Kingdom Come: Deliverance rides out in February 2018

Kingdom Come: Deliverance [official site], the swish-lookin’ real-world medieval RPG from Warhose Studios, will arrive on February 13th, 2018. It’s the tale of a lowly blacksmith’s son in 14th century Bohemia (the Czech Republic, for younguns) who gets caught up in a civil war after his village is massacred. Here, a new trailer celebrating today’s announcement gives a look at how that story kicks off:

As you can see, it’s almost exactly like The Witcher but without wizards, a Grand Theft Auto prequel set 600 years prior, a Mass Effect prequel set 800 years prior, or Dwarf Fortress with fancier pictures but without the building, the management, the simulation, and the dwarves.

Kingdom: Come Deliverance boasts of an open world ranging from mountains and forests to villages and castles, a non-linear story with multiple quest solutions, a dynamic world, and other things which sound exciting as feature bullet points. It’s a big dream but it’s certainly looking good in trailers. And obviously we’ll get to murder men in a variety of ways with a variety of weapons.

Also, Brian Blessed is in it.

Warhorse Studios were founded by Daniel Vávra, the writer and director of the first Mafia (though also the writer of the second). The novel, movie, and stage play based on their story are bewilderingly different from this reality.

Kingdom Come’s Kickstarter in 2014 pegged its release for the end of 2015 release but, er, that’s Kickstarters for you.

Premilinary system requirements are up on Kingdom Come’s new Steam page, for those who are keeping an eye on this and contemplating an upgrade. Those specs may change over the ten months, mind.

58 Comments

  1. Janichsan says:

    Huh, the facial animations aren’t great – but that’s maybe forgiveable since it’s a fairly small studio. Other than that, it looks interesting.

  2. KillahMate says:

    I’m sort of cheering for this game to kick off historically-based RPGs as a viable genre, the way CoD Modern Warfare did for… modern warfare. Would make a good counterpoint to all the elves and dwarves.

  3. dashausdiefrau says:

    My greatest fear that it will have an OK, but slightly clunky combat system with a below average adventure and world systems. They have high goals, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they need 2-3 iterations to improve things, in the end they are a small studio with their first project.

    • Menthalion says:

      Don’t know if they’re still going for episodes, but if they do they should look into leasing Mordhau’s combat model if theirs doesn’t pan out.

      They could share more, like models, since they both depend on composable character and weapon models, grounded in history.

      Being a SP RPG and a MP only title, they wouldn’t interfere too much sales wise.

      For niche games like this it might be a good model. Harebrained and Piranha are doing similarly for their Battletech products

    • UncleLou says:

      That’s not unlikely, but I find these games often have their own charm, if we’re lucky. In some ways, the first Witcher is still my favourite out of the series.

  4. wombat191 says:

    anyone else hoping you can avoid the whole be a hero bit and be a blacksmith :D

  5. hjarg says:

    The scenery looks awesome!
    And well, Medieval simulator without mages sounds interesting as well.
    Fingers crossed for this one to be good!

  6. Harlaw says:

    I was really excited about the whole realistic, open world medieval simulator bit until… I realized you can’t be the blacksmith’s daughter. I don’t know if this was already publicized earlier and I just overlooked that aspect but it’s left me kind of disappointed.

    Yeah, getting caught up in fighting in civil war might be slightly less likely if you’re a woman, but still – Joan of Arc also happened, people.

    I imagine there’s no female option because it’s a small studio and they couldn’t spare the resources, but unless the reviews turn out to be stellar I’ll still be giving this one a pass.

    • Micky Nozawa says:

      You’re really excited for the game but won’t play it because you can’t be a woman? What?

      • GrumpyCatFace says:

        Social justice, ladies and gentlemen. Rewriting history for feelz.

        • Rosveen says:

          While I don’t mind that Warhorse didn’t want to or didn’t have the resources to create a separate story for a female character, I have a problem with this “rewriting history” criticism. Though rare, female warriors existed in the Middle Ages (as did female blacksmiths). There is historical precedent for this. Video game protagonists are usually atypical from the get-go, accomplishing extraordinary feats and enjoying unusual strokes of luck. It stands to reason that if we can have an atypical man, we could also have an atypical woman.

