Title image asking the question "is Kingdom Come: Deliverance worth playing in 2024?"

Is Kingdom Come: Deliverance worth a replay? – Review

Kingdom Come: Deliverance 2 has just been announced, and although I wish they stuck a different subtle rather than just whack a two on it, it managed to catch my eye. 

Maybe you’re already excited about this or perhaps not. Maybe you skipped the original release and are now wondering whether it’s still worth playing in 2024. Well, lucky for you, I picked this up a couple of months back.

Henry socializing at a tavern

I wasn’t intending to review or stream Kingdom Come: Deliverance when I picked it up, but just because I kept seeing it at a heavily discounted price and wanted a chill-out game. Originally I played KC:D back on launch as it was included on Game Pass but wasn’t impressed. It was buggy, took ages to load and I didn’t like the combat, so gave up on it pretty quickly.

I think it returned to my eye when I heard the game was getting a Switch port. Seeing it for about a fiver for a complete edition with all DLC at a time when I was in desperate need of a “me” game, I took the plunge.

Henry's father working on a sword at the start of Kingdom Come

The first thing I noticed was the loading time was still super long initially but after moving to an SSD this did alleviate the problem. I don’t know what happened in between the years, but I was much more patient this time, the English accents didn’t grate on me as much and I found myself getting absorbed into the medieval world of Bohemia.

For those of you who don’t know, the premise KC:D sees you in the shoes of Henry, son of a village blacksmith. Apprenticing under your father who is wanderlust, you yearn for a more adventurous life, despite Father’s warning that an adventurer’s life is often short.

Henry’s village of Skalitz is ransacked by the army of King Sigismund one day and he sees his family cut down by the attackers. With his home, family and most of his friends dead, Henry must try and find his place in the world and try to get revenge for his parents.

render of a large scale highway battle

It’s not going to be easy mind you – KCD is based in realism. There is no magic, no fantastical creatures, and you don’t have main character armour. You must eat and sleep, earn money to buy gear, and even at the start you cannot read and must find a scribe willing to teach you.

To most people, you are a common peasant and they will treat you as such. Even the clothes you are wearing can affect how people view you and going a few days without a bath will certainly get the comments flying.

Combat is probably the biggest hurdle to overcome as it’s one of the most unique systems. Instead of just having attack buttons you have a five-point stance system where you must push the right stick in the direction you want your swing to go, then press the button. Up for example initiates an overhead swing and left/right are standard slashes and the lower left/right are rising slashes.

first person combat with sword. notice the five pointed star indicating attack pattern

Combine this with a block and parry and it’s quite an involved system compared to similar titles of light/heavy attack. Again, at the start, you are useless with any sort of weapon so taking the time to train is essential and even when trained engaging in more than a one on one can be a fatal choice.

It took me the longest time to realise myself but running from overwhelming odds is also a viable option. Combatants do give up after a while.

Archery is also present but also very different from what you may be used to. There is no reticule and without training or practice you sway a lot. You even have to wear arm guards otherwise you risk getting hurt firing.

first person combat with a bow

Wanting to be based in realism, some of the modern gaming conveniences are missing. Saving can only be done in beds or by consuming a certain drink (which you have to buy or make), so no save-scumming for you, and fast travel can only be done between towns.

While these did earn the game some criticism at the time, I found it helped the immersion and I found myself feeling as vulnerable as I should. There are many other systems tucked into the game as well, alchemy, stealth, and intoxication, but I could be here all day listing them all off.

The game utilizes the cry engine and the overworld benefits from this. The countryside of Bohemia looks absolutely gorgeous with some of the most realistic forests I’ve seen in a video game.

Henry and Lord Radzig in a cutscene

The main characters were scanned from the actors who played them for the most part and were realistically done. The conversations do switch camera and it was nice holding a conversation where you not staring into someone’s emotionless stare.

Henry is very animated. Simple animations like seeing your hand open a door or picking an item up seemed a little alien at first, but I soon got used to it. It wasn’t perfect though.

During conversations, there was sometimes a visible gap in people’s necks or Henry’s armour would clip. Occasionally they would lose their pathing and merge with each other, but overall I found the game more stable than certain other bigger studios releases.

Shot of the countryside

The main plot was varied and not too serious, in fact, some of the story beats had me laughing out loud. The sidequests were well written as well and even the optional DLCs – while not as big and expensive as other RPGs – fold into the main world unobtrusively, so much so I didn’t realise I was playing one.

I did find the overtly religious nature of some of the dialogue topics uncomfortable but this was accurate to the region during this period. I also realise that this was my own bias showing so your mileage may vary.

Henry and Sir Han Capon arguing about hunting boar

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is an enjoyably deep and varied RPG much akin to Oblivion over Skyrim. It started as a decompress game, moved up to chill out and it then became my main go-to as I started to min-max my sessions.

So, is Kingdom Come Deliverance worth playing in 2024? In this reviewer’s opinion, a resounding yes.

8.5/10 star rating






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