The 15th Century Bohemian Gaming Garbage Man Reviews: Kingdom Come: Deliverance
15th century Bohemia, now present-day Czech Republic, was a hell of a place. Did you know that the laundromats also had complementary hookers? Or that everyone in a village would gather around once a day to watch their lord shit above them from his castle privy? Or even horses magically teleporting to you with the beckoning of a whistle? Such amazing things I learned through my play-through of Kingdom Come: Deliverance on the Xbox One X.
Galloping along the lily-covered hillside, I see the grass blow in the wind, waves of shimmer pushed along. The sounds of birds singing and my horse’s hooves clomping on the dirt path. The passing buzz of flies from an open-door outhouse. Immersion is a good thing.
I had followed this game’s production and release with interest, but was never really convinced to put down the full asking price. While I might get a fancy AAA game every now and then, it is usually something with plenty of preview and polish, minus Fallout 76. Kingdom Come had polish, but it also had issues at releases. Slow framerate, broken quests and NPCs, along with the usual save deletions were the norm for the dedicated few who purchased it at release.
In many ways, this game echos another age-old favorite of mine; The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion. From the green hills to the night sky, gathering herbs and stealing from unsuspecting townsfolk, I felt as though I was playing the true sequel to Oblivion, not the veiny cock-throb that Skyrim was. I like my open-world RPGs to be pure, not placating to the larger mass by shooting flames in one hand and swinging a sword in the other.
The story is set squarely from the perspective of Henry of Skalitz, a young survivor of an advancing army, threatening to kill and plunder all of Bohemia. And probably rape it’s citizens. A lot. It’s up to you whether or not you face this army and gather enough skill, resources, and friends to effectively meet them. Or just go take a walk in the woods and live off the land like a crazed hobo.
The character Henry is as endearing as they come. His strife, humor, and dialogue all feel natural coming from the mouth of a simple son of an armorsmith. From hearing the occasional F bomb drop at the appropriate time, to his feigned attempts at lying, Henry elevates this game from good to great, making you not only feel compelled, but vested in seeing him get through his adventures.
The first few hours are spent within the confines of the story, making you feel like you got this. Right until the plot and a few new antagonists promptly reminds you that no, you do not got this. With twist and turns, dead bodies and dead dogs, fields of poppies and piles of smoldering farm animals, Kingdom Come: Deliverance’s story builds in increments, each chapter more complex and with greater reward.
I hate sand.
Of all things, Kingdom Come: Deliverance is going first and foremost for realism. Fuck yo magic spells, fuck yo dragons, and fuck yo Gods. This a Christendom adventure, Jesus Christ’s name be praised, you fucking heathen. Instead of worrying about a cave troll that’ll rape you, what you better worry about is whether the local priest saw you unlock that pig’s “backside”. There is some caveats given for more fluid and fun gameplay, and I think that was a wise choice. The lack of fast travel or teleporting horses would be a medieval bitch.
You have stats related to things useful of the time, such as swordplay or herb picking. Get your speech high enough, you can lie to the guard about who really shit all over the privie and nowhere inside the hole. It wasn’t me, I swear. You pick special perks with every few levels or so, gaining that edge over someone as you stab them in the face, repeatedly. You can also pay characters to train you in specific skills, allowing you to max out every stat, if that sort of thing is necessary. All I need my is my speech skill maxed so people can quit blaming me for the medieval port-a-potties smeared with defecation.
Speaking of stabbing people in the face, the combat in this game is a unique take on swordplay. You have six points of attack, highlighted by a reticle placed on your opponent. You can strike, stab, block, kick, and eventually learn combos and counter-attacks. There is some archery with no reticle, but nothing feels quite as good as when you hit someone and hear the sword cleave along the flesh, breaking a bandit’s defense. Or when you beat the shit out of the town drunk who tried to feel up your girl. Or cutting down Captain Bernard’s punk-ass after he’s been dissing and mocking your sword skill since you escaped Skalitz. Fuck you, Bernard!
Rating: 5 out of 5. If you hesitated buying or just thought about trying Kingdom Come: Deliverance, deliver your soul and do it. If you’ve never heard of this game or think history is cool, check it out. If you don’t like video games, I don’t know what to tell you, read a book or something.
A perfect game doesn’t have to be perfect at everything. As long as the majority is fun and playable, the few bugs or glitches that are present just add that extra charm that only a video game can have. And after being nearly a year since release, gameplay is pretty damn smooth. Only a few freezes and infinite load screen but not enough to be an annoyance. And on the Xbox One X? Perfectly smooth and flowing, like sex with a lubed-up fat chick.
The world itself is a wonder. You can stop at nearly any point and have a picture-perfect scene of nature and uniqueness. Developer Warhorse should be given all the awards for their recreation of late middle age Bohemia, it’s such a fucking work of art. Even the dead tree branches hanging in the forest are different from each other, something said to have driven the lead designer of the development team to go insane. The background sound complements it beautifully, giving every stream flow and slight breeze of wind that immersiveness, making this a true Role-Playing Game, as close to LARPing as it can get.
Stab the in the face!
This was the 15th Century Bohemian Gaming Garbage Man. Until the next game, keep that sword sharp!
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