          • Gothnak says:

            I agree, making this game about a woman would have been awesome with all the difficult social situations she’d get into.

            However, making it for both characters would be extremely difficult.

            I assume they went for the male character as for the moment there is a general consensus (Which may be wrong) that many male gamers prefer playing a male character whereas female gamers are more easy going and don’t mind as much.

          • JamesFaith says:

            First, it is wrong generalizing Medieval era. When something worked in England or Italy, it not necessarily worked in rest of Europe. At this time there were dozens competitive law systems with many differences.

            Second – in Bohemia daughter can’t become blacksmith, it was forbidden by guild laws (and these laws preserved to present). Only wife could replace her dead husband and only temporary till

            a) She married again.
            b) Original apprentice is acknowledged by guild.
            c) New blacksmith took this job.

          • ohminus says:

            That may very well be, but in times of crisis such as this one, being outside the norm has you burned as a witch in no time.

        • Harlaw says:

          It has very little to do with social justice and much more with my personal preferences. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Your comment about rewriting history also confuses me. Women have always fought in combat throughout history. Not to the level men have, certainly, but warrior women are not unheard of by any means. I already mentioned one in my first comment.

          • pepperfez says:

            The guy who runs the studio worked hard to cultivate a fanbase among the reactionary/GlopGoblin set, so you get a lot of responses treating any criticism off the game as cultural marxist propaganda or whatever.

          • GrumpyCatFace says:

            I think it’s quite a stretch to say that “women have always fought in armies”. Outside of Boudica and Joan of Arc, few other examples come to mind. Of course the Celts would be an exception, and perhaps some ancient/aboriginal tribes, but in the Western medieval time period (where this game takes place), they wouldn’t be safe anywhere near an army. Nor would they be allowed to lead one, outside of VERY unusual circumstances – holy writ from the Church, or something along those lines.

            I’d be interested to play such a game, as Joan of Arc for example, but there’s so little detail available on what her life would have been like, that it would end up as generic fodder anyway.

            Historical games should reflect historical reality. Otherwise, what’s the point?

          • Harlaw says:

            I mean, maybe for over two thousand years doesn’t qualify as “always”, but it sure does qualify as “pretty damn long”. ;)

            I would also recommend this excellent essay on the subject. It also addresses why it is so frustrating that women’s roles (in combat and otherwise) tend to be diminished just in the name of “historical accuracy”.

            Now, I’ll admit I don’t know enough about 14th century Bohemia to definitively speak about the likelihood of women fighting in combat. But I’d wager that you don’t either, nor does much of the audience for this game. So why is so many people’s immediate response to dismiss the possibility?

          • TheOx129 says:

            In addition to what Harlaw has said, I think it’s important to note that in times of conflict, pragmatism tends to win out over rigid adherence to a given set of norms. I think it’s also important to avoid cultural biases as much as possible when assessing “women warriors.” Gary Brecher wrote a great article on how a lot of folks get the “women warrior” thing wrong, and in particular he focuses on Western portrayals of the female YPG soldiers and a New Republic article about Afghanistan’s only female warlord: how they “humanize” these women by essentially focusing on their sexuality and femininity, how their participation is ultimately viewed through the lens of Western bourgeois culture rather than local tribal culture, etc.

          • JamesFaith says:

            Well, I know quite much about this era and medieval Bohemia generally.

            So first, there are no record of women warriors in Czech medieval history. There aren’t even local legend like French Jeanne Hachette. The only legend about female warrior is Maiden war and it is situated 700 years before KC:D in prechristian era.

            And second – argument about desperate times didn’t work here too. Term civil-war in description is misleading. No huge battles like in US Civil war, this was more political dispute. Yes, king was kidnapped but by trick and without bigger fight. Conflict showed in game is local (real historical event) between two noblemen and in this era their personal armies of semi-professional soldiers were still in full numbers. No need to add women.

