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Kingdom Come: Deliverance review


During 2014, a new ambitious videogame project, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, appears on Kickstarter.
The title promises to drag gamers with iron veracity into a medieval world absolutely uncontaminated by the fantasy element, and faithful to the historical context of XNUMXth century Bohemia.


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Kingdom Come: Deliverance

If on paper the project of Warhorse Studios it may seem aimed exclusively at a niche of historical or simulation enthusiasts, the final result is astonishing given the skill with which the team has managed to mix the role-playing game with the simulation one.



Kingdom Come Deliverance is an immersive and engaging experience

 

Version tested: PS4

 
Small burden in the long run is heavy

 

 

The boy in fact longs to travel in search of adventure, an ambition promptly denied by his parents

Kingdom Come: Deliverance wants to tell a story and a portion of the story. The engine that allows travel into this world of the past is powered by Henry, a young resident of Skalica Argentea, a small village in Bohemia, a kingdom currently experiencing tensions due to a negligent King, Charles IV. The latter was kidnapped by his brother Sigismund (King in turn) with the aim of restoring order. Henry's life is rather humble: the son of a blacksmith, he helps his father from the morning, while learning the trade that he will one day inherit. But it is already immediately clear that the protagonist has other plans in mind before settling down. The boy in fact longs to set out on a journey in search of adventure, an ambition promptly denied by his parents who fear a horrible end for him in a world that does not look at anyone outside the village. But the apprehensive parents could hardly suspect that danger would soon present itself at the gates of the village. On March 23, 1403, Skalica is wiped from maps razed to the ground by Sigismund's army. Disappeared in a few moments along with most of its inhabitants, including Henry's mother and father.
The latter, who survived the massacre, suddenly finds himself having to fight for his own survival. Loaded with anger and a desire for revenge, he then points the finger at the general Markvart von Auliz, the man who led the assault on the village.
Faced with this tragic beginning, in a very convoluted way the boy's wishes are fulfilled. A world of possibilities opens up in front of him - and the player.
Starting from the incipit, the script of the main story is certainly to be praised, which takes the player to the most disparate situations. The strings of the story unfold between funny, touching, and dramatic moments, a mix of emotions that you wouldn't expect from a similar title.



 

Country you go, Henry you find

 

Shortly after the first start, the degree of identification takes off.

Following the events of Skalica, certainly something has changed in Henry's soul. On balance, however, he is the usual boy with no talent from a small village, torn with brutal violence from his affections and suddenly found himself a man. Similarly Kingdom Come: Deliverance makes the player feel in the first hours of the game: spaesato and only to the world, he explains only the essentials through tutorials, letting the player experience the rest firsthand. Shortly after the first start, the degree of identification takes off. We find ourselves at the controls of a character who, given his origins, does not know how to pull the sword properly, can barely ride, and as a simpleton he cannot even read. Henry's experience, as well as that of those who wear his shoes, it is limited to the native village.

The only way to learn in XNUMXth-century Bohemia - other than being born noble - remains to jump in and try.

It is a situation that places the player more than a headache in the early hours of the adventure, but which allows them to gradually acquire self-awareness of their abilities and preferences in approaching the game, building his own personal experience of the world piece by piece. It is therefore clear that different methods of problem solving derive from different types of lived life.


More ways to do the same job

Warhorse Studios has been a master in offering this type of gameplay: every assignment that is entrusted to us, whether it is the main story or a side quest, it can be concluded by hitting different paths. 


In no case suggested by a shy or brazen breakthrough of the fourth wall on the screen, but only the result of one's way of thinking and acting in a given game context, even at the cost of bringing the current objective to failure by paying the respective consequences. The title does not welcome the player with open arms, on the contrary it throws a firm punch in the stomach, guiding him only to the next place to be reached.


This freedom allows for a much deeper identification letting the player shape their own Henry. In this regard, based on one's actions, reputation values ​​will be modified which vary according to the place visited. Appearance is of vital importance, whether it refers to personal hygiene (manageable at the troughs, or for a fee in the bathrooms) or the clothing worn. Element this, to keep in mind when you go to dialogue with the characters, especially when one is called upon to choose between various answers. Appearing clean and tidy will improve your chances of persuasion success, turning bargaining in your favor or allowing you to gain valuable information. On the other hand, the NPCs will be less likely to help or be persuaded by finding themselves talking with a man who wears dirty and torn clothes.


The importance of simulation

The simulation aspects encompass many areas of the game, and always keep an eye out for the indicators in the HUD. For example, when the young boy is hungry, sleepless, carrying an excessive load, or injured from a fight. The excellent quality of the simulation is underlined by the fact that every single simulation element acts directly and indissolubly on the gameplay front. Hence, a wound in the arm will not allow you to hold a weapon, the excessive load precludes the possibility of running, eating too much makes the movements awkward reducing the stamina available until the stomach disposes of the excess food. This design choice makes the player pay more attention to a multiplicity of variables by requesting an indispensable preparation before leaving for the goal  to avoid being reduced to a sieve.
As mentioned at the beginning, in fact, the world of Kingdom Come is full of dangers, and the adventure does not fail to remind us of this with a difficulty not to be taken lightly. An encounter with a pair of bandits is enough to put an end to Henry's journey prematurely. If not approached with due concentration and strategy, every fight can give you a hard time, as well as if you want to adopt a more hidden style of play in the shadows, the enemies will not be surprised easily.
Life in the towns is calmer, where there is certainly no lack of shady deals. Citizens are busy carrying out their daily tasks, reacting to the passage of the protagonist by placing themselves in different ways depending on the reputation possessed.
Every inhabited place it has its own dynamics and circumstances. At the base of this assumption are born the secondary missions, characterized by a high level writing we will practically never be asked to go and collect a certain number of artichokes in the fields. Otherwise Henry will be in charge of solving small mysteries or acts of heroism aimed at saving girls in desperate need of a knight. All this always keeping in mind that each request can be dealt with in different ways, you just need to change your point of view.
The actions performed then have their own importance, as they can also affect the game world.
The marked simulation component, and the well-structured routine of the NPCs makes the game environment perceive as possessing a beating heart. Just take a stroll through the streets to feel the vitality that Warhorse Studios wanted to instill in the reproduction of medieval Bohemia.


