This is my way of saying thank you to the developers for what, to me at least, has been one of my all time favourite games, while, at the same time, also providing some constructive criticism. Yes, yes, I am aware 300 hours might seem too soon for some people. However, my reasons for finally parting with the game are many.
I remember how, for the first 30-40 hours, I barely tolerated the combat system, despite my initial excitement over its historical accuracy and such. It seemed clunky, hits didn’t seem to connect as they should have, movements were weird, weapons would sometimes go berserk in your hand. And while I have eventually grown to like how combat works in KCD, I also resigned myself to solely using the longsword, since it had, imho, the most fluid combat animations and longsword duels would sometimes really feel like something else entirely - in the best of ways.
In any case, I could spend hours talking about what I found extremely enjoyable or painfully irritating in KCD. To me, bored to death of fantasy-hero-of-the-day-god-one-man-army-type of RPGs, this game was like a breath of fresh air. This is specifically why for the better part of almost 200 hours I put up with various bugs - ranging from minor inconveniences to game-breaking fatalities. Now, on my second hardcore playthrough, things like not being able to complete basic quests such as “The Good Thief” (in which the ring is nowhere to be found) which renders an otherwise extremely useful mechanic (aka selling stolen goods) unusable are impossible to ignore. It is difficult to ignore not being able to complete “Next to Godliness” because of a missing pitcher that has yet to appear, despite the problem supposedly having been patched. It is also difficult to wait for more than two months for a bug that rendered a whole dlc unplayable (Kuno Conversation Crash) to supposedly be fixed. And while in my initial enthusiasm when the game was launched I did not mind doing things like uninstalling and reinstalling the game, or loading an earlier save that would set me back 4 or 5 hours of gameplay, now I do.
The world of KCD has the advantage that, initially at least, it is breathtakingly distracting in its activities. This is why, imho, I think more than 100 hours could be passed without much frustration. However, this initial excitement is nowhere to be found when one nears the 300 hours mark or so. At this point a player might be forgiven for skipping dialogue and just “wanting to get certain things done” on the quick side so they can just get on with whatever they actually want to do. Today, after waiting for more than 2 months for a fix, I eagerly jumped back into the game. My initial idea was to complete “Next to Godliness” so I could get on with embarking on the Robber Baron quest, which I missed twice in my normal playthroughs and once in my first hardcore run. Needless to say, I was pretty excited to finally get to play some new content after so many hours. Then the pitcher didn’t load. Then I tried reloading. Then I tried reloading an older save, setting me back a couple of hours. Then I restarted the game. Then I uninstalled and reinstalled the game. Then 1.9 came. All amounted to nothing.
To summarize: This current run has about 25 hours on it, as the game puts it, although I clock it somewhere around 30 hours, with all the reloading and redoing. I will simply watch the Robber Baron quest on YouTube and that will be the end of that.
KCD was a great game. The first two runs. It was an Ok game the third time. With all that I’ve said above, I think I’ll be quitting while it still is, in my mind, a good game.
To Warhorse: Thank you for this amazing game. I truly believe you have put incredible passion behind this game, yet I’m afraid somewhere along the way something went wrong. I do hope you will learn something from this honest review. And while I am pretty excited for a KCD2, I am afraid I will no longer preorder or even order your products without waiting for at least a year.
All the best,