Finally, a game that appeals to history buffs, medieval language experts and master swordsmen alike. In case you’ve somehow not heard of it, Kingdom Come: Deliverance is an upcoming RPG set in Bohemia (part of the Czech Republic as we now call it) in 1403. It’s been crowdfunded to the tune of $2.5 million during its five years in development, with over 50,000 backers willing it into existence. All the support seems to have stemmed from a gap in the market for a rigidly historical, highly realistic and open-ended RPG, which is exactly what Warhorse Studios have set out to make with Kingdom Come: Deliverance.
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Period-accurate clothing, armour and weapons, a story that’s based on the actual political situation that unfolded in Bohemia at that time, and even an array of dialects from the area that the player must navigate in the form of speech checks - Warhorse Studios are pulling out all the stops to ensure their debut title is the truest role-playing experience on PC. It also means there’s an awful lot of information to break down, which is where we come in, with this comprehensive rundown of all the vital details and features you need to know about ahead of the game’s release.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance release date
Sadly, Warhorse Studios are keeping the all-important Kingdom Come: Deliverance release date to themselves until they’re absolutely certain about. After their original late 2015 release date was pushed back a year to summer 2016, it was then reported that Warhorse had pushed the release date back another year to late 2017. The good news though, is that it’s 2017 right now, so hopefully there’s not long left to wait until we get to steal, kill and talk our way through medieval Bohemia.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance beta
If you’ve already backed Kingdom Come: Deliverance then you already have access to the game’s beta, which launched exclusively for backers on 3 March, 2016. Sadly, the only way to try out the game ahead of its releases at the moment is to buy the game via Warhorse Studios’ website.
If you do fancy taking the plunge, the Kingdom Come: Deliverance beta will include a number of quests to introduce you to the game’s storyline, as well as a taste of the swordfighting mechanics. You’ll also get involved in one of the game’s larger scale battles, right from the planning and sabotage phase, through to its bloody conclusion.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance story
Set in the real-world area between Sázava and Rataje nad Sázavou in modern-day Czech Republic, Kingdom Come: Deliverance opens with the kidnapping and deposition of the newly crowned Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia by his more ambitious brother, Sigismund. The player takes control of Henry, a son of a blacksmith who returns to his village from an errand to find it embroiled in war, his family murdered and Sigismund’s invasion well under way.
What ensues is a tale of retribution, as the player gets to know different medieval Bohemian factions in a quest to avenge his dead parents and fend off the invading forces.
Warhorse are lavishing Kingdom Come: Deliverance’s cinematics with production value, and from what they’ve shared of the game’s cutscenes, they certainly look a cut above the standard for RPGs. And so they should, considering it’s taken three directors, a cast of 60 actors (including Brian Blessed) an in-house motion capture studio and a dedicated department of animators to put them together.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance RPG mechanics
The role-playing options that players will have in Kingdom Come: Deliverance are centred around realism. There won’t be any magical abilities or spiritual affinities to help you progress through the world. Instead, players will have to improve their skills by practicing them. For example, to become a more proficient swordsman you have to engage in combat. If you win, your swordsmanship skill will go up, but if a fight is too hard you’ll have to go to a trainer and duel with him or pay him to gain missing experience. Think of it like a more grounded version of the RPG system used in The Elder Scrolls series. Here's a video explaining Kingdom Come: Deliverance's RPG systems:
So what kind of skills and stats can you improve if zapping your enemies and conjuring demons aren’t possible? Combat will utilise swordsmanship, fencing, defense and archery. Outside of combat you’ll have all the usual stats like strength, agility, speed, vitality and charisma to watch out for, as well as some supplementary stats like speech, visibility, conspicuousness, alchemy, noise, lockpicking and horse whispering. The overall aim is to channel players into one of three playing styles: bard, rogue and warrior.
In addition to skills, the way you dress and conduct yourself will also affect your options when speaking to NPCs. For example, you might find it easier to get information from beggars if you’re dressed like one yourself. Similarly, you’ll get better deals at merchants if you wear finer clothes.
And all of this feeds into that most crucial of modern-day RPG elements: making meaningful choices. Warhorse Studios have promised players nearly total freedom about how they decide to approach quests and the game world itself. If you’ve been tasked with crippling an enemy camp you can either launch a full frontal assault, or sneak in by wearing enemy colours and talking your way past the guards - once inside you’ll be sabotage their ability to fight back by poisoning their food or starting a fire in their arrow stores. You can also go mad and kill any NPC in the game, even important ones, although you’ll face plenty of consequences for your actions.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance combat
Combat in Kingdom Come: Deliverance aims to replicate historical swordfighting mechanics from the era in order to make fighting feel as realistic as possible. One hefty compromise accompanies that goal though: players are much slower to react to on-screen threats than real-life swordsmen would be, and so all attacks have been made broader and easier to read, ensuring a fair fight against the game’s AI.
Damage has been calculated for 36 different body parts for every weapon in the game, taking into account all possible armour configurations in order to force the player to think tactically about where and how they strike their enemy. An offshoot of this is that there are actually two fighting styles depending on whether your foe is well-armoured or not. For example, you’ll find sword slashes useless against a knight in plate armour, but blunt weapons will be more effective. Moreover, if you’re using a sharp weapon against plate armour you’ll have to stab at pockets and gaps in the plating to do serious damage. Here's a video showing how the combat mechanics have been developed:
You control your attacks using a multi-directional system not too dissimilar to the one popularised by Mount & Blade. You choose one of five attacking directions by hovering your mouse in that direction as you strike. Deal enough damage to a foe and they might decide to flee. Likewise, if you’ve started a fight with a friendly without intending to, there’s also a mercy option.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance mods
As you might expect for an open-world game, having the option to mod it beyond all recognition was a particularly sought-after feature. The good news: Warhorse Studios have given a resounding thumbs-up to prospective modders. The bad news: there’s no word on a specific modding toolset. Of course that won’t stop would-be developers from pushing the game’s survival elements to simulation levels or re-skinning the whole world to resemble that of Game of Thrones. Inevitable.
That’s everything we know right now about Warhorse Studios’ ambitious RPG. We’ll update this page whenever we know something new, so check back regularly for more. Kingdom Come: Deliverance details.