V1.2.5 PC Steam.
##MAY BE SLIGHT SPOILERS##
I have to say, I’m impressed with the majority of this game. The systems in the game are really engaging and fun. You have to build your character from the ground up and get a real sense of mastery. As you get better, you have greater agency in the world that feels real. It’s a great balance of problem solving, and challenge that really makes me want to be part of the world on all levels. The combat is engaging and still threatening at high level, while other activities such as herbology, hunting, Alchemy, maintenance etc; are really engaging. Everything in the world compliments the setting, in the way it works and the way they are connected. A Masterpiece of a game.
However, the thing I really love about this game is how it makes you feel like a truly ordinary peasant. You get into the 1st few hours of the game and it sets itself up wonderfully! A tragic story of revenge is set up when your village is raided. You become involved with the fate of the local outlying towns, and get swept up in the greater political stakes of Bohemia.
You end up working with the local noblemen, tackling the greater issues in their lands. After killing the man who stole your fathers sword, you embark on a quest to find who paid the bandits in hope for a chance at revenge. Sadly, as you get further into the mystery, the gentry suddenly loses interest. You are left in the world feeling adrift, seeking out other people to give you work and purpose. But you are left with no objective and little information on what to do next. You get some occasional awesome little stories that challenge you in really interesting ways, but nothing that feels complete. Then it hits you.
Regardless of your good nature, helpfulness, and even spending the little that you have to be more like the nobles; at best, you are a refugee with dead parents. For the sake of appearances they had to make a small effort, but contextually; you are a dirt poor peasant bastard in their eyes, and have now lost interest.
Even when you find and talk to them again, they end up babbling about something you did for them a week ago. You just agree and leave. They acknowledge your presence and are pleasant to you, but everything just goes on hold. Inescapably, you are no more useful or wanted, in-fact increasingly less so each day. Your life ends up becoming a persistent search for answers that increasingly dwindles. You are nothing more than a particularly eager underling with no family, no wealth, and no estate to speak of.
You steadily acknowledge that for someone of your position in society, you have seen a great deal and been part of some interesting events. However, the edge of your agency in the world has been reached. You were a Blacksmith’s son, not the heir to a lordship and estate. That is the way of things.
Slowly the world becomes filled with objectives that you cannot meet, simply because of who you are. You can train and become the best in the many areas of the game but regardless of how you perform, the objectives lay silent with a simple requests that you cannot perform, as there is no opportunity or agency to do so.
I am at the point in the game where I’m about to try take down a counterfeit coin ring, and get on the trail to find my father’s sword. Clearly, it has become less of an interest to the gentry, and have grown tired of pursuit of these events. The rampaging horde of foreign mercenaries in the nearby edges of their realm are of more pressing concern. Due to your lack of status, income, land, property, skill and birthright in game; you’re silently edged out of proceedings, most likely for your own good.
The quests just stop updating and are incomplete. Things have moved on and you are no longer in the royal loop. The best thing you can do is take on some local bandit camps that are below the town guard, maybe become an alchemist and compete in the local archery competitions. Contextually this is very good standing in the medieval community, but you always wonder about that unfinished quest and the adventure it holds, persistently reminding you in your journal…
Warhorse studios are currently fixing these issues in patch 1.3, by actually letting you complete the quests and moving into the next part of the game. Although I would like to be able to “go to location and talk to man” and live the thrills and spills of a medieval adventure, the existential crisis that this game accurately depicts is a work of art. I feel that no other experience I have had in gaming has given this sense of lustful hope, and crippling despair.
We love you Warhorse! Sending love to all your team and especially your community managers who have probably had the biggest pile of shit thrown at them in since official release. Can’t wait to see this game running at 100%! Roll on 1.3!