Kingdom Come: Deliverance Combat Review

Do you think that Kingdom Come: Deliverance could/will be a good game?

It doesn’t seem likely from the initial videos they’ve released describing and showing the combat system.

Combat at 24:00

These are real life sword fighters. They know sword moves, they know stances, and so on, and they are trying to translate the complex system of how our bodies move into a control system with 2 buttons and mouselook.

So they went out and motion-captured a ton of animations, and tried to fit all these animations of actual sword stances and maneuvers into a 5-way strike/guard system. So you end up with things like “combos” of 3 moves you perform on someone’s block, where the third hit is a guardbreaker.

You have these “real medieval techniques” of up attack, left attack, down-right attack. All with animations totally accurate to how soldiers fought on the battlefield in like, the 1400s or something, but systems resembling some person’s conception of competitive Simon Says.

Rather than try to connect with the simulation of space, or the dimension of time inherent in these animations, they have no idea what to do, and made a completely different system that doesn’t reflect any of the animations they captured, because there’s no way you can get that level of finesse in a control scheme like a mouse and keyboard, or a controller, or even a motion controller.

Games like Chivalry, and Street Fighter are very unrealistic representations of combat, but they are able to capture a significant depth by giving their animations significantly different physical properties, like range, hitstun, startup, cooldown, pushback, and so on. In this they have largely uniform properties, except a variable that goes from 1 through 5 for the hit zones.

So sure Chivalry is Spin to Win at the highest level and utterly ridiculous compared to how medieval fighters used their weapons, Dark Souls too, but they’re making the best of their medium to capture a type of depth, a combat dynamic, that isn’t present in real life confrontations, and isn’t present in this even more shallow imitation of real life confrontations.

In short, they probably can’t really do better than this. This is probably the limits of what you can do in attempting to mimic real life fighting styles. It goes to show what the limits are of trying to achieve authenticity, instead of merely deriving inspiration from real life sources in pursuit of something a bit more abstract that will be deep on its own even if inauthentic. They seem to be influenced by an immersion-based mindset judging by their other statements on what the final game will be.

I feel like there’s a lot of unexplored space for first person mouselook melee combat, but it’s limited by the number of buttons on the average person’s mouse, and we need to think a little harder about reasons to look in different places than directly at our opponents and movement.

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