          • ohminus says:

            “In addition to what Harlaw has said, I think it’s important to note that in times of conflict, pragmatism tends to win out over rigid adherence to a given set of norms.”

            Only if your side is pretty desperate. Otherwise, messing with the “divine order” is seen as the fast lane to divine punishment. Not to mention that it provides the other side plenty of ammunition to paint yours as consorting with heretics and witches.

          • Sandro says:

            You know, JamesFaith, what they want is to defend their position with the uncertainty. They give a few rare examples of women combatants that happened in other place far far away and in other time long long ago and they take it as an irrefutable evidence. Instead of prooving that women figthing in war were common (ha ha), they expect you to refute it. And when you give them evidence of it, they bring back Joan of Arc or Boudica. They only focus on the big names instead of the masses. And so on we continue with the debate until the end of time.

          • April March says:

            But a few, rare instances of it happening is enough. It’s a game, it’s meant to be a story that’s unique and interesting. I mean, I don’t need a postgraduate thesis on 14th century Bohemia to know that most peasants who were threatened to be killed by a knight ended up being killed by a knight, so the game’s story’s already unique like that. Why is it that a peasant surving that and becoming important is considered okay, but said peasant being a lady isn’t? They are both equally likely.

          • moisan4 says:

            Even in the progressive age of the 21st century, do you know the actual number of casualties of male vs female combatants since the golf war? Males make up 97% of all combatant casualties since the start of the Golf War to present day. 97%. You can give out all the anecdotal examples you want, but unless you have actual numbers, it’s subjective BS.

          • Hartford688 says:

            moisan4 – I think that is because so many golf clubs have had men only memberships. Does skew the death statistics on the fairway.

        • ludde says:

          As if this game will be completely true to history in every other regard.

          • Hartford688 says:

            But some people really want realism within the limits of technology. Over at Rising Storm 2 forum on Steam there was a long thread of people wanting US dialogue to have much more explicit racist vocabulary and epithets to make RS2 “more realistic”.

      • Serenegoose says:

        You’re aware that like, if someone didn’t much like a games leaf shader, they’re allowed to not play the game for that reason, right? It’s not ran by a committee or anything, where if you don’t have an approved reason you’re sat at your computer at gunpoint until you buy and play the game. You can not play a game for any reason. Any at all. That’s the true meaning of freedom.

      • Harlaw says:

        We’re inundated with games which (only) have a man as the main playable character as it is. By this point, most of them have very little new or interesting to offer. As someone who prefers playing as women (because I am a woman, and it is nice to see yourself reflected in the media you consume), why should I bother playing a game with a male main character unless I know it’s actually stellar? Hence my comment about the reviews being a factor in whether I’ll give it a pass or not.

        That doesn’t mean I’ll never play a game with a main dude. I adore the Witcher games, for example. It just means games with a dude as the main character need a better hook – whether that’s gameplay or story – to get me enthusiastic about them. I think that’s pretty reasonable.

    • Gothnak says:

      Maybe there are a lot of plot points that work better with the main character being a man, and due to it being a small studio means every interaction with the character would be very different if you played as a woman.

      Having worked on a number of 3rd person action rpgs where you can play as either sex, it is a LOT of work to make playing characters of two different sexes believable way beyond different animation sets. Just the audio across the game would be huge for example.

      Best stick with something manageable is the sensible option.

      • Harlaw says:

        Oh, yeah, I know. Like I said, I figured they couldn’t spare the resources. I should also clarify that I’m not mad at the developers or anything. Their choice makes sense. It just makes me less interested in the game too, that’s all.

    • pepperfez says:

      It almost certainly is a budget decision, but the studio boss seemed pretty committed to claiming it as heroic resistance to the totalitarian menace of feminism.

      • Harlaw says:

        Oh, yikes. This and your other comment led me to Google and after having read various statements and interviews by Daniel Vávra I can say that yep, definitely not touching this game till some reviews from people I trust are in.

