Wot I Think: Kingdom Come – Deliverance

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“Elder Scrolls without the magic,” is the elevator pitch for Warhorse’s historical RPG Kingdom Come: Deliverance, but magic is a relative term – it all depends on what you’re used to. The game’s stringent recreation of alchemy may seem downright paranormal, for example, if you’re used to the streamlined, fire-and-forget approach of a game like Skyrim.

Given how many dungeons, dragons and mages RPGs tend to contain, Kingdom Come’s strictly historical approach often seems more fantastical and mysterious than its peers. That mostly helped me to make my way through this open world RPG with a spring in my step, even when bugs and crashes threatened to spoil the experience, and the story fell flat and the sidequests became repetitive.

Midway through the story of Henry of Skalitz, blacksmith turned countrywide errand boy, you’re asked to tend to wounded refugees at a monastery while dealing with a local plague outbreak. In many such games, this would boil down to visiting the nearest meadow, clearing out the local rat/unicorn infestation and harvesting a few generic herbs – and you will, in fairness, be asked to fetch bandages and rustle up some deermeat for the sickhouse cookpot. But there’s also that alchemy system, whereby you must not only gather materials but follow written instructions at your worktable: bringing the cauldron to a simmer or boil using the bellows, grinding up ingredients and adding them at the right time using an hourglass.

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It’s quite the adventure, and all of that assumes your character can actually read those instructions, a skill that must be obtained at some expense and honed with practice. It also assumes that you correctly match each patient’s account of their symptoms to the remedies in the monastery’s archives. Neglect to speak to all the plague victims before taking to your worktable and you might have to make a wild guess about the cure. And just to pile on the pressure, one of the people you’re trying to heal is a mercenary your liege-lord has ordered you to interrogate. Better do your homework, then.

Set in 14th and early 15th century Bohemia, Warhorse’s debut RPG shines brightest when the quest design really digs into the peculiarities of its era, not quite cutting you adrift, but certainly not holding your hand. Broadly, the game blends the freeform progression and swirling, reactive NPC citizenry of an Elder Scrolls with the grot and skulduggery of a medieval conspiracy thriller. As the game begins, poor young Henry’s village is burned to ashes by a marauding tyrant, sparking a quest for vengeance that soon enmeshes you in a wider conspiracy.

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The story keeps you moving around the game’s vast persistent map, and serves up an enticing variety of very open-ended quests. You’ll be asked to scout out a bandit encampment, describing the terrain to a general and advising him on how many troops to commit; as with the plague cure scenario, it’s possible to observe wrongly and screw up your side’s chances in the ensuing brawl. You’ll do a little detective work, hustling peasants for dirt on their neighbours using any combination of threats, theatrics and common-sense reasoning. You’ll serve as page to some toffee-nosed princeling, chasing down boars in the forest (if he really gets on your nerves, you might find a way to head home without him). All these scenarios float atop the placid tides of village life, with NPCs following daily routines and forming opinions of the player that have a range of effects. Act the brigand, and guards may insist on checking your inventory as you stroll about. Keep your nose clean, and you’ll be able to push for lower prices when haggling.

Henry’s stats, meanwhile, are increased by performing the associated action, and there are perks to unlock in each of the game’s skill trees, from combos and special moves to traits that let you carry more stuff, obtain valuable pelts from animal carcasses and minimise the wasting effects of time in jail. Or the effects of booze and hangovers.

Deliverance’s narrative is good at taking you places and changing its tune to fit the circumstances, but the tale itself dissatisfies. Largely that’s because it’s more about machinations than people, offering up a parade of soap opera sketches – ornery lords, roguish priests, preening bureaucrats – who further the plot but rarely tickle your curiosity. Henry himself is about as exciting as a bowl of porridge, though I enjoyed watching other characters respond to his rapid ascent of the hierarchy: there’s a hint of Geralt of Rivia, even, to how the character is at once courted and resented, a useful pariah in a world of rigid caste relations. But the script never crackles like that of The Witcher 3, and though they usually have ulterior motives, the merchants, peers and yokels you’ll meet harbour few genuine surprises.

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It’s not a story that has much time for women. Since you play the pre-designated character, Henry, it’s down to the supporting cast to provide different perspectives. Unfortunately, female characters typically fall into the categories of maidenly love interest, prostitute or surrogate mother, in keeping with the portrait of a “purely patriarchal” society described by Kingdom Come’s historical database. I don’t know enough about 15th century Bohemia to address this, but I’m not sure the defence of historical accuracy extends to blokier character buffs like “Alpha Male”, which confers a +2 charisma boost when you visit the brothel.

Tedious macho elements aside, there are other questions about the depiction of the people of early 15th century Bohemia. During development director Daniel Vavra claimed that there were “no black people” present in the area of Bohemia covered at the time of Kingdom Come’s events and though the game doesn’t present the region as a bastion of monoethnicity, the issue of race deserves further examination. I’d especially like to read a critique of its portrayal of the Cumans, a Turkic nomadic people represented by other characters as vicious killers, who often feature among the ranks of your enemies.

Vavra has defended the research that went into the game’s racial diversity and apologised for some of his comments, and it’s important to note that the development has been a collaborative effort of more than 100 people rather than the work of one man. If Kingdom Come existed in a vacuum, the treatment of the Cumans might seem like a meaningful depiction of the othering of outsiders, which might in itself help us to understand characters and the setting. In reality, it’s reasonable to dig deeper into the game’s claims to accuracy in this and other regards now that the whole picture can be seen, and that’s something we’ll be doing.

Kingdom Come’s world is grim and life can be cheap, but the game’s survival mechanics are gentler than they first appear. You’ll have to worry about hunger, which erodes your stats, but between hunting, stealing, the spoils of war and the pots of bubbling stew you’ll find at taverns, it’s hard to run out of grub. I’ve spent more of Deliverance worrying about the effects of over-eating than malnutrition, and much of the food I picked up eventually rotted away in my pocket. Fatigue can be tricky, as you’ll need to find a bed or pay for one, but you’ll acquire a permanent lodging once you’re done with the prologue, and there are perks you can unlock to make the effects of insomnia less pronounced.

The game’s approach to saving is harder to swallow. To checkpoint progress you must either sleep, reach a significant quest milestone or down a tot of Saviour’s Schnapps, a finite beverage that can be bought (expensive) or brewed (time-consuming). Fortunately, small amounts of booze improve certain stats for a time, including your charisma. My version of Henry has accordingly passed many a fateful conversation in an amicable stupor, swaying in and out of view.

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Tethering checkpoints to boozing is fun, but the lack of a quicksave does get annoying. Partly that’s because the game is somewhat prone to crashing at the moment, and partly, it’s because Kingdom Come’s melee combat is as tough as horseshoes. The basics see you angling your weapon with the mouse, then left-clicking to swing and right-clicking to stab. To defend you hold Q, or tap it as your opponent swings to parry and create space for a riposte. Angle your weapon to meet a swing and you’ll block more effectively; conversely, you’ll want to lay into an opponent’s unprotected side to break through their defences. All this burns stamina, and exhausting your stamina isn’t a good idea if you plan on running away.

It’s a ferociously in-depth system that’s enjoyable to master, but you’ll need to grit your teeth. There are practice arenas at many towns where you can level up individual weapon stats and practice combos. It’s wise to train often, because if you prioritise the story you’ll quickly run into challenging opponents. Quality of equipment naturally counts for a lot, but it’s not just a question of overall defence values: you’ll need to layer gear properly, wearing a nice padded vest under your mail, and patch up any holes in your regalia between scraps. If nothing else, well-kept gear might help you talk your way out of trouble. NPCs judge by appearances as much as eloquence, and anybody whose helmet looks like a colander evidently isn’t much good at protecting himself.

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There’s a point where Kingdom Come’s rigour loses its novelty, and the game’s rough spots grow more pressing. Some of the milder hiccups are delightful in that usual open worldy fashion – at one point I beat a man senseless and stole his clothes, only for him to greet me gaily on the road a few moments later. Less forgivably, there are quirks like NPCs refusing to loose their remaining arrows in an archery competition, forcing you to throw the tournament. The landscape can also be unruly when you stray off-road. You’ll encounter fences topped with invisible walls, and hedges that spurn your advances where others pose no barrier – worse, you might end up trapped in one.

Aside from story missions, side quests and recurring activities like alleyway brawling and dice games, there are random, pop-up scenarios that prompt awkward memories of Bethesda’s early forays with radiant storytelling. One of the common examples involves a corpse in the road and a stranger who immediately accuses you of being the killer, to varying outcomes. I have experienced well over a dozen renditions of this, but as far as Kingdom Come: Deliverance is concerned, you can never have too many roadside corpses. Fortunately, it’s always possible to ride around them.

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The measure of an open world is ultimately not the story it tells but whether you’re happy to kill time within it, and Kingdom Come: Deliverance offers plenty of ways to do that, even if a lot of them will, in fact, get you slaughtered. It isn’t the departure I was hoping for, thanks to a shortage of character to set against the nuance of its historical sandbox, but the grubby realism is a pleasant shock next to the tales of elves and dragons that are its nearest competition.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is available now for Windows and is £39.99 via Steam.

395 Comments

  1. Hyena Grin says:

    So it’s flawed but has its charms. More or less what I was expecting. I’ll probably pick it up, the setting appeals and it looks like a pretty space to lose some hours in.

  2. Andrew says:

    If you want to know more about Daniel Vávra, this may explain something.

    • Lightningproof says:

      Well, there goes my desire to check this out any time soon.

      • lordcooper says:

        I require that the devs who make my games, the farmers who grow my food, the factory workers who make my furniture, the builders who constructed my house, the tradesmen who fix my sink, and the children who make my clothes all share my perspective on every single issue.

        Any less would be a ideological betrayal of the foulest sort. I’d scarce be able to meet my own gaze in the mirror!

        • LearningToSmile says:

          First of all, personal politics of a farmer won’t affect the food he grows, while personal politics of a writer(or most other creative professions) will absolutely affect the content he creates.

          Second, sorry to break it to you, but people absolutely do commonly boycott products by companies whose beliefs they find abhorrent, even when the product can’t be reasonably affected by those beliefs. It’s not something unusual(even though I don’t consider it particularly productive), so your attempt at pointing out the supposed absurdity of such behavior in relation to video games fails at both ends.

          • lordcooper says:

            k

          • SexyHomie says:

            Boycotting whole game just because someone disagrees with you, how mature!
            I am always baffled by this, are we reviewing whole game based on someone who said something I disagree with? Are you serious?
            I don’t really care what Vávra thinks, I care about product he delivers. And I definitely don’t expect that there is gonna be some kind of gender equality, or meeting npc’s of different color behind every corner, because there were literally almost none at that time.
            People getting offended by almost everything recently. What a time to be
            alive! And yes, it is absurd. Vávra might influence someone by his opinions, but let’s be real, if you are getting influenced so easily by someone else, problem might be somewhere else, dont you think?
            Disgusting.

          • Everblue says:

            I agree with you – I think with a creative artist it’s hard to separate the beliefs of the creator from their product. It’s like the Night Watch novels, which I struggle to enjoy now that I know that the author is a fairly hardcore Russian nationalist, or (to give an extreme example) my Lostprophets CD, which I threw out some years ago and have no desire to hear again.

          • MajorLag says:

            > while personal politics of a writer(or most other creative professions) will absolutely affect the content he creates.

            Of course it does, creative works aren’t made in a vacuum, they’re a medium of expression. That doesn’t mean the work is without merit just because you disagree with its creator about some things. Do a little research and you’ll find that nearly everyone who’s work you’ve ever admired has said or done some unpalatable things. That’s life, people aren’t perfect, not even you.

          • Everblue says:

            I know you weren’t specifically responding to me, but all I would say is that using the word “boycott” is a bit strong here. No one is suggesting in this subthread that the game be boycotted. Personally I would say rightly or wrongly that it would bother me that the person directing the game is (in my personal opinion) a bit of a dick, so I personally won’t be buying the game. I know that from personal experience in the past, as I am very very old.

            Otherwise, the game looks interesting, if you buy it I hope you enjoy it.

          • Everblue says:

            I wish I hadn’t said “personally” quite so many times in that post. Sigh.

          • SaintAn says:

            I bet you play Blizzard games. Fun fact: Bizzard is a corporation with a long history of homophobia and racist themes. No, adding a lesbian for guys to jerk off to doesn’t make them any less homophobic. That makes you a homophobe.

          • thisarticlescks says:

            ” while personal politics of a writer(or most other creative professions) will absolutely affect the content he creates”
            Not really. I am right republican and i like many artists or that are never trumpers and liberals.
            Also there are many artists that are oppposite. H.P. lovecraft is known racist but his books are not bad.
            My favorite author is stephen king and his beliefs are opposite to mine.. Yet somehow i am able to enjoy his books?
            It is absolutely possible to seperate author from his beliefs.

        • Whelp says:

          You’re a funny guy.
          But yeah, if the guy who developed this game is an openly misogynist arsehole, I can save myself 40 quid.

          If I found out that my local greengrocer’s shop (or whatever) is run by a hardcore nazi, I would shop somewhere else as well.

          I’m just a dick like that.

        • Shinard says:

          Or – given that every creative work contains some of the personality of the creator inside of it, by necessity, I’d like to know about the author/director/developer of what I want to buy. If I don’t like a person, I’m more likely to not like what they make, because it’s likely to, in some way, reflect the person.

          Also I reserve the right to support people I like and not support people I don’t, because that’s how capitalism works. Say what you like about boycotting products on ethical grounds, but it does get results. So if you do want to show support for your own principles, choosing not to buy from someone you disagree with is a fine way to do it.

          I don’t think that means we should dismiss things offhand based on their creators – I love Roman Polanski’s films, and I’m comfortable with separating my feelings for the man and my respect for his art. But I do think it’s a fair thing to consider.

          Or you can just be a glib dick about the whole thing instead of putting forward an actual argument, that works too.

        • OptionalLemon says:

          Lmao.This just made my day. Thanks lordcooper.

      • Paxeh says:

        Oh dear, watch out, for maybe clutching those pearls too hard will harm your fingers.

        • Horg says:

          One day we shall find someone on the internet who knows how to use the idiom ”pearl clutching” in proper context, but it shall not be this day.

          • LennyLeonardo says:

            I am so absolutely shocked and appalled by internet commentors’ tendency to misuse idioms that I can scarcely finish my Grand Marnier.

          • Paxeh says:

            Context is moot when the validity of an idiom is derived from political want. I used it perfectly fine here – as Poster and others have shown that the reaction of “oh but then I pass” is only based on political assumptions – but I applaud you on your search and I wish you the best.

          • batraz says:

            People actually drink Grand Marnier ? I’ve only seen it used for cooking « crepes flambées ».

      • mxmissile says:

        Take my money!!!!

      • Vin_Howard says:

        Not sure why you would publicly announce your bigotry like that. Unless you actually want to become a laughing stock like that happened with the nazi when they complained about Wolfenstein

    • pookie101 says:

      Thank’s for posting that

    • mnemos says:

      This came to my attention a few days ago, an uh, yeah. No thanks. Going through his tweets makes it very obvious that this is not the kind of man I want my money going to, especially when there are so many other games out there fighting for my attention. Maybe it would be different if he weren’t the co-founder of the studio and the game weren’t so inextricably tied to him, or if he’d engaged with criticism in good faith, instead of lashing out and complaining about political correctness. That’s usually a good indicator that you need to stop and reassess your argument. I figure enough of my money goes towards morally reprehensible shit without me even realizing it; the least I can do is cut out the obvious offenders when I spot them.

