Kingdom Come: Deliverance

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Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Kingdom Come Deliverance.jpg
Developer(s) Warhorse Studios
Publisher(s)
Director(s) Daniel Vávra
Producer(s)
  • Prokop Jirsa
  • Kateřina Matějíčková
Designer(s) Viktor Bocan
Programmer(s) Tomáš Blaho
Artist(s) Mikuláš Podprocký
Writer(s) Daniel Vávra
Composer(s)
  • Jan Valta
  • Adam Sporka
Engine CryEngine
Platform(s)
Release 13 February 2018
Genre(s) Action role-playing
Mode(s) Single-player

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. It is set in the medieval Kingdom of Bohemia, an Imperial State of the Holy Roman Empire, with a focus on historically accurate content.[1] It was released worldwide on 13 February 2018.

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.

Gameplay[edit]

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 RPG 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.[2]

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.[1] 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.[3] 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.[3] 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.[4] 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.[1] Characters are able to react to all player actions and adjust their routines to them.[5] 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.

Synopsis[edit]

The noble family of House of Pirkstein and their coat of arms is featured in the game.[b]
Modern-day aerial view of Rataje nad Sázavou and the Pirkštejn Castle which are situated approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) south of the Talmberk Castle, seat of the House of Talmberk, both of which are a template for the game's open world.

Setting[edit]

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.[1] Other real-world settlements and towns in the game include Stříbrná Skalice, Světlá nad Sázavou, Ledečko, Sázava Monastery, Talmberk Castle, Samopše, Úžice and Nový Dvůr.[6]

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 however, 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 couldn't control him. In a daring move, with the help of the Bohemian nobles, Sigismund kidnaps and dethrones Wenceslaus and begins a brutal campaign to capture the Bohemian lands.

A 15th-century battle in the Kingdom of Bohemia during the reign of Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor, who is featured in the game.

Plot[edit]

Gates of Pirkstein, one of the castles featured in the game.

In the silver mining town of Skalitz, young Henry is a simple peasant, living under his mother and his blacksmith father, Martin. After finishing some errands for his father, Henry joins him in completing a magnificent commissioned sword for King Wenceslaus' hetman, Sir Radzig Kobyla. While Henry wishes to explore and see life outside of the village, Martin insists that a quieter life is much safer than an adventurer's. Immediately after, an army of Cuman soldiers under Sigismund of Luxembourg's control attack and raid Skalitz, killing all who do not flee. Henry holds on to the sword and runs but later comes back for his mother and father, and witnesses their murder under Sigismund's crony, Sir Markvart von Aulitz. Henry flees to the safety of the castle, but is too late, and is forced to ride out to the nearest castle of Talmberg.

Barely escaping with his life, Henry reaches Talmberg and warns its lord, Sir Divish, of the attack on Skalitz. Sir Divish takes pity on Henry after his ordeal, and later are greeted by the Skalitz survivors, led by Sir Radzig, who have snuck out during a storm. Henry is devastated by the fact his parents have not been properly buried, and sneaks out of Talmberg against Sir Divish's orders back to Skalitz. Henry swears revenge on the man who murdered his parents, but is immediately outnumbered and defeated by a group of bandits and their leader, who also takes with him the commissioned sword. Henry is rescued by another Skalitz girl, Theresa, and Talmberg's Captain Robard, who finishes burying Henry's parents and safely transports him to the town of 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, and then looks to joining Sir Radzig's envoy in aiding the battle against Sigismund's army. Although the tradition of serfdom initially keeps Henry as merely a peasant, he proves to be a courageous and dutiful soldier for Radzig. After saving and befriending Sir Hanush's bratty nephew, Lord Hans Capon, from a group of bandits, Henry is accepted into Sir Radzig's envoy. He investigates the bandits and their raids on the local farms, before eventually discovering a concealed camp that has been set up within a forested and abandoned hamlet. After warning Sir Radzig of the camp, they prepare a raid to destroy the bandit and Cuman hive. After fighting their way in, Henry confronts the sword thief and leader of the bandits, Runt. After being defeated however, Runt resigns himself to his fate and neither reveals his true leader nor the location of the sword before dying.

The hybrid group of Cumans and bandits leads the Lords to believe that someone has been secretly attempting to raise an insurgency from inside the kingdom, and Henry investigates further to discover the culprit. A lead is supplied by a clue found at the bandits' hideout; a chest of counterfeit groschen that has been made within the kingdom somewhere. Henry finds and captures the manufacturer of the counterfeits and later finds a lead on the mysterious group. Henry attempts to insert himself into their ranks, but is asked by the bandits to murder a former member of the group who has betrayed them. In order to find the target, Henry covertly joins a monastery of Christian monks where the man is hiding, and lures him out over time. Henry eventually uncovers and infiltrates the bandits' stronghold, finding a massive hidden army composed of Czech mercenary soldiers.

In the stronghold, Henry runs into Istvan Toth, a Hungarian nobleman who had been visiting the Lords prior in the game. Toth remembers Henry and reveals he also holds his father's sword. Before he can react, Henry is knocked unconscious and captured. After being beaten for hours, Henry is visited again by Toth who reveals his plan; use counterfeit groschen to assemble an army of local mercenaries under the Lords' radar, then pillage and capture the land without much resistance. With his alliance to Sigismund's cause, Toth would be granted the captured Bohemian lands once Sigismund reigns king. He goes on to also reveal that Henry is in fact the bastard son of Sir Radzig himself, and he will keep Henry alive in order to bargain for a ransom.

