Combat feels broken compared to similar games (Hardcore Difficulty ONLY thread)


Disclaimer: If you do not play on the Hardcore difficulty, you are unlikely to be able to contribute to this topic. Hardcore does not have a “green shield” icon for timing perfect blocks or a star reticle to show which direction your enemy is attacking from. As a final thought, this post will contain minor spoilers such as character names and their interactions with Henry.

To begin, combat is very interesting in KCD, I would even say unique insofar that I’ve never experienced anything like it. It reminds me of when I first played Batman Arkham Asylum and was blown away by how blocks and follow up attacks flowed in its physics engine.

That being said, the combat feels broken by modern standards. I learned all the key combat abilities from Captain Bernard, such as perfect block and master striking. I perk’d into several combo attacks and have decent strength, agility, defense, sword, and warfare levels compared to where I am in the game. Gear is full plate (so my dodging is harder).

Here’s the problem. I feel like I have to cheese the enemy AI to win combat engagements, this prolongs fights beyond what is reasonable, sometimes lasting over 15 minutes for a single enemy.

Combos are rare to successfully pull off, not because the timing is difficult, but because the AI will almost always parry, dodge, or (worst case) perfect block into an unblockable attack at some point in your combo. In an average fight, I will land maybe one or two combos, even though nearly every attack I throw I intend to bring into one of the combos available to me. The enemy simply blocks/parries/dodges too many attacks even if you start them with a feign attack (hold down left mouse button and aim in a direction they do not have their weapon, then switch to another direction and release).

Most fights against armored opponents end up with me cheesing their stamina through perks (their blocks cost 30% more stamina) until their gaurd drops and I can get away with one slash on a high slash damage weapon (they will still block a follow up attack in a combo).

It takes absolutely forever for your enemy to decide to hit you. They will quite literally stand in front of you, changing weapon stances, waiting for you to hit them so they can block you, which is exactly what you want to do to them. I almost never go for perfect block anymore because the damage master strike does is minimal at best and you can’t combo off of it. The daze a perfect block leaves is also incredibly short and only allows for at most a single attack before the enemy starts blocking again. I have lost entire fights to a single enemy to their perfect blocks into unblockable attack combos (the classic trope of when YOU do it, there’s barely any damage, but when the enemy does it, get read for some pain).

And that brings me to blocking. I don’t mind the Batman style block system, meaning if you are already in an attack, clicking block will not actually block. Most modern combat systems will block any time you hit the block button from almost any action (like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey). Although this system is feel-good, it’s certainly too easy. But there are at least 10-15 times in a fight where I have my weapon in correct position, clicked block, but still didn’t and take a full hit (and sometimes even the follow up). I read endlessly on what I am doing wrong and the best response I got was that there is an RNG element with your stats, even if you clicked everything correctly, there is still a chance you don’t block. If this is true, this is cruel.

I am forced to goad enemy attacks by triggering their “running away” attack scripts. If the enemy thinks you are running, they will run up and strike you, so what you do is run away a few steps, face them and be ready to block the strike into an attack of your own. This doesn’t always work, but is far better than waiting for them to strike in a normal setting.

And the final cheese strategy I do is backpedal on nearly every slash attack I do. What this does is increase the chance that if the RNG gods decide my block will not work on their riposte, I will simply be out of range to be combo’d by them. They lose a bit of stamina and I get to try again unwounded. This is not a dodge, this is simply a backpedal out of the way.

In summary, every fight I am afraid to swing at my opponent (even using feign attack) because they almost always riposte me which does perhaps 10x the damage my equivalent riposte would do to them. Every fight I am forced to cheese my opponent into attacking me first so I am able to get one swing in with a higher chance of landing. Forget combos, they will always block/riposte at least one of the attacks, negating the combo and sometimes damaging you. Eventually when my opponent’s stamina is low enough (huffing and puffing, cursing, etc) I can now start to throw stab attacks which have a high probability of landing. after 20-30 of these bad boys, the opponent goes down. I then bandage, eat, drink, and hope I don’t have another fight coming up before a save.


