Freedom of action above all. Kenshi analysis

Written by Kamran Haider

Role with capital letters. Enter a gigantic post-apocalyptic world and face its innumerable dangers in this ambitious RPG adventure that defines freedom of action. I know what you want to be, without limits, as we told you in the analysis of Kenshi for PC.

Loaded with precious stones and valuables, I happily went to the city ready to sell and, of course, to become rich. I deserved it! After hours of suffering; after fighting, chopping stone, working the earth and digging between corpses, I was beginning to glimpse a promising future in the bleak post-apocalyptic world of Kenshi; But how wrong I was. In a second, almost without realizing it, I had behind me a score of starving bandits who only wanted to kill me with sticks and steal food. I ran. Much. But it was not enough; They were getting closer each time! So I started to drop ballast. I threw the few weapons I was carrying; also some precious stones, minerals and other objects. I was leaving a trail of bread crumbs … which in this case was a hodgepodge of valuables. And in the end, as I saw that even then I could not escape, I undressed. I threw everything to the ground in order to run more than my mortal pursuers. That’s how I came to the big city. I wanted to do it like a king, like the most successful trader of all, but I ended up doing it begging for help, naked, with dozens of thugs behind me.

This is Kenshi, an ambitious role adventure that is born and grows on the idea of freedom. And this is absolute. You can do whatever you want. There are no limits because there are no predetermined objectives that force you to go in one or the other direction. Here you are the one who writes your own story; who decides if he becomes a dangerous mercenary, a great merchant, the leader of a gang of looters or the happiest of farmers. You can enslave others or, well, suffer yourself this terrible fate. They can put you in jail, or cripple you in such a way that after a fight, you end up without an arm, or a leg, or dead! And life will go on as if nothing because free will governs the lives of the inhabitants that swarm through the wasteland that recreates this challenging RPG. The feeling is incredible but it can also be hard, quite rough, considering that nobody tells you where to go or what to do. It is practice, trial, and error that will help you understand and survive the many dangers that await here; and still, you may still feel lost, lacking guidance, despite the numerous tutorials with which the game seeks to soften the entry into this chaotic and crazy post-apocalyptic world.

A nobody trying to survive

There is a maxim that defines Kenshi’s action. You are one more; one of many poor wretches who fight to survive one more day in this world so Mad Max style that recreates the game. You do not have unique abilities, nor more health than others, nor a greater dexterity with the handling of weapons. You are simply and plainly … a nobody. And it’s not bad. The idea is great because, in the end, this RPG is about surviving, not about saving the world. “I do not like being told what to do or how to play,” Kenshi’s chief executive, Chris Hunt, said at the time., who for about six years worked alone in the project. “I do not want to be offered missions, I do not want a predesigned character that is stronger than the rest to start with, what’s so funny about this?” Continues the creative, who has spent 12 years developing Kenshi.

It’s a risky decision because, as I was saying, you start the game without a goal or destination to which to go. What will you do to survive? That’s the question that gives rise to your adventure and as it happened with the great The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, is the element that gives rise to write your own story; to which, based on your actions and encounters with other characters, you have anecdotes to share with other players. Each game is unique, each user lives their own role adventure, and is an aspect that enhances the game. Based on its action, it resembles that of any other survival adventure in the sense not only of eating so as not to die of hunger; It is also important to collect raw materials, research new technologies, manufacture weapons and tools, and even build an entire city.Freedom of action above all

It is a very challenging videogame that does not forgive mistakes

Freedom is absolute because you can also go through all this and engage in pillage; be a scoundrel stealing and murdering. Nobody is going to judge you for it. “Be good, bad, a businessman, a thief, live in a city, in the desert, travel alone, in hordes, build fortresses, raze a city, Kenshi will not set limits or restrict your personal style of play” , says the official description of a videogame that presents a world without separate zones of more than 870 square kilometers , reaching dimensions similar to those of the classic Daggerfall of the well-known The Elder Scrolls saga. In the visual, this is reflected in a varied environment, with a great diversity of locations, which hide great dangers and exciting mysteries. This is something that will motivate us to go out there; to get away from our comfort zone to try to find out what has happened in the world around us, although as I pointed out before, sometimes the game can be so hard and scanty in details, that you feel lost without knowing what to do.

