A free-roaming squad based RPG. Focusing on open-ended sandbox gameplay features rather than a linear story. Be a trader, a thief, a rebel, a warlord, an adventurer, a farmer, a slave, or just food for the cannibals. Research new equipment and craft new gear.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (95 reviews) - 78% of the 95 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (2,512 reviews) - 84% of the 2,512 user reviews for this game are positive.

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Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Kenshi is currently in alpha state. The game is still in development and is missing many features. There are currently unfinished gameplay features, and the stability will fluctuate as new features are added. Expect crashes and bugs at this stage.
But remember the game receives regular ongoing updates and improvements, by purchasing at this early stage you get the game for a reduced price and can watch it gradually grow and improve, provide your feedback to the developer, and above all you are helping to fund the development for a small independent developer. Remember: the price will gradually increase over time as development progresses, so the sooner you purchase, the lower the price.”
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Recent updates View all (105)

October 7

Update 0.93.28 Out Now (Stable)

***UPDATE: Expect delays for October's optimization update. New ETA 4th November, if all goes smoothly. Apologies for the inconvenience.***

Update 0.93.28 has now been moved over to the main stable branch. Please report any bugs via our Steam or Official forums and we'll look into them as soon as possible.

  • Stealth sound overhaul. When sneaking, targets will sometimes hear you. The chance depends on distance and skill. A zero-skill character will be lucky if he can sneak around a shop without being detected. This gives more XP to compensate.
  • Stealing chances rebalanced
  • Town guards will investigate buildings that have their doors left open at night. They can recognise intruders.
  • You can no longer steal from your hired bodyguards if they get knocked out, they will now see it as a betrayal. IF they see it happen, that is.
This is the result of some extensive testing, to further balance the hunger system in the way originally intended
  • hunger time is doubled again. It takes almost twice as long to get hungry.
  • food nutritional quality is halved, but also food cost is halved too. Remember the yellow and red states are supposed to be starvation, your ribs are showing, you shouldn't be able to fully recover from malnutrition with just 1 meal.
    So, technically speaking, those 2 above result in the same amount of eating and costs, its just stretched over a slower timeframe now.
  • Food is no longer a trade good, so you only get 50% of its value when you sell it. Bread won't make you rich anymore. This will double-up as a plot point with the Trader's Guild later on. The cash crop will be drugs and alcohol.
Over the last few years the economy of Kenshi has seen some inflation so I've re-balanced it a little
  • Recruits cost a lot more to hire, it's not so easy to rapidly get a bigger squad early on.
  • Cost of books is doubled
  • Bounty amounts for crimes are roughly doubled
  • You can no longer sell armour that is part of another factions uniform
  • Cooking food speed is x3, but ingredient cost is x8. Now the focus is less on waiting around for cooking, and more on running farms and protecting your crops until harvest time.
  • Properly added the research and crafting for the 3 main alcoholic drinks. These are the new cash crop as food was made less profitable in the last update.
  • Chainmail is 50% heavier
  • Tons of new weapons! The number has doubled. More interesting blunt and hacking weapons, polearms added, blunt skill unlocked, old ones overhauled visually. Rare and unusual weapons to find.
  • Weapon types have more characteristics and stats have been rebalanced. Weapons can have advantages or penalies when used indoors, and bonus damage against certain opponents or animals.
  • Characters will automatically switch to their side-arm weapon when indoors, if it has less of an indoors penalty than their main weapon.
  • Crafted weapon quality is limited by character skill
  • Crafted armour quality is entirely dictated by character skill (no need for further research)
  • Crafting has a critical success chance, if character is skillful there is a chance the final item will be one grade higher.
  • material costs and craft time vary by weapon type
  • Crafted gear is now "imprinted" with the name of the smith
  • Scattered appropriate weapon blueprints around the world
  • Performance boost! I measured an average 5-10 fps increase. This is not the main Ogre 2.0 performance update, that comes later.
  • Added a simple thieves/assassins guild
  • You can now stealth-knockout sleeping NPCs
  • Bounties are now assigned by factions. Committing a crime in the Holy Nation won't make you a criminal in the Empire or Shek Kingdom.
  • Tuned the "spawn" distributions. Should reduce the situations where you defeated a bandit or animal squad and then more and more kept coming to fill the population vacuum.
  • Also implemented a mild co-existence system, so small time villages don't get instantly wiped out by their dangerous evironment eg the BeakThing-Hiver wars
  • When your character gets sucked dry by a vampiric creature and dies, it leaves behind all his gear and clothes, just sitting there empty where once was your beloved character.
  • You can no longer sell a fence back their own items that you stole from them
  • Athletics XP rate reduced by 25%
  • Labouring skill XP rate increased 50%
  • Inventory interface subtly tuned to be a little nicer to use
  • Weapon prices doubled to match up with the armour prices
  • Added more treasure 'n stuff
  • Using equipment/ dummies in npc owned buildings is now illegal. You need to join the thieves guild if you want to use training equipment.
  • Some small tweaks to Scorchlanders
  • Added low-tiers to higher level weapon benches, just so its less confusing when you don't have any high level options available to craft there
  • Tiny additional map content update. Added some simple tips to the mechanical shop keepers dialog.
  • The AI now knows when it is in a chase, and should give up properly when they lose sight of you.
  • Food ingredients are now shown in the item tooltip and crafting window

