Kingdom Come: Deliverance ReviewTempo: Feb. 6, 2020 De:
The story of Kingdom Come: Deliverance starts innocently enough, mirroring many tales of medieval tragedy
that have come before. Since its humble beginnings on kickstarter however, the game takes a sharp turn,
forcing players on a humbling tale of growth, grit and political intrigue through a realistic lens. There are no
dragons or mythical beasts in this medieval game; the only monster you’ll face on this adventure is man.
The game has been out for a year now, so it might be strange why we are choosing to cover it. In the end,
the reason's simple: there's a game world here that's worth playing. With the third DLC expansion coming
out tomorrow, Band of Bastards, it's a perfect time to explain why Kingdom Come is worth your time even now.
A Bohemian Rhapsody
This historical fiction begins with your character, a blacksmith’s son named Henry (or Hal for short), waking
up from a hangover. You’re badgered by your mother about your whereabouts the last night, run some errands
for your dad, throw some poop at the house of someone speaking ill of your king... y’know, normal teenage stuff.
This peaceful morning is quickly interrupted however by the sound of war horns, and what starts as a bright story
turns bleak very quickly.
I won’t spoil much else, because the path that you take with Henry from a lowly peasant to a knight of the realm is
long and unforgiving, filled with its own twists and turns. The amazing thing is that this story is never impossible to believe.
It takes place in the 1400s in the Kingdom of Bohemia (today's Czechc Republic); King Charles IV, King of Bohemia
and Holy Roman Emperor, had passed and left the crown to his son, Wenceslas IV. He was more commonly known as
Wenceslas the Idle, and due to inaction in his reign, tensions between lords quickly brewed. It’s these tensions that Henry
is flung betwixt, and that you guide him through. Oh, and don’t worry about having to read a history textbook before
playing: the game opens with a cutscene explaining all of this every time you launch it.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance progresses slowly, due in part to its realistic gameplay mechanics but mainly
because of the extremely long quest lines of the game. You may be asked by your lord to investigate fake
money being brought into the kingdom, so he sends you to the last place where it was spent. Then you have
to interrogate the merchant who came into contact with whoever had the fake cash. You get where this is going.
Nothing in the world of Kingdom Come is simple; every situation has multiple moving parts, and even something
as simple as looking into a botched robbery at a farm can turn into a four hour long questline.
That isn’t to say that it isn’t satisfactory to gallop through the trials and tribulations in this story. Working through
a web of intrigue to find where all the pieces fit, where every person involved in a scheme was involved can sometimes
feel like work. Don't worry though, because this is the kind of work where you don’t really care how much you get
paid because it’s just so damn fun. It’s not always all gloom and doom either; in fact, some of the side quests are just
flat out silly, like my personal favorite where you get blackout drunk with a town’s priest and then have to give a magnificent
sermon to the congregation in his stead. All with a massive hangover. Y’know, regular medieval stuff.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance offers up an experience with depth and so many options it’s staggering, although we
have to point out some things seem to have been looked over. There are some bugs I ran into, and some of the menus
feel clunky, as some examples.
However, this game shines its brightest in it's combat, especially if you are heavily armored. Fighting feels
different than a standard action RPG. It's more like a war of attrition with a little bit of chess thrown in. You
need to be mindful of every attack you dole out or defend against so you don’t run out of stamina. Care has
to be given when deciding which angle to swing at your enemy from. You need to keep your eye out for an
opening, because just one can give you the space to use an advanced technique that can spell the end of
even the most seasoned knight.
As much as you might want to get straight into adrenaline pumping combat against strong knights right away,
it’s not the best idea. Henry is an untrained lad, and you have to guide him through the steps of becoming a
master swordsman, or perhaps a maceman might be a better term? Either way, you’ll have to figure out what
weapon suits you best first. A swortsword made perfect for stabbing and chipping away at the health of your
opponents, while a morningstar works if you want to turn the knight in front of you into a tin can. The best way
to get better with your weapon of choice is to just use it and gain experience in that weapon type. Eventually
you’ll level up and become more proficient with your instrument, and you’ll be able to unlock advanced techniques.
For some reason however, your skill with a bow was looked over in this regard. There aren’t any perks even
though you can level up your ranged ability, which kept begging the question from me: why? When there are
perks for making you better at things like lockpicking and drinking, it felt like the ranger’s choice of weapon
wasn’t given the same attention. I ended up not using my bow and arrow for anything other than hunting for that reason.