This is not your typical medieval RPG game where you shout at dragons and force push harpies and whatnot. This is a medieval simulator through and through and that’s kinda awesome, but also kinda awful at the same time.
As I said there’s no magic nor magical creatures in the game. The story is a personal human story which I guess is based on real life, maybe, and Bohemian folklore. You play as Henry, the son of the village’s blacksmith, living the simple village life but with aspirations of becoming a well known knight in the future. All seems to go well, until the village is attacked by an unknown enemy army, everybody dies, your parents too and you are among the few remaining survivors that managed to escape even though badly hurt.
Fast forward a little bit, as the dust settles, you find yourself serving under a nobleman learning how to become a knight, learn swordfight, horsemanship and all the cool perks that come with the profession.
All of this tutorial or onboarding lasts for around 7 hours and that’s a lot. When I got the game before release I played and played and played and nothing really seemed to happen. And I was a bit put off by the game, but I continued to push through just so that I had something to talk about in in the review.
Them the game started to get interesting even though most of the mechanics have a steep learning curve and some just don’t make any sense like the lock picking, but the devs are onto it as they have already released a giant patch on launch day and a new massive one which at time of this review I have not seen its impact on the overall game look and feel.
Sword fighting is strange and unfamiliar at first, but gets cool, engaging and satisfying really fast. You can slash from five directions and you can change direction mid slash and the same goes for parrying so it requires a lot of strategy and quick thinking from your side. Horse riding allows you to traverse around the kingdom fast, but the riding experience is not good, Iike at all, as it gets stuck on the smallest of rocks and controls like a shopping cart.
You have to keep your hunger at bay, but be careful to not overeat as there are penalties for that. You have to sleep to replenish your energy and stamina. You have to bandage yourself if you are bleeding or you will die quickly. You have to be careful when you are speaking to someone as you might say something you will regret later or that messes up an entire quest. You have to be careful when you steal something or do something wrong that a knight serving the nobleman shouldn’t be caught doing or that might result in a game over screen. And if you do get caught make sure you leave no witnesses.
Everything you do in the game, walk, run, jump, talk, haggle, fight, shoot arrows, ride a horse, cook something, eat something, everything levels up a specific trait or stat unlocking new perks that make you better is some way, shape or form. The UI well, I don’t really like it, it’s a mess, the font is “medievaly” and small an makes everything hard to read an understand. You have to press triangle to read information about something and you have to press It again to close it so that you can check another item while pressing circle closes everything. Also there are a lot of tabs within tabs in the menus that make it hard to keep track of where you actually are or can do.
These might seem like small things, but when you take into consideration that you have to spend a lot of time in the menus and that it takes awhile to load each time, it can get on your nerves and hinder the whole experience.
Speaking of problems, this game is very rough around the edges. Every system that I lightly talked about, has issues in both concept and execution. Lock picking is stupid hard and makes no sense. Some of the side quests appear to be completely broken. Then there is the difficulty which is all over the place, I mean as soon as you start the game you might encounter a bandit which will murder you in seconds or follow you until he murders you in seconds. But you can also find a knight, go behind him, knock him out, steal all of his stuff and deck yourself in high level stuff since the beginning and then plunge a sword into his heart. And you will be totally fine since there aren’t any people roaming around in the wild, so you can get away from pretty much everything. Even if you get caught or a guard wants to frisk you, you can pause, drop all the stolen stuff, get frisked and then pick everything up again now harm done.
The problems continue with the presentation which is buggy and glitchy at all times. Animations can look awful and you will see people moonwalking at all times, tons of object clipping, massive texture pop-ins and a lot of frame rate drops. And the cherry on top, the massive loading times. Everything requires loading, talk to someone load, talk to someone else load, buy or sell something load, open the menu load, load load load. Now maybe this problem isn’t really a problem on a high end PC or Xbox One X or PS4 Pro, but for the standard PS4 all of these problems are there and fu*king suck all the fun out of the game.
Kingdom Come Deliverance is just like a rough uncut diamond. Well, maybe not a diamond per se, maybe another more affordable uncut rough gem. Underneath all the crappie problems, bugs, glitches and stupid gameplay mechanics there is a hidden gem that is worth the time exploring and messing around in. The aforementioned problems can be solved through patches and by the looks of it, the devs are hard at work ironing out everything as best they can. After 15 hours or so, I am really liking the game and I will keep going back to it to see what happens next. Thanks for reading