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Default Kenshi - Review @ PC Gamer

January 12th, 2019, 19:37
PC Gamer has reviewed the sandbox RPG Kenshi:

Kenshi review

In my time with Kenshi, I've crossed swamps so vast that I haven't dared return. I've been beaten shitless by a pack of goats that were intended to feed my rabble of listless nomads. I've been a shopkeeper and a thief, a lone wanderer and a slave, and I've been an entire community of people working together to--one day--erect our own city in the wasteland. One day.

None of these events were part of questlines. There's no such regimentation in Kenshi, no tangible sense of scripted behaviour, just a ragged web of vicious systems so myriad that they sometimes tangle and fumble and descend into absurdity. But there is a cold order to Kenshi too, a formidable degree of depth that's as impressive as it is stubborn.

[…]

The early going can be cruel; basic survival plans can be easily derailed by a city guard who plants drugs on you then demands money you don't have, or by finding yourself deep in a region inhabited by vicious alien giraffes. It can all get a bit grindy too; it takes a long time before you can handle yourself in a fight, a long time to grow food, and a long time to get around. Even though Kenshi is capable of conjuring great scenarios to break up these anaemic stretches, it doesn't lessen the slog.

But after around 30 hours, I still feel like I've so much to uncover. I've still got to expand from a dustbowl community to a fortress; to send an expedition of battle-hardened warriors out into distant wilds while back at the township artisans and workers rake in profits thanks to the clockwork-like regimen I created. Kenshi is huge, amoral, and opaque enough that I'll be deciphering it it for a very long time.

Score: 84/100 - Work through the presentational ugliness and technical awkwardness, and you'll find an experience of frightening depth.
Thanks henriquejr!



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January 12th, 2019, 20:39
Kenshi reminds me more than anything else of Ultima Online, but without other players. And of course set in a post-apocalyptic oriental world. Sort of a cross between Ultima Online and Mount and Blade. My character is now forging high end armour. Just don't ask what sort of time investment that entailed. . .
Last edited by forgottenlor; January 12th, 2019 at 22:56.
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January 12th, 2019, 22:18
I penned a review for Kenshi over on the Codex. Fantastic game. I recommend anyone interested in survival RPGs that are unique and feel like you're exploring a massive Vvardenfell to check it out.
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January 12th, 2019, 23:15
A game like Ultima online but minus the other players sounds quite intriguing to me. I truly need to check this game out, but Tower of Time has got me pretty busy for right now.
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January 13th, 2019, 01:54
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
A game like Ultima online but minus the other players sounds quite intriguing to me. I truly need to check this game out, but Tower of Time has got me pretty busy for right now.
There's a playable demo you can try. I wasn't as impressed as some, but you might like it.
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January 13th, 2019, 04:32
Not only am I impressed but I think it's a once in a lifetime game like Morrowind and the best game of 2018, even over Kingmaker. Kingmaker is amazing too but Kenshi is just other-worldly in how unique and different an experience it is.

Here's an adventure I had recently that I posted on the Codex for anyone who might want to see what a typical day in Kenshi is like:

To add on to my review and impressions a bit, I'll tell about my trip through the Skimsands to Heng, the city you see in the screenshots. First, I was going to explore the Iron Valleys ruins, until I saw it was acid raining there, had some "evil tower" surrounded by security spiders (robotic spiders that are hard to kill), so I passed on that. I went north and I had to cross a Holy Nation checkpoint, and I wasn't sure if my team which includes both Shek and Hivers (different races in the game, hated by the HN) would be allowed to pass. We rush through and a guard says to keep my "beasts" in line and nothing bad will happen, great. So now I see a *vast* desert between our group and where I'm headed for - a United Cities city called Heng. I heard the UC has a lot of coin, goods and luxury things there, so I want to see what I can bring back to my house in a Shek town named Squin. So the journey starts okay, I spot a group of "Manhunters" in the distance, humans who apparently hunt men. I avoid them, don't want to be seen. Then I start seeing skirmishes far to the south and I'm wondering what it could be that is fighting there. I find out soon enough, people are fighting Skimmers, giant insectoids that roam the desert, sometimes in packs. We head farther east and encounter a few, kill them, but they're tough. Now a few in my group are limping, apparently these insects target the opponents legs first to try and gain an advantage. No problem, to make some members of my team stronger I have them carry the injured through the desert with us. We lose no speed and continue.

