I don't think I've ever encountered a game like this, where there has been so much joy and frustration in equal amounts.
The story: The story starts well and rather cliché, however this is not a problem. By about the midway point things started to drag on quite a bit. Some characters popped up out of nowhere and the only interesting dynamic is between Henry and Radzig, which in itselfI don't think I've ever encountered a game like this, where there has been so much joy and frustration in equal amounts.
The story: The story starts well and rather cliché, however this is not a problem. By about the midway point things started to drag on quite a bit. Some characters popped up out of nowhere and the only interesting dynamic is between Henry and Radzig, which in itself took an odd turn that actually defeated the purpose of the game being you playing as a peasant. Story arcs like Theresa and Stephanie never see themselves developed very far in the main game. By the end of the main quest it seemed that there were many loose ends. Perhaps this was intentional, but it made the ending rather unsatisfying. Furthermore, several quests were almost agony to complete, such as the monastery quest and collecting meat and herbs near the end. These were excruciating and I would have quit had I not been so close to the end.
The graphics: these are quite good, although far from the pinnacle of what this generation is capable of. The environments are probably the most alluring aspect, as it can be a pleasure to traipse around on horseback and admire the bucolic greenery. However the environments are one-dimensional, being mostly green. Having said that, there were no shortage of the infamous bugs and glitches. Fortunately most were harmless and amusing, while others saw buildings and trees appear out of thin air to knock me off my horse.
This leads me to my biggest gripe with this game and the concept that marred everything.
Realism and gameplay: this was great in theory, however in execution the realism aspect of the game is either ridiculously unrealistic (for which I am grateful for) or tedious and monotonous. For example, feeding and sleeping are two realistic elements that just get in my way as I play. In games such as Skyrim these are merely ways to regain health, and while this holds true for KCD, if you go too long without eating or sleeping you can actually die. This detracts from my gameplaying and enjoyment of the game. Fortunately this mechanic is not unforgiving, however it still becomes a nuisance. The reason I mentioned I am grateful for unrealistic elements is that they actually make the game much more fluid and enjoyable, such as being able to whistle and have your horse appear next to you no matter where you last dismounted. There is also a skill called 'nutcracker' which essentially gives you a 10% chance of knocking someone out with a single headshot. This can become rather overpowered but also highly useful in longer battles and where you are outnumbered. Furthermore, another ability allows you to eat expired food without consequence; unrealistic yet it removed a frustrating element of the game for me and afforded me more enjoyment,
Also, the combat and skills of Henry are ridiculously executed. When you start the game it makes sense to be low-level, however Henry's lack of ability to do anything easily is not realistic and is not enjoyable. The tedium I experienced as I levelled up enough to complete simple tasks almost put me off the game entirely. This makes the game stupidly difficult in the opening hours of the game, where they should be trying to draw us in and ease us in gently.
The combat was what most interested me as it seemed a lot more sophisticated than Skyrim, however this sophistication ended up becoming an incoherent and inconsistent mess. Mechanics such as auto-lock-on are fine in one-on-one combat, however I found it a rarity that i fought in this manner. The mechanics make it very difficult to enjoy, and after several failed attempts I ended up completing the final missions by hanging back and shooting arrows while my companions did the sword-fighting, or sneaked in cheap potshots while my opponents were preoccupied. This is entirely realistic, yet it undermines the game's own combat system and I ended up killing my enjoyment as often as I killed enemies. Also, Henry was so absolutely useless with archery when I first played that I ignored the bow for most of the game, which apparently was a bad move on my part yet the game did little to encourage the use of it.
Had they actually aimed to make this game enjoyable and fun instead of realistic, it could easily have been a five-star game. Instead we are left with frustrating mechanics, inconsistency, and even bugs in this 'Royal' edition. After a few hours of grinding and monotony the game did open up and become more enjoyable, especially after earning money. However I actually do not recommend this game for most people. The time and effort I invested in it is definitely not worth the return. It certainly has its charm, but I prefer Shouting enemies off cliffs in Skyrim, or felling demons in The Witcher 3, to constantly getting riposted and losing an hour's progress in KCD any day.
Oh, and the DLC? Maybe I'll come back to give it a go later. Maybe. For now I've had more than enough.… Expand