I had the pleasure of playing Kingdom Come: Deliverance at E3, and I’m now counting down the days until this title is released. Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a brilliant trip through time to the medieval days in which you take on the role of Henry, the son of a blacksmith living in a small town in Bohemia. The game is set against a backdrop of an impending civil war, and the inevitable conflict that Henry will face.
From the first preview of the game, this seemed to be one of the most complex and historically accurate titles to come out of E3. Nearly every place you visit in the game is based on an actual medieval location, from castles to small villages. Many of the characters you’ll interact with are based on historical figures; if you’re not familiar with them, there’s no need to worry—the in-game codex has write-ups of the various characters so you can understand the historical significance of those people.
The highlight of Kingdom Come: Deliverance is the insane amount of detail carried throughout the game, even in the short demo I got to play. The medieval theme has been implemented beautifully—even the world map was created as a 15th century style painting, matching the illustrative style of the time. Small things will affect your interactions with NPCs—from a bloody sword increasing your ability to intimidate other villagers, to being able to purchase weighted dice to use in a gambling mini game prevalent throughout Bohemia. Even the fighting is as accurate as possible, as the production team studied with actual medieval sword fighters to portray things like stances and attacks.
I played through the beginning of the main story, and was drawn in instantly. The first tasks I was assigned introduced one of the most interesting parts of Kingdom Come: Deliverance’s gameplay. My father had asked me to go out and collect debts from a local villager, who demanded I fight him for the money. I quickly lost, and rather than getting a second chance, was told to find a different way to finish this quest. There was no second chance for a fight; I lost, and that was that. This playstyle means that each person will have a different journey through the game—nearly every instance of combat is avoidable, if that’s what you decide. It’s your medieval life to live, and you can do so however you see fit.
While the gameplay was enjoyable from the get go, the combat was more difficult. The damage received is based on stamina as well as your health, so you can’t keep mashing buttons and endlessly attack; you’ll need to be smart with your actions. Fighting is often a few swings or jabs, and then backing off to recover. This adds an interesting challenge to the fights that are in stark opposition to similar RPGs. I didn’t quite get the hang of it, but I expect that with practice, I’ll be able to figure it out nicely.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is currently scheduled to be released on February 13th, 2018, and will be available on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. To follow the game’s progress, you can check out Kingdom Come: Deliverance’s website.