Kingdom Come: Deliverance
|Kingdom Come: Deliverance|
|Release||13 February 2018|
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is an action role-playing video game developed by Warhorse Studios and published by Deep Silver for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2018. It is set in the medieval Kingdom of Bohemia, an Imperial State of the Holy Roman Empire, with a focus on historically accurate content.
The story takes place during a war in Bohemia in 1403. On the orders of Hungarian king Sigismund, Cuman mercenaries raid the mining village of Skalitz, a major source of silver. One of the survivors of that massacre is Henry, the son of a blacksmith. Destitute and vengeful, Henry joins the service of Lord Radzig Kobyla, who leads a resistance movement against Sigismund's invasion. As Henry pursues justice for his murdered family, he becomes involved in an effort to restore Bohemia's rightful king and Sigismund's half-brother, Wenceslaus IV, to the throne. The game features branching quest lines and an open world environment which encourages immersive gameplay, and includes early 15th century period-accurate weapons, clothing, combat techniques, and architecture, recreated with the assistance of architects and historians.
The game received generally positive reviews and a number of Game of the Year awards. Critics praised the game's story, attention to detail and focus on realism, while criticism was aimed at its technical bugs.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is an action role-playing game set in an open world environment and played from a first-person perspective which utilizes a classless role-playing system, allowing the player to customize their skills to take on roles such as a warrior, bard, thief or their hybrids. Abilities and stats grow depending on what the player does and says through branched dialogue trees. During conversations, the time a player takes to make a decision is limited and will have an effect on their relationships with others. Reputation is based on player choices and therefore can bring consequences.
Character bodies and faces are created through the combination of multiple, individual pieces with finishing touches. The clothing system features 16 item slots and items on many areas of the body that can be layered. For example, a heavily armored knight may on his upper body wear a gambeson, followed by mail and plate armour, with a tabard or surcoat over top, for a total of four clothing items in the chest slots. Each clothing type provides different levels of protection against different types of weapons. Clothing also gets progressively more worn, dirty, or bloody through use, affecting the character's appearance. The player is able to use a variety of weapons including swords, knives, axes, hammers or bows. Horses are featured heavily in the game, and are designed to act with their own AI while under the player's control, moving or jumping to avoid small obstacles or dangers. The player can also fight from horseback and use their steed to carry items if they need additional inventory space, but warhorses are also competent combatants with their own AI. Steeds come with five slots for armor and attachments.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance also features a needs system which requires the player to sleep and eat in order to stay healthy. Equipment and clothing also degrade and require repair. Foodstuffs and other perishable items will spoil over time. The game uses skill/stat-based mini-games for many of these tasks including weapon and armor repair, as well as for gathering new items by picking locks or pockets, distilling alcohol or creating medicines. The game uses long- and short-ranged weapons in combat which is based on a physics system using inverse kinematics to determine the reactions of both combatants based on the speed and weight of a blow. This system aims to add greater variety and realism to the combat, coupled with a variety of basic combat moves and combination moves, some of which can be unlocked by skill points. Different weapons have different characteristics making them useful for different purposes. For example, a sword is a quick weapon for striking and parrying, but is not very effective against heavy armor.
Quests are intended to be nonlinear, with multiple ways to complete objectives to allow multiple character types to be viable. The storyline features some large-scale events such as castle sieges and large battles. Every non-player character (NPC) has their daily routine, and every routine can be affected by the player. Characters are able to react to all player actions and adjust their routines to them. NPCs will report crimes to authorities, who will punish the player accordingly, either with a fine or time in jail. Crime will affect economics and people will get suspicious or aggressive after unresolved crimes.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance takes place in the early 15th century, in the Kingdom of Bohemia, part of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown and the Holy Roman Empire in what is now the Czech Republic. The accessible area of the game is located in the region between Sasau and Rattay. Other real-world settlements and towns in the game include Stříbrná Skalice, Sázava, Ledečko, Sázava Monastery, Talmberk, Samopše, Úžice and Nový Dvůr.
Before the events of the game, the Kingdom of Bohemia was ruled by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor, and it experienced a golden age under his reign. After Charles' death, his son, Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia, took up the throne instead of his half-brother, Sigismund, King of Hungary and Croatia. Wenceslaus would prove himself to be an idle, useless ruler and nuisance to the Bohemian nobility who could not control him. In a daring move, with the help of the Bohemian nobles, Sigismund kidnaps Wenceslaus and begins a brutal campaign to capture the Bohemian lands.
In the silver mining town of Skalitz, young Henry is a simple apprentice, living under his mother and his blacksmith father, Martin. Henry and Martin are putting the finishing touches on a commissioned sword for King Wenceslaus' hetman, Sir Radzig Kobyla, when Skalitz is attacked by an army of Cuman soldiers under Sigismund's control. Sigismund's crony, Sir Markvart von Aulitz kills Henry's parents, while Henry flees to the nearest castle of Talmberg, warning its lord, Sir Divish, of the attack. Taking advantage of a storm, Sir Radzig sneaks the Skalitz survivors out and leads them to Rattay. Meanwhile, Henry is devastated by the fact his parents have not been properly buried, and sneaks back to Skalitz against Divish's orders. He is confronted by a group of bandits, whose leader, Runt, defeats him in battle and steals the commissioned sword. Henry's life is saved by another Skalitz survivor Theresa and Talmberg's Captain Robard, who take him to Rattay.
