Kingdom Come: Deliverance II Preview – Here Comes The Kingdom

Kingdom Come: Deliverance II Preview – Here Comes The Kingdom

Kingdom Come: Deliverance faced a rocky launch in 2018, with outlets (including Game Informer) criticizing its widespread bugs and general lack of polish, but it found success regardless, going on to sell two million copies and release a slate of DLC and updates. Six years later, Warhorse Studios is getting ready to launch a sequel and invited Game Informer to take a look at some early footage and trailers. While it’s too early to speak to any performance issues, it’s clear Warhorse has greatly expanded its work on the first game, and fans of the medieval ages may be in for a treat.

The Kingdom Come series is an action RPG set in the early thirteenth century, and while its plot is fictional, the games strive for historical accuracy wherever possible. The sequel follows the continued journey of Henry of Skalitz, a man who set out on a quest for revenge after his village was raided and destroyed. Squire to the carefree Sir Hans, he aims to take down Sigismund the Red Fox, the king of Hungary. With five hours of cutscenes (compared to the prior title’s three), this story is a big focus for the game. While the narrative is a direct continuation of the events of the first entry, Warhorse Studios says newcomers should feel free to hop in at the newest entry.

The series plans to expand on more than just its story. For one, the world map is double the size of its predecessor. This includes the massive medieval city of Kuttenberg (“Too big,” says creative director Daniel Vávra), which Warhorse claims to be its greatest challenge during the game’s development. The urban area is contrasted by the natural wilderness of an area called Bohemian Paradise, a lush green space full of unique rock formations. This diversity of environment and color was particularly important for the game’s visuals, according to art director Viktor Höschl, who wants to express that the era wasn’t all mud and famine. Lead character artist Anna Pačesová adds to this sentiment, saying, “It was really colorful. It wasn’t dark at all.”

In addition to the world, gameplay has been expanded in several ways. The series offers first-person swordplay, but the sequel adds new ranged options as well. In addition to the inclusion of crossbows, Kingdom Come: Deliverance II features early firearms, which look like short-range handheld fireworks. The developers also emphasize the series’ focus on player freedom and choice, adding new ways for the player to interact with the world’s many characters and new ways for those NPCs to respond. If the player wanders around drunk and naked, for example, townsfolk will verbalize their discomfort, and the player is free to apologize or taunt right back at them.

Our preview ends with a performance of a song from the game’s soundtrack. Composer Jan Valta returns with a period-appropriate score, conducting an ensemble of instruments and a choir performing a piece that harkens back to the religious compositions of the 1400s. 

Kingdom Come: Deliverance II will be released sometime later this year, and it simply looks better than its predecessor in every significant way. When Warhorse was founded 10 years ago, it was only 11 members strong; now, it’s up to 250. It’s no surprise, then, when creative director Daniel Vávra, seated in a dramatically lit Kuttenberg cathedral for the video presentation, says, “What we are making now is what it was supposed to be in the beginning, but we were not able to do it because we didn’t have enough resources and experience and all that stuff. We’ve proven that the concept works, and now we can take it to another level.”

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