If you want a game with broken combat try Red Dead Redemption 2. Terrible controls, broken slow-mo combat, the game even defaults weapons when there’s a cut scene. Yet… 10/10 best game ever a marsterpiece.


Yea, RDR2 doesn’t really have combat as much as it has a kill all things button you chew tobacco to renew.


While agree with some elements of your feedback, disagree with overall take.

Combos are a cute add on. They give you style points and neat way to implement coup de grace, but beyond that their value is limited. Albeit a disapppointing (and somewhat underwhelming) aspect of melee, it hardly ruins melee combat.

Timing should matter in blocking. Think part of the perceived RNG aspect is derived from the magnetism mechanic.

Disclaimer - only played about 400h in hardcore mode


What is this “magnetism mechanic”? I never heard of it.


I completely agree, combat was so much better when the game first came out, but one of the patches changed it. Tried to make the AI harder. Ever since, the AI have become master strike machines, they barley attack and can literally beat you through master strikes alone. Had this happen to me yesterday in the Tournament.
Combat bores the hell out of me now because I know what is going to happen, so I just end up resorting to the bow, 1 or 2 shots and they are dead, since they barely attack me even point blank.
They should just resort the AI back to how it was when it first came out.


I never played the pre-patch combat system. Sounds like I would have enjoyed it compared to the current one.


Pushing and pulling effect NPCs have on you during combat (without actually colliding with you) as part of target locking. You get moved without moving your joystick (console). It influences both attacks and blocks. Regarding attacks, it specifically keeps you from landing charge-initiative strikes… oftentimes doesn’t even allow you to initiate a strike, and usually doesn’t land if it does.

Jabbing is highly effective and it opens up other strikes.


The issue with pre-patch was that you could wreck a whole platoon of bandits/Cumans. There are old vids of guys killing the whole nest and not with an elegant tactical strategy or sublime swordsmanship. Changes were made. Some for the better; some not


Most of that was due to being able to get end game gear very early on. St georges sword and full plate you could tank most hits and kill in about 2 or 3. Was alot diffenent if you used gear more appropriate to your level.

Thats another problem, being able to get the top end gear so easily is rediculous, literally swimming in Magdeburg armor or similar, as almost every bandit wears it.


Thought I would have a go in the tournament and I can tell you it is no fun at all. There is zero fun in being master striked all the damn time. You could be kicking the shit out of them, then they will just master strike you and take half your health. It serliously needs toning down. I don’t know how you are supposed to beat enemies that you can’t really hit, without cheesing it.



We know exactly what your saying buddy. I made similar threads a while ago. Worth a read. But yes AI defesive action choice rng dependent causing the player frustration at the arbitrary nature of whether strikes land.

These are the threads, some good discussion about the combat mechanics here.


I won both Tournaments that I fought in, but I cheesed HARD and always fought with a shield (fewer master strikes against you because there is no shield block master strike counter I am aware of).

The way I cheese is the following:

  1. Lower the enemy’s Stamina through them blocking, or you blocking, or them swinging and missing (Firm Grip Defense Perk helps here)
  2. Once they are lower stamina, they will lose most clinches (Weapon Cruncher Defense Perk helps here), clinch with them (run into them) and spam right click (stab)
  3. After you win the clinch, they will stumble back and drop their guard, do a top down attack with mace/axe
  4. You do massive damage with mace/axe to helmets, also the Headcracker Strength Perk can just insta-win the engagement
  5. Wash, rinse, repeat
  6. Little fun, but a consistent cheesy win


Combat isnt that much more challenging than on normal mode tbh. But i have noticed alot of enemies parry ALOT, so maybe thats the difference?


What this game needs is much faster, twitch/reflex-based combat mechanics, like what you would see in Dark Souls/Ninja Garden. I can totally destroy any opponent in those games. KCD is a nice change but the combat is too slow and clunky. It’s cumbersome getting the hang of it.


Am I the only one who doesn’t like the combat at all, especially considering how hyped up it was? You just spam master strikes, because if you don’t, the Ai certainly will. The autolocking is awful. So the combat is basically backpedal, master strike, repeat ad nauseaum. I got this mod that disables master striking for AI and makes it tougher for you to pull off, but I’m fearing the new patch may have broken it.