Kenshi is a role-playing video game developed and published by Lo-Fi Games for Windows. The game focuses on providing sandbox gameplay features that give the player freedom to do what they want in its world instead of focusing on a linear story. Kenshi’s development was primarily led by a single person over the course of twelve years, and was released on December 6, 2018.
Kenshi takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting and allows characters to be a thief, a trader, or a myriad of other options. The game has received mostly positive reviews from critics, who have commented on its depth, its MMO-style gameplay, and its difficulty.
Metascore: 75 / 100
User Score (Steam): 8.3 / 10
This game greets you with an impossibly shoddy front end that makes you feel dirty.
10 years in development and it feels unfinished and out of date. Devs are working on “Kenshi 2” - so it’s reliant on community mods for the much needed additional content.
I didn’t actually get to play this game as such due to the Steam 2 hour refund policy, but the time I spent painfully going thru the character gen and tutorial was enough to convince me that I’d be better off spending time elsewhere.
I wanted to fall in love with this game for a long time but it just feels wrong as a solo sandbox to me. Co-op mode would make it more appealing if you can forgive the painful graphics and out-dated game design overall. Retro rpg.
So much awesomesauce, I´m drunk in pain and brutality, fattened by so much exploration and horror!
The game is RTS with RPG and survival elements that is a great sandbox experience that doesn´t feel lacking! It kinda mixes Fallout (the 3D kind, I know, I know…) and Mount and Blade (sans the horses) and maybe a bit of State of Decay (you´re a group, not just a single character anymore, as soon as you “hire” someone).
And kudos for the community! The mods really elevate the game, like how they done to Bethesda (but the Vanilla game actually works without them!) and there are a plethora of stuff to choose from, which astoundings me since is a indie game, without half the resources of companies who promises AAA titles and just fall short.
Kenshi is hard to quantify, it is as open as you want it to be, and the character creator is a thing of beauty. Want to be a roving murder hobo, collecting bounties on bad guys? Sure. Want to murder everyone in a town? Doable! Just want to build a base and grow some wheat? Okie Dokie! Want to steal every plate and cup in every town? . . . sure why the hell not? Want to declare war on the entire ‘civilized’ world, free all the slaves and remove the legs of everyone else? You do you! Be warned though it is extremely hard to make it as a singleton so you’ll probably want a team of miscreants, at least at first.
Mod support is great and expands the game in ways I don’t even think the Dev intended there’s mods that let you take over towns and another that lets you recruit prisoners… and another one that increases the character creation sliders to ludicrous extremes.
Found a guy who got beaten up by guards i healed him while he was unconscious and then kidnapped him of course i only healed the important parts of his body broken legs or arms aren’t important its just to make sure he doesn’t escape because i didn’t have a cage for him yet.
Then i took him to my shack and turned him into a living punching bag to level up martial arts skill i just beat him unconscious and then healed him again i kept doing this over and over again lol now my giant big titty shek woman can fist people into pieces.
Wow, just wow. I first tried this game and was like WTF is this?? After a few years I was going through my library and decided to give it another shot. I got about 30 minutes in then just gave up because it seemed kind of lame. After about another year or so, no games were just grabbing my attention. I had a lot of free time so I figured what the hey, I’m going to give it a proper shot this time. One of the best decisions I’ve made. The game started out slow and took a bit of research to learn the ropes, but after I got going I was truly blown away. Long story short, I am now Gary Oldman from The Book of Eli. Except with an army of synths…
Also, do yourself a favor and download the convert prisoners mod.
Never before have I attempted to play a game that so obviously hates its players and wants them to **** off.
In trying to avoid the generic RPG cliches of the player being some inevitable chosen one the game goes too far in the opposite direction and makes the player absolutely worthless and incapable.