Seeking to get back his father's sword and avenge his parents' death, Henry meets Sir Hanush of Leipa, acting Lord of Rattay as his young nephew Lord Hans Capon's guardian. After saving Capon from a group of Cumans, Henry is accepted into Sir Radzig's envoy. Investigating a bandit raid on a local farm, Henry discovers a concealed camp, which houses both bandits and Cumans. Henry attacks the camp with Sir Radzig's and Talmberg's forces and kills Runt, but fails to locate the commissioned sword.
The hybrid camp leads the Lords to believe that someone is secretly attempting to raise an insurgency. Henry follows leads to discover a group of bandits and successfully infiltrates their ranks. He is led to the bandits' stronghold, finding a massive hidden army composed of Czech mercenary soldiers. There he runs into Istvan Toth, a Hungarian nobleman who had been visiting the Lords prior in the game. Toth recognizes Henry and reveals he also holds his father's sword. Henry is captured and tortured, while Toth reveals he plans to use the mercenaries to capture the land, expecting Sigismund to reward him once he reigns as king. He goes on to also reveal that Henry is in fact the bastard son of Sir Radzig himself.
With the help of a former Skalitz villager Zbyshek, Henry escapes the stronghold and warns the Lords of Toth's treachery. Radzig acknowledges Henry as his son, but keeps focus on the burgeoning situation. After recruiting Sir Divish, the Lords descend on the stronghold and quickly overwhelm its forces. However, Toth and a large number of his mercenaries have fled to Talmberg where they have captured its castle, left unguarded by Divish, taking Divish's wife Stephanie and Sir Radzig as hostages. With no other options left, the Lords prepare for a siege on Talmberg.
Sir Divish has Henry recruit Konrad Kyeser and commands the building of a trebuchet, which they use to breach the castle's walls. The Lords enter Talmberg and overwhelm Toth's forces. Sir Hanush conducts an agreement to secure Toth's safe departure in exchange for their hostages. Henry and Radzig ponder the outcome of the situation. Henry is disheartened by the loss of his father's sword and Toth and von Aulitz's escape from justice, though Radzig weighs that the lives saved at the end were due to the honoring of their nobility and moral principles.
In a dream, Henry is visited by his father Martin, who commends Henry for his courage and endurance. He sees both his father and mother disappear into the light and he awakes, in noble clothes with his new status as a lord's son.
In an epilogue, the Lords are visited by Jobst, the Margrave of Moravia, and King Wenceslaus' cousin, who proposes a plan to set a strategic alliance with Sigismund's supporters, who are put off by an uprising in his native Hungary and fear his defeat, to end the war at once. Although the Lords are uncertain of the plan, they agree to rescue and restore Wenceslaus to the throne and end Sigismund's raid peacefully. Henry and Capon depart on a journey to visit one of Sigismund's allies, Otto von Bergow, at his estate in Trosky Castle. With a letter stating their will to end the war at hand peacefully, Henry remarks that his personal quest remains to hunt von Aulitz and recapture his father's sword.
Development and release
The project that was to become Kingdom Come: Deliverance began with a pitch by Daniel Vávra, who had left 2K Czech in 2009. With a small team he began seeking investors for the project. Vávra's pitch brought on board Martin Klíma, founder of Altar Games, but pitches to major investors in the Czech Republic were not successful. The team was preparing to abandon the project when a successful pitch to a private investor, the Czech billionaire Zdeněk Bakala, secured funding to develop a prototype of the game. Warhorse Studios was founded on 21 July 2011.
Warhorse Studios first announced that they were working on an "unannounced role-playing game" on 9 February 2012, having successfully licensed CryEngine 3 on this date. After seventeen months working on the prototype, Warhorse began a tour pitching the prototype to various international investors. The project did not generate the hype they had hoped for and with dwindling resources, little progress had been made towards an investment.
On 22 January 2014, Warhorse Studios launched a crowdfunding campaign via Kickstarter with the goal of generating £300,000, ten percent of the US$5,000,000 budget, in order to prove to the investor that there exists an audience and desire for their game. On 20 February 2014, the fund was completed, raising a total of £1,106,371. Even after the end of the Kickstarter campaign, the crowd funding was continued through the studios' website. On 1 October 2014, Daniel Vávra had announced through a YouTube video that the game had raised US$2,002,547 from a total of 38,784 backers. The date of the public alpha access launch was on 22 October 2014. The beta was released for backers on 3 March 2015. On 29 September 2016, it was announced that Warhorse Studios had signed a deal with Koch Media's game publishing division Deep Silver to publish the console versions, as well as the retail PC version. The game's Adaptive Music soundtrack was composed by Jan Valta and Adam Sporka, and its parts were recorded with a symphonic orchestra in Rudolfinum.