    • Asrahn says:

      Well damn, skipping this then.

    • Blastaz says:

      Really interesting and balanced profile, and a sensitive way to handle a disagreement. But not sure why it would make anyone hard pass on the game. The guy comes off as an anti-commie who enjoys shit posting online. There is no gotcha, the one iffy moment would be being fixated enough on Quinn to actually talk about it at a bar.

      It’s been ages since I dived into a deep RPG, looking forward to playing this later.

      • mouton says:

        TBH we live in an era of great gaming abundance and while I do agree that the creator’s views usually should not be the basis for skipping a game, a lot of people will jump onto any excuse to lighten the burden of their ballooning backlogs. I can’t really blame them either.

      • Person of Interest says:

        Yes, I thought the GG brigading, doxxing, and organized attacks were vile, but I think Daniel Vávra (based solely on this article and the linked tweets) isn’t supportive of that, although he has too much of a chip on his shoulder to actually proclaim his opposition. It’s an understandable perspective given his communist childhood. He has a nice quote about freedom of speech in the article too.

        But the more of his Twitter feed I read, the less impressed I am. He seems far more interested in right-wing autocrats than in actual freedom.

        It’s not a hard pass, but I’m definitely putting Warhorse Studios below Campo Santo and Fullbright on my wishlist.

    • Solidstate89 says:

      Well that erodes any interest I might have had. Thanks for the heads up.

    • Shinard says:

      Ah. Well, I already Kickstarted it, so… huh. Wish I’d known about that before. I don’t know whether it would have changed my decision, but it would have been nice to know.

    • lich0 says:

      “It doesn’t matter that we are writing [a] story dealing with very touchy and controversial topics as hatred between Czechs and Germans, about anti-semitism or religious fanaticism. It doesn’t matter, that we are the first game about Czech culture and history. That’s not enough! We need to cover all the problems of all the people in the world in that one game, otherwise we are very bad people. And that is A – impossible, B – Insane, C – bullshit. It took me years of stress, hard work and risks to be able to finally create a game I always wanted to make and I will do it the way I want. If you want something, do it yourself. But it’s not as easy as barking at someone.”

      Seems pretty reasonable to me and I fully support this approach.

      Actually I’d like to see more games like Kingdom Come and The Witcher that draw from cultures which don’t exist in mainstream pop culture. It may be shocking to some people from the so-called west, but you don’t need black people or Asians or homosexuals or transgender people to show diversity. Not everything has to be made with the ‘American’ perspective in mind and not everything has to cater to the global consumer.

      The lack of diversity criticism towards Kingdome Come makes as much sense as the same criticism targeted at The Witcher 3. It seems ridiculous to me, but I guess it generates a lot of traffic on the website, so there’s that.

      • Shinard says:

        Oh, that all seems fair and I don’t have any arguments about that. It does seem like the portrayal of women in the game is a bit crap though, and not even particularly historically accurate.

        • Nogo says:

          It’s like The Witcher all over again. Clearly Witcher 3 had a better presentation of women that made the narrative much richer, especially compared to the “heh heh boobies” that we got in the first one. That’s a good thing for everyone playing it.

          It’s not about being offended. It’s about asking your world and supporting characters to not be dumb and paper thin. Like, the dudes apparently did a bunch of research on armor and brought in consultants and everything, because if you’re gonna put something in your game you should do it right, but it really seems like they couldn’t be bothered to do any of that when it come to the multitude of female NPCs they included. What gives?

        • Fortron says:

          Wouldn’t a crap portrayal be historically accurate though? Or has history been always super kind and egalitarian?

      • Ragnar says:

        The diversity criticism can be applied to many games, and Witcher 3 is absolutely just as guilty. But there are two additional issues with this game.

        First, Witcher isn’t claiming to be realistic, let alone historically accurate.

        If you’re claiming historical accuracy, and historians say there should be people of color but there aren’t any, then it seems like a purposeful omission, like you’re trying to white-wash history. That certainly seems worse to me.

        Second, this game is coming out 3 years after Witcher 3. So the developers clearly saw the criticism of lack of diversity in Witcher, had time to address that same lack in their own game, but decided not to and to defend their decision as “historically accurate”.

        • treet says:

          Historian say there should be POC? I live in Centram Bohemia right now and in area of hundreds and thousands of sq km there are no black people :D now in the 21st century. How is it so unbelievable that in the 9sq km of 15th century central bohemia themed game are not any blacks. You ignorant american idiot!

    • Superkooter says:

      Thanks for posting, I will now be supporting his game and his future projects.

      • Horg says:

        People like Vavra make a point of maintaining visibility for their social and political opinions becasue it remains trivially easy to part bigots from their money.

        • Fortron says:

          Separating dumb people from their money? Yeah can’t imagine that on the other side
          *cough* anita sarkeesian

    • virgopunk says:

      To me Vávra comes across more as a sort of Ayn Rand-ian type, which is still a fairly worrying set of beliefs. He should go a build his utopia at the bottom of the Atlantic.

      I also have a suspicion that the game is stoking Czech nationalism but that’s just my opinion.

      • virgopunk says:

        Having done a bit more reading I discovered that Vávra is also a pretty vocal member of ‘The Party of Free Citizens’ in the Czech Republic. The nearest analogy here would be UKIP. So, the interesting thing for me anyway, is whether or not Kingdom Come can be considered as political propaganda.
        Hypothetical question: If Nigel Farage made a pretty good game about knights would you be comfortable buying and playing it?
        For me the simple fact is that I don’t want to give my money to a dubious right-winger, which is shame because I’ve had the game on my Steam list for ages and was very much looking forward to it.

        • Schmouddle says:

          Svobodní (Free Citizen Party) do not have anything in common with racism or any other prejudice. Their range is from minarchists through libertarians to anarchocapitalists. Eh, betters say our range. I vote for them aswell.
          Before spreading smear you shall get your facts together.
          UKIP is their ally in fighting the new European Sayuz, which is creeping on us every day more and more and is in stark contrast with the idea of Liberty.

      • Schmouddle says:

        If the game was to stoke Czech nationalism, it would take place 30 years later, when Hussites were showing finger to whole Europe, seriously kicking some noble asses in the process. Not in time of decline and despair amidst war between two brothers, sons of greatest Czech king and HRE Emperor.

    • mrhazard says:

      That’s a nice article. Its nice to see ppl who have different ideas but ultimately care about the same things learning from each others perspectives.

  3. woodsey says:

    What was the performance like for you Edwin? PCG are reporting some pretty severe frame-rate swings.

    • SaintAn says:

      Are any sites that are reliable reporting that? PCG is a tabloid blog that posts whatever can get them clicks.

      • gabrielonuris says:

        I think you are the right person to answer me this: do you know any other sites -besides RPS- with good pc gaming news? PCGamer lately is seriously getting on my nerves…

    • Land says:

      The Day 1 patch fixed all the obvious performance issues for me. I don’t know for certain, but it seems a lot of the reviews were played without this patch and therefore these reviews have more emphasis on the technical issues.

      But I could be wrong of course.

    • haldolium says:

      I get everything from 600 (cutscenes w/o FPS limit) to 25 (looking in the wrong direction within settlements/cities) with the current version. That is with a 1080 and bottleneck Xeon CPU on ~full HD.

      Overall it’s smooth though, interestingly enough the vast differences in FPS aren’t too notable annoying. I notice the drops, but for me they do not impact the world too much. Other bugs/issues are more of an issue I would say.

  4. LearningToSmile says:

    Yeah, I have predictably zero interest in playing this. I’m not much of a fan of RPG’s that are focused on systems rather than story and/or characters. Also would probably be hard to shake the uncomfortable feeling that the “purely patriarchal” setting wasn’t something that was forced on the developers because of their commitment to historical accuracy, but rather that the commitment to historical accuracy was chosen as an excuse to enable it.

    • RedViv says:

      Aye. Even those things aside, with hundreds of people working on the game and nobody speaking up against a lead dev and face of the game who is such a big fan of August2014? Hard pass.

      • elanaibaKHG says:

        Not sure what August 2014 is but I’d advance that for all his sins and merits Daniel Vavra is the not just the lead but also the guy that established the game and studio. It’s not someone you just kick out and replace.

        (Don’t get me wrong, I follow the guy – not closely- and have nothing against him. He seems a bit euro-sceptic and anti-PC, but if you’d live in Eastern Europe as we do, you’d see plenty of those and reasons to do the same)

        • LearningToSmile says:

          I live in eastern Europe. While there are at least some people who have an economic reason to be euro-sceptic(even if I disagree with them), anti-PC is just a thinly veiled label for “I’m a racist/sexist/homophobic piece of shit and I’m mad people are calling me out”. Just because they’re more common here doesn’t somehow mean they deserve any slack.

          • elanaibaKHG says:

            I’m not euro-sceptic myself, au contraire, but even I am sometimes left scratching my head on some directives coming from Europe.

            As for PC, well, it’s a long and IMO debatable subject, mostly on an issue to issue. I dislike blanket statements and decisions. I am somewhere in the middle, getting flak from “progressives” and “conservatives” but to be honest I don’t think RPS is the place do it. I came here to see if Kingdom Come is any good. I expected it to be interesting but flawed, as any 1st project from a new studio is bound to be. I see and like that it’s different and therefore will give it a try.

            For example, the presence or lack of presence of female characters is not an issue for me, but as a father of 2 girls I may recommend or not the game to my girls. (But then again they are 6 and 1, so obviously they don’t get to play this yet, or any video game for that matter). The game is good or not and thats it.

          • Nevard says:

            I don’t know why people don’t think RPS is the right place for it, this has always been a PC gaming website.

          • elanaibaKHG says:

            haha, excellent :D

          • BobbyDylan says:

            I find that response to be pretty short sited. I see a lot of parallels in assuming that anyone who “dislikes PC is a racist” with a racism itself. You’re making a decision to dislike someone you know nothing about based on your own warped preconceptions….

            But that’s just like…. my opinion, man.

          • SaintAn says:

            There’s a line between being PC and being a S=J+W. (an irrational fanatic that doesn’t understand or actually believe any of the things they talk about).

          • Superkooter says:

            Being anti PC is being able to live in reality. I’m proudly anti PC.

          • mrhazard says:

            Saying anti-pc is racist, homophobe, etc is a gross assumption. Sweeping generalizations are dangerous things.

        • modzero says:

          I too used to live in eastern Europe. People like him are literally the reason I had to move out.

    • Marclev says:

      Your assertion is that they put together a team of 100 people to build a game set in medieval Bohemia because they didn’t like women?

      Really?

      • Ghostwise says:

        The word “obtuse” comes to mind when reading your comment. Not sure why.

      • stringerdell says:

        Did you read the article or just get a few sentences in, skip to the end and infer what you wanted so you could get offended?

      • Fortron says:

        I really can’t imagine being dumb enough to think the only reason a particular setting would be chosen is a hatred of women. It must make daily life really hard

    • mistery says:

      I respect your opinion in this delicate matter, but allow my opinion too: you are oversensitive to an issue that is in limelight for the past 80 years alone. You can’t possibly hope to have a historically accurate game about the middle ages, with feminists and equal rights activists. While bashing a less than desire-able head developer, or whatever that gamergate dude is, might make you feel a more accomplished gentle”person”, sadly women were really second class citizens at the time. And if they got smart, they were burned at the stake for witchcraft or possession by either the devil or a demon, quick. This is the way society was at the time, but if you can provide proof of the opposite, please share your actual proof (so we-or at least I- can reconsider our knowledge of an aggressively patriarchal society at the time), because sadly your feelings do not play into how things were 450 years ago.

      • Horg says:

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        There’s a start for you. In summary, women of the middle ages, while having less legal protections than men and having limited influence over their own agency in marriage, had a much more diverse and impactful role in society than portrayed in KC:D. In a game that flouts ‘historical accuracy’ as a selling point, this diminished role of women has made some observers a little suspicious of the developers motives.

        • Sui42 says:

          It’s true. There were plenty of powerful women in Medieval society. Especially as, if a woman became a widow (as happened often) they were allowed to completely take over the trade of their husband (in England, at least). So there were some really rich & powerful female merchants who basically ran small trade empires, for instance.

          • Nogo says:

            They were also the original brewmasters: “As a trade in medieval Europe, ale brewing offered women a relatively lucrative and stable career.”

        • ulix says:

          Since you seem to have played through the game to come to your conclusion maybe you’d like to elaborate how women are portrayed in the game?

        • Mokinokaro says:

          Bohemia was also an enormous melting pot of different races and cultures at the time.

          To be fair to the devs, though, this is taking place in a small corner of it and not what were the major centers of Bohemian society.

        • Fortron says:

          But I thought women were basically cattle with no rights or options or freedom until feminism saved them? I’m glad to hear that was all horseshit

        • Thegassygiant says:

          Having played the game I can assure you that there are women shopkeepers. I think its telling to the motives of the whiners that they didn’t even play the game before launching a campaign of slander against this title. whether or not the developers did include female business owners has no logical bearing on whether or not the game is sexist.

      • vecordae says:

        When discussing women or other marginalized groups within a medieval setting, it is important to understand that one can complain about the portrayal of women without wanting to change the context of that portrayal.

        One can have a pretty accurate depiction of the context (in this case, medieval Bohemia) while also having a lazy, sub-par, or thoughtless portrayal of some of the people who lived within that context.

      • pepperfez says:

        “Facts don’t care about your feelings! They care about MY feelings!”

    • baud001 says:

      > I’m not much of a fan of RPG’s that are focused on systems rather than story and/or characters

      I don’t see where you are coming from regarding this. From what I’ve read of the review, it does not seem that it’s system first, rather than having a cliche and not very interesting story.

      Of course it makes everything you’ve said invalid /s

  5. Scraphound says:

    My anticipation for this title grew with almost every word.

    But once I read there was no quickaave I stopped cold. Ain’t nobody got time for bad design choices like that. I have a life.

    Hopefully enough people whine at the devs and this boneheaded mistake is fixed. This really looks like a game I’d enjoy. Hints of Darklands intrigue me.

    • brulleks says:

      My sentiments exactly. I just hope it’s something that can be fixed, given many other developers have omitted quicksave in games claiming that it was impossible to implement with their engine / other systems within the game (though how much of that is down to console porting, or just inability to accept some people don’t have time to keep playing until passing the next checkpoint, I’m not sure).

    • jp says:

      Same, will wait for patches and hopefully a proper implementation of quicksave.
      Or a cheat for infinite alchol-free save booze.

    • KingFunk says:

      I wholeheartedly agree. Designers (not just of games, but of any sort) need to recognise that their products exist in the real world and therefore something so inherently linked to factors external to the product (like a save system) needs to prioritise dealing with those real world factors OVER being part of the product designed to achieve an effect internal to the product (i.e. ‘enhancing’ the game mechanics). Listen to your customers.

