Kingdom Come: Deliverance – Xbox One Review

Kingdom Come: Deliverance – Xbox One Review

Skyrim, Fallout, The Witcher, all these open world RPG’s have one thing in common – they are perfect examples of how to do open world games well. You have stiff competition if you want to take a bite out of this genre. But developer Warhorse Studio decided that’s just what they want to try. But it won’t be an easy feat, as Fallouts post-apocalyptic landscape is fascinating in its design, Skyrims sheer size is breathtaking to behold and the Witchers depth of enemies is what continued to make it an enthralling game to play.

What would a developer need to do to compete with these mammoth games? They need to bring something different to the players. Thankfully, that’s exactly what Deliverance does. It’s a completely new take on the open world genre. Gone are the weird and wonderful creatures to fight, the mages are no more, and the undead, well they’re still very much deceased.

Its all about realism here, from your character needing to eat and sleep, right down to your clothes getting dirty and having to be laundered at the nearest bath house. Every aspect of medieval life has been built into this game and then they’ve combined it with a rather engaging, and sometimes a tad overwhelming story. Deliverance has all the makings of a great game. But do the ‘makings’ of a great game actually make this a great game?

Set in medieval Bohemia circa 1400, there is a war brewing. With the newly crowned King having been abducted and the king’s stepbrother waging war across the land, the country is in turmoil. You are Henry, a blacksmiths son, living in a small village to the north-west of the province. You have the usual aspirations – to leave the village and see the world before you settle down. But that soon changes.

After a few mediocre quests around the village, the pace and atmosphere soon change and you get right down to the bare bones of the game. With codex entries and brief on-screen instructions, the game gives you everything you need to learn and progress, but within the first few hours, you will notice something -the game is rather difficult. It doesn’t hold your hand at any point. Rather, it pushes you firmly into harm’s way with nothing more than a good luck and godspeed.

This realism is the games main selling point and its one that I thoroughly enjoyed. Due to the realistic nature of the game, at the beginning, it was overwhelmingly difficult. Normally simple in-game tasks such as combat, lock picking, and archery were immensely difficult. Have you ever tried to pick a lock, or fight with toy swords in real life? It’s not as easy as you think, but after a while and a lot of practice you will get better at it. That’s exactly the same here, you need to slowly level your character up or pay for training from specific individuals throughout the game.

Don’t be thinking you can dive in once you’ve gotten your first sword and be an expert in a few hours. 20 hours into the game and attempting to fight more than one enemy head-on is still almost impossible. Running, hiding, dodging, blocking and generally preserving your life in every way possible is the way to go. The combat itself is fun, albeit a tad slow until you manage to perfect it. There’s no constant wailing with your sword here. Keep hitting that attack button and you will very soon find you have depleted all your stamina. Continual blocking moves are required until you can see an opening to land a few skilled shots on the enemy.

Most of the time you will be doing a dance with them, moving left and right, back and forth, attempting not to be hit by their much more accurate attacks. And that’s not even the most difficult thing in the game, that title is held by archery. Imagine attempting to fire a bow that you cant look down, that sways from side to side, that has a limited amount of time to fire – due again to your stamina, and has no marker on the screen to show you at least a rough area of direction.

You get the point, these mechanics are designed to be authentic and need to be practiced a lot over time. I never really got the hang of the bow, but luckily I didn’t really need to use it. There were a few quests here and there that needed it – mainly hunting quests. But with no set time limits, I could fail to hit the target a lot before finally landing a hit. If I spooked my prey, it was a simple case of finding where my arrows had landed, picking them up and locating another animal.

As with all of these open world games, Deliverance is littered with the occasional bug, mostly these are nothing major. Like clipping through walls, NPC’s facing the wrong way on dialogue sequences and other small issues. But occasionally there are a few larger, more annoying problems. Like when a quest doesn’t activate properly and you have to load a previous save losing anywhere up to an hour of gameplay depending on the last save point.

Speaking of saving your game, you are extremely limited to when you can actually save. You can either continue on until you reach a quest save point, sleep in a bed – although that doesn’t always seem to work, or pause the game and save yourself at any time. Sounds easy enough right? Nope! You’re only able to save like that if you happen to have some Saviour Schnapps in your inventory. Drinking this (or pause saving) will use up 1 schnapps and allow a save file to be created. Got none on you, then you can’t save. If you need some more you can purchase them from traders or brew them yourself. But in general, they are a rather limited resource.

It’s not all doom and gloom for KC: Deliverance, however, as straight away you notice one major thing. The game looks beautiful, not only in the world around you but right down to the smaller details. Things that you notice every now and then and just think ‘wow’. The characters, for example, blink whilst they move/talk. That’s such a small thing to introduce into the game when you think about it. But its something that’s generally overlooked when modeling game characters. It’s strange when you first notice it, but the blinking seems to give the NPC’s a much more human feel. This created a greater sense of empathy for them and their own stories as the game progresses. In certain parts of the game, you generally felt sad when bad things happened.

The main and side quests are thoroughly enjoyable, with enough content to keep you busy for days – as it should be in this type of game. Although occasionally a quest did drag on a bit longer than I would have liked. But with well-written quests and, more importantly, good medieval dialogue. The characters appearance, modeling, and excellent voice acting are a major plus to this game. These aspects manage to draw you into peoples lives.

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The game’s early difficulty is due to its realism but this approach adds a feeling of achievement whenever you master something, and it’s that trait that kept me playing hour after hour. Warhorse has managed to create a very accurate medieval game. One that stays true to its realistic roots by making sure that almost every part is historically accurate. This attention to detail is what makes Kingdon Come: Deliverance a joy to play, but more importantly, it’s a breath of fresh air for gaming.

I’m not in some fantasy realm, fighting dragons, and the undead. I’m in Europe in the 1400’s! A time where people lived and died by the sword, and honor and god were prevalent.


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Kingdom Come: Deliverance - Xbox One Review
  • 8/10
    Overall - 8/10
8/10

Summary

An open world game with a realistic approach. Difficult yet rewarding, Kingdom Come: Deliverance is possibly one of the most enjoyable games I’ve played in a while.

Reviews Xbox Review