The original score is absolutely the best thing about the game. It’s wonderful. The voice acting though? Well, the less said about that the better. Henry is okay, and the other main characters, but the supporting cast, not so much.
Bohemia is a really pretty place… albeit one that’s a bit one-note. Oh, and it’s full of bugs. Not the good kind! Like a ladybug.
The combat actually seems really fun at first, but once the novelty wears off, it just grows tiresome. Like the rest of the game. As far as games go, Kingdom Come might be one of the clunkiest I’ve played too.
An interesting open-world is spoiled by mundane tasks, dull systems and design decisions that are as baffling as trying to make a realistic game at the expense of it being fun. There are some cool missions and the story is alright, though.
The achievement list is… you know what? It’s pretty great. There are a few missable achievements and ones that force you to play through the game twice, but aside from that, it’s a pretty solid list. It’s grindy, it’ll take you bloody ages, but at least it’s vaguely interesting.
February 23, 2018
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a game about authenticity and realism. Well, that’s what developer Warhorse wants you to believe. The truth? That’s utter bollocks. Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a game about boredom and padding out what are otherwise considered jovial tasks in video games in the name of realism. I guess if you live an uninteresting life, one full of boredom and inane tasks that really don’t enrich your experience, then yes, Kingdom Come: Deliverance is actually quite realistic. That might seem a little harsh as an opening gambit, but you know what, over the past 40 hours, the shit I’ve had to put up with, who can blame me?
Taking place in in the early 15th century in the Kingdom of Bohemia, Kingdom Come: Deliverance throws you into the pivotal role of Henry, a Blacksmith’s son who finds himself on a trail from zero to hero following the decimation of his hometown and the impending threat of an invading army ruining the status quo of the land. You go from errand boy to medieval detective to courageous knight as you attempt to get to the bottom of the events that set up the game’s main narrative.
"Have at thee, vile knave!"
Credit where credit is due, Warhorse should be commended for creating a believable and, for the most part, charming world where Kingdom Come’s narrative takes place. The lush green fields, dense woods, idyllic towns and villages; Warhorse has crafted a truly enticing world in which its historical RPG takes place. But it's all rather boring. Why boring? Well, if you’re comparing this to the other open-world action-RPGs in the genre, the Kingdom of Bohemia can’t really hold a candle to the likes of Skyrim and The Witcher's realm of Temeria. In fact, it probably wouldn’t be worthy of wiping the ass of either.
Unlike the aforementioned Elder Scrolls and Witcher games, Kingdom Come was shooting for a more realistic and authentic experience, so no magic, no demons, just humans and their problems – which amount to a lot, it seems. The game even goes so far as to use a hunger and tiredness system, which honestly adds nothing to the experience whatsoever. See, that’s my problem with Kingdom Come: Deliverance, the realistic aspect does nothing but drag the game down and takes it from being a potentially fun game, to one that's as mundane as a Monday morning commute.
"Oh, right, I have this cool mission to do! Oh shit, I need to eat and sleep first, let me travel across the map to find a tavern to stay in so I can eat and sleep. Oh shit, it’s 3am, no-one is up at the tavern to let me in. I’ll just wait outside." Cue really slow waiting mechanic and load screen. "Okay, great! Time to sleep and then eat and then go do my mission! Yay!"
Instead of adding to the experience, it just drags it out. And for what? For nothing, that’s what. All it does is pull the game’s pace to a crawl and thus, sucks out all of the enjoyment in the process. Yet this doesn’t even scratch the surface of how boring the game can get.
Throughout the game you’ll be thrown into large areas just to search for clues that are tantamount to finding a needle in a haystack. Let me give you a couple more specific examples – spoiler free, of course – to give you an idea of how often the game drags you into the depths of despair, all in the sake of realism… like that time I had to go from the south of the map with a nobleman who wanted to go hunting. “Oh, you don’t have a horse,” he asks. “Well, then you should run alongside mine.” 15-minutes later (or thereabouts) of running alongside a horse and I get to my objective where I hunt tiny rabbits in a thicket for another 10-minutes.
Then there was the time I infiltrated a monastery on the heels of a very bad man, only to find myself stuck in their schedule, performing mundane tasks and adhering to a strict regime while my man on the inside got me some keys I'd requested. “Come back in a few days,” he said. I did, but not before attending four lots of prayer sessions, four meals, two alchemy sessions and two transcribing sessions. It was like being back at school… and not in a fun way! Ugh!
I may have played up the whole realism aspect of Kingdom Come so far, but you know what? I personally don’t give a hoot about whether the game is realistic or not. If it is realistic and an enjoyable experience, then great, I’m all for it, but Kingdom Come is not. It’s a slog. It’s a grind, which is truly a shame, as there are some really great missions and some genuinely cool mechanics – like the reading and alchemy parts of the game – but so much of what's here seems to be truly ham-fisted.
Take the fast travel for instance, which isn’t fast at all. It’s faster, but it’s not fast. Instead of transporting you from one side of the map to the other in an instant, you have to watch your character make the journey on a map. Games are meant to be fun, no? They’re meant to be a great way to spend your free time. Constantly watching my little avatar go from one-side of the map to the other is not a valuable way to spend my time. At all.
The game is littered with bizarre as heck design decisions. Firstly, why the hell can’t my horse run through this bush? Or that bush? And why does he get stuck on everything? Secondly, I know it’s probably realistic that young Henry couldn’t swim, but how is having to run around a river to find a bridge fun for the player? Clearly they’re not that bothered about realism if I can press a button and have my horse instantly appear in front of me – yes, sometimes instead of doing it off-camera, the horse just appears in front of you.
Then there’s the lockpicking, which clearly was made for PC and on consoles is as awkward as a teenager on prom night. Surely this would have come up in testing. Surely! On top of that, you have to ask why the game has so many load screens. They’re everywhere and horribly sporadic. Speak to a person. Load screen. Stop speaking to them, load screen. We’ve not even talked about the save system either, that requires you either sleep or create a save potion – yes, folks, realism.
"What you lookin' at?"
The game has serious guidance issues too, as in it doesn't actually react to what you’ve already done. For instance, in one mission I managed to take down and arrest a counterfeiting circle, only to head to another sub-objective on my map that took me back to the same point… to take down the counterfeiting circle. Not once did my main character say, “Errrr, mate, I’ve just done that.” The game suffers with this issue a lot. A lot!
And I’ve not even got onto what a buggy mess Kingdom Come is, and boy oh boy, is it a buggy mess! I’ve failed missions by getting stuck in the map, been stuck in a house before and the only way I could get out was by purposely getting myself arrested. I’ve even had the game cut out the audio and picture during pivotal cut-scenes – thankfully I had the subtitles on so I could at least read what was going on. I’ve also had people start a fight with me in a town, only to have to defend myself and end up in jail while the other guy gets away scott-free. The amount of times I failed quest objectives because of weird bugs was beyond ridiculous.
If you’ve made it this far, you might be thinking that I actually don’t like the game. That I think it’s trash. Actually, that’s not true, and throughout Kingdom Come: Deliverance I actually found myself enjoying it. I truly did. But for every moment I enjoyed, there were ten moments that I found infuriating. There are some great ideas littered throughout Kingdom Come, but its biggest problem is that it’s just really boring. The cool and unique ideas the game musters are eventually spoiled by some of the most bizarre design decisions I've encountered. Plus, it’s a buggy mess. But if boring, buggy games are your bag, then Kingdom Come: Deliverance might be for you.