Kingdom Come: Deliverance shows off its 'realistic' combat in a new trailer

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a first-person RPG that embraces a "realistic" portrayal of the medieval world: No magic, no dragons, no dungeons filled with gold. Instead, there are grown men who throw poop for fun, and brutal combat with weaponry that could break a Volkswagen in half. 

Combat in the game is physics-based, with more than 30 target zones on each character and up to four layers of armor. Players can attack with slashes, stabs, or kicks against an opponent's head and left or right upper and lower body. Armor is difficult to pierce, a point the studio covered in a video last year, so hammering on a single point is a smart strategy, but one that enemies can quickly learn to counter, as well. 

"Combos" are meant to simulate special "situational" combat moves that work within the inherent limitations of videogames in things like controls and field of view. They work in basically the same way as conventional fighting games, enabling players to weaken enemies by stringing together strikes, and then finish them off with a special attack. Preparation is also an important factor, because stamina is vital when you're swinging a heavy weapon while wearing a full suit of armor. 

"Stamina ... is lowered by low health, bleeding, or when your character is tired or hungry," creative director Daniel Vavra says in the video. "So you better prepare—eat and sleep well before you get into a fight. And I'm not joking." 

Unarmed combat is also an option, "because sometimes you don't want to hurt someone... too much," lead designer Viktor Bocam explains. There are also special techniques that characters can learn called "massive strikes" that will enable them to push back or kill their foes very quickly. 

"All these techniques—parrying, massive strikes, or combo strikes—are based on real historical martial arts," lead designer Viktor Bocan says. "We worked with experts to make fighting in Kingdom Come as real as possible. And it's a lot of fun." 

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is scheduled for release on February 13, 2018. We took a closer look at what it's all about last year

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.