumulative. Shoulder pads protect your shoulders, the armor of the body, and gloves.

Clothes in Kingdom Come: Deliverance a huge amount, so if you are kind to the appearance of their characters in video games, you will definitely be something to entertain themselves. But that’s not the only decorations for. Each garment directly affects your agility and dexterity in battle, protection from enemy attacks, published by your noise and many other parameters. If your clothing is expensive, not muddy and not damaged, the surrounding will be significantly better for you to treat, believing that you are a representative of a noble family. All this is very important, and should take this into account during the game. Even here much depends on an incredible number of parameters, and gradually you all the more imbued with the developers attention to such details. Even horses in the game have their own inventory with the possibility of leveling with different types of harness, special armor, cloths, shoes and so on.

The combat system in the game is also very interesting and unusual. So how you see the world through the character’s eyes, all fights take place in first person. Developers are attracted to creating a combat system not only experts in weapons of the XV century, but professional fencers to duels looked the most plausible, but at the same time effectively. You can choose one of five areas and inflict a slashing blow with the weapon, and may try to poke him with a sword. While you are free to block his attack, deftly dodging them and even deceive the enemy, to strike with one hand, but at the last moment, hitting completely different. From time to time you will grapple with the opponent in the clinch successfully to escape from which is not always obtained. In battle it all depends on your level of endurance: the higher it is, the more attacks you can make before the main character exhausted.

Remember that different weapons are effective against different armour types, so you can cut through plate armour with one or two strokes, as in many other RPG, you will not succeed. The weapon behaves according to the laws of physics, bounces, slides and even crash. Against the heavy metal armor is best to use a Mace or point to aim at unprotected places on the body of the enemy. Over time, your skill of fencing will grow and you will be available to new techniques and chain of strikes, which will not leave opponents no chance. However, in the beginning of the game you would have Oh, how hard times, indeed, almost any on the road met a bandit could easily stab you with a spear or cut with an ax. In Kingdom Come: Deliverance you can enjoy dueling duels “one on one”, but the massive battles in which will participate many soldiers at the same time.

The game economy is based on the traders and merchants that you encountered at almost every turn. To sell received in the course of the adventure loot is not working for you, just to get to the nearest village. When you buy or sell something, you can always bargain. You name your price, and merchant. Gradually yielding to each other, you move to a certain Golden mean, which in the end will suit both. If you prefer the RPG to cash in illegally and stealing everything that is bad, remember that the stolen goods to sell will not be easy. If the merchant recognizes things expensive the stolen item (in Bohemia rumors fly fast enough), he can report you to the guard, and for this and end up in a cage. So if we break the law, sell the stolen valuables to the millers who ply dark deeds.

About the quests in Kingdom Come: Deliverance you can talk long and enthusiastically. As in other RPG, they are divided on the story, minor, and very much like a simple “go-fetch”. I’ve been thinking how to tell you about the quests without spoilers, so as not to spoil thus your enjoyment of the game. But nothing could think of. No, but really, each quest in this game is unique, and so exciting to tell you about them in my review, I think a terrible crime. You should see/hear/feel it all personally. Let me just say that almost every quest in Kingdom Come: Deliverance can be approached from several sides. Variability and freedom of choice in this regard is simply amazing! Setting the story scenes in the game at a very high level: the camera angles, acting, voice acting, dialogues – all looks and sounds quite decent. Frustrating is that sometimes a perceived lack of developers tools on polishing time here the animation could have been better, and here on the model of the character saved. Even with such an impressive budget, the Studio did not have enough money in order to bring the world of medieval Bohemia to the ideal state.

