Kingdom Come Deliverance - PS4 Review


Kingdom Come deliverance can only be described as an epic first-person role-playing game. It's set in 15th century Bohemia, and follows the story of Henry, a blacksmith's son with a backstory straight out of every kid's D&D game. It's almost like the developers were aware of it; the conversation in which the protagonist tells his dad how much he wants to adventure is interrupted by an army that burns his village and kills his family.

As if that's not enough, a bunch of random bandits attack Henry and steal his father's sword. He then proceeds to adventure in order to avenge his village, save the country, and get back his father's sword. He is single-minded in this pursuit and will focus in this quest, stopping only to romance women, play dice, kill rabbits, join a horse race, follow drugged-up women in the woods, etc.

This game admittedly has many downsides, glitches, and some parts that seem unfinished. Although it's an overall great game, it comes short of being amazing. Here's a rundown of what the game does well, and what it doesn't.

The good:


The developers went through great lengths for authenticity. Your character needs to eat and sleep, he gets dirty, and his clothes get damaged as well as his gear, which needs repairs. The quality and repair of Henry's clothes will affect how everyone around him reacts to him. You start off illiterate, like a blacksmith's son would be, and a side quest is needed to learn how to read. Everything is a skill, from reading, to fighting, to drinking, to talking, and Henry gets better the more you practice the skills.

The combat is smooth, and well researched. As you level up your weapon skills, you learn new abilities, which are actually fairly challenging to pull off, and very rewarding. Pulling off a perfect block feels great. Different weapons have different strengths and weaknesses, and are rather well balanced.

The story is intriguing and engrossing, about a mystery army, a group of unknown bandits, and a slow discovery or hidden agendas and secret goals. It's a masterfully written tale, despite the less-than-original base concept.

The only crafting, alchemy, is very interesting. You need to read the recipe, prepare the ingredients, and craft it following the instructions. Boil or simmer the ingredients, grind the right herbs, add them when they are needed etc.

Graphics are decent. Rather pretty graphics, but nothing amazing. It's not as breathtaking as The Witcher 3, but still better than Oblivion. Maybe comparable to Skyrim with a texture mod, although Kingdom Come Deliverance has the occasional missing texture and wonky animation.

Finally, one of the best things about this game is how much it manages to make you feel for the characters. They are very human. A moment in which Henry wants to bury his parents comes to mind. He bends down to pick up his dead mother, fumbles, and exclaims in an exasperated voice: "how am I going to do this". The emotions in this scene are very powerful, much more than in any other game I've played. This is just an example of the humanity the developers managed to add to their characters.

The bad:


The game has a few problems, glitches and broken parts notwithstanding. The romances, for example, seem pointless. Once you achieve the end of either of the two possible romances, the women involved act as if nothing at all happen. There's no continuation of it, and no mention of it.

There also is a missed opportunity for a good crafting system. They limited it to alchemy and repairs, despite the main character being a blacksmith's son. The character already knows how to smith, yet there's no weapon or armor crafting in the game.

Reputation is a little wonky. If you do a good deed or two in a city, every single living being in the entire region will know you, and express how happy they are to see you every single time you enter their line of sight, including if you just leave their view for a minute. Best example of this: I stood next to a character that would look at me and exclaim: "oh look, Henry came to see us!" He would then look away for a few seconds, then look at me again, and repeat "oh look, Henry came to see us!"

The AI in general is a little odd. I pick pocketed a sleeping man, who randomly woke up and just sprinted off at a ridiculous speed towards the nearest town. I then got stopped at a completely different town by a guard telling me I've pick pocketed someone, and he was going to confiscate all my stolen goods.

The voice acting also falls quite low in the bad category. It goes from half decent at times, to awful. They can't seem to pick what accents they want the characters to have. Most of the voice actors chose a British accent (because we all know that before the 1800's, everyone was British. Doesn't matter where you are, you have a British accent). Every once in a while, someone speaks in a very American way. Others will just speak in an "I'm reading a script for the first time" accent.

The Ugly:


Let's talk about glitches. There are some minor glitches which can be forgiven. Odd NPC movements, vibrating heads and such. The occasional clipping through walls or terrain. These can be found in most games, and although it should ideally be tested out, it can happen. Kingdom Come Deliverance has some glitches that are just not forgivable. Whether it's stairs acting as walls, doorways acting as walls, or NPCs straight up glitching out. Here are a few notable examples of fun glitches that should not be included in a completed game, especially one that had a two 15gig patches on release week.

I bought a bed at an Inn. Innkeeper tells me my bed is up that ladder. Climb the ladder, to immediately fall back down. Try for about 5 in-game hours to reach my bed, while poor Henry is complaining about how tired he is.

