If you’ve played games like Skyrim, you know most titles in that genre have you playing as some all-important character with a cool sounding title, like the Dragonborn. Kingdom Come: Deliverance is not one of those games.
When it releases on February 13th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, you’ll be able to explore a realistic medieval setting as a character with no more combat experience than you or I. This is one of the many intriguing reasons I am looking forward to finally getting my hands on this game.
Warhorse Studios has promised many interesting features regarding Kingdom Come: Deliverance. It starts you off as the son of a blacksmith who goes on a quest for revenge. Only through the sheer pity of a noble do you get the opportunity to start on this mission.
The medieval setting is constantly shifting, moving on while you mess about in it. If a quest has you going to help a squad of knights take out a bandit camp, and you don’t follow the group, it will be done without you. Any follow up quests related to those people will be lost forever. This is an interesting system, because it has the potential for choices and replay value. I hope there are missions included where you must choose between helping one group over another and that the choice sets off political consequences. Or situations where a clever tongue might get you out of trouble… or executed.
Choices matter in this game. You might choose to wear heavy iron armor that protects from sword attacks, but you will then move like an elephant stuck in the mud. You might choose to wear some light leather armor for mobility sakes, but at the risk of leaving your face open to a new hole or two. Customization seems to be based on practicality over cosmetics, but it is a realistic sim, so that choice is not surprising.
Speaking of practicality, the developers have stated that you can wear other factions’ gear and clothing, so you can try and sneak into their camps to sabotage the supplies. Heavy gear will make more noise, potentially alerting enemies to your location, while light boots will suppress footsteps to make sneaking easier at the cost of protection. Poisoning their food might make or break a battle by dwindling enemy numbers. Options seem to be the name of the game here, as you can hold 16 different armor sets. If you are dressed like a peasant you will be treated like a peasant. Dress like a noble and you might be treated like one – if you can act properly at least. This can lead to some interesting encounters depending on how you choose to tackle a situation.
There will also be castle sieges and large historical battles that, if done right, should be exciting to play. There needs to be a smooth flow from skirmish to skirmish during those large battles, and hopefully every siege and battle will feel different. The developer videos show terrain mattering in the sense that archers with high ground will rain destruction on the enemy. This gives me hope that battles and sieges will play out differently from one to the next.
How you choose to tackle the battle should matter as well. It’s been confirmed that players can poison food, but I also want to be able to set up some basic traps for enemies. We also should have the ability to take different routes into battle. I want to be able to adapt on the fly. If one situation isn’t going so well, I would like to change my strategy to have a better chance at success, or at the very least survival. Everything I have seen from the developer videos makes me think that will be the case, but we should know more once reviews are out and we’ve been able to get hands on.
The promise of choices mattering, along with multiple ways to tackle quests and problems makes me very excited for Kingdom Come: Deliverance. If it is close to Game of Thrones and Skyrim in world design and political machinations, it will be a game I play for a very long time indeed.