It’s pretty obvious I’m on an RPG kick at the moment, and if you’re like me this game may well have passed you by. After my first 10 hours or so I’m willing to say if you’re a fan of games such as Skyrim, then this will probably be up your alley, despite it not being fantastical. However this isn’t a review as you can find Joe’s here, this is more of a retelling about my experiences of the beginning of a very realistic Medieval RPG, in the hopes it will inspire you to go and try it out. I say try it out as it’s not something you could just jump into like Overwatch or For Honor; it’s a game you’d need to set aside time for, and really think about if it’s an experience you’d enjoy. For me it is, and I’m very much looking forward to many months of sinking deep into this world. It’s also worth mentioning that this and Dark Souls 3 got me out of a non-gaming funk I’d been experiencing – I feel this game was missed by the wider audience, and I really feel it needs more light shone on it! All I’m doing here is condensing my first 10 hours into 2 easy to read articles, to give you the intro and a feel for the game.
For me this game is a pretty unique experience as the vast majority of the games I play are chock-full of fantasy; dragons, magic, secret cults, lasers, aliens etc. Kingdom Come Deliverance (KCD from here on out) however offers a realistic-as-possible experience of medieval Europe, and this isn’t something I can say I’d experienced before… At all. Now I did have a vague understanding of the story as it’s not often I jump blindly into a game, but experiencing it was something very different indeed – Spoilers ahead.
Very early on, after some intro fetch quests and control tutorials, your character’s (Henry) village (Skalitz) is caught up in the middle of a war – the results of which leave you an orphan, setting this game up exactly for what it is; a brutal, lonely and punishing experience… Well, lonely might be a bit much, but more on that later. Immediately after you lose your parents you have to go and grab the sword you’d been making with your dad hours before, and escape the destruction, and immediately I was faced with a challenge. Although this segment was set up to simply lead to the next part in the story, with you grabbing a horse and running off, I managed to die 3 times by not following the obvious map marker for escape and getting cornered – Proving to me that this was no Skyrim, and things are going to go wrong. Shortly after I figured out it was a good idea to follow the markers set before me, I make it to the next settlement; luckily they take me in and give me shelter.
Generally speaking I’m always one for trying to play open games without rushing into the story, so I thought to myself all I need is a horse and a weapon so I can start making some money, of which I had next to nothing. Off I strolled after a few cutscenes to make my mark and, well, I struggled. At first I couldn’t even work out the correct icons for the merchants/my bed which I was supposed to go and do before I could actually do anything; after struggling and wandering around aimlessly, I finally worked out where to eat and sleep and got ready for the next day. Now I don’t recall the exact events, but Henry had woken up with a determination to escape this haven to go and bury his parents.
Again instead of the game offering a simple solution, it challenges you; the people who rescued you don’t want you to escape (they want you to rest up) so you have to figure out how to actually escape their overbearing protection. I opted for jumping into the moat and running off, avoiding guards; whilst this worked, I broke my legs in the process so had to temporarily bandage myself up whilst running off – This definitely isn’t because I’m a complete moron… Luckily the events that followed were story driven (someone stole my dad’s sword and beat the shit out of me), and I end up back in care, but in a different place – Rattay, and this is where the game becomes more of an open world; immediately you’re asked to repay the Miller who took you in, he tasks you with a dishonest quest to get the money to pay your debt, and this leads to him teaching you lockpicking, which I still can’t do. I broke so many lockpicks attempting this that he couldn’t give me more, meaning I couldn’t carry on this initial quest, for the time being. Now this really stood out to me as normally with this sort of teaching quest you would get unlimited lockpicks, or an easy chest to open; but not KCD. They’re just like “you messed this up too many times, good luck chump”, and I freaking loved this, it made it feel so free and flexible. Every quest seems to not really have a set path nor any hand holding; you’ve got to figure out the best way to complete it and get on with it, whether your choices be wrong or right. I’ve already failed a quest because I didn’t get there in time!
Having hugely failed this set up teacher quest, I headed off to try and find a horse and a weapon…Become a Patron!