After a blitzkrieg social media push, Kingdom Come: Deliverance made £180,000 (approx. $300,000 USD), over half of its Kickstarter funding goal, in less than a day. Comparatively, Double Fine’s Broken Age cleared $1M USD after day two and Wasteland 2 took three days to pass $1M USD and even those had the star power of Tim Schafer and Brian Fargo, respectively. Kingdom Come: Deliverance is making waves not by trying to sell some mystical product with hare-brained influences, but by offering a gritty, medieval experience with gameplay examples to back it up. The blend of first-person combat, open-world questing, and gorgeous displays all come together to highlight a game that will hopefully be worth waiting for.

First things first, as with most Kickstarter projects, the end product is not ready to ship. Quality projects take quality time and Warhorse Studios is giving themselves some breathing room for expectations. The official estimated delivery is listed as December 2015, with more generous backers getting access to the alpha as soon as six months from now. If the project continues to get awareness, we’ll have to see if the game undergoes feature creep, which is one of the biggest blights to highly successful Kickstarter projects. As the budget balloons, so do expectations and the estimated dates on many projects were infamously pushed further back. Warhorse Studios seems to have realistic expectations, though, with the release of the game in three acts, each building upon the last and between each act there will be updates to the game based on feedback from the players. Furthermore, the studio is populated by people who have worked on ArmA, Forza Horizon, Operation: Flashpoint, among many others which garners trust from those, like me, who have enjoyed or recognize the calibre of those games.

A simultaneous release is expected on PC, Mac, Linux via digital platforms alongside PS4 and Xbox One, barring any platform holder issues.

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There is no denying that Kingdom Come: Deliverance has struck a nerve. Other games come close: Mount & Blade is a first-person medieval combat RPG, but it takes effort to look past its indie roots. Chivalry has great PvP, but a multiplayer game is only as strong as its community and newbies get thrown to the wolves. Dan Vavra, co-founder of Warhorse Studios, is defiant in his stance that he would not let his project become a free-to-play MMO like publishers had suggested. The frankness and straightforwardness of the game is a breath of fresh air for those who have seen fantasy games come and go with unfulfilled promises of grandeur, like Skyrim’s lack of epic battles or Fable’s… well, everything.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance promises castle sieges with a huge number of combatants. I’m guessing they’ll avoid the historically accurate tactic of waiting around until one side gets desperate enough to attack and get on to the good parts involving scaling the walls, trebuchets, and sword fights in high towers. Combat will be historically accurate, so there will be no flaming swords of +1 damage, but an assortment of hammers, swords, and ranged weapons should keep gamers interested. Armor and clothing will also get their time to shine, with a high amount of variation and customization points.

The game world will be truly massive, players will be able to sink hundreds of hours into the game but a point will be made not to make it overwhelming. Avoiding the comparisons to The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, there will be a fair number of quests and dungeons but not so many that they start to run together. Castles will have realistic proportions and villages and towns will be populated but not unrealistically so. Emphasis is placed not only on player satisfaction but on historical accuracy, taking place in the 16th century.

You play the part of the son of a blacksmith in medieval Europe in the 15th century. The country is in turmoil and you will play a hand in how things will turn out. Details past that are vague, but anyone dedicated enough could likely find the resolution of the story in a history book. Eschewing the D&D trope, you will not choose a class at the beginning of the game; rather, you will level up in the attributes and skills that you use and are free to play however you please. Early mentions of three distinct playstyles are made: the knight, the archer, and the bard. The knight and archer have obvious implications, but how satisfying it will be to play the bard remains to be seen. Often it may seem like a completely different game for a charisma-based character, but the images of a lute-wielding pickpocket who also moonlights as a crossbow sharpshooter are enough to satisfy me for now.

The RPG system will be based on attributes (Strength, Speed, Vitality, etc.), skills (smith, bows, swords), upgradable perks, and situational effects like hunger and sleep. Dialogue will be branching with a time limit so deliberating between telling off an old woman or helping her cat out of a tree will now be quick affairs, though the stakes will likely be much higher. The world persists and your impact will be remembered and members of society will treat you accordingly. Like many other aspects of the game, the final result of this aspect remains to be seen but first impressions are promising.

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It’s hard not to get excited about this project. The psychology behind the game is hard to deny: here’s your chance to spurn big developers and play a game you didn’t know you were always dreaming of. Other, larger projects have tested the Kickstarter waters but now we get to experience a very exciting time in game development. When experienced professionals get to work on their dream projects, throw it at the consumers and see what sticks, that’s a good thing.

You can check out the Kickster live here and you can also watch more of the gameplay here

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1 Comment

  1. İ will buy this game no matter what happens.

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