When I first heard the plans for Kingdom Come DLC I wondered what sort of directions they would take. Kingdom Come is unique in its genre, so surely its extra content would provide something different to the usual season pass-esque content we get with a lot of games. And with its first major DLC release, this idea holds true – at least in concept.

From the Ashes opens up just after the Den of Vipers quest when you free Pribyslavitz from bandits and Cumins. For the rest of the normal game this ruined settlement is essentially useless, but this DLC gives it a purpose and puts you in charge of directing it. Sir Divish is keen to reward you for your recent efforts and so appoints you as bailiff of Pribyslavitz, with the task of restoring its ruined church and making a liveable and profitable village.

I was quite excited by this concept, and on the surface it’s an interesting and involving way to expand the game in other ways than just additional quests. Giving you an area and encouraging you to invest in it, create buildings that serve a purpose, house the refugees from Skalitz, and also make some bank by the end of it.

You start out completing odd jobs in preparation. Firstly you clear Pribyslavitz from bandits (again), then travel to Rattay to be announced as bailiff and to get some refugees to come to your new settlement. Your first building tasks will be to create the essentials – a woodcutter’s camp and a traders, for example. The initial portion of the process is only a drain on your Groschen, and difficulty in this area will depend on your progress in the game. Money spent for upkeep and labour will be taken from a chest in Pribyslavitz every day, and so you must keep a constant deposit so your workers don’t go on strike. Of course, if you already have a sizeable sum then this won’t be an issue for you, but if you don’t (like I didn’t) then you can look forward to some grinding and selling before you can really start anything.

In order to build something you can talk to your locator (appointed by Sir Divish) or look in a book at your camp. The book contains all the buildings you can create, as well as any financial factors you need to consider. Obviously everything costs something, but some buildings create money and others cost it. Some need specific resources to build and some complement each other in various ways – for example, having a Guardhouse will increase your income from your tavern due to boozy soldiers. You can upgrade/extend certain buildings as well, like adding dice games and a brewery to your tavern, both of which result in more income. In some cases you need to choose one or the other, and so picking a good combination of buildings and upgrades depending on their function or income is at your discretion (e.g. a swordsmith or armourer?).

In order to source some of the vital resources you are eventually sent on another set of errands. You need stone, livestock, charcoal and grain; and acquiring these demands an initial investment as well as a continuous one for regular supply. However, once you’ve done this you can also start to make money, and it really isn’t long before your village becomes profitable.

The running of the village isn’t just about building though, as you also become involved in the daily disputes of your people. These range from humorous arguments between husband and wife and petty squabbles that the refugees concern themselves with, to more serious issues like deciding how to regain resources after one of your trader carts is ambushed on the road – do you spend some more money and rebuy it, or do you requisition from your people (making them unhappy in the process). These often seem inconsequential, but when you look at the finance book you can see what impact they actually have. For example, the aforementioned husband and wife argument – you can rule that the gentleman in question remain sober from now on as his wife wishes, or you can dismiss it, however when looking at the blacksmith building stats I saw a line that suggested his soberness improved its productivity. I suppose it makes the decisions you make in the disputes more considered, though much like the rest of Kingdom Come, none of this it particularly well explained.

Building and managing you own village is a cool idea and satisfying to work towards, however you will soon discover how shallow the DLC actually is. Even for my inept, destitute self I shot through the DLC in no time, so if you’re continuing from a save far into the game then you’ll probably be able to build most of the structures immediately (with the exception of the church, as this is a fairly large sum).

There’s no input on how the structures look or where they’re positioned, and beyond the initial paying for them and the resources, there’s no continued management necessary. You’re basically building an NPC run village – another location where you can buy and sell stuff. You can get a few nice treats from some things, like unique armour and weapons – depending on your choices for buildings – but I don’t personally find that impressive.

The DLC serves to extend the experience minimally, and it is a nice idea that’s executed reasonably well. But it could have been more, and for those who start it from later on in the game probably won’t get much out of it. I’d say it was worth the price (£7.99 at the time of writing) but don’t expect anything exceptional.



Author

John Little
John Little

I started gaming with the release of the PS1 - Crash Bandicoot and Ridge Racer Revolution being the first 'real' games I ever set eyes on - and have been enthralled with the medium ever since. I particularly love strategy and horror games, the sort offered by titles such as Total War and Silent Hill, though I also have a soft spot for a good RPG. I studied Journalism at university in the hopes of progressing into writing about games, but my 'real job' is as a postman. You'll most likely find me covering indie games as I'm always on the look out for interesting little titles, and generally I stick to the PC and PS4 platforms. I'm not interested in MMOs or really any kind of online game, and I have an unusual and frankly worryingly expensive obsession with collecting gaming guide books, but aside from that I like to think I'm a well rounded average gamer. Find me on twitter @JohnLittle29