The game was released worldwide on 13 February 2018. A day-one patch was released with an extensive update of the game code and gameplay. Vávra stated the game cost them 750 million crowns, approximately $36.5 million USD, including marketing costs.
On 27 May 2018 developers revealed DLC roadmap. From the Ashes is the first one and grants the player control over an abandoned village that needs to be rebuilt. Two more story DLCs—The Amorous Adventures of Bold Sir Hans Capon and Band of Bastards—were released before the end of 2018. Another new content includes combat tournaments, "making of" documentary and "Combat Academy" videos. The fourth story DLC, A Woman's Lot, arrived early 2019, with modding support scheduled to arrive at a later date. A Woman's Lot is a free expansion for early crowdfunding supporters. A "Royal Edition", which includes the base game and all additional content, was released in June 2019.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance received "generally favorable" reviews from critics for the PC version, while the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions received "mixed or average" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.
EGM criticized the game's difficult to use save system, long loading times, and frequency of software bugs in the game, complaining that they had logged 30 hours of real-time play, but had only advanced the game around 19 hours because of this, concluding that "What could have been an intriguing, unique, if somewhat underwhelming RPG is completely crippled by a terrible save system and game-breaking bugs." Game Informer similarly criticized the save system and software bugs, concluding that "If the historical setting and focus on realism appeal to you, then the deep gameplay systems and methodical pace are worth learning. ...however, the countless technical issues Kingdom Come requires you to suffer...until the developer brews up a comprehensive salve of patches and polish, you should avoid Henry's adventure like the plague."
Game Revolution was more positive of the experience, describing the game as "if you stripped Skyrim of the fantastical creatures and magic", and concluding that "it made for good enough of an experience to warrant enduring the game's bugs and shortfalls." GameSpot identified the game's attention to small detail as both a positive and negative point in the game, praising the "Incredible attention to historical detail" and "Extensive, lifelike quests", but criticizing "Overly rigorous core mechanics can get in the way of your enjoyment". IGN praised the game for its story, characters and combat system, while criticizing its lack of technical polish. Digitally Downloaded appreciated the game's attention to detail, but criticized the game's "juvenile" tone the game took in some of its traits, such as "manly odor" being a stat booster, receiving an alpha male stat boost by visiting a brothel, or needing to consume alcoholic drinks in order to save progress.
Outlets such as Kotaku noted that there seemed to be more glitches and software bugs on the Xbox version of the game, and that the update patches were solving less of the errors than they were on other platforms.
The game reached a peak concurrent player count on Steam of 95,863 players at once, surpassing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim which recorded 92,268 and 90,780 all-time peak players respectively.
Some publications and websites accused the developers of "whitewashing" for not portraying people of color in the game, and for its portrayal of Cumans and Hungarians as cruel invaders. The developers responded by claiming that the game is historically accurate and that people of color did not inhabit early 15th-century Bohemia in significant numbers.
European media responded to some aspects of the criticism. A commentator at the Czech newspaper Lidové noviny called the accusations "out of place" and claimed that most Europeans would respond that there were very few, if any, black people in early 15th-century central Bohemia. To evaluate if non-white people lived in 15th-century Bohemia, the German magazine M! Games asked the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. According to them, there were at most Turkic peoples, like Cumans (who appear in the game as enemies), but otherwise the presence of non-whites is "questionable".
Some of these publications also reproached the views held by the game's director Daniel Vávra, who has been a vocal critic of what he believes is a progressive bias in video games journalism. Vávra associates his views on video game journalism with #GamerGate. Daniel Vávra and Martin Klima responded to the accusations in an interview, stating that Vávra might be a little "quick with words", apologizing for anyone who felt offended.
On release day, the game topped the Steam top-sellers list. Game director Daniel Vávra stated that the game sold 500,000 copies during its first two days, of which 300,000 were on Steam. Within two weeks of release, the game sold over a million copies in total across all platforms. A year after its release the game had sold over 2 million copies.
The PlayStation 4 version of Kingdom Come: Deliverance sold 13,058 copies within its first week on sale in Japan, which placed it at number four on the all format sales chart.
Before release, the game was nominated at the 2017 Game Critics Awards and gamescom events for "Best RPG", winning the award for "Best PC Game" at the latter. In 2018, the game was also nominated for "PC Game of the Year" at the 2018 Golden Joystick Awards. The authors of the soundtrack received "Special Achievement in Multimedia Award" at the 2nd International Festival of Film Music and Multimedia Soundtrack Poděbrady. The game was nominated at the 1st Central & Eastern European Game Awards for "Best Game" and "Technology", winning the award for "Narrative".
|List of awards and nominations for Kingdom Come: Deliverance|
- Deep Silver published the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions for physical and digital releases, as well as the Microsoft Windows version for physical release. Warhorse Studios published the Microsoft Windows version for digital release.
- The Czech noble family of House of Pirkstein (cs) is a sub-branch of the prominent House of Leipa (cs). Their coat of arms is identical to the coat of arms of the House of Lichtenburg (cs) (displayed).
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