Death is a given, and that's doubly true for video games. And when death comes, it tends to come in force. Who among us can claim we haven't, at some point in our gaming career, meandered through plains sprinkled with corpses, or waded through rivers of blood past bobbing human remains? If video games are to be believed, corpses are more gregarious than the living. They flock to gruesome sites of executions, torture and massacres, hang themselves from nooses, impale, flay, contort or dismember themselves into bloody bouquets for us to gawk and shudder at in passing.
Try and shake the image of Czech no-fantasy role-playing game Kingdom Come: Deliverance being a small indie thing. Yes it is crowdfunded, to a degree, but no it isn't small. We're talking about a handsome 3D game world powered by CryEngine 3, and about an experience at least 50 hours long, says Daniel Vavra, the man in charge. Deliverance has a 70-person team behind it. Vavra calls it "triple-A", which may be a little over the top, but the point is it's not far off.
Daniel Vavra has a magnificent beard and a DayZ T-shirt. He's squashed in a window on my screen, his image beamed direct from from his Warhorse studio in Prague. In another window is streamed a live demo of his new game Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Remember that next-gen medieval role-playing game with no fantasy that so captured people's attention in December? This is it. And it's beautiful.