Let’s get one thing out of the way, Kingdom Come Deliverance is full of hilarious bugs, glitches and the game does crash from time to time, but even with all it’s setbacks, no other game this year had a protagonist that was as relatable, a story as grounded and combat mechanics that were worth the hours upon hours of learning, than this highly underappreciated gem of 2018’s stacked gaming lineup. I present to you my game of the year, Kingdom Come Deliverance.
Kingdom Come Deliverance is a first-person hack and slash game with a bit of archery along the way. Don’t expect any magical spells or dragons here, as the events of the game were based on real historical events. You play as Henry the son of an ordinary village blacksmith, living a very ordinary and mundane life. You can’t help but relate to the main character as he is pestered by his mother to get out of the house more as well as getting pressured by his friends to do acts of mischief around the village and we all know how much we can relate to the former. The story follows the usual cliche’s of the rags to riches archetype, but the writers and creators did a great job of blending Henry’s story seamlessly to the real-life events that it took inspiration from.
One of the first few missions had Henry collect a debt from the village drunk and This was where we first get introduced with the game’s deep and realistic combat system. I never thought I could get such a rush in brawling with an old, drunk buffoon, but that’s exactly what I got. I would consider this game’s combat system to be addictive and I devoted hours upon hours to it, honing my skills with the various weapons and combos in the game. Unlike other games where your character had god-like health and powers, Kingdom Come Deliverance’s Henry has as much life as one of his enemies. This makes even a one on one fight with a bandit unpredictable and exciting. You would need to attack and block at the right time while managing your character’s stamina, which means you’ll need to practice and practice if you wish to be successful in combat. Once you gitgud, you could take on a gang of enemies at once and the rush that I got after surviving every encounter felt like beating a boss in Dark Souls.
The game’s main quest and side quests are simple enough to follow, you have your usual fetch quests, but there are also a couple of standouts. One side quest had me traveling to several towns, gathering ingredients and supplies needed to properly perform an exorcism and one had me impersonate a priest and Henry was forced to say a sermon during mass while under the influence of alcohol. The side quests really did offer a fun reprieve from the very serious and realistic main quest. You also get to meet a lot of colorful and well-written characters along the way. My favorite was Sir Hans Chapon, A high-born that was very brass and cocky and almost acted like a rival to Henry at first, but as the story progressed, his demeanor and attitude grew on me and we find out that he too has problems and fears very similar to our main protagonist. This made him very relatable and you can’t help but get attached to him.
Kingdom Come Deliverance is a game for people who like interesting characters and a well-written story. It could get buggy at times, but the high you get from combat and Henry’s story make it all worth it, which is why I consider it as my game of the year.