42 comments Read more

October 6

0.93.28 Experimental

0.93.28 is out now! This is on experimental only, to opt-in you have to right-click on Kenshi in your Steam games list -> properties -> betas tab -> then choose “experimental”. 0.93.20 is the current stable version.

  • Fixed weapon smith critical successes not working
  • Fixed inaccurate gui info in the weapon smith
  • Armour smithing capped at "specialist" grade (unless you get a critical success)
  • Added missing armoured rags to the crafting bench
  • Fixed "get out of my house" dialog events when you were in a cage
  • Fixed "intruder" events when you just get released from prison, also added a notification

5 comments Read more
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"This level of thoughtfulness and ambition is why I learned to love the PC in the first place and I’ll be damned before I put on my cynical hat before I have good reason."
Rock Paper Shotgun

About This Game

A free-roaming squad based RPG. Focusing on open-ended sandbox gameplay features rather than a linear story. Be a trader, a thief, a rebel, a warlord, an adventurer, a farmer, a slave, or just food for the cannibals. Research new equipment and craft new gear. Purchase and upgrade your own buildings to use as safe fortified havens when things go bad, or use them to start up a business. Aid or oppose the various factions in the world while striving for the strength and wealth necessary to simply survive in the harsh desert. Train your men up from puny victims to master warriors. Carry your wounded squad mates to safety and get them all home alive.


System Requirements

    • OS:64-bit Windows
    • Processor:Dual-core 64-bit
    • Memory:4 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Pixel shader 3.0 capable card
    • DirectX®:11
    • Hard Drive:14GB HD space
    • OS:Windows 7 64-bit
    • Processor:Quad-core 64-bit
    • Memory:8 GB RAM
    • DirectX®:11
    • Hard Drive:14GB HD space
Customer reviews
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Mostly Positive (95 reviews)
Very Positive (2,512 reviews)
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2,055 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
1,068 of 1,147 people (93%) found this review helpful
437 people found this review funny
30.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: January 25, 2015
I remember when I first got this game, back in summer of '13. I had started out with nothing but the clothes on my back, some cash, and a rusty sword.

First thing to do was to find some buddies to help, and so I went to the nearest town. In a tavern I met a short bald man (though we were all bald back then). His name was Dirt, and this was my new best friend. Dirt and I did some pretty bad things then, luring guards to get killed by starving bandits, and then stealing all of the gear. This changed when we both got a little close one fight, and got chased by bandits all the way into the entrance of town. There weren't enough men to hold them all back, so I went into a tavern to see if anyone could help. I found a huge man, named Vedi. Vedi was willing to help for a price, and after paying him he went out there with a rusty sword and killed 3 of the bandits before he passed out from blood loss, effectively saving the town.

It was the three of us for a good, long time. We killed many a cannibal and a bandit, and soon enough came upon the idea to make our own outpost, a safe haven to keep us secure and resupply when the going got tough. There was a town nearby, so all we had to do was get a few materials here and there and after a week maybe it would be set. By this time all three of us were pretty decked out, myself having a good long coat, Vedi with a huge cleaver, and Dirt with a tricorn hat. Most cannibals were either afraid of us by this point, or dead, there wasn't much worry of our safety by now.

We had almost finished the small base, with Vedi and I working on some some construction, so it was Dirt's turn to go get the materials. We had both finished our construction, and so had waited for Dirt to come back. A day had gone by, we were starting to get worried. By noon the next day, Vedi and I had decided to risk it and leave the base, to go see where Dirt had gone. The next town over must surely know where he went?

We didn't even make it halfway across when we found him, laying on the ground.

