A small development team with a vision and a huge game four years in the making that began its life on Kickstarter, Kingdom Come: Deliverance has come a long way since it first appeared in the public eye. It’s an RPG set in 1403 in the kingdom of Bohemia and places its emphasis on strong storytelling and realistic mechanics, including hunger and a compelling swordplay system. But for all of its brilliance there are a lot of flaws to fight through, too, so let’s have a chat about this wonderful, beautiful, hugely flawed beast. There’s a lot to get through.
As a member of the kilted nation known as Scotland, I’ve always felt that me and my kin don’t get much representation in video games, our brief appearances usually being limited to some swearing or a heavily stereotypical character who loves drinking fighting and is ginger. But Wulverblade seeks to put Scotland in the limelight, specifically, our history against the mighty Roman Empire where the Pictish people held against the best the Romans could offer before Hadrian’s wall was constructed and Rome decided it just wasn’t going to be worth the bloody effort.
I don’t often cover titles in Early Access, but the simple fact is that these games, which are still in development, are asking for customers money, and thus it might be worth covering at least some of them. Numantian Games latest effort has gotten itself a pretty big following so far, so let’s take a look at it.
They Are Billions takes a few things and mashes them together, fusing a rather pretty steampunk aesthetic with RTS mechanics and then mixing in masses of rotting zombies for good measure. There’s nothing particularly new under the hood of this Early Access hit, but so far its RTS mechanics and tower-defense vibe have been executed very well.
Audio is something long looked over by all except the die-hards, but now we’re finally starting to see some appreciation for sound with digital streaming companies slowly but surely abandoning the horribly low quality 256kbps compression methods, while the introduction of Blu-ray and now 4k Blu-ray discs has resulted in a marked improvement for films and games. The reason I mention this is that the Roccat Khan claims to be the world’s first “Hi-Res Audio” headset, something usually defined as being 16 bit / 44.1KHz. It’s a meaningless statement for most consumers while audiophiles are all too used to dealing with how to get the best audio possible. As such the Japanese Audio Society (JAS) and the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) have created a certification for what they deem to be Hi-Res Audio, and the Roccat Khan meets the criteria.
Describing a game as a mash-up of other titles is often regarded as lazy writing, and I should know because I do it all the time. However, sometimes it’s appropriate because Spellforce 3 is Baldur’s Gate meets Age of Mythology and in its mixture of RPG leveling and RTS base-building you can find mechanics taken from numerous games from across the years. It’s like a Frankenstein’s monster, all stitched together, a little rough around the edges, prone to getting in trouble with local villagers and yet has a heart of gold. Or at least, the heart of somebody.
Ah, the humble mouse. Just imagine what this poor little guy gets put through on a daily basis, it’s wee feet being slid across a mat at insane speeds, all in the name of shooting some pixels. A good mouse that feels comfy to use is something I view as vital if you play a lot of games or spend a lot of time browsing the web, so with that in mind how do I feel about the Razer Basilisk?
Sometimes games can be difficult to talk about coherently. Take Seven: The Days Long Gone, for instance; there were times when I was genuinely enjoying its open-world stealth-RPG mechanics and unique world, and yet there were also other times when I utterly hated it. It can be pleasingly willing to let you figure things out for yourself, and it can be annoyingly vague about many things. Its parkour can let you smoothly slide into a heavily patrolled area, and it can be breathtakingly clumsy in its controls. This new game from a bunch of ex-Witcher developers is one hell of a mixed bag from start to finish, and it feels like every 30-seconds of gameplay is a rollercoaster.