When it comes to fighting Kenshi is very challenging in the early stages of the adventure. You are a poor wretch, filthy, who has nowhere to fall dead, and that in practice means that even the vilest and miserable creature can end your life if you are not careful. The practice is the best teacher, I said before, but it is not a simple slogan. Suffering a defeat, even if it means losing an arm, can make us stronger in the face of future confrontations. The recovery will be long and painful, also expensive if we look for a good prosthesis, but there are few things as satisfying as overcoming these challenges and moving forward.RPG without levels

There are so many possibilities, so many crazy stories to live in this video game, that it costs not to get excited

Practice. Everything revolves around it because this is an RPG without levels or classes to use. Each of the characters you control will improve their skills based on the actions they perform, very much in line with Skyrim and other titles of the style. Fighting with certain weapons will make us stronger in the use of them, just as cultivating the land will make us experts in agriculture, or curing the wounded will make us great doctors. The progression, although slow at times, it is satisfying because you feel that each act has consequences, giving you the freedom to configure a team of survivors of the most diverse. You can up to 30 characters in your charge, organizing them into groups that can automate certain tasks, such as feeding, working or doing defense work so that the experience is not absolute chaos. What happens when it comes to fighting?

Kenshi is a very challenging videogame that does not forgive mistakes, and although when you acquire a great level a single character can end up with whole groups of looters -their level does not grow at our pace-, it is convenient to make use of the strategy to not suffer more from the account. In this sense, we have actions such as “mock” that will allow rivals to focus on the character with better defensive capacity while the rest attack from afar, or with accurate shots with knives. You will check if you accept mercenary contracts, going after the steps of dangerous outlaws that will test your skill. Or defending your domains from the attack of ninjas and other bands of great power. Everything can happen in Kenshi’s world, so we can not stay stuck. You have to move,

There are so many possibilities, so many crazy stories to life in this videogame, that it is hard not to get excited when you enter an ancient ruin or visit a new society. There are details that I love, like that sacred, extremely racist nation that asks you to give to non-human characters, so maybe I would have liked to find a better plot base that in some way, subtly guided us through the vast world of Kenshi. It is a difficult video game that has no compassion, and that can also scare more than one due to a discrete technical section which, it is obvious, is not your best virtue. It is certainly an ugly game with a somewhat old-fashioned user interface, but all this takes a back seat when you discover everything that hides inside. It is a game to which you can spend hundreds of hours and keep surprising you, continue enjoying unique stories, and that is the great strength of Kenshi.discrete technical section

Kenshi will not set limits or restrict your personal game style.

It is difficult to recommend your purchase because there are few games so ambitious in terms of freedom of action. There are no aids, nor guides, nor great objectives that mark the course of the adventure. You are against the world; You just face the danger, which is something that can scare more than one. It is not something negative per se, although I have missed a greater narrative load that motivated me to delve into Kenshi’s world, as well as a better rhythm of the action since sometimes you can feel that you have stagnated without much what to do beyond waiting for the resources to move forward.

Recommended: Analysis of Cadence of Hyrule, the indie that gave rhythm to the Triforce


Do not be fooled by appearances. Although this is an ugly and rough game in the visuals, Kenshi hides inside one of the deepest and most detailed RPG experiences of recent years. It is amazing the freedom of action that provides for you to explore and live your own adventure in a gigantic post-apocalyptic world. It can be extremely hard and sometimes the lack of a clear objective detracts from its value, but if you like the role and accept the challenge you will enjoy a unique adventure with the capacity to surprise even after many hours of play.

  • An immense role adventure with brutal freedom of action
  • It allows you to be what you want, from a fierce warrior to a humble farmer
  • Wide options to build a city or improve weapons
  • The feeling of progression, of growing and becoming stronger …
  • … although it may be an excessively harsh game in the early stages
  • Graphically it is a very discreet videogame
  • Since there is no main story, sometimes the pace of the action can be very slow


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Kamran Haider

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