Kingdom Come: Deliverance (XB1) Review

Taking a stab at the genre.

Players will know within the first hour if they are going to love or hate Kingdom Come: Deliverance. While it cements some of its roots in classic fantasy RPGs, it comes with its own set of systems and mechanics that make it stand out from the pack. The hang up is whether I actually wanted that kind of game. Unlike other fantasy RPGs this is a slow, plodding story focusing mostly on the events and characters involved. There is no magic, no monsters, and the systems in place take time and patience to master. For those looking for the next Elder Scrolls game, you should probably keep moving.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance puts players in the role of Henry, the son of a blacksmith. The opening 4-5 hours of the game involve mostly tutorials and mundane fetch quests. The game begins with a series of questions that determine the stats of my character and then it is off to an open world that feels alive and open. The setting is fantastic, but the quests fall short early on. The game does a poor job of capturing the player early, and once combat kicks in, things will either click or completely fall apart.

MSRP: $59.99
Platforms: XB1 (reviewed), PS4, PC
Price I’d Pay: $29.99
Played On: Xbox One X

This game encompasses the idea of progressing players based on what actions they perform. Stats will rise, but Henry never gains any special abilities or powers that aid with the basic combat. The game relies on players learning and mastering its systems. While this sounds cool on paper, in practice I found it extremely difficult to enjoy. Fighting involves a directional melee system that involves targeting specific directions for attacking and blocking. Think of it like a more complicated For Honor and you get the idea.

The game also employs some survival aspects. Keeping Henry healthy and well-rested is a vital part of the game. This is the definition of simulation. Combat is methodical and taking care of my character was essential. Once I got past the opening hours the game opened up, and sadly my opinion of it didn’t change.

This is a hefty RPG, clocking in at around 50 hours for a direct playthrough and upwards of 80 hours depending on how much exploration and side quests I decided to do. My biggest problem is that outside of the story nothing really engaged me. The world is cool, but never really dragged me into it. Again, this is not the game’s fault most of the time. I found myself wandering aimlessly, without direction. The quests felt arbitrary for the majority of the game.

It is also riddled with open world jank. I ran into several glitches in my play time that were often hilarious and other times annoying. For a world this big it is expected, but nevertheless frustrating. This might be acceptable if the game was stunning, but most of the time it isn’t. There are moments of brilliance, but it feels like a big budget game packed into a small-time budget. Even on Xbox One X there are frame rate issues abound.

My biggest gripe about the game though is its complete lack of respect for the player. This is a long game, but it feels like it could have been much shorter and achieved the same goals. For starters the save system is archaic. I could only save when I slept, took a bath, or drank a specific alcoholic beverage. There are also large swaths of quests that involve walking from point A to point B only to find out there is a point C a large distance away. The game play boils down to mostly combat that I found uninteresting. Also if I got into a battle with more than one opponent, it was game over. Hope I saved recently or I am out some precious time.

There are a ton of problems with this game. While some will find enjoyment in its dedication to realistic combat, I found the majority of the massive adventure to lack lasting appeal. Had I not been reviewing the game, I would have quit after only a couple hours and counted my losses. I respect new ideas and takes on genres, lord knows we need some fresh blood, but not at the cost of actual enjoyment. There are a billion other fantasy RPGs out there, and most of them I found much more enjoyable than Kingdom Come: Deliverance.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

  • Dedicated to its realism
  • World can be fun to explore
  • Combat feels plodding
  • Drab quest design
  • Glitches to be found everywhere
Written by
Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.