      TL;DR non-limited manual saving of a game must be allowed if there are decent periods of time between non-manual save-points or manual saves are limited, especially when progression is at stake.

    • ilitarist says:

      It looks like it has autosave. Besides it’s a game where combat doesn’t happen all the time. You won’t see game over often.

      I didn’t play the game of course but I wouldn’t be as quick to judge.

      • ReluctantlyHuman says:

        The author does note however that it is pretty buggy though, so being unable to quicksave now might mean a potential loss of progress. One or the other is manageable, but both at the same time borders on Sisyphean.

    • Fortron says:

      For me I think quicksave in skyrim wrecked the stealth experience for me. Quicksaving right before a pickpocket or something means there’s zero consequence or tension.

      • Ragnar says:

        I’m sorry that the presence of Quicksave removed some of the tension for you because you cannot keep yourself from using it to avoid possible failure.

        On the other hand, the lack of Quicksave makes it exponentially more difficult for me to actually play a game.

        Perhaps a good compromise would be to include Quicksave with every game, but also an option that disables it – sort of like a Hardcore playthrough? That way we could both play the game, and you could worry about whether your pickpocket attempt would work or not.

    • Thegassygiant says:

      The game autosaves frequently at big moments in the missions or story development. If you want to save the game on your own you have to take a swig of savior schnapps

    • aznprnstr says:

      The answer to your saving woes, per usual, is alchemy! A save potion costs more than 100g but the ingredients to brew 3 costs less than 10g (and they are pretty common in the wilderness).

      Once you memorize the recipe you can churn one out every 15-30 seconds. I usually stockpile about 5 every time I head back to town to sell off my salvaged gear and dead bandit’s ears.

      At higher alchemy levels you can auto-brew the potion, or if you do it manually you get 3 each time you do the process. I’m about 25 hours in and I don’t have these perks yet (the only potion I make is the save one), but if you spend money th alchemists will level up your skill. I’ve been spending my money on the bathhouses instead.

    • cautet says:

      I use the quicksave mod. It was out first day the game was I think and didn’t need adjusting with the last patch. It didn’t affect achievements although I don’t care too much about them anyway. Going to be trying out some of the graphics mods – performance is good now ive reduced LOD but I would prefer good performance without reduced LOD.

  6. Grizzly says:

    alpha male

    Obligatory mention that the notion of an “Alpha male” comes from a study of wolves in captivity that turned out to be entirely wrong. To quote:

    When forced to live with complete strangers, wolves will unsurprisingly form hierarchies to establish some sort of pecking order — but, that’s simply not how it works in the wild. It’s like basing your entire understanding of human social dynamics on an episode of Big Brother.

    Mech, realizing his mistake, has spent years trying to quash the myth and begging the publisher to stop reprinting his book that originally made it famous. More recent research reveals that wild wolf packs are basic family units, and the “alpha” is just a wolf who found a lonely lady wolf to bone. Then, they had some pups that will, one day, go off to do the same.

    And those brutal dominance displays? Well, that really only happens around feeding time. Turns out, it’s just the parents keeping their older pups from, er, wolfing down all the food before the younger siblings have gotten their share. So, it’s not evidence of a brutal society run by violence — it’s just Dad making sure everybody gets a slice of pizza before the dickhead big brother goes in for seconds.

    Anyway, here was your short PSA on mammal sociology and teeth-itching pseudoscience.

    • Mostquito says:

      What kind of Mech realised the mistake? Was it a light one, or an Assault type? I bet it was the first one. :)

    • Nevard says:

      But they did all that research for historical accuracy, surely it must be a real thing.

    • upupup says:

      Similarly, the violent behavior of chimpanzees gets overstated due to the populations that were used as examples of them waging war one each other, turning out to be heavily traumatised from the human civil war surrounding them. They were hunted to be eaten or sold, especially the adults, resulting in families being destroyed and leaving the survivors as neurotic wrecks.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      People seem to bring up that revised research a lot on social media, but I’m not sure it’s actually making the point they think it’s making. It doesn’t refute the existence of “alpha male” type behaviour. All it says is wolves exhibit this behaviour when stressed in a confined environment.

      >When forced to live with complete strangers, wolves will unsurprisingly form hierarchies to establish some sort of pecking order

      I mean, you could argue human society is a confined environment in which people are frequently stressed… clearly some humans (and other animals) act like this at times. Triumphantly declaring “it’s a myth!” doesn’t really help understand or prevent shitty behaviour.

      • Grizzly says:

        The context for that is that it’s often geared towards debunking the pseudoscience of, well, pick-up artists, which often talks about “Alpha males” and “Beta orbiters” and what-have-you. It’s hardly nuanced nor does it dive deep into the complexities of sociology, but it’s in response to an ideology that claims that their treatment of women as objects is backed by science.

        And also, I just felt like doing Mech a service :P

        • MajorLag says:

          While there certainly are misogynists who run in pick-up circles, pick-up itself is not a misogynistic practice. It asserts only that attraction between the sexes is not mysterious and can be studied and understood. Most communities in that sphere neither require nor encourage the view that women exist merely as objects.

        • Premium User Badge

          Ninja Dodo says:

          I’m aware of the context, I just think refuting pseudo-science with selective science may be counterproductive.

      • upupup says:

        No, the original research has been thoroughly refuted since then. The use of idea of the alpha male, inspired by these wolves, is that of a male who rises to the top of the social order by being the strongest, most aggressive and most assertive. This is not the case with wolves. Rather in a situation where no-one knows each other and all that’s left is fighting to survive the stronger wolves are most likely to win, but that does not equate to a social order in the same way that me beating you up to get a sandwich if we were locked in a room is not indicative of human social relations but fight or die.

        It’s an extremely situational case taken to be indicative of wolf social order, when it’s nothing like that. The whole thing is well and truly a myth that’s been latched on to by people wanting to justify their own preconceptions by saying that it’s natural behaviour.

        • Premium User Badge

          Ninja Dodo says:

          Well, my point is it refutes the idea of a formalized hierarchy but we’re still left with the unfortunate behaviour: dominant and submissive behaviour can be observed in humans and other animals in certain situations, though it is incorrect (the myth part) to class individuals as belonging in particular categories… instead it’s a highly situational behaviour that depends on both context and personalities. I’m just saying it’s equally misleading to pretend the behaviour does not exist.

          Like if you beat me up and steal my sandwich, you’re an asshole, but you’re not *an imaginary asshole* and it doesn’t help me to explain to you that you’re not actually engaging in “alpha” behaviour. :D

          • upupup says:

            The important distinction there is that aggression exists but it doesn’t fulfill the social role that people attribute to it.

            That difference will turn out to very much not be in my favour, as rather than establishing myself as the dominant male and earning your allegiance, you´ll just wait until I fall asleep so that you can repeatedly kick me in the face. You bastard.

          • Grizzly says:

            Right, but there’s a difference between that behaviour and using pseudoscience to try and justify itself, which is what I was trying (and hopelessly failing) to adress here.

      • Ayt says:

        The question would be why you think the concepts apply to humans.

    • April March says:

      It’s like basing your entire understanding of human social dynamics on an episode of Big Brother.

      Well, there’s your sci-fi story prompt for today.

  7. karehaqt says:

    Just a shame the guy helming it is a raging Nazi. I know you should separate that from the art, but I can’t in good conscience pay money knowing it’s going towards funding a racist prick.

    • basilisk says:

      Hey, hey, I’m far from being a defender of this guy’s politics, in fact, I am very strongly against them, but calling him a raging Nazi is both misleading and needlessly demeaning.

      He’s undeniably very right wing. Uncomfortably right wing, sometimes bordering on the far right, but not quite there. Sort of “alt-right”, but it doesn’t really make sense to apply an American label to someone living in an entirely different political context. But he really isn’t a Nazi.

      • Grizzly says:

        Mind, alt-right is simply the politically correct term for Neo-Nazis, so if your entire point is not to call him something like that… :P

        • basilisk says:

          Yes, I know, but they are not quite the same thing and he’s not quite an alt-righter because there is no such thing as a Czech alt-right movement, so it’s all a bit more complicated than that.

          It’s really a matter of context. I don’t even think he’s a racist, necessarily. Not in the way the English-speaking world uses the term.

          • Grizzly says:

            Yeah that’s entirely fair.

          • Premium User Badge

            subdog says:

            But he does participate in and support Gamergate, which is definitely part of the American Alt-Right.

          • Mokinokaro says:

            There doesn’t need to be a Czech “alt right” because their far right party is openly racist.

          • basilisk says:

            True, but I don’t think Mr Vávra is a supporter of said party, and the party in question is, bizarrely, led by a man who’s half-Japanese. So it’s not generally racist, but selectively racist. Mainly against the Roma and all Muslims regardless of origin.

            Again, it’s all a matter of context.

          • virgopunk says:

            Vávra is an active member of the ‘Party of Free Citizens’.

        • Superkooter says:

          No that’s just the myth the Marxist left likes to push.

      • modzero says:

        *turns on website*

        Huh, why is there so many comments under this weird one game?

        …oh. Oh no. Ohnonononononono…

    • Mostquito says:

      I am not well read in the literature of “KCD raging nazi literature”, but I am curious can you support your nazi-label with some evidence?

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      You know, based on what Vavra actually said in the statement linked in the article above, that seems inaccurate and unfair.

      As someone who actually got a refund on the kickstarter over certain (GG) afilliations expressed around the game at the time, that translated statement seems like a pretty fair explanation/apology. The claim that a developer is automatically racist because their game doesn’t have black characters in it is absurd.

      • Premium User Badge

        Ninja Dodo says:

        Though given some of the comments here I’m thinking my initial instinct to get a refund may have been the correct one.

    • Lobotomist says:

      I am Jewish person that most of his family was killed in concentration camp. Yet I fail to see what does one guy misguided oppinions ( and he is far from Nazi ) has anything to do with quality of the game or livelyhood of hundered other people that poured their heart and soul into this game ?

      Please explain me that ?

      Should I say Wagner is shit because he was Nazi ? Perhaps say that Lewis Carol work is crap because he was in love with child ? The list goes on…

      When will you stop mixing art with politics and personalities ? Art is art – godly work of beauty and man is flaved. Should we hate art for that ?

      And this my misguided friend is comming from most left person you can meet – but not “trendy, dumkopf” left hipster

      • ilitarist says:

        A little correction: Wagner wasn’t Nazi because he died before Hitler was born. He was racist and antisemite but he didn’t talk about genocide and all that. It’s entirely possible he’d support Nazis but that’s anachronism akin to calling Octavian August communist for giving out food for free.

      • Glip says:

        He’s following several neo Nazis on Twitter, and has himself tweeted quite a few neo Nazi memes and things.

        For example:

        link to i.imgur.com

        That is a neo Nazi flag, one that gets carried in Nazi marches. It was waving during Charolettesville, with people shouting “The Jews will not replace us!”

        It is modeled after a WW2 Nazi flag:

        link to cdn-images-1.medium.com

        This is just one of many examples of him posting Nazi propaganda on Twitter.

        • elanaibaKHG says:

          You’re literally linking a picture of some people (including women and blacks and asians) around a flag, tweeted by some profile that seems somewhat anti-racist, and so he’s a nazi?

          I’m starting to understand how the whole logic of “if you’re in pakistan and some know terrorist affilitate visited your house you are a terrorist too so we can drone strike you” logic works.

          • Glip says:

            You realize that putting “anti racist” in brackets is a neo Nazi “joke”, right? Did you actually read any of the articles on his Twitter feed? He is a out and proud neo Nazi. And one of many that Vavra follows and retweets.

          • elanaibaKHG says:

            oh, ok maybe I should have browsed more of that profile.

          • Vin_Howard says:

            Glip is full of bs. That isn’t a neo-nazi flag. The guy in question runs a youtube channel called “Computing Forever” and he’s basically part of the “Skeptic” community. His content is low quality, but he certainly isn’t far-right. And that twitter account is fake as all as I can tell. It even links to an unrelated youtube channel.

        • Wydi says:

          That flag is part of the “Kekistan” meme and is more of a Gamergate and alt-right thing. 4chan’s /pol/ invented it, however, which explains its particularly offensive design. “For the lulz” and all. The guy standing right behind the flag is Carl Benjamin a.k.a. Sargon of Akkad – you might have heard of him. He’s quite a bigot, but I wouldn’t call him a neo Nazi.

          P.S.: The ones that have participated in Charolettesville claim that they were shouting “You will not replace us”, not “Jews..”. Dunno.

        • Lobotomist says:

          But again. How does this matter? It is a game we are talking about, not one person that worked on the game among hundred, political orientation.

          I do not know anything about him, nor do I care. If he is Nazi supporter, that is despicable.

          But I came here to read about a game. And if its worth playing

    • Paxeh says:

      I hope to God you will never encounter an ACTUAL Nazi in real life. Because if you can’t handle someone with an aberrant political opinion ONLINE without being so afraid that you immediately label them a Nazi – how the fuck will you handle meeting one in real life?

      • batraz says:

        One should add the closest thing to a fascist regime lately had to be searched for around Mossul and Raqqa, not in Czech Republic. If being on the good side was so easy as most seem to believe, history wouldn’t be so full of wrong choices.

      • Asrahn says:

        One handles it simply by creating a sweet music remix!

      • modzero says:

        Oh, we can handle it, and most of us here met actual nazis in real life. It’s “colleagues”, bosses and sometimes rather embarrassing exes. We deal with it better than you apparently deal with a few comments on a computer game.

        And every time your kind seems to get on the top, you screw it up so badly it’s like we don’t even have to fight you. We do, though, because you have a tendency for screwing it up for everyone.

        And yes, I do say “you”, because your enthusiasm here is telling.

        • Paxeh says:

          Case in point. Now I’m a Nazi.

          And you didn’t even break a sweat.

          And yes, I do say “you”, because your stupidity here abounds. Jesus Christ, you’re a terrible human being.

      • Urthman says:

        Right wingers love to congratulate themselves for having opinions that some people “can’t handle.”

        As if rejecting you and judging you for your stupid racist and sexist opinions isn’t the best way to handle them.

        • Superkooter says:

          And leftist love to stroke each other’s egos about how “progressive” they are even when it defies reality.

    • Shinard says:

      Hey, woah, I agree he seems a right… I don’t agree with him, I’ll put it that way, but I wouldn’t call him a Nazi.

      • Mokinokaro says:

        He follows several openly neonazi groups on twitter which is suspect but I haven’t heard anything from his mouth (or fingers, I suppose) that I’d consider neonazi speech.

    • Fortron says:

      So where all all these ovens full of jews this madman gassed? Must have missed the part where he was arrested for war crimes and tried in Nuremberg

  8. upupup says:

    To put the kibosh on how historical this game is, it’s obviously historical fiction. It puts in effort to do some justice to the times, but takes a lot of liberties for the sake of being playable on things that we do not know, such as social relations between men and women, especially amongst the peasantry, which we mostly get very biased accounts of through records from the nobility. That said, there was almost certainly no meaningful amount of people in Bohemia from the deeper parts of Africa; that’s hardly controversial. Plenty of other different ethnic groups though, probably many more than we know of due to not being able to distinguish them looking back, which I’m assuming the game acknowledges to a degree as they mention Cumans.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      In the 1400s when the game takes place Bohemia was a huge melting pot of different cultures and ethnicities but the Africans more likely to be seen there would be Egyptians, Persians and other northern groups.

