Kenshi is a free-roaming role-playing game developed and published by Lo-Fi Games in 2018. The game lets you control one or more characters and explore the huge inhospitable open world filled with hostile creatures and NPC characters representing different factions. The game is available for PC (Windows).
Kenshi is a single-player sandbox game featuring a huge open world, where you are the one who crafts his own adventure. It is played in a fully 3D environment and features a camera that can be freely moved around. Players command one or multiple individual characters and can participate in multiple activities. Some of these include base building structures, crafting, fighting, sneaking, stealing, trading, enslaving other characters, treating injuries, and exploring the world.
World and story
Kenshi takes place in a unique world, which seemingly suffered some kind of catastrophic events in the past. There are robots, electricity and advanced technologies, but inhabitants still rely on swords and crossbows to fight, while wearing clothes and armors from medieval times. There is a clearly visible Japanese influence – melee weapons include katanas, wakizashis, ninja blades, and naginatas.
The game does not have a story mode, but there are multiple books and research notes scattered around the world – these can provide some insight into the history of the world you’re exploring.
The unique combination of RPG and RTS
Kenshi game combines RPG and RTS elements. You are allowed to control one or many different characters, and each one can be given different orders. You may construct buildings, collect resources and make your townies specialized in some tasks. One can focus on smithing, while the other will sow fields, and the other will collect resources to be used in further crafting.
Each character has its own equipment you can manage and his own attributes he can improve. For example, walking with an overloaded backpack will increase his strength, while being beaten in a fight will increase his toughness, allowing him to take more hits in future encounters – if he manages to survive, that is.
Advanced damage system
One of the notable features of Kenshi is its advanced damage system – characters don’t have hit points. Instead, each part of the character’s body has its own health pool and can be damaged independently of the other parts. This means character may suffer from injured arm or leg, and all of this has further implications – damaged arm prevents the character from using this arm to fight, and damaged leg makes the character move slower, or even forces the character to crawl if the damage is serious. After receiving too much damage, the character will fall unconscious and will start losing blood. If his wounds are not treated, he will die.
Craft your own adventure
There are multiple scenarios to choose from when beginning the game, some being more demanding than the others. Whichever you choose, however, does not stop you from developing in any direction you want. For example, one scenario lets you start as a single wanderer with no money and an empty backpack, while the other may let you control the entire squad from the beginning. If you choose the first one, it will make the game significantly harder at first, but you can still hire other squad members later and achieve the same results as those presented in the other scenario. It will just take more time.