There's no denying that Kingdom Come: Deliverance, a story driven role-playing game (RPG) by Warhorse Studios set in medieval Bohemia, has been a huge hit across the gaming community. Praised for its intense combat, elements of realism, and more, most RPG fans are having a blast with it.
Despite all the success, though, one specific mechanic in the game is very controversial: the saving. Unlike most RPGs where you can save where and when you please, Kingdom Come instead limits your ability to save to only two options — sleeping in a bed, or drinking a rather expensive beverage called "Saviour Schnapps". Neither of these opportunities are always available to the player, so a lot of people playing the game have to remain in constant fear of losing all their progress. Here's why I think this system is great.
A popular practice many players exercise when they play RPGs is "save scumming," or saving right before they commit crimes or charge headfirst into a situation that is guaranteed to get them killed. This way, the player in question doesn't have to worry about facing the consequences of killing innocents or dying; all they have to do is reload their save.
Kingdom Come's saving mechanics, though, make save scumming incredibly difficult to do. The only way that it's even possible to do it in the game is through the use of Saviour Schnapps, and they cost quite a bit. Paired with the fact that making large amounts of money in Kingdom Come is a lengthy process, successfully save scumming will be quite a challenge for most people.
This also forces you to think carefully about your actions because you'll only be getting a save from sleeping once a day. Dying is punished heavily because you can potentially lose an entire day of progress, so players are going to play the game with caution, just as they would if they were in the game itself. This also fits incredibly well with Kingdom Come's emphasis on realism.
Learn things the hard way
Rare saving in Kingdom Come has another benefit: it helps the player learn things through experience. For example, if the player is able to easily save before getting into a fight, they can just reload their save whenever they think they'll lose and mindlessly throw themselves at the enemy again until they get lucky. However, if you don't have that cushion to fall back on, the game demands that you step up and learn the mechanics or else risk failure.
Of course, this seems harsh, but I think that's a good thing. Punishing experiences sharpen skills much better than ones that give you an easy out, and while you can die, you can also opt to surrender to your foes. Though they will take some of your items, you'll still come out of that loss understanding why you lost and how you can do better next time.
A compromise is coming
For people who still think the save system is flawed, don't fret; in the upcoming 1.3 patch for Kingdom Come, the developers are adding a Save and Quit functionality that lets you save the game when closing the software. The save file is automatically deleted once you load it, but this feature will make it so you don't have to rush to a bed to save or leave the game running for hours if you need to leave.
An alternative available to PC players is the Unlimited Saving mod. This mod makes it possible to save wherever and whenever you want, similar to most other RPGs.
What do you think of Kingdom Come: Deliverance's save system? Let me know.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is available on Xbox One and PC for $59.99.