      • upupup says:

        The mobility of different groups has always been much higher than people nowadays assume. Trade has flourished along the Mediterranean coast for millennia and there has been constant movement from and to the east, with all the cross-cultural contact that this entails, which makes the relatively limited contact with the deeper parts of Africa interesting on its own.

      • Fortron says:

        But I keep hearing about how racist and oppressive white people have always been, why would they be letting in tons of africans?

  9. Mostquito says:

    Would you be more happy with some well-known Bohemian conquistadors, or you need to meet famous Mayan lords of the Holy-Roman Empire? :)

    Beside, the “Cuman-controversy” needs more attention, because the repute of nowadays non-existent groups does not get the enthusias it deserves. For me, it has the same importance as how the greediness of dwarves are clearly exaggerated in the works of Tolkien…

    • ulix says:

      So misrepresenting real history from the real world is the same to you as misrepresenting fake history, from a fantasy world?

      And that is the case because the subjects of the misrepresentation do not exist anymore?

      Allright. Sure.

      • Thegassygiant says:

        Has anyone actually misrepresented history here? From what I Understand the game follows history to a T, while writing in a blank slate of a main character to make either good or evil. the cumans where not an arab people and their culture is not portrayed in the game. the cumans in the game where the mercenaries hired by Sigismund to replace the more expensive Hungarian infantry. The cumans were a nomadic Uralic (white…lol) people who settled in turkey before moving to hungary. Im not sure how you are suppose to “respect” the culture of a band of raiders when your only interaction with them is when they are burning your homes and murdering your people…which did in fact happen.

  10. Gothnak says:

    I’ve found the literary world is a strange place at the moment. In one forum you’ll get a male author attacked for not writing strong female characters into his books.

    In another forum you’ll get a white author attacked for writing a book where the main character is black they shouldn’t write about things they don’t know about or being accused of cultural appropriation.

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    How about generally we just let people write (Or make games) about what they want to write about rather than digging snide remarks if they do or don’t include a specific element you want/don’t want?

    Are there any major black characters in this game, are there any disabled character role models, is anyone transgender?

    That said, the Alpha Male perk is clearly bullshit and should be called out for being lazy and infantile.

    (Please don’t jump down my throat for being some kind of online neo-nazi. I hate Trump, i vote Labour, i support equality, but being a games designer, i’d prefer it if people could just make games that fit the setting they have chosen without the constant liberal agenda rearing it’s head when it doesn’t make sense.)

    • biggergun says:

      I think your disclaimer kinda says a lot about how fucked up the current climate is. “I suggest we allow people to express themselves freely in art, but I’m not a nazi”. Because obviously nazis were big on freedom of expression.

      I mean, I do agree with you, it’s not a personal attack by any means. Just shows how restrictive the environment has become.

      • Gothnak says:

        Thanks.

        To qualify my statement a little, i did work 2nd in command on the design & implementation of a story for a AAA RPG game where the three main heroes were a black male, a woman and a bi bloke. You could also have gay marriage and play as a woman and that was 9 years ago, so I’m not talking out of my arse, I have tried to be at the forefront of equality in games.

        By all means, celebrate those who decide to do it, but strong female leads etc, are not always relevant and going on about it in every single rpg review gets a little grating.

        • biggergun says:

          Personally I think that’s what you get when art (and everything else) becomes political. At least that is how it was here in Russia under the Soviets. But it’s sort of a long conversation.

    • BenWH says:

      A post in support of Gothnak’s comments. I got pilloried by a group of online crusaders for not including a gay character in a game (there was one, but he didn’t try and sleep with the protagonist and apparently this was the only way they could identify the sexuality of a character), but so often the gender/race or whatever other beef is incidental to the actual game and we should be a little more resilient if it isn’t exactly what we’d put in. Personally I think broad diversity can be very handy for writing good NPC backgrounds and personal stories – but there are other methods, and by pillorying designers over diversity we risk tokenism – which I would argue is more unsatisfying. If a game set in 14th century Central Europe has no black people in it, it really isn’t a particularly noteworthy offence. It might have been more interesting to include one, together with the story of how he got there, but then again, that has it’s own risks. I guess my point is, let’s highlight it when it’s a jarring and suspicious miss, and leave it alone when it isn’t, as it seems in this case.

      • baud001 says:

        > tokenism

        Isn’t that Beamdog habit when smearing their ‘vision’ all over classic RPGs?

    • ilitarist says:

      There’s also Manly Odor perk. Bonus to Charisma with women but stealth penalty.

    • Premium User Badge

      subdog says:

      People can write and create whatever they want, but no one has to like it. If you can’t (or don’t) write characters outside the narrow view of your own race and gender, you’re probably going to be criticized.

      • Gothnak says:

        Or if you write outside of your knowledge or gender, you will be criticized for appropriation.

        e.g. JK Rowling uses Native American Magic in her ‘North American Magic’ series

        • Nevard says:

          To be fair, JK definitely didn’t gather a team of 100 people to research for her, if she did any more research than looking up cool words on google it’s not terribly apparent.
          That is what upsets people.

          • Gothnak says:

            It’s nothing to do with how much research she did or didn’t do. If you use a word from another culture expect to offend someone. But also expect to offend someone if you don’t include that person or their culture in your work.

            link to theguardian.com

          • Asrahn says:

            It’s a sensitive issue, no doubt. In Sweden, appropriation of the Sami by swedes is strongly frowned upon, and often require sincere apologies etc whenever it’s done by some ignorant sod. Given our history of their genocide, displacement, and (continued to this day) pretty much taking their children away to put them in our schools and in Swedish families, there’d be good reason for Sami people to become upset if a swede were to write shit about mystical northern wizards after some cursory googling. They really don’t need to be “othered” and made any more exotic/weird than they already have been portrayed.

          • Gothnak says:

            I agree, it does make sense for writers to write about characters they can identify with, which then switches back to the complaint that they then under-represent other cultures.

          • Asrahn says:

            The solution then would naturally be to proper research and even to get direct help by someone who is involved in what you’re writing about. In a swede’s case, it would be a Sami who could vouch for the content’s legitimacy.

            That said, you’ll always have someone (in this hypothetical event, among the Sami) who might hate having their stuff even remotely touched by a swede and still throw criticism the writer’s way. And who is to say they’re wrong and not allowed to voice that criticism?

          • upupup says:

            That’d be quite a stifling artistic environment. Needing to have every use of aspects of a culture that you are not taken to belong to researched, vetted and even then eyed with suspicion does not exactly promote creative thought. There is no shame in finding inspiration in aspects of a different culture and incorporating them into your own works or ideas.
            These are not static entities and this sort of cross-pollination is constantly happening; every single ethnic group is the result of it and all of them will continue to change as time progresses. It’d be different if you’re trying to impose your own ideology own them to show them how they should view themselves, but treating them as artifacts to be preserved only leads to stagnation. That doesn’t change that there is beauty to be found in accurately telling a story that truly reflects the history of a group of people that you’ve studied, but it is not the only kind of beauty that can derived from observing them.

          • Asrahn says:

            I agree that it’s not a black and white issue. The problem, from the beginning, naturally stems from the immense abuse and horrible shit that’s been done to these groups, creating a rift which was then further exasperated by exotifying, shitty takes on their culture by the dominant culture to the point where these minorities are on the defensive the moment someone “outside” of it begins to write the next flaming hot take. It becomes particularly egregious when it’s some white, upper-class writer describing them as mystical wizards, of course.

            Don’t get me wrong, there should be space for cultural exploration, adaptation and mishmashing to create wonderful, interesting universes and characters. It’s just that when it’s someone from a majority culture diving into a minority one, it should be done respectfully, with a manner of awareness injected into the work that shows it’s not just cynical cashing in on someone else’s existence.

            Not as a direct response to you, but rather to the mock incredulity in this thread over how everyone seems offended over things these days. The apparent “sudden” existence of what people call an “outrage culture” is simply voices previously unheard, finally getting space to air their grievances.

          • upupup says:

            The flaw there is that you’re essentially saying that you find it immoral to make use of these cultures without due care – that these people were deeply abused and therefore all care should be taken to avoid causing further offence. You are free to approach your own art in this manner, but it’s not a limit one can impose on the way art is done itself, both in the sense of disallowing it and of denouncing it.

            Regardless of whether using culture in this manner can even be said to be immoral, art, good or bad, is, with good reason, not limited by morality. It also does not reflect the author or artist and is no grounds to judge them on and vice versa, but should be critiqued based on its own flaws and merits. This is in part because what is viewed as moral is relative to whomever you’re asking the question to and demanding art be moral inevitably leads to repression, as the past has shown countless times.

            That this can deeply hurt people is an essential freedom as feeling strongly about something doesn’t somehow make you more in the right than others. When you try to change this by granting primacy to feelings, no matter how sympathetic you feel them to be, you open the floodgates for every strongly held position to demand things be done their way, which you can observe in countries where art and the artist are not held as separate things. Art and the exploration of ideas is too precious to allow for this to happen. It is easy to forget that artists are and always have been a vulnerable group and legitimising persecution against them for being viewed as having unwelcome ideas is a very bad thing to do.

          • Asrahn says:

            I get where you’re coming from, but it goes the other way around too; the moment a piece of art is created, whether it be a video game or a painting, it exists and was made from within the context and confines of present society – molded by biases both implicit and explicit, it inevitably says something about the creator, albeit not, as I belive is your point, their intentions. I personally take great care in not appropriating material, that is, adopting in a shallow manner, clearly exotified and from a White Man’s point of view, and while others are free to not do so, the ones whose culture is being used for entertainment are (or should be) free to voice their concerns and criticism as well. There are no objectively moral guidelines in the marketplace of ideas, but to say that art cannot be criticized on the basis that it implies that one wishes to “disallow” it does, on its own, threaten the basis of speech and artistic expression through sophism – namely, the implication that in any way, shape or form levying (harsh or not) criticism against an artist for their work is the equivalent of attempting to silence them, when in fact the criticism itself is inevitably about the relationship the artist has with their own work and what made them create it in the first place. It is, fundamentally, something that the artist could consider, and discard if they so wish, but in my eyes, it at least has value that is worthy of consideration before being tossed to the side under the guise of, essentially, “the minorities are at it again”.

            Certain artists, in fact, make a point of having their art consist of virtually only things meant to provoke a response from people, to cause discussion and to push through exploration of ideas that way. Arguably, particularly in those cases, it’s not the art itself that necessarily does the exploring, but those around it that it touches, influences, and causes to react to it, whatever that reaction might be.

            Don’t get me wrong, I understand the plight of the struggling artist and am well aware of their targeting, along with intellectuals, the moment more fascist elements garners power (Look at present day Poland for instance), but to say that someone deserves a free card and to never have to consider looking inward because they themselves, the moment they have finished their work, are somehow removed from what they’ve created, strikes me as a manner of naivete about the human condition.

          • upupup says:

            That is precisely where these mistakes are made: art does not inevitably say anything at all, be it intentional or unintentional. That is to say, you are not dissecting it and uncovering a truth but creating your own story based on all of the patterns that you are observing, without seeing what you´re overlooking, what was left out, what was there because the sun was pretty that day, what was attempted but mispronounced, what just was, what was because of nothing, and so forth into infinity. You can argue about the story as you please, but shouldn’t mistake that for having found a truth because you know effectively nothing. There is no certainty in art, there is no certain meaning to be revealed and this belief in meaning that people, audience and artists, have is nothing but self-deception; an obsession with pattern recognition shaped by their own prior experiences. Pretending otherwise is merely an attempt at claiming authority that one does not have. Art and artist are separate; if the artist comes out with a position on their work then you can confront them on it, but it is not the work itself that is being judged there but the words of the artist. Their relation is irrelevant here, that is also why how provocative the artist is or isn’t doesn’t matter and the same applies to the art; they are separate.

            This is why you simply have no grounds to truly criticise the artist on through their art from this angle. Critique is a matter of practicality and within its own formal context in regards to the author, not about the current art itself and not a matter of philosophical clarity, but that goes out the window once people start to try and take it a step further. What you truly want is to sway the artist to your moral point of view with whatever tool there is at your disposal. You may or may not succeed at this, there is no certainty there either how it’ll affect anything, but being able to do so in practical terms has nothing to do with whether you have the right to do so. Trying to justify this through feelings is a selfish attempt at finding a loophole that isn’t there. Feelings are interchangeable and all you’ll have done is empower all the other groups chomping at the bit to stomp the arts into the ground. There is no avoiding this from this angle of approach and no amount of good intentions will change that.

            That is why calling it giving a free card is ridiculous because artists aren’t being ‘given’ anything, instead people are shown why they must refrain from indulging in the desire to blindly repress by acknowledging that they have no authority based on which to do so while and made unable to moralise this feeling to others. A proof of measurable, unquestionable, dangerous harm might be a different approach but not these fickle feelings. Not allowing for exceptions that undermine the idea as a whole in this manner is not naïvety but clarity. The artist is dead, long live the artist.

          • Asrahn says:

            For art to say nothing, you’d have to argue that it exists in a vacuum independent of society, people and culture. It is true that the onlooker inevitably will interpret and experience art in a particular way depending on their own biases and preconceptions, but to say that because of these particular subjective markers, art simply isn’t up for criticism, and nor is its creator, appears to be deflecting more than actually addressing the points made about the criticism in question. The question rather lies in under which lens one chooses to criticize art, and more often than not when it comes to video games it’ll be with the field of sociology in mind, where the cultural context is compared and contrasted to the artist, their surroundings et al, as well as psychology in terms of implicit and explicit biases of the artist and how they manifest within the art itself. As such, stepping back and attempting to utilize some kind of umbrella term of “art criticism” being fundamentally subjective and thus inherently useless, as a means to demand diplomatic immunity for the art or artist to not be able to receive criticism (and I mean criticism, we’re not discussing an organized push in a political sphere to have certain works or views banished) is, again, mere deflection from the subject at hand.

            Attempting to maintain that there is some manner of agenda of the people behind art criticism consisting of conspiratorial attempts at “swaying the artist” by “whatever tool there is at their disposal” is, again, deflection, particularly through the utilization of negatively loaded language. A person writing a blog post about a game maker’s apparent fascination with depiction of violence, for instance, while tying in the artist’s publicly expressed viewpoints as a means to show how their opinions have fundamentally colored their work ought to read less as an attempt to silence the artist so much as it’s a call for dialogue, self-reflection and awareness of how our preconceptions do influence whatever we create. To mark that entire effort as the road to hell, paved with good intentions, is in itself a sure-fire way to empower groups who would love for nothing more than to silence dissenters. In fact I would argue that, if we cannot voice criticism about art, the artist, the nature of the art, nor discuss the mechanisms behind its creation because people are afraid it’ll infringe on artist’s freedom of expression courtesy of making them uncomfortable, it could easily be argued that art has lost its purpose beyond being viewed as something superficial: “pretty” and distant. That, and perhaps artists in that event should grow a spine.

