Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Role-Playing
Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: Warhorse Studios
Release Date: Feb. 13, 2018


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PS4/XOne/PC Preview - 'Kingdom Come: Deliverance' From the Ashes DLC

by Redmond Carolipio on July 3, 2018 @ 12:15 a.m. PDT

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is an open-world, action-adventure, role-playing game featuring a nonlinear story and revolutionary, first-person melee combat.

When Kingdom Come: Deliverance came out earlier this year, it felt like the unlikeliest of hits, at least to me. An independently made, medieval, open-world RPG experience set in the Holy Roman Empire? I remember thinking, "Sign me up … I guess."

After more than 100 hours that included whole days dedicated to simply training an over-his-head blacksmith's son to not die within seconds of sword combat (when he wasn't getting piss drunk with a priest), memories of Warhorse Studios' grand epic still remain indelibly burned into my mind. KC:D stands apart because of its code of realism and conveying how hard life can be for a hero who has to be practically built from scratch. There is a universe of possibilities for Henry of Skalitz, and you could explore them all en route to shaping his destiny. You want Henry to be a wealthy, well-read ass-kicker who knows how to swim and make potions? Go for it.

Now comes the game's first big expansion, called From the Ashes, which arrives this week, and its mission for players is to add yet another skillset to Henry's toolbox: village administrator.

Veteran KC:D players will remember the village turned bandit supercamp Pribyslavitz, which is where the game's first major army-vs.-army battle takes place and ends with Henry defeating his first higher-level foe, the bandit leader Runt. At some point during Henry's quest, he gets to opportunity to actually rebuild and run Pribyslavitz as the village bailiff, which feels like the equivalent of being a mayor, or at the very least the city/village manager.

At E3 2018, a short demo of how some of this is supposed to work reveals Marius, who becomes your right-hand man for practically everything. The phrase "Marius, we have work to do," will take up residence in your psyche as you determine what stuff to build, what to fix, how to solve disputes as the bailiff along with many other items that demand your attention. Henry has an upgradable office with a ledger, which keeps track of things like daily costs, income, wages paid, as well as your general reputation. Reputation is important — Warhorse told us that if you completely tank your job as bailiff, Sir Divish will take the village away from you, along with everything else that comes with the DLC. That might sound harsh, but it fits with Warhorse's theme of realistic consequences.

One of the fun things about running the village is upgrading the structures in it, most notably the church. For example, if you upgrade the church enough, there are eventually going to be medieval-style paintings in it that reflect Henry's actual story. As you upgrade and expand your village, the map of your village in Henry's ledger starts expanding along with it. Among the other things you can build in the village are forges, sword and armorsmiths, a guardhouse and even your own area, so Henry can practice his fighting arts in all weapons and disciplines. You can also hire other NPCs for work, and sometimes hiring them can lead to smaller side-quests.

We also got a look at a new "hardcore" mode for the game, which is already out, and if you think KC:D is already quite the challenge, then you'll probably find this mode borderline sadistic. First, there's no outer saving — you have to use your save potions. Also, when you start, you have to select at least one of many innate disadvantages for Henry. I'd call them anti-perks. For instance, the "numbskull" anti-perk means Henry will be slow to learn things, and the "tapeworm" anti-perk means it's a lot harder to Henry to gain any benefits from eating. The "hemophilia" one makes Henry a bad bleeder, and so on. There's a lot more of these to pick, and you can either pick one or even all of them.

In combat, the little directional starfish HUD is gone. You also don't see your location when you bring up the map. You have to read it for real and make estimated guesses on where you are depending on what landmarks are around and what scenery you notice. You'll also have to use the sun to get your bearings, which is something the scouts among us will likely enjoy. There's also no stamina or life meter. Quest markers only arrive on your compass when you get closer to them. If all of this sounds horrifying, it's hardcore mode for a reason, but there are people out there who already giving this a shot.

The release date for From the Ashes is July 5, so it's safe to start planning for your reign as Pribyslavitz's bailiff right away.

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