Kingdom Come: Deliverance Xbox One Review

March 27, 2018 by  
Filed under Xbox One, Reviews & Features, Xbox

Publisher: Deep Silver  Developer: Warhorse Studios Genre: RPG  Players: 1  Age Rating: 18+  

Other console/handheld formats: PS4

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is an RPG that focuses on realism in more ways than one. Not only does the game have mechanics that are realistic, but the fact that it is without the typical fantasy elements that are often part of the genre also means that the story and its themes are a lot more grounded than the bulk of RPG’s out there.

Taking place in Medieval times in the Kingdom of Bohemia in the 15th century, Kingdom Come starts off calm enough, but things soon take a turn for the worse when your home, the mining town of Skaliz, is attacked, leaving many dead and wounded. Among the dead are protagonist Henry’s parents, and thus you have probably already gathered that this is a revenge story. As the son of a blacksmith and unskilled with a sword, Henry is hardly the best man for these difficult times but, as ever, revenge is a driving point, and over time he just keeps on getting better and better.

It’s actually possible to overload your inventory with so many items that you are unable to sprint or jump. Your horse does give you extra inventory space, however, which is handy.

Kingdom Come is an open-world RPG that is played from a first person viewpoint, and it really does have a staggering amount of detail in its world. There are clusters of towns and villages and other settlements in the green countryside to spend time in or just pass through, and also plenty of forestry to explore and get lost in. Developer Warhorse Studios sought assistance to make the game world historically accurate, and it really does feel like a real place. The environment is huge as well, and whether you are walking around it or galloping on horseback, there’s much beauty to be admired in the world, even if it is slightly spoiled by pop-up and framerate hiccups from time to time.

So the world that the game takes place in feels realistic, and the game itself doesn’t shy away from such things either. Henry needs to both sleep and eat to keep in peak condition, and his weapons and armour also degrade over time, which means that they require repairs or swapped for newer equipment. Clothing also becomes worn, torn, and caked with blood over time, and it’s sometimes worth getting cleaned up from time to time, as the way Henry looks also determines how certain people will react to him in Bohemia. Henry is also able to incur wounds that must be bandaged in order to stop him from bleeding out, so there really is quite a lot to take into consideration, and rather than getting in the way of the fun, it just all adds to the immersion.

When it comes to the combat, Kingdom Come also doesn’t pull any punches, as it really is quite difficult to get used to. You can attack from five directions with your fists or melee weapons, allowing you to alter your direction to create combos, and it’s even possible to feign attacks, sometimes causing your opponent to drop his guard. Then there’s the bow and arrow, which is even more difficult to use, particularly if you aren’t levelled up, and you really will have to use this weapon a lot in order to become a more efficient archer. All in all, it really does take time and patience to learn how to fight and to pick up the different combat systems, although the game does allow you to practice before taking on any real enemies, and there’s also satisfaction when things start to click.

In a nice touch, beating enemies will often result in them putting their weapons down and then begging for their lives. Kingdom Come is definitely a game that gives you choices in many areas, and it does so here. When an enemy surrenders, you can let them go, allow them their freedom in exchange for cash, or you can simply kill them. It’s up to you.

Less positive about the combat though, and I do feel that such a game that is focussed on realism deserved better and harder hitting animations and feedback, as what’s there does feel rather underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong the combat is satisfying enough and definitely different enough to stand out from the crowd, but added feedback would have made things feel all the more gratifying.

As an RPG, Kingdom Come allows you to level up many different skills, and here it simply works in how often you make use of each action. With that said, if you keep making use of, say, your sword or your horse, you’ll get better at performing these actions. Then once you reach particular levels you are rewarded with a perk point which can then be used to learn new perks, which means that there’s plenty of depth in these typical RPG systems but also an organic feeling to how you become more efficient.

Handily, you are able to accelerate time, meaning that you don’t have to wait for nightfall if it is required to forward a quest, for example. You sometimes have to take into consideration some of your other quests, though, as it’s possible to fail them if, say, you pass a number of days without completing them.

Kingdom Come’s open world has tons of things for you to both see and do. You’ll come across many quests on your travels, some of which are main story progressing quests, while others are of the side variety. In a nice touch, some of the quests in the world are timed and can be failed due to the passage of time, which is also a realistic aspect of the game. Many of the quests also have various ways to complete them, and you are also able to choose how to respond to people during conversations, which can either succeed or fail, depending on various things.

There’s often so much detail in such a gigantic game, and Kingdom Come: Deliverance is no exception, although it has come at the expense of some rather nasty glitches. I fortunately haven’t experienced as many bugs on my travels as some players have, although I did see a rather amusing glitch in which a town full of corpses had all the dead standing up, frozen in place with their arms spread out. The glitch was less funny when I realised that it had broken my game, forcing me to refer to an earlier save. Speaking of which, the save system is also rather dodgy in the way that you must purchase particular items in order to save, which makes saving unnecessarily stressful. The game does auto save at particular points, although it is still a rather archaic save system which just shouldn’t exist in this day and age.

A number of things do take the shine off Kingdom Come: Deliverance, but given some time it could become the game that it very much deserves to be, and it really is a whisker away from being something truly special. Despite its flaws, I was utterly absorbed in the game’s story, its bountiful of quests, and its realistic and beautiful world, and for these reasons alone I can easily recommend the game, but just don’t go into this adventure expecting it to be completely free from frustrations right now.