 

Sir, I challenge you to single combat

 

Weapon in hand, the fight could make some people turn up their noses, as è rendered very realistically

As soon as we are outside the urban agglomerations, life begins to get more ruthless. Often - even on fast travels - the fledgling adventurer will be called upon to fight against bandits intent on leaving him in his underwear, or worse. To avoid problems learning to handle a weapon is vital. Notice how even on this occasion the game imagery is faithful to the Middle Ages proposing war instruments that belonged exclusively to that era. The ability to handle weapons (as well as for all available skill fields) grows with their use. By leveling up it is then possible to unlock certain techniques, which also include executable combos by hitting a precise sequence of slashes and jabs.
If the experience on the pitch is frightening, during the first few hours of the game it will be possible to learn from a master of arms, who will teach some techniques to the young adventurer.
Weapon in hand, the fight could make some people turn up their noses, as it is rendered very realistically. We are in fact facing one of the closest to reality combat systems ever conceived in a video game. Once the enemy is engaged, five directions appear on the screen, towards which we can throw a slash or a thrust, and a central point for the lunge. Similarly, the possibility is given to parry the opponent's attacks, gaining a perfect parry, avoiding the consumption of stamina, managing to block at the right time. It is a system that it requires a reasoned approach to confrontation, while looking for an opening in the opponent's defense, it is also necessary to keep an eye on the stamina, consumed with every move performed and with every hit suffered or parried in a non-optimal way. This can be a frustrating mechanic at first, mostly due to the intricacy of the opponent's lock system, rather dancer. Once you have mastered the art of fighting, however, it can give you great satisfaction, even more so when you come out victorious in a three-on-one battle.
But beware, although Henry's characteristics evolve as he progresses, you will never find yourself taking control of a deathlord. The difference between life and death will depend on the skill of the player, and at each moment there may be an enemy worthy of smashing the head of the former blacksmith apprentice.

 

It is also possible to ask for surrender in case things go wrong, but you certainly won't be such a coward, are you?

Just in case the single fights do not end in your favor, the adventure will restart from the last rescue. The work, however, does not have a checkpoint, ed you can only save in two ways: sleeping in certain beds, or drinking salvatore's grappa. It is a liqueur with limited stocks, purchasable from merchants or even distillable independently in alchemical laboratories, as long as you have the necessary ingredients and above all know how to read the recipe. In fact, the title does not lend itself to hit and run gameplay, forcing you to calculate your time available before each session. Anyhow the team has already announced that it will modify the save system, but it is not yet clear how.


Medieval polygons

 

The world of Kingdom Come: Deliverance, despite its liveliness, certainly does not shine for the technical realization. On consoles you often come across major drops in frame rate, even within cities. Everything is then accompanied by pop-up problems, rather late texture uploads following a quick trip, and fairly rigid animations. Problems that will become over time probably smoothed by the release of various patches, but which at the moment make the viewing experience a little shaky.
Of no small importance, the presence of numerous bugs. They range from small mistakes that can even create funny situations, to conclude with catastrophe events that jeopardize the advancement in history. During the test phase of the title, several times NPCs necessary for the purpose of progression have gone into hiding, impossible to find even in the surroundings. The only solution is to reload previous saves, fortunately not too far from the point reached. It is therefore advisable for now - as far as possible, given the current saving methods - to save often during the adventure. To be honest it is clear that problems of this kind are somehow justifiable, given the reduced budget with which this title of ambitious proportions and proposals was made.

 Armed with patience, it would therefore be good to try to turn a blind eye and enjoy the playful quality and the wide offer of the work.

Despite all the title it is capable of offering very suggestive scenarios. Even the interlude scenes and interactions with the various characters certainly pleasant (a little less those with the extras), also thanks to a writing of the secondary characters really well conceived and created, and an English dubbing (the only audio language available, but with the possibility of setting the subtitles in Spanish) of a good standard.
The soundtrack takes inspiration from XNUMXth century melodies, often with light and carefree tones, gaining epicness and tension during the confrontations.

 

Kingdom Come: Deliverance - Special Edition, PlayStation 4
On amazon: 24,23 € buy Verdict 8/10 "We don't care so we'll have another beer, and we'll get drunk like it was the last day!" Comment Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a title that is apparently foreign and far from the tastes of the average player, and this is partly true. But the reality of the facts indicates that it is a title to be trusted, especially during the early stages of the game, certainly the most disorienting. Once the callus is made, however, the adventure can offer a large number of memorable moments, and the work begins to perceive itself as the direct evolution of that type of open world that was proposed with The Elder Scrolls. The complete absence of the fantasy element could discourage many potential interested parties, but the quality of the writing has absolutely nothing to envy compared to the more epic and abstract tones of other titles, indeed, it offers a different and original point of view while remaining with the feet for land. So if you are undecided about the purchase, the best advice is to launch and try, you probably will not be disappointed, as long as you take into account that the title has a lot of room for improvement in front of it and you are ready to risk losing a few hours of play. due to possible bugs. Pros and cons Open world, alive and pulsating
Some of the most realistic fights ever played
Deep and successful rolistic immersion
Accuracy of historical events
Excellent general script x Littered with bugs of various kinds
x Unfriendly rescue system
x Some graphic uncertainty

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