Doesn’t matter how much you level up (which takes too ******* long, and you start off with all stats at 1. The weakest enemies, the starving hobos armed with rusted pipes, have at least 5 in combat stats even with the starvation debuff applied. They also come in groups of five to over forty.) you will still get beaten down by large groups of random ******** who have lower stats than you but still win through sheer numbers and RNG. Even if you hire and train strong followers it doesn’t matter. They’ll still get beaten down by numbers and RNG. Save scumming is absolutely not optional. There’s no challenge to the combat. It all comes down to numbers, the number of fighters on each side, and the stats. However it appears the amount of fighters is more important than stats. Combat is completely noninteractive aside from designating targets. No skill is required. Ok, fine, but no strategy is needed either. Just numbers. I’m no stranger to difficult games, I’ve completed games known for their challenge (Sekiro, Doom Eternal, etc). This is not one of them. It’s arbitrary.
Better spend several real life hours getting beaten up by half starved troglodytes so you have a chance to not die against just one of them. Then you can spend several real life hours staring at meters fill while mining so you can buy actual weapons and food. Because there’s no way to forage for food, unless you hunt stuff, but all the animals will kill you quicker than the hobos. and you will starve to death in less than a day by default. There’s also virtually no interaction with any characters. 9/10 characters cannot be talked to anyway.
Everything just takes too damn long. Even getting around does. The map is big, but mostly empty desert and rocks. The worldbuilding is interesting at least, what little there is I guess. One selling point of the game is the freedom the player has. But no, you actually only have one viable path. Grinding and building a base to grind marginally more efficiently. All other paths will get you nowhere.
The UI is obtuse as hell, building and farming are slow and boring (How does one manage to destroy wheat when attempting to harvest it?). The AI is comedically inept. And sound design is non existent. There’s apparently an original soundtrack, but I’ve never noticed any music in the game at all. I wanted to like this game, but my patience has run out and I no longer care.
Walked around a desert hauling approximately 10 tons of raw iron for 30 days, got knocked out by every bandit who passed by, nearly got eaten by every passing dog, and punched a limbless man for 10 days straight. Next thing you know I can literally run at 30 miles an hour, punch a mans limbs off in a single blow, get stabbed 30 times by a buster blade and ask for another, and piss off an entire nation just by existing. I began hunting down every possible cannibal I could find, questioned if genocide was ethical if it was cannibals, realized “Reject morality, play Kenshi” and slaughtered over 300 cannibals with my fists over the course of a day or two. Thinking about toppling the closest nation. Good game, 10/10.
I saw this game at launch but didn’t think too much about it. Now almost 2 years later I got the game and I love it. Can’t say too much about it right now as I’m just in my first play-through. There is a learning curve, the game doesn’t hold your hand or tell you want to do really, aside from the occasional tip. This game isn’t forgiving if you make a mistake, I just suggest to save often. There is also an insane modding community, so you can go wild there.
The only game that I feel like is even close to being similar to Kenshi would be Rimworld in a sense of how it operates when it comes to colony and squad management. There of course are still many differences that are obvious. Such as the setting, time period, rimworld is more scifi and kenshi is more fantasy. I absolutely love Kenshi. I feel like it’s so unique in its ability to put all the controls in the players hands. From character customization, to making your own story for entire groups of playable characters, to it’s unprecedented mod support, all the way to being able to go into the engine of the game and make your own changes to just about anything in the world to suit your liking. Kenshi is probably, despite it’s steep learning curve, the most user friendly game ever made. About the learning curve, it’s not THAT bad. I watched a few videos on other people playing it and I now feel like I’ve mastered the game. What’s so enjoyable is the game is literally as challenging as you want it to be. You can chill out and just be a merchant, or have a bustling city running while you have a small army out patrolling the world ending slavery. The game also has a cute charm to it with it’s enjoyable sense of humor, despite people screaming as their limbs are cut off in combat.
Kenshi does have it’s bugs. It does have performance issues. But that has never made me want to put it down. There are mods for both of those issues. Games like Kenshi deserve all the support in the world though. Thank you for reading.