More Skimmers come, then another, then another. Before long we and a band of ragged recruits we met in the desert who happened to be in the same area are almost overwhelmed by Skimmers, sneaking in from all angles. We slaughter more but Griffin, a former Holy Nation Sentinel, loses an arm in the fray. He'll eventually need a robotic replacement, hopefully one we can find in Heng or somewhere in United Cities territory (our guy Stubs Mumoso needs one, too.) So we meet a traveler from the ragged band of mercs and hire him aboard, he says he can take care of himself, great, we need the help. However now, we have to carry almost half our team through the desert, and the ones doing the carrying are also injured. So we're at a crawl, no outpost in sight except for some strange Tengu Tower. We get there seeking refuge and are told it's a United Cities military outpost, leave at once and that will be our only warning. Okay, we get it, time to move out as hurt as we are. We continue east through vast stretches of desert fighting the occasional Skimmer (they sometimes leap from under the sand without warning) and we finally, after a long haul cross the border to Heng territory. It's a snowy mountain region - I'm hoping at this point we don't encounter some yeti or who knows what from the mountains. Finally, after a shorter hike we make it to the city on top of the mountain, Heng, and quickly get all our wounded in beds at the inn, that happened to have enough for all of us but 2 to sleep for the night and regain strength. In the morning we'll search the city and see what we can find, for now we rest.

Back home production is going good, our workers are mining copper and keeping income flowing in while other workers are researching new tech and making bread which is turned into meatwraps with raw meat, a good, hearty food source. It will be a long trek back to Squin but our wanderers will explore the UC territory for awhile until it's time to make a haul back to Squin or some other forgotten realm. I'm hoping to bring back things to sell and trade in Squin, if we're strong enough to loot an ancient ruin or outpost in Heng territory. I have to buy a few maps from the Traveler's Guild to see if there's anything close we can check out.

These are the types of adventures you find in Kenshi, and not one bit of it was scripted or told as some quest or anything like that. Just dynamic, emergent gameplay. Quite the incline, wouldn't you say?
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January 13th, 2019, 11:23
Originally Posted by TheRealFluent View Post
Not only am I impressed but I think it's a once in a lifetime game like Morrowind and the best game of 2018, even over Kingmaker. Kingmaker is amazing too but Kenshi is just other-worldly in how unique and different an experience it is.

Here's an adventure I had recently that I posted on the Codex for anyone who might want to see what a typical day in Kenshi is like:
Yeah, I think Kenshi, Pathfinder, Pillars of Eternity 2 and Kingdom Come Delivereance are all GOTY type material. It will be hard to order them. Sad that I can't give my vote to all 4.
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January 13th, 2019, 17:14
Kenshi has no place in my top three picks for GOTY. Like I said before installed played a few hours, and uninstalled it to never play again. It didn't grab my interest at all.
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January 13th, 2019, 17:23
I certainly understand how Kenshi is not for everyone, but I think it's brilliant.

I find myself comparing it more and more with Crusader Kings 2, which might seem a bit counterintuitive. Neither game is an RPG but what I think of as an RPS, a role-playing simulator (TM).

They're both simulators at their heart. They simply exist and, if you're lucky and fight hard for it, their worlds might deign to allow you to exist there, dodging their many moving parts. Kenshi is truly a sandbox and, for the most part, lacks the scripted events of CK2, so you truly better be a self starter satisfied to set and achieve your own goals, crafting your own story in your head along the way.

Brilliant.

Top 3:
1. Kenshi.
2. Kingmaker
3. Kingdom Come.
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January 13th, 2019, 22:11
Originally Posted by Capt. Huggy Face View Post
Neither game is an RPG but what I think of as an RPS, a role-playing simulator (TM).
Ooo, can Egosoft's X series be an RPG Simulator, too? Your character has no stats or levels at all but I swear I do more role playing in those games than in 95% of the RPGs I play.
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January 13th, 2019, 23:04
Yes, I think you can. X4 seems like a true sandbox right now. Haven't played much yet. Just finished setting up my new 3D mouse to serve as a kind of portable joystick.
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January 14th, 2019, 00:00
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
Ooo, can Egosoft's X series be an RPG Simulator, too? Your character has no stats or levels at all but I swear I do more role playing in those games than in 95% of the RPGs I play.
More like an economy simulator. You're just roleplaying a merchant most of the time.
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January 14th, 2019, 06:26
Kenshi has had outstanding success, which I think is very well deserved.

I just hope other developers take note, cause I'd love to see a AAA Kenshi type game in the future.

But for the love of the gods, please keep in single player and moddable! No more MMO abominations!
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