Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a game set in 15th century European medieval Kingdom of Bohemia, located in what is now the western regions of the Czech Republic. Developer Warhorse Studios has eschewed the usual RPG fantasy trappings of magic, instead devoting itself to making Kingdom Come: Deliverance has historically accurate as possible in terms of combat and setting. RPGamer's Zack Webster got the chance to check the game, which is coming to PC, Mac, and Linux in summer 2016, with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One's version planned for a later date.
RPGs have their root in fantasy and the two rarely ever part, but that's one of the big draws of Warhorse Studios' Kingdom Come: Deliverance, a historically-based open-world RPG. Featuring the tagline "Dungeons and no Dragons", the game promises to deliver a story-driven, realistic game set in the 15th century, following an actual historical event through real locations, seen through the eyes of the main character.
Drawing heavy influences from the Elder Scrolls and Witcher series for the game's open-world and quest design respectively. The developers described the game world as bigger than Oblivion but smaller than Skyrim, though less densely populated. To make up for this, Warhorse is implementing a random event engine that simulates spontaneous events while playing the game, similar to Red Dead Redemption. Players don't create their own character, but how they play is entirely up to them, whether mastering one of the nine different classes of weapons, learning to become a sneaky thief or bandit, or becoming a smooth talking bard travelling from town to town.
In going along with the historical focus of the game, the two pillars Warhorse seems to be focusing on are freedom and realism. For every quest in the game, there is never just one single solution. Violence, diplomacy, and trickery are all just different means to end. Given that the game follows an actual historical event, the player's overall impact in the story is minimal — you can't rewrite history — but the game's quests still leave the choices up to you and still have ramifications for your actions, even if they manifest in smaller or more subtle ways. Character interactions and behavior play a huge part into this as well, with great effort being put into giving each NPC, man and animal alike, unique AI routines and schedules. Blacksmiths may be at their store during the day, but they'll take lunch breaks and have their favorite night spots, and will even look for other spots if their normal spot is too crowded.
Combat is the other major focus, feeling similar to modern Elder Scrolls titles but with a fair bit more nuance. A stamina bar is the focal point of the combat, but managing your stamina and draining the opponent's seems to be the important part. While blocking with a weapon, any attacks from the front will be automatically blocked while there is stamina left to drain. Once stamina has been drained, tiredness sets in which an opponent can take advantage of, such as knocking an opponent down. On the offensive, weapons can be aimed at the heads, either arm, or either leg and can either be a slash or a stab. As the character develops, they will continue to learn new combos, up to twenty per weapon. Armor is quite complex by RPG standards as well, having sixteen equippable slots and up to four layers, which help against different forms of damage.
Warhorse is looking to make this a relatively hardcore game, with survival elements like mandatory eating and sleeping seeping into the game. Players will also have to take of their wounds or find someone who can. Day and night cycles will be present and nighttime is genuinely dark, with torchlight illuminating only a few yards in front of you. The game will also give you a horse that grows along with you. What's present of game is quite pretty to look at and some of the game's more ambitious elements may lead may seem a bit too good to be true, but if they can put together in a decent enough way, the dragon-less RPG may just have a high place amongst open-world RPGs. Kingdom Come: Deliverance has a planned release period of summer 2016.