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        Ninja Dodo says:

        You know, that stuff is all really regrettable (I backed this game on kickstarter and asked for a refund when all that came up because that was not something I was comfortable supporting) but I don’t get why it’s so hard to for some to understand that a developer might choose to make a game about a specific (in this case male) character with a specific story *as an artistic choice*.

        Yes, creating an entirely separate player character is expensive, especially in a narrative game, and that can be a reason to forego more options, but that is NOT the only valid reason to have a single avatar.

        Not all games should have custom characters!

        Mirror’s Edge would not be improved by letting you play as a guy, nor would Beyond Good & Evil. It works for some games (Femshep forever!), but we should not try to force it on every game…

        There is definitely a shortage of female protagonists and supporting characters in games but instead of trying to make everything into a generic build-your-own-character MMO, let’s have more games that are specifically about amazing women and their stories.

        • pepperfez says:

          Oh, it’s not at all hard to understand why a developer might want that. It also makes perfect sense that a game would have a typical-for-the-setting protagonist if it isn’t going to deal with the implications of an atypical protagonist. I just don’t have patience for “Actually, historically, women date back only to 1970!” or calling everything gender-related political campaigning.

    • Sandro says:

      Yes, there were women who fought in wars in the past, but you just can’t ignore the numbers: they were a minority comparing to men.

      I understand that you want to play with a customized character, but this is not Skyrim, where you can play with a warrior-archmage master of the thief’s guild half orc who also happens to be the dovahkiin and a vampire. The devs said that they plan to tell a specific tale: the story of Henry, who happens to be a white christian male. The also said that they received a lot of mails asking about the possibility to play the game as a woman, a gay or a muslim. You know, everybody is asking them to create a game with their specific tastes, but what Warhorse wants is to made the game and tell the story that the want to tell.

      In any case, they promised in the kickstarter that they would include a post release DLC with a mini-campaign where you will play as a woman.

      • Premium User Badge

        Nauallis says:

        Well, I for one will refuse to buy this unless they actually back up the “real-world” part of their claim.

        Medieval life was rough. And messy. And probably stank. This is an age where you’re most likely to die as a child. If you survive to adulthood, you’re most likely to die from diseases that hit you when you’re weakened, and there are a lot of nasty things that will weaken you if not kill you outright. Got a battlefield wound that was anything other than a scratch? You’re probably dead. More so, there’s not much in the way of dental science or hygiene at this point, so most people are having their teeth rot out of their heads by their mid-30s. Good luck surviving on a grain-based diet without the ability to chew your food. Also, not cooking food can kill you by way of typhus, dysentery, diarrhea, or other fun gastrointestinal diseases, for which there are no quick-cure medicines. If you’re lucky enough to have a local apothecary, and the means to afford their remedies, maybe you’ll make it. Maybe!

        People get triggered by other people wanting women to be included as protagonists more often. I think wanting to play as a woman is a fair argument. I get mad when the description is “real world” but then the game doesn’t actually follow through with that. Take some limb damage in your first combat? The game should force you to bandage your wounds, and prevent you from using those limbs for however long it takes to regain your health. Ate bad food? Too bad, you can’t fight because now you have diarrhea and you’re too dehydrated and weak. Oftentimes the only food you have is bad food, or food already rotting. So you have to eat it, because the alternative is starvation, and death. So you eat it and get sick: you’re now very likely to succumb to malnutrition, exposure, and that brigand with a knife that you’re too weak to fight effectively or run away from. Better not go traipsing through the wilderness or swimming in that river just to avoid bandits, because you could die from cold, or exhaustion and then cold.

        I mean, come on. You want to argue pedantry like historical accuracy in a game, might as well actually care about the authentic details, instead of everybody acting like life was goddamn peachy back then.

        • Sandro says:

          Ladies and gentlemen, look, we have here a perfect example of the straw man fallacy! Yikes!

          With everything you just have said, do you really expect to convince anyone? Do you think we are idiots or something? Look, it is true that the devs are looking for realism, yes, but only up to a point. For example, they will force the player to eat, to drink and to sleep regularly in order to not to die. But just to a point where it is still, you know, fun to play.