This is kind of a lengthy one, so yeah
Allow me to paint a picture of my experience with this game. I’m sure it won’t stand out from many other stories about this game, but here is a particular memory that sticks out from 6 months ago when I was playing this game:
My little slice of civilization exists out in the Black Desert, which has acidic sand and clouds of choking dust that float about, as well as its own brand of ninjas that haunt it. These are minor inconveniences for my robot crew. My meatbag slaves just get to tough it out though, some of them even have shoes. I’ve also expanded into the swamps to create a small 100% legal non-suspicious farm. The human scouting party that had set it up has been phased out (eaten by blood spiders and swamp raptors) and replaced by robots at this point.
As i’m watching over my better robot scouting party fight a group of bandits who think they’re gorillas, I notice that my slaves are under attack at my main outpost, I tab over to see about 15 cloud ninjas (which usually travel in packs of 3-4) in base cutting up my workers, as I get my security forces to move in on them, I get three notices: 1) the holy nation is sending a large attacking force at my main camp 2)a trade caravan is coming to my main base and 3) dust bandits are attacking my 100% legal plantation.
By this point, I have not finished walling off my main outpost, so this is a problem as they can just walk right in and avoid the kill box I’m setting up. I get my sec out of the plantation to the main outpost and leave the workers to their fate, which is honestly the way they would have wanted to go. after about 10 minutes of fighting and cleaning up the cloud ninjas, I see that the holy nation is about a 5 minute walk away. I already knew they were close when my computer slowed to a halt when they rendered into the game, all pissing and moaning about their feet burning and skin being melted by the acid rain. Upon seeing my robots on the walls, they fly into a holy frenzy and immediately start the crusade. At the same time the dust bandits showed up to my plantation. After giving orders to who’s at the outpost (plantation crew is still miles away and don’t make it until well after the chaos), i switch over to watch the massacre of the plantation, only to see that they want to talk. I send someone out to talk to their leader, the options it gives me is something like: pay money to make them leave, argue, break his jaw (my memory is fuzzy here). Knowing my literal slaves have some pent up aggression, I decided to let him vent a little before he dies, I mean, there were literally like 50 dudes that showed up to kill the 5 left there, so death was all but certain. To my surprise, they actually ran away when this happened. I wanna say my computer literally fabricated that outcome out of sheer survival instinct though, so idk. After that, panning back to the outpost, at this point, it is just drenched in blood, guts, severed limbs, and ass. there’s a good 20-30 people KO’ed and actively dying. the vast majority of their forces were fodder, but after the 5 or so units of quality finally went down about 5 minutes later, it was back to business as usual. Only now the path between my outpost and the nearest holy nation city looks like Cottenwood Cove from New Vegas thanks to a mod or two. Finally as I’m burning/crucifying the last of the bodies, the trade caravan comes. Since they don’t react to anything that i’m doing, I assume it is a normal encounter for them. They sell me books that teach me the long lost art of making bathtub moonshine quality sake, which prompts my next endeavor for my plantation.
If you fail to understand the appeal after reading this, this game probably isn’t for you. This is also a tame story in comparison to many from this game
Kenshi is one of the greatest games I have ever played. Combine a rpg style with rts controls (real time strategy, like something you might have seen in age of empires or starcraft) and you have one of the most unique experiences ever to come to fruition in a videogame. The art style is something you can tell was handled with immense care and passion. You find yourself on a dry, dystopian planet teeming with life. There are many races and factions in Kenshi with their own ideals and prejudice against eachother. Its up to you to form your own purpose here. Kenshi, much like the beloved Dark Souls series does NOT hold hands. Its up to YOU to figure out what YOU want to do. You can choose from many different backrounds and races before starting a game. Will you start enslaved by the holy nation? Forced to work for them while you plan your escape and revenge? Will you purchase property and be a humble merchant? Will you build your own base out in the wild and defend against constant attacks from bandits and other factions that will inevitably attack you? Or perhaps you’d like to begin a life crawling on your belly in the desert, with your limbs cut off. Hoping one day you can find robotic parts to replace your severed limbs. In Kenshi, The choice is yours. There is no path in Kenshi, other than the one you the player, set for yourself. It might be the most non linear rpg I have ever played in that respect.
