In the many years I have sat in front of a television with my eyes bleeding from the violently intoxicating LED lights that beam to the back of my retina, I have always wanted a video game that could simulate medieval times in the first person with realistic melee. For years I played games like Skyrim or Dishonored that in fact, have some delicious gameplay mechanics, or my personal favorite Chivalry Medieval Warfare, but these games either include magic or their combat system doesn't take into account real time physics or full limb targeting..That is, of course, until now!

I remember the day I saw it. E3 2015, I was watching one of the conferences and a very short video appeared without warning, and after about two minutes I knew I had seen the greatest trailer and tagline for a game. The words read simply: 'Kingdom Come: Deliverance', followed by "Dungeons and No Dragons" There it was, fully armored nights with up to 16 layers of armor, from undershirts to underwear, you name it, all with their own benefit. A limb targeting system unlike anything seen before it. Where several places on each limb can be hit, causing damage and negative effects on that part of the body. No longer would I see a sword attacking the head doing limited damage, no, in this if you're not wearing a helmet, in one shot, you're dead. Hell, even the horses have armor!

The weapons have a specific way they targeting armor as well as how they interact with other weapons. Swords do maximum damage to anyone wearing light or medium armor and maces can literally be seen denting the armor of heavily armored knights! Your bow shots also have to be precise, landing at the joints where the pieces of armor join together, or of course, head shots! During melee, swords that contact each other will grind and spark and are physically manipulated based on how they come into contact. No more will I see swords going through each other :) I hope anyway!

Much like what we've come to expect from RPG's, there needs to be a crafting system that's fun and believable. Once again, Kingdom Come: Deliverance shines. Using historically accurate remedies and herbal concoctions, alchemy is more about herbalism, and uses plants, spices and herbs to create medicines that can be used before or after battle. The mechanic for brewing and mixing is actually the nicest I've ever seen! You see your character's hand precisely grabbing certain things and mixing the ingredients together, unlike other games where it's just a interface to go through. In this game, you'll actually have control over your hands during the process! The same thing goes for blacksmithing, swords must be sharpened and you'll be required to watch the blade as you grind the metal against the wheel! Not to mention find hides and other resources to make the handles of weapons! I haven't seen how axes and maces are maintained, but surely that's to come!
Now, onto the juicy material!

Combat! This is the main reason I fell in love with this game! Initially the game advertised as many as 30 or more spots on the body that a sword could land on. This number has declined but I have not been able to find the exact number. Nevertheless, I have played the game and the gameplay is undoubtedly fun, intuitive and challenging! Each enemy has a marker on their chest with 5 red lines indicating the head, upper and lower body. While moving your mouse around, you will notice the fighters stance changes and the stance you start attacking with isn't necessarily where the blow ends up. While holding your sword straight up (mouse all the way up), you can adjust during your swing and swing across (mouse to the right or left). This is used to make the NPC's think you're going one way so you can counter them. The use of fainting is also used and it feels so incredibly satisfying! Just before an opponent swings you can faint to either side and engage in a close quarter attack or simple get the hell out of the way! Not only can you faint, but you can dodge as well, swiftly moving to either side and getting out of harms way. I highly recommend you check our Warhorse's video page on youtube to watch the combat system in action!

Large scale battles is also something I am incredibly excited for. Usually in these games the major battles are played out in smaller areas because the processing power is too great. However, in Kingdom Come you can expect lifelike battles and castle sieges with upwards to 40-50 players on screen at once, all working in unison to capture the objective. Standing in line with your troops, awaiting the call of war horns and the battle commencing is truly going to be a experience unlike anything that we've seen before.

The game also allows the player to choose the kind of player they'd like to be. The game has a fully realized crime and thievery system as well as wanted persons system. If you're a bad guy you might end up being hunted, but if you choose, you may help someone locate a wanted person and deal with them however you wish. Each mission is not linear as this game is an open sandbox! Choosing to walk into a castle or monastery and respect the people is your decision. If you're the kind of player who wants to watch the world burn, well, that option is available and quests can be completed as a good or bad guy. I say guy, because this is an RPG that focuses on the main character Henry. Depending on how you play the game, you can be more of a scholar who uses the power of conversation and manipulation to gain the advantage, or you can be a complete badass, sword wielding warrior! Or both :)

The narrative is told through the eyes of Henry, the song of a humble blacksmith and the game takes place in the Kingdom of Bohemia, modern day Czech Republic. The Bohemian King has died and the new monarch is kidnapped by his brother who pillages and plunders the kingdom, including the village of the main character, Henry. During the pillaging, Henry's family is murdered and it is that moment he clings onto hope and revenge, seeking to dethrone the false king and restore order and the rightful air to the throne!

I wanted to take a moment and talk about the graphics. In a photo-realistic world that's based on a real time in history, with real events, it is important to make the world feel lived in. Warhorse studios has done gone above and beyond what I have seen in an open world before. Buildings are made with such love and detail, some of which are buildings that still exist today! One artist mentioned that he worked on seven churches and it took him 2 years to complete them all! Two years!! These interiors are breath taking, they're far more realistic than anything I've seen... from the decor, to the run down bricks and stone, the cracks in the floor, hand painted artwork, candles illuminating the and the sun and moon light playing off the walls, filling the rooms with natural beauty. The interiors are not only where the visuals shine, no, not at all. When I think of a game that has done a forest justice, and I mean, real photo-realistic justice, I cannot. However, this wish I had of the medieval setting is now complete with the most gorgeous and lifelike forests I have ever seen. From the way the flora interact with each other, to the paths that can be found and the incredible variation of other trees and plants. There has been an incredible amount of time spent bringing these backroad woodland areas and full boreal forests to life :) But be wary, you never know who could hiding in the bushes!

Finally, I must point out that if you're a fan of ether first person, melee combat or medieval times, this game is for you! There's no question about it. While it is set to release sometime in 2017, the beta can already be played by contribution. The price of US49.99 will give you access to the beta and any updates released until the time of the game's release.. but lucky for you, once the game is released they are giving it to those who paid $49.99 or more. I could not be more excited about what Warhorse Studios have done and there has been a need for a game like this forever. To anyone who has not seen footage of the game I highly recommend you check it out! You will be in love.
Thank you,