It's been almost a year since the last impression for Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Zack Webster breaks the silence with the latest E3 demo.
Another year and another look at Warhorse's grounded Kingdom Come: Deliverance, the open-world RPG lacking any fantasy. This year's guided tour was similar to last year's though the game is definitely looking further along than it did before. Amidst talks of historical detail and authenticity, there may just be a great RPG in here yet.
The demo opened with a bloke, named Henry, seeking entrance to a monastery in order to find and kill a monk who may have been responsible for some deaths. For time reasons, only one method was shown, there were numerous ways to tackle a problem like this. One could sneak in, risking getting caught and having trouble being able to identify the proper person. Brutal violence could also be another way, merely walking in and murdering everyone there. For the demo a peaceful option was chosen, one that involved infiltrating the monastary, training to be a monk by learning to read and write and performing proper etiquette and conduct, all the while figuring out who the person is by getting in close with the other monks there. Warhorse was quick to mention that by using some other method, this entire quest line would be missed. With Kingdom Come, the company wanted to have each decision have "believable outcomes." This even includes things as simple as what armor or clothing you wear.
The second scenario involved a local tournament at a castle, one which could be joined. A more in-depth look was given to the game's armor system, which has the same layers real knight at the time would have worn. Lighter stuff would be worn underneath heavier raiments with each providing different forms of protection. The game features three damage types — slashing, piercing, and blunt — and it's up to the player to try and balance between them all. The slashing attacks of swords are inneffective against heavy plate armors as they constantly get deflected by the rounded surface, but a more blunt attack will crush through such defenses, causing the armor itself to damage deeper layers and the person beneath. Conversely, blunt attacks while cause less damage to softer armors while a sword would cut through them easily. Armor is also dynamic in combat in that it only offers protection if it covers the area, not merely being equipped. This means a knight without a helmet is as vulnerable in the head as if he had no armor at all.
Tournaments can also be used for more than just fighting. Bets can be made on participants, including oneself. Players can even bet against themselves and purposely throw the fight to try and make some coin, but can be chased out of town if caught doing so. But there are even more clever uses for public events like tournaments. Every NPC functions on his or her own cycle and their behaviors can be manipulated as a result. Say you had a mission to steal something from someone's home. By waiting until a tournament began, players could more easily sneak into the house while the owner and neighbors were away at the tournament.
Kingdom Come aims to be an incredibly open experience for the player. Similar to Elder Scrolls, skills increase based off of how often you use them and the applications of those skills seem to be even more plentiful. Even the horses have their own leveling system. While its true that the game has been in production for a while, the demo shown this year felt much more complete and further along. Warhorse didn't give an exact release date to the game, but tentatively said it would be available in 2017.