Gradually move to the most difficult part of this review, namely, the disadvantages of the game. The main disadvantage of Kingdom Come: Deliverance is the fact that the game went in a very raw form. One gets the feeling that Daniel Vavra crushed everyone, including the producers, publishers and fans, like, dude, let’s hurry up, how long does it take to make your masterpiece? Release it already, let me touch the beautiful. In the end, Vavra gave up, the game was released. But the reality is that the rush to develop and release in the gaming industry – like death. Here also it turned out that the number of bugs, glitches, critical errors and flaws in Kingdom Come: Deliverance is through the roof. I could easily write a list of their observations on ten pages, but I will not. Now, after releasing several patches (first patch weighed in at 23 gigabytes!), the situation has changed for the better, however, you come across in the game on impassable quest or another funny bug, when your horse is “parked” on the roof of the tavern. At first playing the brainchild of Warhorse Studios was virtually impossible, which is why I’ve been writing my review. Just waiting for the release of new patches, so you can enjoy the game without being distracted by annoying bugs. As one of my comrade: “this is the best simulator of waiting patches 10 out of 10!”.

By cons can also include a number of conventions introduced by the developers to increase the realism of the game. For example, to persist at any time a player can only available in its inventory liquor “Saving snaps”. Considering that initially the main character has neither the money nor the ability to brew the alcohol, record your progress in the game is quite difficult. Yes, can be saved when visiting the baths or spending the night in the tavern. But what to do if you need to save before a battle with bandits somewhere in deep often away from settlements? Here’s what it is. Much overdone developers with unrealistically complex system hacking locks (particularly had due to the console gamers). Prior to the release of the last patch I have almost never managed to successfully open the chest. And not just me. I have the impression that the game is deliberately not in a hurry to exhaust the player with expectation. If you want to skip a few hours to wait for a certain moment, time is rewound unbearably slow. During the “rapid displacement” model of the character moves on the map barely (in the PC version it is more active than in the console). Before each dialogue you have a few seconds to see the download icon. And these knocks you off your rhythm moments in the game are a dime a dozen.

Pros:

  • Incredibly elaborate setting of medieval Bohemia.
  • From the point of view of historical realism, the game is almost flawless.
  • The developers attention to thousands of details causes sincere respect.
  • A huge number of innovative mechanic really impressive.
  • You’re not just playing a RPG, and really live the life of the protagonist.
  • The dialogues between the characters of the game spelled out just great.
  • Quests are very varied, and they can be held in a variety of ways.
  • Unreal feature-rich and comprehensive system for character equipment.
  • Very nice picture, atmospheric music and high quality voice.
  • Gaming humor will make you smile and even laugh.
  • A huge number of ways to entertain themselves during the passage.
  • Leveling in this game is not like any other.

Cons:

  • Bugs. Too many of them. They’re everywhere. They are not to hide.
  • At times the game’s budget affects its quality.
  • Animation characters are often far from ideal.
  • Excessive realism and complexity will scare many.
  • Translation into Russian language riddled with errors and typos.
  • Sometimes the game is annoying too slow rhythm.
  • The system saves could be easier.

Once again I am convinced that today Europe has become the source of the world’s best role-playing games. Once this honorary title belonged to the United States. Periodically shoots Japan with its specific JRPG genre. But now the trend is to ask the studios of the Belgian Larian Studios (Divinity: Original Sin), the Polish CD Projekt Red (The Witcher), and now the Czech Warhorse Studios. Daniel Vavra acute resource constraints managed to create a convincing virtual medieval world where you just want to dissolve. Players are given complete freedom of action: you do the deeds, I want to — collect herbs or hunt, you want – search for the treasure, but I want to – seduce pretty girls or just drink too much at a roadside Inn. Realism and historical accuracy of the image of Bohemia of the early XV century, as well as the abundance of game mechanics offer us the imagination. However, the picture is very lubricates the General dampness of the game, which at all desire it is difficult not to notice. I put Kingdom Come: Deliverance rating in 8 out of 10 points, but only in advance, with the expectation of the coming patches that fix a large part of the annoying bugs. I want to believe that Vavra did not stop there and one day we will see a sequel of this great game. After all, it really was amazing, even with all its current shortcomings.

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