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I’ve just started on my quest in Kingdom Come: Deliverance, and I’m not sure what to think about it yet. The medieval open-world adventure — that I’ve started describing as “Skyrim minus fantasy” — takes its time before unleashing you on its world, so I’m still unsure what options I have to solve any particular obstacle. But I found out organically that committing crimes is often a means to achieve certain ends even if it’s in a roundabout fashion.

Kingdom Come is out now on PC and consoles. It’s beautiful thanks to developer Warhorse’s use of the powerful CryEngine development kit, but it’s also quite buggy with a tendency to crash. I’m only a few hours in, which means that my parents are dead, my village is gone, and I’ve found myself embroiled in the matters of the state. But as I started playing today, I was facing a basic challenge: leave town.

After the lengthy intro, I ended up in one of the small hamlets that is on lockdown due to an invading force — y’know, your standard Holy Roman Empire stuff. I wanted to return to my home to bury my family because that’s what the game told me to do, but the guards wouldn’t let me leave. Eventually, after flexing my pectoral muscles, one guard gave me the idea to dress up as a guard to sneak out on patrol.

This is when things went wrong for me.

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I spent a couple of minutes scouring the town looking for unused armor, but I gave up after clumsily sneaking through a couple of homes. My impatience eventually convinced me to take the renegade route.

I guided the hero of Kingdom Come, a boy named Henry, to a remote part of the village where a guard was standing alone. My plan was to knock him out and take his gear before anyone knew what was up. I attempted to knock the soldier out from behind, but my chokehold did not take. The guard spun around, raised his fists, and started swinging. Without thinking, I drew my sword — and then I immediately regretted that decision when the guard and his newly arrived friend pulled theirs out as well.

After realizing the errors of my ways, I put away my sword and surrendered. And because I didn’t have any money, they threw me in a jail cell for the night.

And that’s when everything went right for me.

After rotting away for the evening, I woke up with the guard telling me to piss off … and then they let me go outside of the town. I was free. I had figured out how to get out of the village, and all I had to do was punch someone a little bit. And I think this is the lesson for all you kids out in the world: Crime often pays — at least in Kingdom Come.

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