Kingdom Come: Deliverance Preview

It's time to go Medieval!

Medieval fantasy games have been around since the days of text-based gaming, but Kingdom Come: Deliverance is the first medieval RPG that's filled with historical accuracy. There are no dragons, or white walkers, and players won't be fighting hordes of enemies by themselves. What they will be doing, however, is questing and fighting in a gigantic, gorgeous sandbox world that's based on real-world locations and events. If this doesn't get your blood flowing, then perhaps the ancient art of bloodletting will balance your humors and help you see the light.

The story takes place during the early 15th century when an heir to the throne decides that he would rather drink and chase women than become Emperor of Bohemia. His brother kidnaps him and tries to force him to ascend the throne or abdicate the throne to him, and a bloody civil war ensues. When the brother invades an adjoining country to plunder their silver, his army destroys the player's home town and kills his family. Now the player is in the service of a noble who is trying to rescue the king and restore peace, and his quest becomes the player's quest.

From the moment the demo began I was impressed with the gorgeous visuals. I was told that all sixteen square miles of landscape are based off satellite imagery, and some of the buildings are exact replicas of actual buildings. Even the flora and fauna is recreated with historical accuracy, so there aren't any tomatoes or corn because they weren't available at the time. Also, seemingly insignificant details are present, such as the lack of white chickens because only brown chickens were in that area at that time. Hopefully, these details will be appreciated by historians.

While the world isn't filled to the brim with people, the ones who are encountered perform tasks on a daily schedule rather than standing around waiting to be activated. For example, one of the blacksmiths makes swords during the day, but he also eats lunch and dinner and goes to the pub at night. Sometimes the pub is full and he can't find a place to sit so he goes somewhere else based on his programmed preferences. In addition, every character in the game has a separate reputation meter that tracks the player's actions and choices. As a result of this advanced AI, it has become more of a bottleneck than the realistic visuals.

As for combat, it starts off with multiple layers of clothing to protect from different types of attacks. Each character has five points of attack that include all four appendages as well as the head, and this is displayed as a yellow star-like pattern. One point in the star turns red when the enemy is guarding that area, and this lets players know where not to attack. With two types of attack for each area on the star and 20 different combos as well as pommel strikes and melee attacks, fighting enemies becomes a deep and robust affair that combines attacking, guarding, and anticipating the enemy's next move. In addition to a wide variety of hand weapons, players can also use bows that are extremely strong but very difficult to master.

Questing and fighting aren't the only things players will do, as blacksmithing, alchemy, and gravedigging as well as picking locks and pickpocketing are also possible. These are presented in a more realistic fashion than other games, such as requiring that alchemy ingredients be put in a pot of water with a fire underneath instead of simply combining them in a menu screen.

All in all, Kingdom Come: Deliverance is set to provide the most realistic Medieval RPG to date that will provide a welcome change from typical fantasy games. I also know some hardcore SCA members who recreate medieval combat using real weapons and armor that will be thrilled to find out about this game. Kingdom Come: Deliverance is slated for release in Q2/Q3 2016 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.