I have found myself in a bit of a gaming lull. Having reached 200 hours of gameplay with both The Witcher 3 and Fallout 4, I am trying to find a new obsession to fill the gap between The Witcher’s new DLC and Mass Effect: Andromeda next year. I can’t quite decide if I want to buy Tom Clancy’s: The Division just yet and am waiting for payday to download Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Michonne because a) Michonne is a badass lady and b) Telltale’s TWD is one of the few games that made me bawl real baby tears.
Being a big fantasy fan, I was looking for a game that could fill the Oblivion/ Geralt shaped hole in my life and stumbled upon an up-coming RPG that I think looks absolutely AMAZING: Warhorse Studios‘ Kingdom Come: Deliverance. The game is set in Bohemia – a kingdom in what is now the West of the Czech Republic – draws upon real life events from Medieval Europe (my favourite!) so, if you know your history, the outcome of the game may already be defined, but you have the magical fun of shaping your protagonist – “Henry” – into the Knight in shining armour you always wanted to be or the dastardly villain you secretly are.
The story begins with tragedy and intrigue. Henry, a blacksmith’s son, is the sole survivor in an attack by a gang of ruthless mercenaries who wipe out his entire family. You find out, of course, that the mercenaries aren’t there by chance; King Wenceslas IV, the new king who by the way was totally real, is usurped and imprisoned by his half-brother Sigismund whose mercenary army invades the country and effectively start a war. Henry and his family fall short at the hands of this great army and its mercenary comrades, starting your journey and intertwining your fate with the King.
The game is still in production, having had a few setbacks since its planned release in October 2014, with the Beta available for PC. The difference with this Beta is that you do have to pay to access it, costing between $49.99-$59.99; BUT this is part of a Kickstarter project to help fund the production of what I think looks like an incredible realistic game – both in terms of history, location and design.
In regards to skill sets and levelling up, there are no defined classes; if you want to be better at one-handed sword play or blocking, then you damn well better practice! It follows on from Skyrim’s approach to levelling up where you simply have to use that exact skill to get better at it and all skills can be levelled up evenly, as opposed to Oblivion’s class system where you had to level up skills specific to your class if you ever wanted to progress at all. You’ll also need to learn the skills of sword play, pirouetting your way around the battlefield, rather than hacking at your nearest opponent.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance lets you shape Henry as you please, with your charm and wit just as important as your aggression and battle-prowess. Every single NPC is reported to have a role to play in this massive world, and extracting information from them will take a silver tongue, or a pointed threat. Whichever approach you decide to take, you must choose wisely, as a wrong move can end a quest for you or mess up a quest later on. As I said before, as this is based on true historic events the ending is already partially set, but there will be adaptable bits of the story that will be based on your choices or lack thereof. Your reputation appears to matter quite a lot for this story, and I’m really looking forward to seeing people cheer as I saunter through their villages or violently attack me as they see what is effectively the medieval anti-Christ running by.
There will be the usual crafting and mending of weapons in the game, perhaps with the possibility of upgrading weapons and armour – not quite clear on that yet. Combat strategy takes into account weapon and armour type, i.e. if your enemy is wearing heavy armour and using a large shield, then your dagger is going to do diddly-squat, so some planning is required for each battle. Another super exciting feature in this game will be the planning and execution of battle sieges as well as taking part in historical battles across the land. I can’t help but think that when the time comes for me to plan a siege on a castle, it’ll go something like Monty Python’s King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table failed assault against the French Knights, complete with bunny rabbit infiltration unit and the French throwing cows and chickens over the walls at me.
I have to say, I am looking forward to the word-of-mouth reputation-building aspect of the game. As I have said many times before, one of the things I loved about TES IV: Oblivion was that the NPC’S kept up with your character’s actions and quests, almost immediately in some cases. They commented on your fame and infamy alike, what you did or didn’t do in quests and the states of each city you save, as well as the never-ending Oblivion gates and Daedra that spawn almost everywhere. At the end, you even had a statue built in your honour and everyone greeted you as the Hero of Cyrodil! They also comment wildly on your clothes, weapons, race etc and the statue was built in the style of the armour you wore during the last battle, so if you wore nothing… You get the idea. Skyrim was certainly lacking this up-to-date response and I am glad to see that Warhorse felt that it was something worth focusing on. The NPC’s will comment on literally everything you do, throwing in some key facts or words of interest too! Or, if you’re the renegade type, mercenaries and evil peeps will flock to your side as you ravage and pillage 15th Century Europe.
The game is built using CryEngine, allowing for HD texture on all objects and the game boasts an impressive day/night cycle, which will no doubt play a key role in the story. Facial scans and body mapping were also used to create incredibly realistic facial expressions as well as accurate and believable body movements, particularly with combat and sword fighting.
So there you have it! Sadly, I cannot purchase the Beta at present because I don’t have a gaming PC at the moment, but am eyeing up my partner’s laptop to see if I can run the game even at a low level because I am so looking forward to playing it. If you afford it, I would urge all of you to visit https://www.kingdomcomerpg.com and consider helping to fund what sounds like an amazing game!