            As for denigrating anyone’s “right” to formulate this manner of criticism under the guise of “just because we can doesn’t mean we should”: that’s as close as we’ve gotten to a blatant silencing tactic in your rhetoric. The simple response from an artist asked a question that is founded on moral and not academic grounds is to simply state their moral reasoning for their work. Video games do not cause violence; years of research has shown absolutely nothing of the sort, so when the inevitable pearl-clutching suburban parents come to ask the artist how they could live with themselves after making such a violent game, the artist have plenty of ammunition to utilize in their discussion surrounding their art – with a final step always available in the form of simply admitting that their art exists as a reflection of them, as a product of the society they live in. That this somehow would make (certain) artists forsake the creation of art implies a worry that their viewpoints, and reasons for making what they make, simply cannot stand up to the weakest of scrutiny – a legitimate concern I reckon, should oneself belong to fringe groups that so damn well wish they had the ability to do the same to others, but whose views are hard to defend in the public sphere.

            Look, your entire schpiel essentially boils down to “If you cannot prove that art is directly harmful, then do not criticize it, as subjective criticism is worthless, and everyone is naturally subjective. Worse still if you “moralise” within your criticism. It would be better if you shut up, because attempting to engage with the artist and have them discuss, defend, or otherwise engage in the art they’ve created after its conception is pretty much how you kill The Arts”. It’s on the whole a slippery slope argument, and completely out left-field when critics found their criticism on rather well-understood phenomena in established academic fields, and at best serves to muddy the waters.

          • upupup says:

            I had a reply written up, but have reconsidered. We are done here. This discussion was over the moment you started to insinuate ‘why defend it unless you agree with it’. If this is how you interpret my posts then talking is pointless.

          • Asrahn says:

            No one in a video game comment field is so far removed from this discussion as to not have some manner of opinion on it based around their own preconceptions – if they did, they would probably not be interested in discussing the topic pertaining to measly video games in the first place. Unless this for some reason is to be considered the very forefront of where the Battle of Ideas happen?

            I reckon the discussion was really over when your blatant attacks on people’s “right” to criticize someone else was levied, but by all other accounts, I agree. We’re done.

          • upupup says:

            I have no idea what you’re even on about at this point, it comes across as if you’re talking to someone else, but I’ll take that as a yes.

          • Asrahn says:

            Whatever floats your boat.

        • Premium User Badge

          subdog says:

          If you do a shitty job, yeah! It’s not some gigantic hurdle to overcome. In fact, the bar is shockingly low.

    • Urthman says:

      “You weren’t happy when we had no characters that aren’t white and you weren’t happy when we had poorly-written characters that aren’t white. There’s no pleasing you people!”

    • Thegassygiant says:

      When we start restriction expression of thought, freedom is lost. There is no greater loss to suffer than a voice and opinion.

    • April March says:

      How about generally we just let people write (Or make games) about what they want to write about rather than digging snide remarks if they do or don’t include a specific element you want/don’t want?

      We do let people write or make games about what they want. Then, if someone doesn’t like what they made, we also let those people say that they didn’t like it and why. Those are two instances of freedom of expression.

  11. biggergun says:

    Not only Bohemia had no black people in the 14th century, they owned no slaves (or owned white slaves, depending on how you view serfdom). Not every country in the world is a former slaver colony dealing with problematic past – imagine that!

    Sorry.

    As for the game, it looks mildly interesting. Feels like about ten years ago it would have been a sensation and a dream game for many people (realism! simulated medieval world! patching holes in armor and brewing potions!), but the industry moved on a bit.

    • Thegassygiant says:

      Actually medieval and dark age Europe was built on slavery as was the rest of the world up until recently. In the early middle ages Germanic people enslaved each other, celts and slavs. The last one is where we get the English word for slave.

      • Vasily R says:

        That’s simply inaccurate. Slavery began dying out in Europe once Christianity became the dominant religion, which was actually during the Roman times, well before the so called “Dark Ages.” There absolutely wasn’t any slavery in Europe during the Middle Ages as it was illegal and viewed as immoral. However, they did have serfdom. Serfdom is quite a different system from slavery, though I suppose from a modern perspective we’d probably view it as simply another form of slavery.

        And yes, as a Slav I can confirm that the word “slave” did come from our people. However, it wasn’t the other Europeans enslaving us, it was the Muslims. Muslim raiders raided all across the Mediterranean, with capturing slaves being just one of their goals. They particularly focused on raiding the Balkans, as well as sailing into the Black sea to raid the coast and along the Russian rivers.

        • TobleroneRoloCombo says:

          It was largely the Romans/Byzantines who enslaved pre-Christian Slavic peoples (enslavement of heathens was allowed by the church.) But don’t facts upset your worldview.

          • Vasily R says:

            My world view? What are you talking about? This has nothing to do with my political believes, which you don’t know a thing about based on my comment. We’re talking about history here. The Romans and Byzantines (i.e. Eastern Romans) both did enslave the Slavic peoples. In fact, the word “slave” was a reference to the massive amount of Slavic slaves used by the Byzantine Empire. However, you clearly missed the context of my comment. We’re talking about the Middle Ages and Bohemia. The Romans, i.e. Western Romans, collapsed long before the Middle Ages (5th Century C.E. to be exact), so basically before the start of the Dark Ages. Additionally, slavery was quite limited, particulary when compared to the first few centuries of the Roman Empire, in the Rome at the time that it collapsed. So how is Rome even relevant to this discussion?

            As for the Byzantines and Catholic Europe, it was absolutely illegal to enslave Christians or own Christian slaves. Hence why they raided the Slavic, Pagan peoples. These slaves were then sold to Muslims. The slave trade in Europe at this time was primarily to fuel the high demand for slaves in the Islamic world. However, the Eastern and Western Slavs would then convert to Christianity during the Middle Ages (the Southern Slavs were already Christian). So that made them off limits to Christians for enslavement. The European slave trade for Muslims slowly died off as more and more of Europe converted to Christianity. But the demand for slaves in the Islamic world still existed. Thus this resulted in a massive number of Muslim slave raiders, who then sailed the Mediterranean and especially the Black Sea, for slaves. Slavs were key targets because they were far more decentralized than the rest of Europe, thus they were easier to attack. And this was what was happening in the 15th century, the time that this game takes place. It was the Muslims enslaving my people.

            And yes, there were essentially no slaves in Europe at this time, with the exception of some Muslim and Jewish slaves in Iberia and Byzantium (though Byzantium was very tiny at this time, only owning a few key cities and the surrounding lands). When compared to the rest of the world, slavery essentially didn’t exist in Europe, and that’s because of Christianity. Btw, I’m not a Christian, so this isn’t some pro-Christian comment. Simply facts ;)

            My original comment was referring to TheGassyGiant saying that Middle Age Europe relied on slavery, which simply isn’t true. It wasn’t true at this time, and most certainly not for Bohemia (where the game takes place). So how is what I’m saying not true? How is this some kind of made up fantasy based on a worldview? Are you sure it’s not you that is allowing your worldview to affect your interpretation of history and facts?

          • sannos says:

            Vasily, I find it interesting how you go to great lengths describing Muslim slavery, and completely ignore Christian serfdom. Serfdom is a subcategory of slavery. So yes, Christian Europe, like most societies at the time, was built and maintained by slavery.

          • JamesFaith says:

            Well, Sannos, maybe because serfdom is not considered subcategory of slavery here? Both systems limited human freedom but they are on same level, no subcategory here.

        • Thegassygiant says:

          True, during the high middle ages slavery died out for the most part as Christianization spread. It was still prevalent during the early middle ages. as for that other guys comment, Muslims slavers absolutely did raid along European coasts. Muslim slavers and pirates were a problem until just a few centuries ago.

    • luckyduck says:

      Thank you for this comment – exactly what was on my mind.

      I found it very disturbing, that some people are trying to force their political agenda into game which is inspired by history of my country (probably first big game placed in Czech republic – Bohemia historical settings).
      People in US or UK or wherever should rather try to imagine there are countries in central and eastern europe, which had nothing to do with slavery, colonies, exploiting africa&asia etc.
      It is not an issue for us, not our guilt – usually we were on the receiving side of the history. (Subject of Habsburg empire, Munich betrayal 1938 – given to Hitler, than given to Stalin on Jalta conference 1945 which lead to 40 years living in totalitarian communist regime).
      When some SJW try to force nonexisting black people into 15th century Bohemia – it is actually rasist against us and against our culture. Get reasonable people! World isnt just USA and UK..

  12. neofit says:

    “Elder Scrolls without the magic”. Yeah, right. With their ‘tardy save system they are as far from TES as Dark Souls is. But reality be damned, let’s use the game with the better sales figures as a comparison, not everyone will research the game that thoroughly.

    • elanaibaKHG says:

      the elevator pitch is something you come up with early in development, while the actual save system you use might change a few times until release.

      I’m pretty sure for most games, the save system is NOT what’s on developer’s mind when coming up with the “basic idea”.

  13. TheDreamlord says:

    Is this RPS’s new policy to delete comments they don’t agree with? Ok, I will rephrase.

    You find it appropriate to devote 3 paragraphs in diversity concerns, all the while saying little to nothing about how the game performs, or how the battle system works. You know, things people reading reviews are actually interested in.

    And you wonder why people have been complaining about your finger wagging…

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Let’s all wag our fingers! Wag, wag, wag. I wonder what will happen to my glass house if I throw this stone?

    • The_Great_Skratsby says:

      You should watch this space: link to objectivegamereviews.com

      • Xerxes says:

        link to objectivegamereviews.com

        I honestly can’t tell if this is meant to be funny. It definitely is though.

        • laiwm says:

          Someone did a site just like this 3 years ago as a joke, in response to the GG thing – I can’t fathom the lack of self-awareness that led someone to make this for real. The “reviews” are just lists of things that are in the game followed by an unexplained number score.

          Edit: Maybe this is that same site, and the irony’s just going over my head at the moment?

          • Landiss says:

            I admire the person who is doing this. The joke doesn’t seem to get any less good with time.

            “The boy with the bowl does not have very many sounds. He is mostly silent, like many silent protagonists in video games, many of whom are also boys (and most of whom don’t have bowls).”

          • Premium User Badge

            Ninja Dodo says:

            Pretty sure it’s the same site. I can’t believe/am very amused that it’s still going.

          • LennyLeonardo says:

            Perhaps unfortunately, it isn’t still going: the last post was in 2014. It is still a great joke, though.

          • Premium User Badge

            Ninja Dodo says:

            @Lenny: Oh yeah, you’re right. I wasn’t looking at the dates but assumed it was recent because of Gorogoa. Still, nice that it remains online at least.

    • TobleroneRoloCombo says:

      “You know, things people reading reviews are actually interested in.”

      I don’t know, I seemed fairly interested in that part. Do you have published statistics that say I’m an irrelevant minority, or are you just assuming everyone else feels the same way you do?

      • SaintAn says:

        This is being marketed as a historical game. All the talk about it is about it being a historical sim. You really needed to be told in a review that women in the game have the same roles they had during that time? That’s what you were interested about in this game? lol

        • Daymare says:

          Yes, just like visiting the brothel made you more charismatic to people around you.

          You really needed to be told that, it wasn’t entirely obvious to you from your vast historical knowledge from which you also gathered that all women at that time were either whores or mothers?

          • Archonsod says:

            Given much of the documentary evidence of the time comes from the church that’s probably a pretty accurate representation of the source material :P

    • SaintAn says:

      They’ll get yelled at if they don’t mention women stuff though.

    • jomurph86 says:

      New policy? Are you new around here? RPS has ALWAYS actively moderated the forums. AND always taken an active interest in social issues. It’s why lots of us come here…

  14. lyralamperouge says:

    >no quicksa-

    Dropped. Non-negotiably.

    • stomponator says:

      Agreed. I can hardly express my disappointment at the lack of quicksand in this game. This can not be historically accurate – I bet there was tons of quicksand in 15th century Bohemia.

  15. Kamamura says:

    “I don’t know enough about 14th century Bohemia to address this…”

    You are right about that, so why don’t you remedy the problem by researching the subject you are writing about? 15th century Europe was a society ruled by feudal contract, where the backbone of the society was fighting nobility that enforced their will and their laws personally, fighting as heavily armored knights in the vanguard of their armies.

    Since women could not do that, being much weaker and more fragile than men (there were no “knightesses”, despite what shows like GoT tries to tell you), their place was with the family, noble women often helped with running the financial side of things or organizing labor in the castle, but they could not meddle in politics and public affairs in most cases.

    Also, there were no black people in 15th century Bohemia. Literally none.

    • Ugeine says:

      I’m pretty sure the “I don’t know enough about 14th century Bohemia to address this…” part was in reference to the brothel quip, not the preceding paragraph. It was a joke.

    • Joriath says:

      Matilda would like a word, as would Joan of Arc…and well, just take a read of something that took five seconds to find online (poor source but I’m in a rush).

      Oh and I’m particularly interested in your assertion of certainty that there was no racial diversity in 14th Century Bohemia. Do you have sources to back that up?

      • Paxeh says:

        You are moving the goalposts. The poster states: “There were no black people”. You equate this to “There is no racial diversity” – which is unfair, false and extremely intellectually dishonest.

        Yes, there was racial/ethinic diversity but along different lines other than how we look at ethnic diversity in 2018. Yes, there were people with different ethnic looks and different skin colours (Tatars, Turks, Slavs, Germans, Czech etc.). No, there were no black people in the countryside in 1402 (where this game takes place). Maybe at some courts, but even then extremely rare.

        • The K says:

          But surely the North American perspective is the only right one? You know, the one where racial diversity boils down to white/black/asian, and thats it. And everyone not black or asian is “white”, a generic, nondescript boiling mass.

          Because there is no such thing as a difference between, say, Slavs, Germans, Turks, Tatars etc. We are all the same, and so this game is clearly not diverse enough! /S

        • Joriath says:

          I apologise, in my rush I made a mistake and generalised. Still, the original post stated that were ‘literally’ no black people in Bohemia during the period of the game. I would be interested in sources confirming that. The original statement was a blanket assertion applied to the entire region, regardless of countryside, town, or court.

      • Mostquito says:

        This “13 Notable Women of Medieval Europe” would come handy arguing about a game, which depicts (without any notable women) the whole of Europe, all through the Medieval Ages. However this game is about a fight between two brothers in Bohemia, at the first decade of the 15th Century.

        • Joriath says:

          The original poster made a very generalised statement about the role of women in 14th Century and I was attempting to highlight that said statement was inaccurate. I didn’t intend for it to relate to the game itself. Apologies for the lack of clarity in that regard.

          • JamesFaith says:

            I can give you one. It is book of travels from 1467 “Deník o jízdě a putování pana Lva z Rožmitálu a z Blatné z Čech až na konec světa” (Diary about travels of lord Lev from Rožmitál and Blatná from Bohemia to edge of the world).

            It is oldest written proof about black person in Bohemia (Lev got two black servant as gift from Spanish king) and there is dialog between Spanish king and autor of book, another nobleman Václav šašek z Bířkova. When Spanish king ask how many black people live in Bohemia Václav Šašek replied – “None and we rarely see them here.”