There is so much to cover for what makes Kenshi a good game so I will try and describe a few other things.
When you start a game of Kenshi you can do whatever you want for the most part. Including recruiting others. and once you recruit someone, they become playable just like your character. So you can form a small group with their own responsibilities, and assign them jobs. You could build a whole base for example and have many many recruits running around like ants doing their assigned job. The industrial factors of Kenshi are some of its most unique. You can train yourself and recruits alike to be better and faster at certain jobs. like using a mounted crossbow to protect your base, or farming, or building new walls or machines, or mining, or being a doctor and healing everyone, or working a fabric loom to turn hemp into fabric. (thats right you can grow hemp in kenshi, its also illegal in certain areas and guards will check your bags in certain areas)
There is an endless list of things to do in Kenshi. But if you find your purpose it will take you on one of the most unique adventures you could hope to have in a rpg.
If you are interested in what I did in Kenshi I will tell you. I started out enslaved by the holy nation, forced to sleep in a cage at night and mine stone during the day. but at night I would pick my lock, and I would start stealing food and armor and placing it in bins for the day I plan to escape. I started to free other slaves at night and they too would learn to pick locks and aid me on my escape. Eventually I did make it out, and I ran south until I found a city outside holy nation territory that would take me and my ex-slave pals in. I worked mining copper outside the city, and lived in the local bar until I could afford a house. Then I started to buy more recruits, they could mine more and I had more money for food. Then eventually I bought a research bench and learned there was a giant list of things I could create. I eventually hoarded a giant supply of building materials so I could find a nice place to build my base. I found an area with iron and water and built a castle around it. At this point my population has nearly doubled and I have a team that stays at my base and works/protects my front gate from near constant barrages of enemies. My main crew is exploring the land, looking for materials and resources to make my people stronger until I one day have an army big enough to take over the holy nation and take revenge.
This is what makes Kenshi so special. There are so many races and factions and backrounds you could start out in.
This game is a perfect little gem like no other, the play is different, and the developer is kind and always reaching out to their fans and supporters, a game to play for those looking for both a hardcore and casual playthrough. the game is %100 roleplay mixed with strategy you are making your own story, with as many or little amounts of people as you want, wanna be a bounty hunter? cool, its there! wanna start a village or outlaw’s den? sure why not! maybe you wanna take over the world… yeah, you can do that to! anything you hearts wants! even the weird and dark sided such as slavery, and cannibals, and torture. any if you want more the mods for it are endless and the developer supports the modders as well! so grab some chips a drink and some free time cause before you know it you’ll be lost! and i mean literally and figuratively there is no objective or goals besides the ones you make! i would watch someone else play the game on you-tube though just so you know the basics on how to play.
Its my alterego
Just a wild world… tons to explore, enjoyable character growth… even when beaten up by bandits and left for dead, you come out of it (potentially) tougher, for the next fight. You wouldn’t know it starting out, but the base-building and task/crafting interactions are pretty cool. Once you start having food self-sufficiency and defenses, it allows you to generate income without just looting, and you can focus more on exploration.
All in all, an enjoyable game. It might feel a bit sparse, but… it’s fitting, being a sparse and brutal world. It’s an interesting choice that it does not take place in the most interesting times. You aren’t the “savior.” There’s no brink of disaster. This is set when post apocalyptic has settled into a new normal, when the distant past was, age upon age, more advanced than the present. I love the feel.
I bought this… four weeks ago? I’ve got over 200 hours in the game. I’ve literally played it to the exclusion of everything else on my computer, and being unemployed I have far too much time on my hands.
