June 17, 2021

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Can Kingdom Come Deliverance’s tech deliver its ambitious vision?

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Conceptually, Kingdom Come Deliverance is an intriguing proposition. What if the Elder Scrolls formula were transplanted across to a real-world location, steeped in history? And what if Skyrim’s less than state-of-the-art technological underpinnings were replaced with one of the most powerful game engines on the market?

As the debut project from Czech developer Warhorse Studios, this ambitious, crowdfunded RPG uses the CryEngine technology – as seen in the likes of Ryse, Prey and Homefront the Revolution – but with a Skyrim-style canvas of terrain to explore. From beautiful, dense woodlands to idyllic early 15th century European villages, there’s a grounded, almost photorealistic look to the world in many areas. The big difference next to a game like Skyrim though, is the swapping out of fantasy elements for a more historical setting. Dragons and magic are out, and the focus here is on a brutal power struggle in the Kingdom of Bohemia.

It would be remiss of us not point out the controversy surrounding this title based on the attitudes of Daniel Vávra, the lead developer, whose views speak for themselves in both his social media and this Kotaku interview – aspects of which are reflected in the game content, and may give pause in considering it for purchase. It’s a topic Eurogamer will address in its review, but the focus for this Digital Foundry piece is its technology and performance.

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