          • JamesFaith says:

            Sorry, this suppossed to be reaction on:

            “Still, the original post stated that were ‘literally’ no black people in Bohemia during the period of the game. I would be interested in sources confirming that…”

          • Joriath says:

            Ok, thanks for the source!

      • Fortron says:

        With how terrible and racist I’m always told white people have always been what would make you think there were tons of blacks totally accepted in bohemian society?

    • ulix says:

      “in most cases”.

      Exactly. Why not show at least one of the exceptions?

      Which the game might actually do, I don’t know.

    • virgopunk says:

      Does Joan of Arc count as a female knight?

      • aznprnstr says:

        She’s probably the closest thing you’ll find to a female knight. She was armed and armored, and rode a horse. The argument can be made she served a lord (Dauphin). However, she never underwent a knighting ceremony, owned land, or displayed heraldry. Quicherat: Le Procès de Condamnation et de Réhabilition de Jeanne d’Arc, dite la Pucelle. Paris, 1841-49.

        There are also no records of her personally engaging in combat. A medieval knight was the SEAL or Delta operator of his day and would be expected to fight if on the frontlines.

        The fact that Joan of arc is the closest thing to a female medieval warrior people can name is quite telling; either they were extremely rare or possibly nonexistent.

  16. Laurentius says:

    Is the in game world really reactive and simulated at least to a degree or is this another window dressing world with automatons as NPCs?

  17. BobbyDylan says:

    Ah, RPS. Can we move back towards the core of the game and away from the writers personal politics?
    That’s the performance like, how’s the story match up to it’s contemporaries, are the quests interesting, are the characters well voice acted and believable?
    Sadly I see RPS going the way of the Escapist… a site a used to visit several times a day to one I’ve almost forgotten.

    • Zorgulon says:

      If you read RPS a tiny bit more and got to paragraph two, you may have seen Edwin say that the game crashes a lot, the story “fell flat” and the side quests got repetitive.

    • wunkerdind says:

      I think the developer would prefer people talk about how sad his incel life is, and skip over the buggy mess of the game.

  18. Zorgulon says:

    There is a predictably one-dimensional take on “diversity” in the comments. It is of course reasonable that there isn’t a black character in a game set in medieval Bohemia. But as the article mentions, that doesn’t mean society was homogeneous, nor that they subscribed to these (absurd) modern black vs white designations that seem so dear to angry internet people. There’s more to racism past and present than anti-black prejudice. The article mentions Cumans.

    You can say you are uninterested in ethnic groups that “don’t exist any more” (whatever that means, and not that such arguments seem to discourage people from concerning themselves with, say, the skin colour of Romans). But I’m interested to know if the game has any portrayal of Jewish people, an undeniably extant group who did indeed form a sizeable minority in medieval Bohemia and who did indeed face persecution in that time period. That would seem like a relevant racial issue for the setting.

    Also everyone knows that interesting character traits for women were invented by the second wave feminists in 1965. “Pure Patriarchy” of course made it illegal to write a female character who was not a princess or a prostitute. Absolutely no women of note in the Middle Ages. Nope, not one.

    • biggergun says:

      Good point, actually. Jews are an interesting topic in this context. And also the fact that women had distinctly different gender roles doesn’t mean they could not be political actors and such. I can easily see some duke’s wife or some king’s mother holding a lot of influence as a strategist or a power behind the throne even.

    • woodsey says:

      > But I’m interested to know if the game has any portrayal of Jewish people, an undeniably extant group who did indeed form a sizeable minority in medieval Bohemia and who did indeed face persecution in that time period. That would seem like a relevant racial issue for the setting.

      According to the statement linked in the review and the interview linked by the second comment, yes.

      Agreed with all your points, as well. That said, it is sometimes quite easy to see how people get so handwavy about these things when the initial emphasis focuses on the least convincing aspect of the argument (black people in medieval Bohemia) and not on the finer aspects of racial and ethnic animosity that you describe (not that this specific review does that).

    • Faldrath says:

      This is a very good point. I also note that religion wasn’t mentioned in the review, which is a bit weird since the Hussite wars were on the horizon for Bohemia, so surely there was some tension brewing.

      • JamesFaith says:

        Too early for that.

        Religious just started brewing in Prague but it took several years to really escalate and spread to countryside, approximately after 1410.

    • mistery says:

      Your point on racial issues being more than blacks vs whites in the middle ages is simply eye opening but your other issues on no notable women of the middle ages doestake away from your good intro. Name me notable women of old, who are noted to have accomplished something without sacrificing their lives for it. Heck, name women who got anywhere in life without getting lynched by mobs, being burned at the stake, tortured in “the name of truth” etc in those wonderful times.

      • biggergun says:

        Eleanor of Aquitaine, for one. I’m sure that there are a lot of comparable figures in Bohemian history, it’s just that Bohemia is a less popular subject. In a hereditary society like the European Medieval one motherhood and bloodlines meant *a lot*.

        Outside of the noble class and the Church, well, agency of any kind was pretty much non-existent regardless of gender.

        • Laurentius says:

          For sure, just top of my head: link to en.wikipedia.org

          And wiki entry is very dry, because the plot od dethroning her husband John of Bohemia involved all expected medieval plots, like secluded castles, etc. Anyway she was tempermantal woman of royal dynasty that crave far more power then her husband was eager to give her.

      • larpsidekick says:

        This is off the top of my head, without access to a bunch of sources I have at home – but these sources are generally popular history books accessible to anyone interested

        Eleanor of Acquitaine
        Isabella of Angloueme
        Phillipa of Hainault
        Catherine de Medici (maybe a bit late)
        Empress Matilda
        Isabella of Castile
        Anne Vaux (again, maybe late)

        Numerous records of women who owned property, ran businesses (including blacksmiths, apothecaries, brewers), often taking over their husbands businesses, often inducted into guilds and the like.

        The period suffers from often limited source material – there are few records of non-noble men. However there is good evidence of women playing a full economic role throughout Europe.

      • Zorgulon says:

        Add to the above lists of notable medieval women:

        Hildegard of Bingen
        Tamar of Georgia
        Empress Theodora
        Irene of Athens
        Margaret Beaufort
        Margery Kempe
        Margrete of Denmark
        Jadwiga of Poland
        Agnes of Bohemia
        Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim

        I’m not asking to crowbar in a specific person. I’m also not asking for women to be presented as somehow transcending the patriarchal nature of the times. In fact what’s so interesting about these medieval female figures is how the wielded influence within those confines. At the very least we can surely settle on well written characters that are more than just wallpaper in a bower or a brothel.

        • Harlaw says:

          A small addition to your list: Christine de Pizan, court writer for several ducal courts and the French royal court, was a proto-feminist of sorts. She’s especially well-known for her The Book of the City of Ladies, which even in the 21st-century I found a pretty engaging read.

          • pepperfez says:

            Hilariously, she found her way into a Dynasty Warriors-style game as a bomb-throwing alchemist.

      • ilitarist says:

        Don’t want to look patronizing, but you seem to have a very surface knowledge of women in ancient times. You’re talking about almost fairy tale examples. Women are people, they act and they influence things. In more brutal times their influence was less noticeable and left fewer evidence for us to see – but even what we get is a lot.

        I present to you this mythical story which was still believable for people back then.
        link to en.wikipedia.org

      • cpt_freakout says:

        Commenters like yourself are being deliberately obtuse and think that their pop cultural image of the Middle Ages is hardcore knowledge. It’s not about having a woman knight here, it’s about portraying social relations in a complex way, you know, the realistic way. That women were more oppressed than now (and there’s quite a few instances of medieval societies being more open than modern ones) does not mean that the only way you can portray women in these times is as prostitute, princess, mother, or a combination of those tropes. That the only instance of foreigness is treated as ‘bad Turks’ is part of that simplification that serves a very specific ideological vision that tries to justify itself by confounding ‘realism’ (an aesthetic style), ‘accuracy’ (an aid to that style based on historical research, itself a complex and changing thing), and truth (which we all know by now is a pretty relative thing). It’s not gonna stop me from playing this once it’s like 70% off, but for a game that claims to be so rich, this kind of thing does make the experience poorer, not richer.

        Besides, stuff like an “alpha male” trait openly destroys any ‘historical accuracy’ credibility because it comes from a 20th century biological theory. So yeah, defend this game all you want, but don’t confuse realism with accuracy and truth; if you’re gonna defend it, then do so under the basis that you want to see a portrayal of the middle ages in which women are shit, foreigners are dangerous, and minorities invisible. Ranting about realism and accuracy is just a dumb pretext.

    • Gothnak says:

      The Jewish point is very fair. Interestingly this is something also brought up in literary forums. Often a work of historical fiction can have elements where the Jews were persecuted (Which is obviously sadly historically accurate) but then the author has been attacked for being a racist and an anti-semite.

      Someone recently wrote a teen fantasy book where the majority of human characters were anti-orc and the main character gradually learns how wrong this is and by the end of the book befriends and defends orcs.

      Rather than celebrating this story, a large part of the reading community turned on this author and called them racist for the things the main character says early on in the book, insulting orcs, even though the character has to have that journey for the book to make sense.

      • Gothnak says:

        Apologies, it was anti Elves.

        The book is called Black Witch, see this review about a book where the main character learns that they are a racist and changes, it was the one that started the crusade against it..

        link to b00kstorebabe.blogspot.co.uk

        Obviously there are many reviews saying how the book is cool and something a kid should read to understand racism, but there are those who will always see the bad side in everything.

      • Zorgulon says:

        Yeah, lots of high fantasy games use various races, especially elves, as a proxy for ethnic conflicts – Dragon Age’s elves at once resemble the Jews forced to live in ghettos with the city elves’ Alienages and the Romani with the nomadic Dalish.

        In fact, even beyond video games I find the depictions of elves and “raggle-taggle gypsies” in traditional folk songs (charming and running away with women and such like) to be intriguingly similar.

  19. plsgodontvisitheforums says:

    Can’t play as Brienne of Tarth, hard pass

    • batraz says:

      Is there such a game ? If Bioware could do it, that would be my chance to romance sir Jamie..

  20. King_Mandu says:

    Or read his recent statements realize it’s making a mountain out of a molehill and judge the game and not the person.

    People overreacted like hell back then (Burzum t-shirt so offensive!) and it’s gotten even worse with the rise of witchhunt mob mentality.

  21. ChrisTASZ says:

    I think what gets lost in the whole diversity discussion is the very positive fact that this is a game set in and about eastern europe. How many games do that? The whole “too white” argument forgets that people and themes from eastern europe are very underrepresented in video games (aside from playing villains). I like the game just for that. Not sure about the other mechanics, lack of quicksave is definitely an issue, but definitely woth a look for the themes alone.

    • biggergun says:

      That too. I’m a slav. My people are rarely represented anywhere except maybe as mooks or generic gangsters.

      • DEspresso says:

        They nailed the love for bowling though!

      • upupup says:

        I mention it below, but I think part of the problem here is that the dominant media on the internet is rather anglophone and simply doesn’t understand mainland Europe very much as it tends to get the UK version of what it’s like.
        You get a lot of media marveling at how there are so many different dialects and distinct cultures in the UK despite it being relatively small and geographically isolated, yet that amount absolutely pales in comparison to what is typical in mainland Europe, to the point that you can find massive differences from city to city or even within a city. There is not a single part of the region that lacks a rich and varied history to explore, which is something that I’d like to see more of in a way that actually deals with all the variety in cultures and isn’t skin-deep.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      I want games to be more diverse… in characters, subject matter and in the people who make them. Even aside from it being the right thing to do, it’s just infinitely more interesting.

      I agree though something that gets lost in the diversity discussion at times is there are different *kinds* of diversity and we should not expect or even want every game to tick the same boxes. There was an article on Gamasutra a while back basically arguing that The Witcher 3 was a uniquely Polish game and therefore in its own way an expression of a unique and unusual perspective in games, a reflection of a specific place and culture and a meaningful contribution to making the medium more diverse. Demanding the game adhere to some generically North American template of diversity is kind of missing the point entirely… but people didn’t want to hear it and just reverted to “this game is racist because everyone is white” arguments. :/

    • basilisk says:

      Just FYI, Czechs generally don’t like being called East European. Mainly because it’s objectively weird: the real-life region where the game takes place lies west of Vienna, you know.

      Central European makes more sense and is more useful in most contexts. Not offended or anything, just pointing it out to play into the stereotype.

      • upupup says:

        It’s pretty weird to see people talk about the Czech Republic as if it’s this place far to the east, when it borders Germany and Austria.

        • ChrisTASZ says:

          Yes, sorry for that. Being from Austria, we do sometimes have the habit of calling each country east of us part of eastern europe. Central Europe would be more appropriate.

          • upupup says:

            Not much targeted at you, but I think people mentally placing the Czech Republic further to the east is a remnant of it being a part of the Soviet-Union. This is why Austria is felt to be more to the west despite the Czech Republic lying straight to the north of it, bordering it in a way similar to how Scotland border England and the Netherlands borders Belgium.

          • elanaibaKHG says:

            Probably part of the Warsaw Pact, not Soviet Union. But, yeah, I’m guilty as hell of this confusion, too, probably because I grew up with Czechoslovakia – not the Czech Republic, which was obviously much farther to the east as a geographical item.

            Now of course it’s different, but I’d say the people – like Dan Vavra – that grew up in Commie CZ have similar issues with Political Corectness as people in Romania, and we’re farther to the East.

            But, I could be wrong. I’ve just been to Poland (well, Warsaw) for the first time. I expected it to be like Romania, but it felt like Germany.

          • upupup says:

            The people confused frequently don´t distinguish those two, but I get what you´re saying. You´re right that all these shifting borders make it extra confusing and anything that sounds like censorship has very different connotations in countries that formerly had a one-party state, than in the US or UK. That’s also part of the problem I feel, as the anglophone media that dominates the internet simply doesn’t understand mainland Europe all that much.

          • Pval says:

            I would just like to correct it, to avoid possible confusions. Czech Republic was never part of the USSR. It was merely a part of the so-called Eastern Block (along with Eastern Germany, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania).

          • upupup says:

            Calling it a client state may be the least confusing. Being part of the Warsaw Pact wasn’t voluntary and Czechoslovakia saw Soviet occupation, but it was not formally incorporated into Soviet territory.

      • ulix says:

        In my opinion Czech is often lobbed together with eastern Europe because of the language. Czech is a Slavic language.

        • basilisk says:

          It certainly is, and Czechs do identify as Slavs, but bear in mind that while the Czech lands have been part of the Eastern Bloc for some 40 years, before that they were part of the Habsburg Empire for some 400 years – and a very central part, too.

          Culturally, the Czech Republic is far, far more strongly influenced by German/German-speaking culture than by anything coming from the geographic east. The Czechs are arguably the least Slavic of all the Slavic peoples.

          • JamesFaith says:

            No, Czechs are just typical example of Western Slavs (together with Polish, Slovaks and smaller Slavic nations that are now extincted or fully asimilated part of Germany.

            Western Slavs, Easter Slavs (Russia, Ukraine) and Eastern Slavs (Balkan nations) were always culturally very different from each other since middle age.

          • JamesFaith says:

            Western, Eastern and Southern Slavs.

