Let me tell you about a guy named Kunesh. He’s a bit of a drunk; he owes money for tools he ‘purchased’ and I’ve been asked by my Father to collect on at least some of his debts. It’s a sunny day in Skalitz, I’m feeling quite jovial, and I make my way from our family home to where Kunesh resides. My plan is to ask him for just enough money to cover the tools, but he still owes for nails and various other things – a fair compromise I thought.
When I find Kunesh I’m greeted by a grumpy grouch of a man who seems less than pleased with my presence. Despite his hostility towards me I continue on with my plan of getting some money from him. I ask him politely and emphasise that he owes a large sum, but that I would only collect for part of the debt. He’s not having it though, Kunesh dismisses my request. I persist and try to use my intellect and wit to convince him… this seems to anger him more and, well, we end up in a fist fight.
“Fine, if that’s how you want to do things, then so be it “ I say to myself along with a few expletives mixed in. “I’m the hero of this story and I won’t be bullied by some grumpy old man” Except I’m not the hero, I’m just the blacksmiths son, Henry.
Kunesh decks me.
I get back up, bloodied and bruised. “Right, that’s it! You’re for it now mate”.
Kunesh decks me again.
It’s at this moment as I slink away back to my Mother to bandage my wounds that I make a solemn vow, I will kill Kunesh.
I start to plot how I will kill him, maybe I’ll try and poison him – no that will take too long and I don’t even know how to read, let alone read and make poison from recipes. Maybe I’ll assassinate him in the night, but I don’t have a weapon…
I stalk him as he chops wood, watching his every move still debating how to kill Kunesh. Turns out he doesn’t really do a lot and just kind of stands there most of the time. But he is kind of out of the way, no one around, no witnesses…I start to sneak up behind him with the mind to pick pocket his keys and rob his house, but the option to choke him appears “Well that sounds much better” I think. I grab him around the neck and wrestle him to the floor. He’s out cold. His pockets now make for easy pickings.
I rob everything I can from his house whilst he ‘sleeps’ outside, I even eat some of his stew and gleefully take the tools back to my Father, a triumphant smile on my face.
Shortly after my run in with Kunesh the town gets invaded and all hell breaks loose, you manage to escape, but a lot of people don’t – I’m not sure of the fate of Kunesh, but as I was watching buildings get burned down I shouted that he better not get himself killed as that was my job.
This is what I wanted from an RPG, freedom to do what I want, approach things how I want and in random ways. I didn’t even know you could choke people out.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance looks to try and offer a more ‘realistic’ RPG game where the world in which the game is set pretty much matches what it would’ve looked like in the 15th Century and weapons and armour are representative of that period too. There is no magic, there are no demons or dragons, just you, as Henry, thrust in to the middle of a Civil War and so far it’s been a great.
I’m roughly five hours in to the game so far and I still feel like I’m playing the tutorial at times – there is a lot to get to grips with. One of the mains elements that will take time to learn is the combat system. It works in a way that sees you lock on to a single target and you then have different angles you can attack from, high, low and from either side etc… The combat is very much a patient game, if you try and go all out you will probably tire yourself out and become to exhausted to swing or block, or just get yourself killed by a more skilled opponent. When I got in to my first fist fight I didn’t know what I was doing, I was mostly just swinging wildly hoping something would work, but now that I’ve had some training I really enjoy the combat. If you time your blocks well you will parry the attack allowing you space to perform a counter and when you start chaining it all together it feels really nice.
You also have the option of using a bow and some other weapons – although I’ve not got to the others yet. The bow is tricky to use and will be another weapon that will take time to master. Early on it sways a lot and there is no cross hair to know where you’re aiming, it’s a bit trial and error at first. I did manage to win my first archery competition though.
So far the story has felt pretty engaging although not the most original. I don’t really want to go in to details as I don’t want to spoil things, although if you’ve read anything about it you’ll probably already know anyway. Suffice to say, I’ve enjoyed the opening few hours of world building and story telling. Some of the voice acting is a little wonky in places along with a few of the animations, but it’s nothing too jarring and I can get passed it.
The main issue that people have been reporting has been bugs and whilst I’ve not encountered anything game breaking I’ve noticed the odd thing here and there – getting stuck on stairs, textures not loading in properly at times, the map not loading properly when zooming in, pop in from scenery. When the scenery does load properly it looks fantastic, the setting and feel of the world is great and visually it looks amazing, maybe not to the levels of the Witcher 3, but not far off. Overall the issues aren’t anything major in my opinion and is certainly something that’s fixable.
You also have a whole host of your usual RPG perks and upgrades that will aid you in whatever play style you choose. I’m hoping to play more stealthily and work on my alchemy to. But first I’m going to need to learn to read, because I literally can’t right now – in the game, not IRL…
Also, can I just give a special mention to the map, it’s a work of art, it’s beautiful.
My first few hours in Kingdom Come: Deliverance have been very enjoyable, there is a great sense of freedom to tackle things how you want, with quests offering various routes to success, the scale of the world is massive and I can’t wait to explore it. It’s a nice change to not be the hero as well, not being able to take on every enemy who wants to fight, not being able to kill hundreds of people with ease.
P.S Kunesh is alive! I found him in another city – Rattay.