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Kingdom Come: Deliverance keeps tripping over its own feet

Posted by warreni, in game review 23 March 2020 · 5669 views

RPG buggy Bohemian Eurotrashy but not in a good way like Two Worlds ludicrously difficult

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a game that I really wanted to like, even though I had my doubts about it from the beginning. The skeleton of a really good game is in here, and the game has interesting characters, a well-crafted story (from what I can tell), and a levelling system that shows meaningful growth of the protagonist. However, it's just constantly getting in its own way.


The story, based on actual historical events, gives a player a real sense of what it was like to live in medieval Europe. Unfortunately, that's one of its strengths and greatest issues. While I actually liked the part where the game force-fed you information about historical personages of significance in Bohemia and the Holy Roman Empire, I was much less enamored with having to find a bed to sleep in every 12 hours for at least eight hours and having to eat and keep track of both how well-nourished and well-rested I am, lest I suffer the accompanying stat penalties that result from being tired or malnourished. There are two kinds of people who play cRPGs in my book--people who played the old Gold Box games and enjoyed the stories and characters and people who played the Ultima games and were enamored with RIchard Garriott's attention to details like ensuring that you eat, sleep and defecate on a schedule as regular as Sheldon Cooper's. I fall squarely in the former camp, and no amount of convincing will ever cause me to buy into the idea that it's enjoyable to have to worry about starving or dying of exhaustion in your fake life in the same way it isn't any fun to worry about in your real life.


I have enough additional grievances to fill an entire Festivus. I didn't really enjoy having to follow lords around on foot when going places because I'm a peasant and I don't deserve a horse (yes, I know he gets a horse later in the game). The quest marker is . . . vague, at best. Without employing any cheats or mods, the game's combat system is brutally difficult too. It's painfully easy to get killed before the game properly starts, which seems to be about two hours in, by various bandits or enemy soldiers.


Only 12 hours in, I encountered numerous bugs as well. Main quests go awry when major NPCs vanish and are nowhere to be found. Checking forums reveals that they only appear at certain times of the day and that you sometimes just have to hope you stumble across them. Other NPCs conveniently disappear during quests that require you to locate them. Sometimes it's just the quest mechanics themselves that are problematic--WAI. Several quests require you to follow NPCs around at a snail's pace, listening to them ramble on about something or other for what feels like hours. It's a bit like the tram ride at the beginning of Half-Life, except in this case you have to manually control the tram's movement and speed or it just sits there and does nothing. I mean, I'm sure the devs weren't actively trying to suck the fun out of it, but it certainly feels that way at times.


So I didn't finish. I probably barely scratched the surface of KC:D. It's a shame, too. A lot of thought went into the combat system, skill system, and story. The music is quite nice and the graphics are well-rendered (characters a bit less so, even with the high-resolution pack). But my rule is always--if you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong, and it wasn't enough fun to justify the large swaths of tedium.

I really like your reviews, they're very thorough and well written. I've been sitting with the Royal edition of this game for console in my back log forever because I wanted a less expansive/daunting version of Skyrim. It sounds great in so many ways when I hear/see reviews but the early difficulty kinda scares me now because I'm average in combat games and the tediousness doesn't sound too fun either. Thanks for taking the time.

June 2023

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