          • basilisk says:

            Thank you, but being Czech, I am well aware of that. I don’t see how is this (correct) categorisation relevant for my overall point that Czech culture is influenced by German culture more strongly than by Slavic culture.

            Each of the three major Western Slavic nations had a very different historical development.

          • JamesFaith says:

            It was more about your last comment that Czechs are least Slavic because there is nothing like some universal “slavism”. You should say this only if you take one nation, for example Russians, as typical Slavic state and compare Czech to them.

            Because same as Czech were heavily influenced by Germans, Southern Slavs were heavily influenced by Turks and other non-slavic neighbours.

          • basilisk says:

            Please note that I said “arguably”.

          • Schmouddle says:

            Slavism is truly a state of mind and therefore I am glad we are arguably least Slavs of them all.
            Greetings from Prague, Czech mate :D

    • upupup says:

      There really aren’t that many high-profile games about Central Europe and Eastern Europe that deal with the actual cultures and ethnicities living there. The Witcher comes to mind (folklore), but everything consists of cult classics.

  22. Vilos Cohaagen says:

    Not a game for me on so many levels. Particularly disappointed by the commenters willfully misinterpreting one element of the review to push polarised and frankly absurd comparison statements. It’s logical fallacy city. RPS commenters used to be better than this.

    • KingFunk says:

      Yeah not sure what’s happened here TBH – it isn’t usually this bad…

      • pepperfez says:

        Dan Vavra’s claimed his martyrdom by political correctness, so you get the people who believe that’s actually a real thing showing up in disproportionate numbers.

    • Horg says:

      ”It’s logical fallacy city. RPS commenters used to be better than this.”

      I hope ending your post with the ”golden age” fallacy was intentionally ironic.

  23. larpsidekick says:

    The problem with this game being described as historically accurate is that it presents a historical theory to benefit its desired story / game style, as does all historical fiction. I’ve got no issue with historical inaccuracies in fiction – Braveheart for example is a great story despite its historical failings – but to describe it as accurate would be wrong.

    This piece of entertainment shows a Bohemia with limited female roles and no PoC – this is an inherently conservative reading of the sources. That’s not bad history but would be strenuously argued by other historians – calling this ‘accurate’ gives the idea there is no such argument.

    Qhy does this matter? Our cultures are based upon a foundation of our shared history. If that is distorted by the idea that (for example) women were never economic actors in their own right then it becomes harder to improve our culture to one of better equality

    • elanaibaKHG says:

      Even if our history/tradition is wrong, that doesn’t mean we can’t change the status quo. We’d still have slavery, otherwise?

    • RedViv says:

      You! I like you! I lack the means of remote corporealisation but I would definitely psychically send you whatever cake you want right now.

  24. shrieki says:

    so this isnt a medieval life simulator where i can choose my own character to roam around a huge world being a mercenary or a ugly female thief or a traveling pest doctor with one of those masks. dang

    • Mostquito says:

      I guess you can pretend to play as a Chinese noble-woman, who masquerades herself as a Bohemian soldier-man. And it is historically accurate.
      Source: Disney’s Mulan. :)

    • April March says:

      We’ll always have UnReal World.

  25. Mostquito says:

    Just as a thought-experiment, I wonder what would have happened, if the developer includes a female-LBGTQ-nonwhite protagonist or long line of strong supporting characters of the such (historical or fictional) minorities.

    I would not be surprised if some actual critics of the actual “whitecismaleonly” game elements would find it also horrible, because these elements would undermine the narrative of suppressed (female-LBGTQ-nonwhite-etc.) minorities through the (middle and above) ages, which is the home turf of said critics.

    Maybe a later patch (mod?) with the above modifications will make all some of the overly angry people arguing about this problem look a little more stupid than they look now…

    • GeoX says:

      Yeah! Those hypothetical people you’ve made up in your head sure are hypocrites! They’re just THE WORST!

  26. kud13 says:

    Cumans were still around in the 14th century? They basically dissappear from Ruthenium historiography after the Mongols kicked their ass and murdered a lot of Ruthenium princes who allied with them in the Battle of Kalka during Subotai’s Great Raid in early 1200s.

    Prior to that they were known as “those steppe jerks who kept raiding and pillaging the Rus’ (often at the invitation of various bickering Princes who intermarried with their khan’s daughters and used their father-in-laws’ hordes as political leverage.

    I backed the devs, because getting a non-western fantasy game is pretty rare and unique. So I’ll probably check out my copy in a few months (I’m currently on a good roll dealing with bits of my backlog)

    • Mostquito says:

      Cumans were settled by Hungarian Kings in Hungary and they retained some slowly eroding limited autonomy even in the 17th Century. They served mostly as scouts/horseman during wars of the Hungarian Kingdom. As far as I know KCD story contains Hungarians attacking Bohemia with Cuman supporting troops.
      link to en.wikipedia.org

    • Zombiwan Kenobi says:

      Most Cumans were established in Hungary at this time, as christians and allies. They disappeared way later during the turkish wars.

      Since Cumans helped Hungary to kick some Bohemian ass it most certainly has something to do with ancient hatred.

      Modern debate about racism in a 15th century has nothing to do with modern racism. People didn’t care about skin colour at this time, at least it didn’t matter much when it came to ostracism. There were black people in Europe but certainly not much in Bohemia and Cumans were blond hair blue eyed people so…

      I’m much concerned about how Czech are treating women (and they still treat them really bad), developping a “realistic game” is no excuse to treat women like **** because they were already doing that centuries ago. The witcher did a great job dealing with cultural and racial issues as we never really prevent nor stop them, but player/Geralt’s vision matters. What the point in playing a misogynist and racist guy in a misogynist and racist country only because it’s more “realistic” this way ? It’s only poor design to me, no wonder the guy we’re playing lacks of charisma.

      Geralt didn’t care much about what happened in The Witcher but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t able to tell what was right or wrong, even if racism was quite popular in this specific universe. Playing a game doesn’t mean we have to turn our brain off and accept anything with a “realistic label” as an excuse.

      • Mostquito says:

        “a “realistic game” is no excuse to treat women like **** because they were already doing that centuries ago.”
        Sorry, but for me it is hard to follow your train of thought.
        If females were treated like **** in a time period, then there is no excuse to treat them like **** in a historical game that depicts the time period?
        Would it be more desirable for you, to create a historical(?) game without the very historical element (of treating female like ****) that you believe to be historically true?
        For example, should there be a game of early 19th Century USA, better off without depiction of slavery?

        • Zombiwan Kenobi says:

          What i was saying is that you have to depict slavery if you’re making a game about US but the smartest way would be to condemn it through player’s vision. Minus the godwin point, do you think that making a game about nazis and making the player enjoy at some point what happened during these days would be wise or fun ?

          That’s why i used The Witcher as an argument, Geralt never had to do something about common racism but the game did a good job at making the player realize it’s quite a disgusting way to behave. Having fun and still using our brain is quite rare these days but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen.

  27. hollowroom says:

    Bought it, expect it to be OK but I’m also expecting bugs galore.

    I must say that the politics of the developer don’t really mean anything to me.

    • HiroTheProtagonist says:

      Same boat as you. I get the feeling that the people seem unwilling to separate politics from creators and everyone is worse off for it. Hopefully the bugs will be addressed quickly, I quite like the gameplay.

  28. anHorse says:

    Speaking as someone who is actually qualified in the field the whole portrayal of women is a deliberate misreading of the sources. For instance we know now that in contrast to media portrayals women in medieval society, especially after the black death, had a significant level of agency and soft power.

    Portraying them as little more than beholden to their husbands whims is a conscious artistic decision, whilst other decisions like portraying markets as dominated by male purchasers are historically inaccurate but perhaps forgivable due to them being popular misconceptions.

    P.S. I find it funny how the people who wanted politics out of games are now staunchly defending it because they’ve found a title that appears to align with their own politics.

    • anHorse says:

      This was supposed to be a reply to someone who was ranting about women, sod it

      • Zombiwan Kenobi says:

        And you’re perfectly right. Problem is that this game’s approach to women is quite simplistic more than realistic. Women are naive, desperate, weak and can’t decide much especially when it comes to have sex with the hero. Women as a “soft power” is way more relevant especially since Czech women are known to be more educated than men since the communism era. But the game seems to be a one way vision (the Czech man’s obviously) and even if it doesn’t affect much the fun one can get, it’s quite poor scenaristically.

  29. Mostquito says:

    Yes, I am Eastern-European (or as we like to say in Hungary too: Middle-European).
    Of course I have English as second language.
    But I beg to differ, because I am surely not outraged and clearly not alt-right.
    But it is true that I feel some kind of camaraderie to other Middle Europeans, when they face nonsense criticism from far-away lands, where English is the first language (or from any other place).

    To put in context, I would not think somebody needs to be an outraged alt-right commenter, when someone (hypothetically) defends a game about American Civil War, which contains zero Hungarian soldier (in spite of historians research!), and someone from Eastern-Middle-Europe Game Magazine is mentioning it as an important flaw of the game.
    Is it understandable, or should I improve my English more?

    • Mostquito says:

      I am a little pissed, that comments are vanishing while I am answering them. It happened the second time under this article. I do not think it is the sign of censorship, people can withdraw their (sometimes stupid) comments as they wish and I should bne happy about it. But it still makes me a little sad, because my writing turns so much bigger waste this way, than it is already. :)

    • Premium User Badge

      Drib says:

      I will say that your English is far better than my Hungarian.

  30. Imperialist says:

    “I don’t know enough about 15th century Bohemia…”
    *Proceeds to tell us how much he doesnt know*

  31. WickedBaggins says:

    Here it comes!

    Just a quick note for folk who don’t think “how are the women treated” is valid information in a review: we buy games, too. And games are fantasies, in the main, regardless of whatever veneer of historical accuracy. Shockingly, it’s often not much fun participating in fantasies where your second-, third-class status is, well, part of the fantasy. So it’s nice to have some idea what to expect.

  32. thisarticlescks says:

    holy shit people here are fucking retarded. Yea, women in the game are stay at home house wifes or maids or prostitutes or what ever because that is how things worked back then. Men went to war to die and women waited for their men at home. read some fucking books.
    And about race – Even today many places in europe are racially homogeneous. Such as entire eastern europe. What makes you think that 15th century bohemia isn’t? Read a history book.
    Back then you social justice crap and political correctness didn’t exist.
    And game is trying to be as historically accurate as possible.

    • ulix says:

      You are wrong. Read a history book. Or an appropriate paper.

      https%3A%2F%2Fwww.york.ac.uk%2Fteaching%2Fhistory%2Fpjpg%2FWomen_Economy.docx&usg=AOvVaw34-wJrmm9rwdTXytsmDtdm

    • abstrarie says:

      You are hilarious. Women could own businesses, be political actors, and many other things besides just be holes for men to lust over and beat. They also had distinct personalities and interests outside of kids and the brothel because they are people and that is how people work! Which is a historical truth. You don’t have to look that one up in a book. Women had it tougher back then no doubt, but it isn’t like they had zero impact at all. To think so is honestly ridiculous. I got a good laugh from your comment.

      • Fortron says:

        But I thought society has always been extremely sexist and women were treated as nothing but objects until feminism saved them? Are you telling me feminists lied?

        • Esin12 says:

          I’m confused… Are you criticizing feminism? Or sarcastically criticizing people’s obviously skewed understanding of what women’s roles were during this time period?

    • Zombiwan Kenobi says:

      I stopped reading at the retard argument.

  33. Jievo says:

    Looking forward to this, but having read a bit about the creator I do imagine it will take a rather 1 dimensional view of the world and society – right wing politics aren’t enough to put me off and I’m not looking for a “diverse” world, but frankly my concern is that it sounds like this guy is more interested in the systems and violence and setting than the human beings, which is a shame.

    Just as an aside that I know absolutely nobody will actually see – I really wish anybody making a game set in the past would watch this video, I can’t say I know it all to be true, but it certainly got me thinking and goes beyond the usual binary choice between including loads of ahistorical Joan-of-Arc types, or simply ignoring and degrading the roles of women.

    • upupup says:

      An aside, but I honestly don’t want to play a realistic Jeanne d’Arc game. While her legacy endured, her own life-story ends gruesomely and depressingly – medieval torture is just disgusting. That’s the sort of realism games can do without in general.

      • upupup says:

        Realism in the sense of really going in depth on how torture was done in medieval times. Games are frequently already a little too casual about gore already for my tastes.

  34. Mostquito says:

    I should mention, that the developer promised a questline, that would have a playable female protagonist to save the male protagonist live.
    link to ksr-ugc.imgix.net
    It is there at 600.000 stretch goal. I do not know if it is delivered (deliveranced?), but if not, it is a real (but maybe later amendable) shame on their account.

  35. kud13 says:

    If the Middle Ages families were anything like Ukrainian folk tales, then the woman usually was the decision-maker in the household. By virtue of running the household, while the husband was out toiling in the field for the feudal overlord.

    “Housewife” has a negative connotation in English, that’s not always present in other European languages.

    If the player’s character starts out as a blacksmith’s son (basically a peasant), caught up in the middle of a low-scale war, I can see how he wouldn’t have much access to women who were independent decision-makers. It certainly would not be representative of the entire Bohemia (if a game set in medieval Prague had no independent females that’d be strange), but a small chunk of rural countryside? It’s not impossible, though still I’d expect some indications of this decision-making primacy in the dialogues.

  36. Eightball says:

    Friendly reminder if you buy this game you are helping President Trump murder women and minorities. You must buy Wolfenstein instead.

  37. Gothnak says:

    Dynasty Warriors 9 has just had an article on it on RPS, and all of the characters are Chinese ethnicity with no black (or western) characters. Do the same people complaining about 15th C Bohemia care?

    link to koeitecmoeurope.com

    I have posted that fact on that news story, but i get a feeling it will get removed there.

    • ulix says:

      Does DW claim historical accuracy?

      I’m sure it does, so your comparison makes total sense!

      These battles look very authentic and believable!

      • Gothnak says:

        So, it’s only if a game claims historical accuracy that we need to determine if it should show women or other races in positions of power?

        Why do i get the feeling the next time there is furore in an action RPG than you can’t play as a woman that the answer ‘but this game isn’t historically accurate, it is ok’ won’t really hold off the baying mob?

        • Sandepande says:

          In case of historical accuracy, KCD is selectively so, and if you’re going to use it as a selling point, then it invites appropriate criticism.

          I’m not miffed about skin tones (it’s a four square-kilometre piece of land, not surprising if the population is homogenous), but the representation of the society seems a tad one-dimensional.

    • Premium User Badge

      subdog says:

      Literally the first line of RPS’s “article” on this game calls it “wholly unrealistic”

      If you’re going to cherry-pick, maybe work a little harder?

    • Fortron says:

      UMM WHERE ARE ALL THE BLACK AND MESTIZO AND ESKIMO CHARACTERS IN ANCIENT CHINA! THIS IS AN OUTRAGE I’M CALLING THE FBI TO ARREST THE DEVS FOR HATE CRIMES

  38. Stone_Pilgrim says:

    I’m curious what the criteria is for moderation? I’ve had a somewhat lengthy comment awaiting approval for 2 hours.

    • SaintAn says:

      They don’t approve. They have certain words blocked, so just change up words that might be triggering their censorship.

