Previews

A look at the road ahead for Kingdom Come: Deliverance — an E3 2018 preview

We loved the gritty realism of Kingdom Come: Deliverance, as you can see in our review, and as the credits rolled I felt like I’d seen the end of Henry’s story.  I’d tied up a lot of loose ends, and both he and Sir Hans Capon rode off into the sunset in search of new adventures. Well, developer Warhorse Studios is just about ready to deliver on those new adventures.  We sat down with Tobia Stolz-Zwilling to look over the huge slate of DLC, both paid and free, spanning from this summer all the way into 2019.

The most immediate update is imminent.  Launching on June 26th is a free update to the game that’ll squash a few more bugs, but will also launch a free hardcore mode.  If you felt like Kingdom Come: Deliverance was too easy (who are you people?!) then I have some good news.

Starting a new game, you’ll now likely die instantly.  Why? Because most people died in childbirth. After getting through that statistical nod, we finally survived our trip into the world, and get the honor of picking at least two negative perks that will dog you through your life.  If you want to really suffer, you can pick up to and including all nine of them. These can be brittle bones that break when stepping off a small step, hemophilia (bleeding excessively due to thin blood), or slow learner (you were hit in the head and earn XP slower), just to name some examples.  If you’d like a brief (and brutal) look at what Hardcore means in motion, look no further than this video where I die a horrible death.

In addition to these handicaps from birth, there is also no autosave function.  This means you’ll have to rely on the Savior Schnapps entirely to save your game, with all of the drunken fun that implies.  Money is also harder to come by, and equipment degrades faster. You’ll also lose your cues for navigating the overworld. All waypoints are removed, only appearing when you are close, and disappearing when you move away.  Fast travel is no longer possible, and there is no direction indicator on your compass. Here’s a pro tip — the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. There’s also no indicator of where Henry is on the map, meaning you’ll have to use the map and landmarks that appear on it to figure out where you are.  I suggest using the rivers and where bridges intersect it as reference points. Good luck.

If you thought the combat was too easy, imagine how difficult it’ll be with no indicators.  That means no stamina or health bar indicators, forcing you to use visual cues on your overall status.  Similarly, the blocking direction indicator disappears, so you’ll have to watch where your opponent is striking, using your timing and observation to block incoming strikes.  Where taking on four people becomes possible by the endgame when indicators are on the screen, even the developers were unable to take out a trio of foes during our demo without them.  I believe that’s a challenge gauntlet dropped, Deliverance fans.

Beyond the Hardcore mode lies a new DLC called From the Ashes.  As the name suggests, this is Henry’s opportunity to restore the town of Pribyslavitz.  During the course of the game (and I won’t ruin the context) it ends up burned to the ground.  Henry is granted the title of Bailiff by Sir Divish and granted the stewardship over the restoration of Pribyslavitz.  All of the displaced people of Rattay now have a better place to live, or they will once you get to work.

Rebuilding isn’t an RTS-like system where you can place buildings wherever you’d like.  Instead, you’ll work with a builder named Master Marius who will help you determine the best place to restore things like granaries, inns, blacksmiths, bakeries, and more.  None of this is free, of course, and that means money.

From the first meeting with Master Marius, he’s pretty clear that this is a transactional relationship, including his own personal wages.  The long and short of it is simple — your people demand wages, and you are expected to put money in a box lest there be delays in rebuilding and production.  Heading into the temporary Rathaus you can see that it has a wage cost of 75 Groshen. Building a laborer’s camp adds another wage cost of 25 Groshen. Without putting money in the box, our workers will halt production and our reputation will drop.  As a surprise, Tobias reveals at this point that if it drops far enough, you can be fired from your Bailiff position, technically losing access to the DLC without backing up to a previous save.

Also inside the almanac is a list of objectives for your job as Bailiff.  As an example, one objective might be to hit a village income of 1200 Groshen, a capacity of 40 people, and repair the church.  To do this, you’ll need resources like stone, grain, charcoal, and livestock.  Rather than belabor the description, here’s a long look at the DLC in motion.

Once you’ve gotten some of these buildings going, the dynamic shifts.  Eventually your town begins to produce profits and that box will begin to contain profits instead of requiring a constant drain on your meager earnings.  This creates a living ecosystem that can grow and prosper under your watchful eye.

As you establish your town, you’ll also be able to upgrade the buildings.  For instance, you’ll be able to get an alchemy bench, herb gardens, and set up a swordsmith or armorsmith.  You have 12 buildings and 10 slots, so you’ll have a few choices to make, but for the most part you’ll have a self-contained town by the time you are done.  This works best as a natural part of the game’s progression, not necessarily meant to be tacked onto the end of the already-completed game. This is best illustrated with the woodcutter’s camp — a man named Kunish that you encounter early in the main game can be invited to the camp as a woodcutter to help augment that team.

As Bailiff, you are also the de facto judge of your lands.  In one example, we have poachers hunting on our land, and Master Marius has asked us to pass judgment on them.  We can crack down on them and execute them, if we are inclined, cut them loose with no punishment, or have strong words with them and issue a warning.  We choose the latter. These can affect the reputation, income, and other choices you may have access to in the future.

As you rebuild and upgrade the church, the clergy will honor your achievements.  They will paint frescoes inside the church chronicling your story up to this point.  It’s a great way of showcasing the choices you’ve made, and the events that have transpired thus far.

Beyond these two bits of DLC, the team has a large amount of content already in production.  An adventure with Sir Hans Capon, an adventure called Band of Bastards, and even a whole new outing called A Woman’s Lot where you see this hard world from the perspective of a female character from early in the main game will come our way in the spring of 2019.  In between these paid DLC items, we’ll also pick up a “Making of”, free tournament mode, a combat academy, and free modding support.

The team has a great deal of content ahead for fans of the game, and for newcomers alike.

We all came away impressed with the massive variety of content coming our way from the Warhorse team.  It’s very clear that they are very proud of Kingdom Come: Deliverance, and they want to continue to support it, and the audience it has created, well into the future.  Look for our continued coverage as these individual adventures launch.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is out now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.  You can read and see several extensive videos on the game in our review here.  Stay tuned for more E3 coverage here on Gaming Trend.

A look at the road ahead for Kingdom Come: Deliverance — an E3 2018 preview
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