Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a role-playing game set in medieval Bohemia. You play as a lowly peasant whose skills you must hone in grounded, realistic ways in order to rise through the ranks of society.
Pro NPCs react differently to you under certain circumstances
With the many organic and grounded systems in Kingdom Come: Deliverance that mirror real life, how you present yourself to the world has an impact on how people react to you. If you haven't bathed in a few days and you smell badly, some female NPCs might find your manly odor attractive, while others will show their disgust with you instead. As another example, when you're a mere peasant at the start of the game, you won't have much stature or influence, so certain people will either ignore you or talk down to you. But as you grow strong enough to equip a knight's armor, NPCs will trust you more and reveal information to you that they otherwise wouldn't have. It's a great system that truly leans into the game's role-playing elements, making you feel like Henry represents you as a person.
Pro Rising up in society from a peasant is a unique experience
Kingdom Come: Deliverance puts you in the shoes of an unremarkable commoner named Henry with few skills or specialties, giving you the opportunity to enrich his life and abilities however you see fit. You don't start off as a powerful fighter like in so many other games, and you don't even have the most basic ability to read. Instead, you have to start from scratch to learn how to do anything and everything in the game, from fighting to reading and plenty more, with people looking down on you while you're still unskilled. As you become better at fighting, you can earn a full suit of plate armor, rising up from the ranks of peasantry to a skilled knight, with NPCs treating you with more respect in response to your accomplishments. It's a wonderfully realistic approach to role-playing that isn't afraid to make you claw your way up and improve your lot in life.
Pro Vastly different ways to play the game
Depending on which skills you choose to master, your playthrough can be incredibly different from other players who chose to specialize in other abilities instead. There isn't much of a limit to how strong or proficient you can become in any one specialty, giving you the opportunity to be the best at whatever you set your mind to. You could spend most of your playtime perfecting your skills at hand-to-hand and sword combat, growing strong enough to storm enemy strongholds and kill anyone who crosses your path. Or you can become a master thief instead, improving your lockpicking and stealing skills enough to break into any store or building to amass tons of riches--on the condition that you also learn how to not get caught, of course. It's not likely that two people will have the exact same playthrough where they focus on the same specialties.
Pro You learn and level up skills in organic, realistic ways
Instead of leveling up in traditional ways with the usual experience points, Kingdom Come: Deliverance has a much more organic approach to the ways you can grow your character. Playing as the protagonist Henry, you'll need to practice your skills in areas such as sword play, fist fighting, alchemy, and even reading. Just like in real life, as you fight more, craft more, and read more, you'll improve in ways that feel like you're actually learning as you go. You're illiterate when you begin the game, gradually retaining letters and words as you keep practicing. It's a refreshing system that helps you feel like you're really getting better at the skills you work on the most.
Con Optimization issues on consoles and lower-end PCs
For those playing on a launch PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, as well as an older PC, you might have issues with the game's framerate. Framerate drops are common throughout the game, possibly ruining your experience from time to time. If you're on PlayStation 4 Pro or Xbox One X, or you have a more high-end PC, then you shouldn't have too many problems with performance.
Con Brutal learning curve at the beginning of the game
Since you start the game at rock bottom as a peasant, you have to learn your skills the hard way, including with combat. You'll have to earn your skills by learning as you go along, but because you start with nothing, it's all too easy to fail at even the most basic encounters you come across. Sword fights and fist fights will really punish you while your skills are low, and you'll probably end up dying way too many times for your liking. If you stick with it, you'll be able to get by, but the difficulty curve might put some players off entirely.
Con The game feels unpolished overall with smaller bugs and story pacing issues
Despite Kingdom Come: Deliverance's immersive and innovative systems, there are a bunch of other, smaller bugs throughout the game, as well as some pacing issues that ruin the flow of the gameplay. You're likely to come across invisible walls in places such as stairs that you have to jump over, and other issues like NPCs missing their heads, or being stuck in a T-pose as they float across the map. Story-wise, the last sections of the game are a slog; they really could have benefited from more work and polish dedicated to them. As a whole, the game could have used some more time in the oven before releasing, since all the bugs and pacing issues really degrade the whole quality of the experience.
Con Game-breaking bugs can corrupt your save file
The game is filled with bugs that could potentially cost you hours of playtime. Your save file could get corrupted, forcing you to start the game over from scratch. It's incredibly frustrating and has been an ongoing problem since release, keeping quite a few players from progressing. Thankfully, the developers are working on ironing out this issue through patches.