We've seen countless medieval-style RPGs over the years, with Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls swirling at the top, defining what RPGs of this type should look like. Warhorse Studios is taking its game in another direction.
Revolving around real European history, Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a story-driven RPG inspired by the historical realities of 1403 Bohemia. The landscapes and buildings are derived from real-world geography and archaeology, set in regions that are part of modern day Czech Republic.
There's no magic, and no dragons in Kingdom Come: Deliverance. But there's heaps of sword fighting, dark political intrigue, and narrative choices that actually matter.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance lands on February 13th, 2018 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC.
What do you do in Kingdom Come: Deliverance?
Set in 1403, you play as Henry, a humble blacksmith's son, who winds up in not-so-humble circumstances. For our preview, we saw how the game starts in a fairly benign way, solving village disputes, learning your father's craft, and playing real dice games from the 15th century, but introductions can be deceiving. In Kingdom Come: Deliverance, you will eventually find yourself taking part in large scale battles, at the beck and call of Lords, and helping solve a political crisis that threatens all of Bohemia.
The King of Bohemia has been usurped and kidnapped by his half-brother, the King of Hungary, who seizes upon the land, burning and pillaging villages along the way. Unfortunately for Henry, that means your village too. It's under this context that Henry embarks on a quest for vengeance that will lead the player across a sizeable world, filled with choice and consequence.
While you will have to make a few killings along the way, the vast majority of combat can be avoided in Kingdom Come: Deliverance. This isn't to say the game won't have epic battles if you seek it (more on that shortly), but it's simply a way to give the player choice when it comes to tackling problems. I was told by the game's developer that roughly 85% of the game could be progressed without shedding blood.
Due to the game's decisions and branching narrative, you'll likely experience a very different game to your friends.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance features over two-thousand individual NPCs with unique skills, motivations, and daily routines. Kingdom Come: Deliverance also features roughly four hours of cinematic cut-scenes, too. Due to the game's decisions and branching narrative, you'll likely experience a very different game to your friends.
There are various ways in which you can overcome the game's obstacles. You can utilize charisma, and attempt to persuade your way through dialogue. You can wear disguises, Hitman style, and attempt to trick enemies. Maybe you can sneak past the guards, or pick a lock to find an alternative route. If all else fails, you can get medieval and bash people with a big mace. It's all about what you want, and that extends to the game's RPG progression systems.
Skills, progress, campaign length
There are no classes in Kingdom Come. Instead, your playstyle will shape your progression. If you do a lot of fighting, you'll start getting better at it. If you engage in a lot of diplomacy, you'll get better at that too. In time, you'll shape Henry to suit your playstyle, as you move through the game's 50-100 hour campaign.
The realism of the game's plot extends to combat. Drawing arrows for firing with your bow will be a difficult, stamina-draining affair. Wearing heavy armor will give you a defense boost, but like in real life, wearing tons of metal will weigh you down significantly. Additionally, wearing helmets will realistically restrict your field of view, just as they did for soldiers of the 15th century.
Your abilities will get stronger as you progress, but don't expect to eventually become Legolas from Lord of the Rings, shooting five arrows at a time with perfect headshots - Kingdom Come: Deliverance is far more grounded.
Speaking of shooting people in the head, your actions will not only determine how the story progresses, but which NPCs approach you, and how NPCs perceive you. Like The Elder Scrolls, Kingdom Come has a crime system. You can be thrown in jail, gain notoriety, and lose the respect of certain characters based on your behavior. But perhaps shady characters will offer you opportunities later on as a result.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance seems awesome
Kingdom Come: Deliverance will be the first game from Warhorse Studios, co-founded by the creator of Mafia and Mafia II, David Vavra. Among the team, Warhorse has a wealth of exceptional industry talent, and while the studio is comparatively small and isn't backed by a billion-dollar publisher, Kingdom Come: Deliverance already looks extremely promising.
The game will launch on February 13th, 2018 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. And we can't wait to find out more.
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