With the help of a former Skalitz villager Zbyshek, Henry escapes the stronghold and warns the Lords of Toth's treachery. Radzig also acknowledges Henry as his son, but keeps focus on the burgeoning situation. After recruiting Sir Divish, the Lords descend on the stronghold at night and slaughter the mass of bandits. Though they are successful, they realize Toth has fled the encampment, and that he plans to infiltrate Talmberg's castle while it is unguarded. Although they return to Talmberg as quick as possible, Toth overtakes the castle and has both Sir Divish's wife Stephanie and a captured Sir Radzig as hostages. With no other options left, the Lords prepare for a siege on Talmberg.

Sir Divish commands the building of a trebuchet in order to break away at the castle's walls, and Henry aids in the process by recruiting the help of eccentric military engineer, Konrad Kyeser. Freeing him from his former duties at the monastery, Kyeser conducts the building of the trebuchet, allowing for the beginning of the siege. Eventually destroying the portcullis of the castle allows the gate to be opened, and the Lords begin to retake Talmberg and kill the rest of Istvan's soldiers. Though they have him cornered, Sir Hanush conducts an agreement to secure Istvan's safe departure and exile from Bohemia in exchange for Lady Stephanie. Istvan departs though with Radzig along just in case, agreeing to drop him off in Skalitz.

Henry and Lord Capon ride off to pick up Radzig. Meeting him at the edges of burnt Skalitz, Henry and Radzig ponder the outcome of the situation. Henry is disheartened by the loss of his father's sword and Istvan 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. They return to Talmberg, to assume their next duties in restoring the kingdom.

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.

Epilogue[edit]

The Lords are paid a visit by Jobst, the Margrave of Moravia, and King Wenceslaus' cousin. Together they discuss the state of Bohemia; Wenceslaus lies captive in Vienna, while Sigismund continues to plunder the kingdom. However, his homeland of Hungary has gone on to revolt against him, and he is vulnerable in choosing between staying to capture the Bohemian Crown, or return home to ensure his rule in his own domain. Jobst proposes a plan to set a strategic alliance with Sigismund's supporters, who are put off by the uprising 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.

In a final scene, Henry and Lord 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[edit]

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.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10] 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.[11] The game's Adaptive Music soundtrack[12] was composed by Jan Valta and Adam Sporka, and its parts were recorded with a symphonic orchestra in Rudolfinum.[13]

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.[14]

In the Forbes Magazine in the Czech Republic, Daniel Vávra interview stated the game cost them 750 million crowns, approximately $36.5 million USD, including marketing costs.[15]

On 27 May 2018 developers revealed DLC roadmap.[16] From the Ashes is the first one, and it'll grant 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—are due 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, will arrive early 2019, as will modding support. A Woman's Lot will be free expansion for early crowdfunding supporters.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic(PC) 76/100[17]
(PS4) 69/100[18]
(XONE) 68/100[19]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Destructoid7.5/10[20]
EGM3.5/10[21]
Game Informer5.75/10[22]
Game Revolution4.5/5 stars[23]
GameSpot8/10[24]
IGN8/10[25]
PC Gamer (UK)84/100[26]
VideoGamer.com4/10[27]

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.[17][18][19]

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."[21] 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."[22]

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."[23] 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".[24] 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.[28]

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.[29]

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.[30]

Controversy[edit]

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.[31] The developers claim that the game is historically accurate and that people of color did not inhabit early 15th-century Bohemia in significant numbers.[32]

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.[33] 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".[34]

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.[35][36] 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. [32] Heavy.com called the timing of Vávra's response "a little...suspect", as it was posted about a month before the game's release.[37]

Sales[edit]

On release day, the game topped the Steam top-sellers list.[38] Game director Daniel Vávra stated that the game sold 500,000 copies during its first two days,[39][40] of which 300,000 were on Steam.[41] Within two weeks of release, the game sold over a million copies in total across all platforms.[42]

Accolades[edit]

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.[43][44][45] In 2018, the game was also nominated for "PC Game of the Year" at the 2018 Golden Joystick Awards.[46]

The authors of the soundtrack received "Special Achievement in Multimedia Award" at the 2nd International Festival of Film Music and Multimedia Soundtrack Poděbrady.[47][48]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ 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).

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "Kingdom Come: Deliverance brings Skyrim crashing down to medieval reality". PCGamesN. Archived from the original on 6 March 2018. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Here's how combat works in Kingdom Come: Deliverance". PCGamesN. Archived from the original on 6 March 2018. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  4. ^ Palumbo, Alessio (11 January 2018). "Warhorse: Kingdom Come Deliverance Is A Very Unique Experience That Ignores Many Established RPG Tropes". Wccftech. Archived from the original on 24 January 2018. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  5. ^ "E3 2015: Interview with Daniel Vávra on Kingdom Come: Deliverance". APGNation - Gaming News & eSports 2017. 17 June 2015. Archived from the original on 24 October 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  6. ^ "Mapa". Kingdom Come: Deliverance (in Czech). 1 September 2014. Archived from the original on 9 August 2017. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
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  11. ^ Makuch, Eddie (29 September 2016). "Medieval RPG "Kingdom Come" Signs Publishing Deal With Dead Island Studio". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 2 October 2016. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
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  13. ^ Check out how Kingdom Come: Deliverance's music is made Archived 6 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine.. Gamereactor. 7 December 2017.
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  34. ^ M! Games, Issue 294, March 2018, Page 51
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  46. ^ Hoggins, Tom (24 September 2018). "Golden Joysticks 2018 nominees announced, voting open now". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  47. ^ "Soundtrack 2018 Aftermovie". 7 October 2018.
  48. ^ "Soundtrack, den čtvrtý: festival završil koncert hudby k české herní senzaci Kingdom Come: Deliverance". 3 September 2018.

External links[edit]