On a quest to gain a priest's trust. This involves getting really drunk with him and helping him in a fist-fight (how awesome is that?!). Get into the fistfight, jab one of the belligerents once in the face. My perk activates and I knock him out. Everyone runs away immediately, including the priest, and the bailiff. My quest fails, and the priest now doesn't trust me.

I'm talking to the lord, and a random peasant walks between us, stops right there, taking my entire screen. Proceeds to interrupt his lord constantly just to repeat: "oh look, it's Henry". I'll give him this, he may not have brains, but he's got guts.

First 10 minutes of the game, not knowing this game's very thorough glitch system, I decide I'll take a shortcut down a hill and over that fence, instead of going around following the path. I immediately get stuck between said fence and a tiny bush. Needed to reload.

On a quest to kill some bandits, and loot something off the leader to prove the deed is done. After an epic 3v1 battle (despite the glitches, I love the battle system, makes for really fun fights), I kill the last bandit – the leader himself. As I go to loot him, he starts rapidly ragdolling down a slight hill. I'm chasing the body down the hill, yelling at it to come back. (Actually me, not Henry. Henry has no idea what's going on). As I'm begging it to let me loot him, the recently deceased keeps escaping, finally deciding on a final resting place, a nice cozy looking bush. The bush allows corpses to pass through it, but not the living. I tried reasoning with the quest giver: "I swear I killed him… I just couldn't get his spurs because the bush ate him", but he wasn't having it.


I snuck into a house, knocked out the guard (no, I had no actual reason of doing this, I just wanted to). As I'm looting him, a guard from outside walks through the wall and tells me he caught me red-handed. I really couldn't argue. This town had some really good guards.

There are quite a few minor glitches happening regularly, but I think you get the picture. That being said, none of the glitches I've encountered were game-breaking, and so far, no enemy has sent me into the stratosphere with a single blow, nor have any of the characters' faces looked like something out of a weird horror movie, so it's tolerable.

What I can't forgive are the unfinished parts. There are a few things about this game that seem like the intention was there, but it stopped a little. They ran the first 10 meters of a 100 meter sprint, than gave up. The romance example is a good one. Go through a short quest line to romance them, during which you can actually give her gifts and romance her, but the second you end the quest line, she acts like any other NPC.

Other examples are polearms and 2-handed weapons. You can train with polearms with the trainer, but you can only rarely equip a polearm from the ground, drop it when not using it, and you'll always be considered as having your weapon out (NPCs will react unfavorably). At one point, an enemy attacked me with what seemed like a halberd. After killing him, I picked it up, but it just didn't appear in my inventory, nor my hand. Henry bent over to pick it up, lifted it off the ground, and made it vanish. There's also no skill linked to polearms or 2-handers. It's normal for a game to cut out parts. When they do though, they shouldn't leave parts in. Give us a completed game, or nothing at all.


I'd like to end this section of my review with a talk about nudity. I don't think a good game needs nudity. I don't think lack of nudity makes a game bad. What I do believe though, is cheaping out is bad. If you're going to add in some adult themes, go for it, but don't go half-way. There are two approaches for this: show nudity, or don't. If you show nudity in your game, then show nudity. If you don't, then find a way to avoid it (can be creative censorship using the environment or camera angles, or just fading to black, doesn't matter).

This game is one of the worst offenders I've seen a while (worse than the clothed sex in Dragon Age Origins). Kingdom Come Deliverance added a nude scene during one of the two sex scenes in the game (the other opted for a fade to black). This gave them the rating bump, and the "nudity" tag. Despite this, they have scenes where characters are bathing in full-body long underwear. To add insult to this, said character actually has dialogue in this scene in which he says he's naked. Chose one or the other, I don't care which, but either way, having a scene with someone bathing fully dressed is awkward at best.

Verdict:

The game is not the masterpiece it could be. There is so much potential in this game it almost hurts to see the buggy final outcome. The fact that I give this a 7.5 despite the glitches and shortfallings of this game says a lot. I started playing this game and got immediately absorbed by the world, the story and the characters, and before I knew it, I played the entire weekend. It's a game with a steep learning curve that rewards not only your character getting better, but the player as well. It has a unique and interesting crafting system, despite it being of very limited scope. The story and character development alone makes this a great game, as well as the great combat and good world building. Considering this game's small budget, they put out an amazing product. I recommend this game to anyone that's patient enough to go through the glitches.

Game Information

Platform:
Sony PlayStation 4
Developers(s):
Warhorse Studios
Publisher(s):
Warhorse Studios
Deep Silver
Genre(s):
RPG
Mode(s):
Single Player
Other Platform(s):
Microsoft Xbox One
PC

Source:
Provided by Publisher




Article by Louis
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