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Kingdom Come: Deliverance has been long in the making, with fans playing betas a year ago, and word spreading about how realistic it was going to be. “It’s going to change RPGs” they said. “There’s going to be several ways to complete a task,” they said. “It’s a super realistic story based on European history,” they said.
I said: “Great, what’s the catch?”
They said: “The combat is extremely difficult, and there’s not going to be a proper save system.”
Me and every working adult who loves to dabble in video games: “Oh, okay.”
I took a risk and pre-ordered anyway, because the graphics looked fantastic and I wanted to support a new studio who had clearly put a lot of love into something they truly believed in.
It was five days before I got to play it, and that was by forgoing all of my weekend responsibilities and sitting on the sofa all day. Therefore, this review is of the first eight hours or so. In that eight hours, I hardly got anywhere through the main story, and I didn’t do any side missions because the game didn’t go fully open world until the end of my play time.
As you open the game, you’re welcomed to an introduction that tells you about what is going on in Europe around 1400 AD. This was very helpful because I don’t know many schools that teach advanced Eastern European history.
You are introduced to your character, Henry, who is the most average of all video game characters: he isn’t the chosen one, he just happens to be alive. That’s what the developers said before the game was released, and it’s sort of true. You’re still in a privileged position as the son of a renowned blacksmith, and the ward of one of the lords. Don’t get me wrong, life is still hard and making sure Henry is well fed and rested is a difficult challenge, and I’m impressed that I don’t find it annoying.
Time is also really important in Kingdom Come: Deliverance, as the introductory missions like to point out. You live in a little village with your mom and your dad, and you appear to be a bit of a misfit. Your dad asks you to get him some ale and to make sure it’s cold. As someone conditioned to believe video game characters wait for me, I took the ale to him after having a sword lesson or two, and I got yelled at to go and get some ale that’s cold.
Obviously, your charmed village life goes to pot and you end up running for your life a few times. After about six hours, I saw opening credits and put my controller down in shock. I then got my first proper weapons tutorial, and it’s safe to say that I’m terrible at it. I’m awful at it and I don’t have time to become good. I’ve invested heavily in my speech skill as a result. If you think about it, it's very realistic that since Henry isn't a soldier, he wouldn't be killing someone every couple of in-game miles. In fact, I think so far I've only killed two bandits.
The biggest concern for my future of playing Kingdom Come: Deliverance is the save system. I can't venture out too far when I play because I don't want to be away from my owned bed where I can save sometimes. I am a full-on adult. An adult with a nine AM to six PM job. I spend about an hour a day by myself where I could potentially play video games. I do not have time for games that don't let me save my progress whenever I want. I read that there's an update which is going to allow you to save and exit and I really want this to be true because I'm really enjoying what the game has to offer so far. I also don't want it to become the done thing in gaming to not be able to save whenever you want because I think this is removing older gamers from the market, and it's a shame that the developers didn't seem to think about us.
Whilst Kingdom Come: Deliverance is not friendly for those of us who have been forced kicking and screaming into the working world and just don't have time to play for hours on end, the game is so much fun. It's completely realistic, the combat is difficult, but there are ways around it, and there are so many ways to complete the many story quests. Even if you don't have the time for Kingdom Come: Deliverance, I recommend you check out some videos of gameplay, and see the effort that Warhorse Studios put into creating their masterpiece. It truly is something different.