  39. clive dunn says:

    Been bugging me all day, who does the main character remind me of?
    Young Anthony Hopkins?

  40. Buuurr says:

    I love this game. I have yet to encounter any bugs, glitches, crashes or anything of the sort. My FPS has taken a beating though. I am running at 56 on a 1070 in 2K.

    That said: You brits sure do have a lot of first world problems. You guys should start a knitting circle.

  41. SaintAn says:

    What about gay characters? The writer of this “review” must be a homophobe if he’s leaving mention of us out. We’ve suffered more than any other group in history.

  42. Sandepande says:

    Well, if the game aims for realism, there definitely should be some gay folks around. Unless the realism is focused on the layering of clothes and armour.

  43. Biggus_Dikkus says:

    Good debut game, stay away form glue factory, Warhorse!

  44. Stone_Pilgrim says:

    I want to preface this by saying that I have been a fan of RPS for some time. I love the subjectivity, the substance, the humor, and the prose of your reviews. But, I have to say that the last couple years, I find myself having to take some of your reviews with a grain of salt.

    I understand the subjective approach, but the tendency for some of your writers to interject their own personal political/world view into a review due to some perceived (or in this case, strained out) affront to the almighty g-d of social justice is unnecessary and, in my opinion, tasteless. Just because a developer, writer, or artist does not go out of their way check all of the politically correct little boxes does not necessarily diminish their work. If they did check those little boxes against the historical context of the game, I would actually think less of them for pandering.

    Even if you are right and there were a small number of Africans, Cumans, etc… in the historical setting, why does it necessitate that they MUST be put in the game or else the developer must have a nefarious/genocidal agenda?

    Generally speaking, a politically correct social justice warlord that goes out of their way to monitor/judge everybody else’s thoughts, intents, and creativity is no better than a religious zealot. It’s every bit as self-righteous and hypocritical.

    After the silly Rimworld debacle and this, I’m starting to find some of the “subjectivity” around here more worthy of eyeroll than of praise.

    • Sandepande says:

      Injecting personal worldviews and politics happens all the time. And I would expect nothing less from a person to write about things that bother them in a particular piece of art, entertainment or whatnot, because they are affected by the worldviews and political leanings of their creators.

      • Buuurr says:

        So, don’t call it a game review. Call it what it is. An opinion based on ones feelings. This isn’t a game review. It is a soapbox standup.

        • Zorgulon says:

          So this is “an opinion based on someone’s feelings”?

          Not a “review”.

          Right.

          I know I’m yelling at a cloud here, but an awful lot of these comments seem to be under the impression that the author of this review devoted more than a couple of paragraphs to issues of diversity. You might think that they weren’t really interested in what the article actually said at all.

        • Kushiel says:

          “So, don’t call it a game review. Call it what it is. An opinion based on ones feelings.”

          This is an excellent idea! Instead of a review, they could call it…hmmm…how about “What I Think.” That way, no one could possibly misunderstand that what they’re reading is an opinion.

          HANG ON A MINUTE

          • Buuurr says:

            Yeah, nice one. Except that everyone knows it is what passes for a review on this site. link to metacritic.com Note the article and where it links near the bottom.

          • Nogo says:

            “Don’t call it a game review”

            “They don’t.”

            “Ya, but everyone knows it’s a review anyway!”

            Is there anyway that anyone can please you?

          • Kushiel says:

            “Except that everyone knows it is what passes for a review on this site.”

            It’s as if the people who run the site are grown-up adults who recognize that all reviews of art are subjective, and choose to frontload their own reviews with a naming convention that helpfully points this out. Totally wild that such clear-eyed honesty could “pass for” a review!

    • Buuurr says:

      I agree. RPS has become a political site. Not really a game or hardware site anyone. Click bait. Its what fuels the ad revenue.

      • Joriath says:

        To be pedantic, the piece is called ‘Wot I think:…’ It may be a review but there is no attempt to hide the fact it is an opinion (as are all product reviews that progress beyond pure data).

        • Buuurr says:

          Sure, except when you type review into the search bar at the top all you get are ‘Wot I think’ articles. So, needless to say, it is a review. That, or this site has no game reviews. Which is it?

          • Joriath says:

            RPS reviews are called ‘Wot I think’. It addresses your exact complaint – that the reviews are opinions – by clearing stating that the review is an opinion.

            There is no such thing as an objective product review that includes anything other than primary data offered without comparison (EDIT: and even then you could argue the selection of data points is a subjective procedure, so no reviews are purely objective). Personally I don’t think there’s been much difference in the quality or content of Wot I Thinks over the past few years.

    • Replikant says:

      It’s not a question of whether there are black people in the game. It’s about the dev boasting that there are none.
      That’s two different things.

      If someone writes a book about his family and happends to have only white relatives, it may still be a good book. If he (or she) is later heard saying that he is glad to only have arian masterrace relatives, he is a racist asshole and you shouldn’t buy his book.

      • fish99 says:

        Are you sure that’s what it’s about, because I haven’t seen anyone else say that.

      • Schmouddle says:

        The issue is, Mr. Vávra was not boasting, he just answered why there are no people of color walking on the street of Bohemian medieval towns and villages. There were so few at the time, many people never saw anyone of colour for their whole life.
        Heck, just 30 years ago, people of colour were so rare in our countries that anyone like that stood out and young children wanted to touch him/her.

    • Longestsprout says:

      This, So much this. And this applies to every side of the spectrum.

      For example; the poopstorm spawned from the fact that the new Baldur’s gate expansion: siege of dragonspear included a transgender character with a few lines. The discussion was soon completely dominated by this and review bombed “because the creators were shoving their agenda into their faces”. The anti-SJW’s had a field day by making an issue out of a non issue.

      Sure, these things can be criticised and probably should if such a thing isn’t accurate/out of place/poorly though out. But it shouldn’t dominate the discussion like it does, or serve as an excuse to dismiss the game. Because apart from a few missteps, I don’t think that game was particularly offensive or had malicious intensions, and neither does this.

    • pepperfez says:

      I mean, the lead developer on this game has been pretty upfront about his political agenda of resisting the imagined scourge of political correctness. He was sympathetic to the protofascist Gamergate mob because they conformed to his political preferences. These are matters of public record.

  45. Replikant says:

    First, thank you RPS. This kind of review is why I love this site.

    And secondly: The dev is far enough right-wing for me not to want to support him. As I grow older, I find that what most people hat e most, is to be wrong and/or guilty of something we know to be bad, and therefore that one of most astounding skills of each one of us is the ability to construct justifications for ourselves.

    But if you buy a game from someone who is probably a racist and maybe a mysogynist, you give him money, if you buy clothes made by people in Bangladesh for a few dollars a day, you support the system. It doesn’t matter if there are a billion other doing the same, that’s not a complete exoneration.

    Anyway, unluckily I supported this on kickstarter way and on learned later of Vavras world-view. So I might as well play the game. See, perfect self-justification.

    • Buuurr says:

      Sure, that or you have a career, family, life, or any other thing that keeps you from exploring every facet of a games development cycle down to if the sound designer was fired due to homophobic angst. That or you see a game that you think you will like, buy it and try to vanish into it from the real world. Or it could be as black and white as most things are nowadays.

      • Replikant says:

        Where did I say that I am trying to examine every single biography down of every single employee? But
        A) this is the top guy
        B) nobody asks you to neglect your family life to scrutinize the company, because, lucky for you, somebody already did that and gave you the information. Now you only need to decide whether to act on that information or turn a blind eye.

        • Buuurr says:

          lol. Yeah, again. I read the news for actual things. Not gaming news. Most people don’t. Most people just read the game reviews. And if they are favorable they buy the game. I have no idea the back story or who the devs are on this game and honestly a lot of other people don’t either. Again, most people have actual stuff going on in life.

          • pepperfez says:

            I’m sure the population of people with no time to read games news but plenty of time to pick fights in the comment sections of games news sites is both large and representative.

      • Harlaw says:

        “That or you see a game that you think you will like, buy it and try to vanish into it from the real world.”

        Surprisingly, it’s difficult to use a game as escape from the real world when women like me are treated like shit in the game anyway.

    • Thegassygiant says:

      Why is the decision to not modify history in the context of a historically accurate project like this racist? Does the backlash against this game not prove the producers belief that social justice is putting common sense on hold? Is warhorse not allowed to make a historically accurate game? Or even more ridiculous do you think anyone would believe that he has a personal “racist” stake in the history of bohemia being portrayed? If this all seems ridiculous then maybe your starting to see my point.

      • April March says:

        Are you really writing this under a nearly double-digit amount of posts that show, with sources, that women were active political actors in medieval Central Europe and held a lot of soft power?

        • Thegassygiant says:

          what does your comment have to do with mine? unless I clicked on the wrong comment, which is possible.

  46. Rince says:

    Sounds like a pretty awful game. You can’t create your character, you can’t even play as a woman, you can’t save when you want, and doesn’t looks like it’s offering anything which other games are already doing.
    I guess that I’m sticking to modding Skyrim and waiting for Bannerlord.

    • Longestsprout says:

      The main character was a creative decision on the part of the developers in the service of the setting and context. Sure, you could probably by some twist of logic have a female knight, but I don’t particularly mind that they decided against it in this case.

      And this is coming from someone who prefers to play female characters and was initially disappointed by the choice. If you don’t like it, that’s fine. I was just hoping to provide some background to the issue.

      • CutieKnucklePie says:

        I always find it funny that the “creative decision” excuse is only used to justify exclusionary practices, particularly the exclusion of women and the enshrinement of the (white) male POV. Also, I hope you’re aware that some random peasant becoming a knight in the middle ages is as much a “twist of logic” as a “female knight”. Maybe it’s a twist you like or find comforting.

        • JamesFaith says:

          Main hero will not become knight. Word “knight”, same as bard and rogue, were used in trailer as description of different approach (force, stealth, dialog). It was already explained in past, just some people still use it as counter-argument against historical accurancy.

  47. MrEvilGuy says:

    I’m surprised nobody has mentioned the most infuriating historical inaccuracy in this game: people walk heel-to-toe instead of toe-to-heel. Heel-to-toe walking is a modern phenomenon!

    Talk about a lost opportunity to make people’s movements look unique in your game.

    • upupup says:

      Do you have a source on that? I’ve never heard of this before and it sounds like something fun to read about.

      • MrEvilGuy says:

        link to youtube.com

        The guy in the video is an historian, and he’s pretty convincing, but I’m sure it’s debated in scholarly literature.

        • upupup says:

          Thanks, I’ll make sure to check it out.

        • trollomat says:

          Wow, that’s really interesting and does make a lot of sense. Good catch, and thanks for the link!

          Of course, your comment needs this link in the replies somewhere.

        • April March says:

          This is the most surprising bit of history I’ve heard since learning that belt loops were invented in the early 20th century (and thus any cowboy movies in which the pants have belt loops has anachronisms).

        • PancakeWizard says:

          Isn’t that just prancing?

        • MrEvilGuy says:

          I try to walk toe-to-heel now to improve my posture.

    • Buuurr says:

      Oddly I have always walked toe to heel. A life spent in martial arts will do that to you. That and I walk everywhere barefoot when appropriate. Interesting info.

    • MrEvilGuy says:

      Since I commented on the heel-to-toe inaccuracy, I figured I’d offer my thoughts on the gender elements as well.

      I’m 2-3 hours in. It’s definitely not repulsive, as some of the comments here might make you think. It’s like watching a typical TV show, where it’s fun to analyze the prejudices or ideologies or whatever of the writers.

      Women are definitely not relegated to pure housework or prostitution status, which I’ve seen in certain other RPGs, including ones that pretend to be ‘diverse’ by offering women lead roles as fighters, mages, etc., while letting women rot in 1950s-type repressive roles (despite being in medieval-based fantasy worlds–the Witcher 1 actually comes to mind…).

      In this game, however, while you can’t play as a woman and there are no women fighters, at least they try to give them a substantial role in society. Granted, it’s not always clear what women in the town are doing, but a bit of imagination helps, guided by the historical codex offered in game, which states that women “worked in fields, pastures, bee-keeping, weaving, spinning, preparing food, knitting and sewing.” It mentions that women could also take part in trade (which is depicted), or even craftsmanship with the help of a journeyman (I haven’t seen this yet, and it would be a bit odd for them to not depict women in these roles when it’s in their own damn codex).

      I have encountered one strong woman character so far. She’s a noble woman. When my character went off on a misguided rant about Cumans being blood-thirsty heathens with no respect for the rules of warfare, she shut me down. You can tell she’s a strong character.

      Of course there are hiccups that are quite noticeable, including some hints of 20th-century masculinity where one utilizes his inner drives to prove himself (in contrast to 19th-century manhood, for instance, where being a man is about suppressing those drives). Back then, that sort of ‘being a man’ thinking was typical of Vikings, which medieval Christians would have hated.

      Perhaps more humorous than offensive, they used a 1940s/1950s cinematic technique of zooming in on a woman’s ass as she walked away. This might seem pedantic, but medieval villagers wouldn’t have been able to ‘see’ in that way without the optical media (film techniques) to supplement it. I’m sure some men back then were attracted to butts, yes, but the scene is clearly airdropped out of a 1950s old Hollywood film.

  48. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Interesting I’d expect some gritty Gothic/Witcher 1 -like charmingly busted game which will work well with some patches.
    With a cast of male white blowhards of course and getting killed by the first tiny wolf, I’ll wait for a discount but sounds solid.

    • Buuurr says:

      Combat and archery are solid fun. It takes a while to get used to but when it works it is magic. The closest thing I can peg it on would be the drawing of the runes with your mouse in Arx Fatalis. It is pretty engaging.

    • J.C. says:

      Those are my thoughts as well, this seems like it will be a Euro-RPG Cult classic as the years go on.

  49. Thegassygiant says:

    Well I sure do hope the author does get to the bottom of this “racist” nonsense. Maybe once he does he will realize that these events did transpire and that the Cuman people were, in fact, brutal raiders and more interestingly described as “fair haired and blue eyed”. The claims of racism against the producer are empty and lazy. Especially in the terms of the historical accuracy of the game. He was asked if the game would be ethnically diverse, and he answered truthfully. If you take issue with fact, you have no credibility. If its the producers belief that common sense is being put aside in favor of a faux social justice movement, then ask your self a question. Isnt this exactly what hes talking about? Arguing against the subject matter experts to assert a political ideology in blatant contradiction to fact is not something you want to be known for. let me put it in a left perspective. Isnt it ridiculous that the right refuses to acknowledge global warming experts?

  50. baud001 says:

    Came here for the comments. Was not dissapointed.

    As for not liking the game because of the opinions of the head honcho, I think there’s a sliding scale of possible reactions and one can be at any point on it:

    – I disagree with him, so I won’t buy his game. But I have to be honest and not say because it’s bug-laden (or anything).
    – His opinions, as they are appearing in the game, make me dislike the game
    – Even if his opinion are visible and might pull me out of the game sometime, they are not a total show-stopper
    – There were times where the opinion colored the content, but it was not too egregious.
    – I did not experience any moment in-game where I experience the opinions of the author, so there’s no problem (for me)

    It can also be applicable to any artistic work when one disagree with the author’s personal view of the world.