Staying alive during the Middle Ages was not a cakewalk. Kingdoms and their kings, as well as empires and their emperors, fought for dominance over power, wealth, and land. Political upheaval and overall chaos thus ruled much of those days, often meaning that a new “king” ruled the kingdom for only a few days before himself being deposed and usurped too. Loss of loved ones was common, and is also what sets the premise for Warhorse Studio’s newest upcoming first-person open-world RPG, Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Set for release in Q4 of 2015 on PC, Mac, and Linux, and on the Playstation 4 and Xbox One at a later as-yet-unannounced date, we at OnlySP saw it fit to give you all we know so far about this rare gem in our Most Anticipated Games of 2015 series.
Player immersion, realism, and historical accuracy are the three guiding principles behind the development of KC:D. In an interview with OnlySP earlier this year, Warhorse Studio’s social media manager, Jiri Rydl, told us that “[they] want to make the game as realistic as possible…[with some] compromises to keep the game fun.” As the dev team jokingly said on the Kickstarter page for the game that went up February of last year, this game is purely historical with some fiction, with no dragons or epic quests for the seven stones needed to stop a evil wizard’s quest to destroy the world.
KC:D is divided into three acts that will tell the story of the vengeful, but poor, son of a blacksmith named Henry. His story drives the game, but so do the wars and uprisings and battles that littered the historical period of the 1400’s, specifically the Bohemian (Hussite) Wars.
The Kickstarter campaign for KC:D back in February 2014 quickly garnered the support/backing that the dev team didn’t get from the big publishers they first approached. The campaign proved to be, and continues to be, a vital reason why the project got off the ground and is where it is now, on track for release in Q4 (September-October).
12 square kilometers (7 miles). That’s the size of the area that is open to explore in the alpha build currently on the game website. While Rydl and the team think the main story is the most interesting part of the game, players who wish to go off and do their own thing are free to do so. “There are players who already spent hours in the technology alpha version we have released in October just by walking around the village, talking to villagers or looking for herbs in alchemy quest,” Rydl said. “So yes, you can do pretty much whatever you want.”
Nonlinearity, like nearly all RPGs, is the name of the game for KC:D. Freedom to do what you want and how to do it means nearly infinite possibilities for different playstyles and those who love exploration (including underground catacombs and mines), all presented with beautiful visuals and graphics courtesy of Cryengine.
Players must take into account the consequences of every action. Unlike many other Medieval-era-based games, Henry is not a superhuman tank, and players will often have to resort to running and hiding rather than fighting back when the enemy strength and numbers are too great. How you help (or deceive) an NPC is influenced by the stats, skills, equipment, perks, and morality you choose for your Henry.
There are multiple parameters to Henry’s stats, conditions, skills, and perks. Strength, Speed, Agility, Vitality, and Speech round out his basic stats. His physical condition is affected by his stamina, health, hunger, and sleep, while his skills include swordsmanship, archery, and alchemy, to name only a few. Lastly, Henry’s also has a set of perks that grant special combat moves, crafting abilities, and other variable advantages.
Combat in the game relies on you seeing your fists (or grasped weapon/tool) and hitting the right buttons on the screen, keyboard, or controller. The same goes for mini-games, such as a sword-sharpening game in the picture below.
KC:D allows players to mix and match skills, customization options, and other perks and abilities from those befitting a knight, a thief, or a bard (a socialite). There are no class restrictions, unlike many RPGs out there. Go wild!
The quest system in the game focuses on quality rather than an insanely-large quantity. Every quest has multiple ways to complete it, but they can only be completed once. With so many options and routes and actions to take in each quest, think carefully on how best to accomplish the goal of the quest, like raiding a bandit fort with the force of an army behind you or sneaking in to dispatch their leader quietly.
Sometimes, choosing the right dialogue option in a conversation can be just as important to completing a quest as knowing how to hack and slash. With no-return no-repeat consequences for choosing the wrong option, reading and thinking carefully before clicking is paramount to success.
What’s an RPG without a little Character customization? There are a total of 20 slots for weapons, clothes, and attachments, as well as 4 layers of clothing or armor on every character. Different types of armor vary in effectivity against different weapons. Your clothes and their state affect your charisma and reputation, which, in turn, influence NPC reactions toward you. They also affect your visibility and the noise you produce, which affect your stealth skills.
So why the Bohemian (Hussite) wars time period? Mafia and Mafia II designer and Warhorse co-founder Daniel Vávra had been searching through interesting periods of Czech history when he came across the Bohemian (Hussite) Wars. “We all learn about it at school, but you don’t pay too much attention when you are young,” Rydl explained. Rediscovering the political intrigue of the period inspired the team to create a game set around the bloody civil war. Czech films and literature are also attributed as inspirations in developing the game.
Henry’s story reflects the stories of the people during these wars. The destruction of his home and death of his family in 1403 (the beginning of the game in the first act) is the catalyst for Henry’s quest for revenge against those responsible, but it is while he is on this quest that he uncovers a conspiracy to save a kidnapped king. It falls to him to choose whether or not to stop a bloody conflict with his knowledge. Rydl explained that “after playing all three parts you can understand the reasons why people wanted to change the way they lived, the way they pray or you find out who will be the king.” Each part can be played separately and still be enjoyed, and Rydl expects a full playthrough of all three parts to take 60-70 hours to complete.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a beauty to the eye and has our fingers raring to take a crack at its unique version of an RPG when it releases on PC, Mac, and Linux in Q4 of this year, and on Playstation 4 and Xbox One a later as-yet-unannounced date.
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