The engine’s clunky, the AI can be dumb, there’s bugs, there’s exploits so cheesy you can smell the camembert, but it’s an incredibly unique experience for me. It’s an open world RPG that takes the “open world” part to the extreme. I’d argue the only one I’ve played more open world than this has been D&D, which doesn’t count because there’s a human running it.
This game is ridiculously good. It’s an open world sandbox that’s intensely moddable if there’s anything you want to change. I’ve played, as of posting this review, fifty hours on one character and nearly a hundred on another. You can be a trader, a raider, a settlement builder, a crusader, even a skin peeling robot; and you best believe you’ll find npcs doing this. The one critique I’ll make is that being written in Python makes it kinda unwieldly, but the bugs are well worth the revolutionary experience.
Kenshi is quite an unusual game, but ultimately it’s either an RPG writ large or an RTS writ small. EIther way the game is great fun. Absolutely no quests or ‘railroaded’ content - it’s similar to a sprawling D&D campaign written by a Dungeon Master with little time to prepare. I get the most out of it when I set myself a particular goal rather than just survival - in that way it’s similar to Paradox games like Crusader Kings or EU4. There are also terrific mods available; recruitable prisoners is a must, as is DarkUI. One to sink a few hours into understanding the systems and the hostility of the world, but once you get the hang of it you’ll have great fun. Looking forward to Kenshi II.
A great game for a large time sink. If you’re not interested in a game so open-world sandbox that you have absolutely no story line except for what you can scavenge from broken buildings and small dialogue, then this game isn’t for you and you have wasted your time reading this. If you do however, then this game is likely to peak your interest. A mixture of samurai, desert punk RPG with light city building mechanics which only get better thanks to an excellent development team and excellent modding community. Definitely worth the money if you’re into the type of niche this game provides
Absolute perfection. The best game I have ever played. Exploration? You can send a squad of ragtag hooligans across the map, discovering diverse regions with unique enemies and ruins, and hope they don’t get chased by robot spiders, beak things, or human skin stealing bandits. Combat? You can train your squad to use any weapon you chose, including their own fists. Watch them go from clumsy babies to kung fu fighters that can remove limbs with every jumping kick. Management? If you so choose, you can build a city, garrison and barricade it, then use it as your base of operations. You can farm for food or profit, and the option is always there for you to become an illegal hashish producer. You can have individual squads of smiths, laborers, farmers, and guards and watch as they get better at their respective tasks.
Everything mentioned above is only made better with the very easy modding here in the steam workshop. Want a mod for a premade kung fu master character? What about a mod that lets you capture and recruit prisoners to expand your base? Anything is possible. This game is a masterpiece and you are criminally depriving yourself if you do not buy it.
This game until you figure it out is brutal, you are not the hero of this story, you are a seal, and everyone has a club that they will liberally beat you with. I absolutely love it!
Your character’s appearance will change dynamically as they gain more strength, dexterity, or martial artistry. You can be as good or worse than you ever thought possible. It doesn’t care if you’re offended, it doesn’t care if you be the hero, the world of Kenshi is what I wish every game was like.
A masterpiece let down by graphics and optimizations. It must be said there are issues but I don’t care. Make a sequel, I must have more, shut up, take my money!
20 / 10 Play it!
If there was a double recommend, I would give it for this game.
It’s a little intimidating at first but the world is so open and fun, I’ve had an entire emergent story that trumps most campaign story modes in just the starting two town. I built up a city from nothing, an army too, lost both the city and the army when I drew too much attention, the two survivors trained themselves as ninjas and become international drug dealers to make money, then went about assassinating the leaders of the factions that killed their friends and destroyed their city. That’s the kind of stuff that just happens on its own and there’s so much more to do. It runs well, it animates well, it can be a bit buggy but bugs are easy to fix and community support is vast. I cannot believe a game this great is so unheard of. Buy it, you won’t regret it, just don’t be afraid to look up help.