          The things that you just have described are unplayable, and you know that. And in the strange case they had programmed what you have described, you would be still criticizing their design saying that in the real world you don’t use a keybord and a mouse to interact with the world or some bullshit like that, waiting to make feel sorry the devs so they make THEIR game as you want.

          I don’t get triggered if the people want to play as a woman in a game. It is a fair sentiment. What I don’t stand is critizing a game if the devs VOLUNTARILY want to make a game about a specific character and storyline they have created. It’s like critizing the books of Harry Potter because he is a man or critizing Horizon Zero Down ’cause Aloy is invariably a woman (but you would’t do that, right?).

          You know, latelly it makes me laugh a lot that the people on the one hand want to consider that videogames are a valid artistic form but in the other hand they want to force the developers to make games according to the tastes of the audience but against the artistic vision of the creators. If the devs don’t want to include something in their game is their decision, not yours.

          Anyway… you know what to do. If you like the concept of the game, buy it. If not, don’t buy it. And if you really, really want a game with some specific characteristics… do it yourself or support someone who does it for you. But stop waiting for others to conform to your demands.

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            Nauallis says:

            Yeah, that’s all fair enough. I’m happy to admit that the game would just suck outright if any of it was implemented.

            Mostly I stuck my comment in after yours as a way to shoe-horn into the rest of the comment thread, nothing against your criticism in particular.

            Mostly to make fun of people griping about accuracy vs creative freedom. Cheers.

          • April March says:

            The things that you just have described are unplayable, and you know that.

            Ha ha ha ha! Go play Unreal World, summer child.

  7. Catchcart says:

    I backed this on Kickstarter but ended up demanding my money back (which I got, to be fair). In my view, the only truly mortal kickstarter sin is silently dropping promises and hoping noone notices. Warhorse just stopped talking about linux/mac platforms and removed references to them from their site. When they were called out on it, they promised that they would talk about it after E3 last year. Never heard another thing.

  8. Eightball says:

    Exciting stuff, but certainly not the type of production you pre-order. Hoping it all turns out well.

  9. JRHaggs says:

    Argh. Why set it in Bohemia if you’re just going to use English accented voice actors? What’s so special about Bohemia? And if it’s so special, why can’t the voice acting reflect that/those special qualities?

    I know this is pretty trivial. I just don’t get it. Especially in the context of a historically-based, “real world” game.

    Meh? Probably meh.

    • GrumpyCatFace says:

      That is a very solid point. We have very few historical games of any kind with non-English/American voice actors. I can’t actually think of one…

      • CartonofMilk says:

        All (most?) of the Assassin’s creed games

        For example you can play Unity in French and put english subtitles. Or Assassins’ Creed II in italian with english subtitles.

        • GrumpyCatFace says:

          Italian w/English subtitles actually sounds amazing.. I might have to try that.

        • April March says:

          That’s cool, but AC games are just well localized. It’s not like Unity in French is the director’s cut. (Well, Ubi is French, so in that particular case, it just might be…)

          I’d love a game to have the balls to have voice acting only in a non-English language, if they can’t afford to have in more than one. Of course, that’s because English is a foreign language to me, already.

    • Sandro says:

      Because of money. English voiceovers sell better than in any other language. I don’t blame them.

    • Hybrid Salmon says:

      They want their game to have a wider public. Same with the looks of the main character. The first main char in the trailers obviously had an eastern european look, now he’s an englishman. I agree with you, though it probably won’t lessen my enjoyment of it in this case.

    • Misha says:

      As I understand it, the devs are from that area.

      As to “why English?”, it’s what has pretty much already been said: Sales. A game localized to medieval Czech probably wouldn’t sell as well as one with English voice acting.

      Believe me, if Ubi could only afford one language, only English would be available.

      All of that being said, it would actually be pretty durn cool to have games with the voice acting being in the correct language, but with subtitles in whatever language you spoke.

      Like, Rome Total War with Latin voice acting and English subtitles. *Drool!* Seriously, that would be pretty awesome.

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