When I first heard about Kingdom Come: Deliverance I was pretty darn excited, a ‘realistic’ medieval RPG set in 15th Century Bohemia sounded like a jolly good time full of gore, glory and a loveable blacksmith’s son named Henry. However, as you can read in my original review, the execution left a lot to be desired and it ended up being a rather forgettable experience, filled with game breaking bugs and frustrating mechanics. Since it launched early last year, the developers have not only been busy patching a lot of the issues, they’ve also been supporting the game with a slew of downloadable content. The fourth and perhaps most ambitious content pack, A Woman’s Lot, dropped recently and aims to shed more light on the trials and tribulations of some of Henry’s female friends.
The largest portion of the DLC will have you inhabit the shoes of Theresa, the miller’s daughter, who you’ll know from her rather large supporting role in Henry’s tale. Her story begins a few days before the invasion of Skalitz, the horrific event that kicks off the base game, and wraps up when she finds Henry face down in the dirt a few days later. Theresa’s life is simple, she rises early to complete her chores before heading into the village to spend time with her loved ones, and that…is pretty much it. During and after the invasion though, Theresa grows into a much stronger and more interesting character as she learns hard lessons about the world and her place in it. I won’t go into too much detail because I don’t want to spoil it, but it is a more relaxed pace than I was expecting and it’s definitely refreshing to walk around Skalitz before the invasion and essentially see the start of the game from a different perspective. Theresa is a compelling character and the performance her actor gives makes her one of the best in Kingdom Come: Deliverance.
Theresa is clearly the only one getting anything done in Skalitz
However, playing as Theresa is a double-edged sword, as she has none of the martial or worldly skills that you have developed with Henry and as such, it can feel like a bit of a soft reset to how you play. For instance, there was a side quest where I had to defend a person with a bow, a tool that is completely unfamiliar to a miller’s daughter, needless to say, it was just as frustrating and unwieldy as the first time Henry picked one up. With Henry, however, you have a chance to practise with the bow outside of combat, to actually develop this skill so that you can effectively use it, but the Woman’s Lot DLC thrusts you into a fight with the thing almost immediately after picking it up. By far the most frustrating part of this DLC though is that in most threatening situations, Theresa leans heavily on stealth, a mechanic that is not very strong in KC:D. There are several instances where you need to sneak past ‘enemies’ in order to progress, but for some reason, it feels like all of the bad guys have heightened senses and are completely unforgiving. This, paired with the fact that Theresa can’t equip armour or use any weapons other than an axe and a tiny dagger, mean that when an enemy does see you, it’s basically curtains. It’s not the worst experience ever, but it does take some getting used to and gets old pretty fast.
If I kill Henry here, does the main game still happen?
After you’ve finished Theresa’s story, there are also a handful of quests in which Henry helps another of his female friends from home, Johanka. These are a bit smaller in comparison, but still worth checking out as they do have a bit of a supernatural spin to them. Another new feature of the DLC is the ability to adopt a dog and a whole bunch of new skills around it. Your pooch ‘Mutt’ needs to be trained and fed regularly, but once he trusts you he’ll be a faithful companion that feels a lot like ‘Dog Meat’ from the Fallout series. Mutt can attack or distract enemies, search the area for useful items or bark to warn you of danger and just like Dog Meat, you interact with him via dialogue choices. Theresa also has a doggo with the exact same mechanics, but sadly, I found myself ignoring both of these pups because it all felt a little half baked and poorly implemented, to the point of being almost completely useless. Plus, it’s a heinous crime to include a dog in your game and not give me an option to pet it.
A Woman’s Lot is an okay content pack in an okay game. Given the controversy around the launch of KC:D and the fact that the developers chose to base a whole DLC around a female character, I was expecting a bit more in terms of challenging the supposed roles of women in 15th Century Bohemia and how they had been depicted in the game thus far. Instead, it felt strange to see Theresa struggle and grow and help so many people, only go back to a two-dimensional bit part in Henry’s story. Even after all the patches and previous DLCs, KC:D still feels unpolished, at least on the PS4, perhaps the experience is better on a PC. If you have Kingdom Come: Deliverance, I recommend checking this DLC out, but if you were thinking of buying it on account of this pack, I’d probably save your money.
Reviewed on PS4 Pro // Review code supplied by publisher