His hat and sword weren't far from him, and there were two dead bandits next to him. Incisions and cuts were all across his body, bones broken and blood everywhere. Vedi cried, I stared for a good long time, before getting his hat and sword. I walked to the nearest bandit encampment, which some members looked wounded, and slaughtered them all with Vedi, after he finally caught up.

Time has passed since that day, and the small base we had thought of originally is now a bustling town, with nearly eight residents there, all dressed and ready to defend their home. These people are the best I could have asked for, and I still keep the tricorn hat as a symbol of office, with Vedi forgoeing his cleaver for that sword, as his symbol of guard captain. But as much as I love these people, and would die for them, they will never be that man whom Vedi and I came to know as our best friend.

R.I.P. Dirt.
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527 of 573 people (92%) found this review helpful
153 people found this review funny
37.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: November 16, 2015
Hour 1: Ugh.. man... this one might be a refund

Hour 2: Yah... this is silly, running around in a low res desert, wierd glitches, just ain't a good game....

Hour 3: I mean.. this is silly, running from more bandits, scrapping stuff...

Hour 5: I've got to keep this unit together while they mine, I'll have my auxillaries patrolling,

Hour 10: Jeez? It's been a whole RL day of this? This.. wierdly horrible game... wierdly.. amazing...

Hour 20: My outpost lives on the edge of the sands and death, traders come now and then, but overall we maintain neutral relations

Hour 25: I hope nobody visits me RL today, so that I don't get interrupted as my settlement flourishes in the wastlands.

There you go. It's a tough start. It's an ugly start. It's a painful start. But every inch after that is pure glory.

If you ever loved squad based rpg, tactical fighting, (think semi-baldergate-esque) well this takes it and throws in crafting, slavery, factions, squads, crafting, and it looks like a whole lot more in the future. I understand that development has been slow on this game, so if you are not okay with Bugs / Early Access, then hold on for now. There are definitely bugs. Some of them F stuff up. None of them have stopped my constantly growing love/enjoyment of this game.

AFAIK there is no story of any sort yet, it's left completely open world, open ended, create your own story.

6/10 - Graphics
6/10 - Sounds
6/10 - UI
9/10 - Gameplay
10/10 - Replayability
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
325 of 346 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
56.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 18, 2014
Kenshi is a game where you start off feeling small, incapable, and alone. From the get go, you are basically a nobody; just another face in the crowd, another cog in the machine, another meatbag for the grinder - but it's not what you are, but what you would rather be, and how you get there that makes this game enjoyable. The journey to the ultimate destination of your own choosing is where the fun lies. Will you be a lone trader, looking to accrue the greatest mountain of wealth the post apocalyptic world has ever seen? Or a wandering swordsman who hides their true strength to dispatch armies with relative ease? Perhaps a general at the head of your own personal body guard? Or the mayor of a little tiny village just beyond the next dune? Regardless of what your goal is, it is exactly that - yours.

When I started playing Kenshi, the one thing that first struck me was the graphics. Relatively blocky, and a bit funny to look at in some cases, i.e.: buildings clipping in a sand dune, or walls built at unreasonable angles. But, I don't play a game for graphics; to me that's just a secondary benefit. What I'm after is the gameplay, and what I was in store for really put a smile on my face.

My character started out in a small town on top of a mountain range. I could see another down off in the distance, and figured that I'd walk there after exploring this little fortress in the sky. Did I mention that the towns are more like fortresses? I didn't? Well, imagine a town surrounded by walls taller that the highest in-game building, with a group of 20 or so very heavily armed and skilled guards for it's protection. That's what constitutes a town in Kenshi. 'Relative' safety, but I'll get to that in a minute.

Heading towards the other town, I noticed that a group of bandits had started charging up the hill at me. I thought, "A group of bandits? Looks like fun, let's try out the combat!" and to my astonishment, I was obliterated. Beaten to within an inch of death, bleeding out in the beating sun, unconscious. My stomach had taken massive damage, and one of my arms was pretty much useless. I had been surrounded, beaten up, and left for dead. And my assailants? Took off to raid the town. Luckily, the city guard switfly dispatched them, but I was left on the hill. So, fast forward about half an in-game day, and I limp back to town (of course, I looted those bandits that attacked me and left them for dead; take that!). After patching myself up sufficiently, I take to luring bandits to town to enjoy the fighting with the guards and levelling myself up.

Now, speaking of levelling up, skills are sorted into multiple sections: dexterity, strength, the various weapon skills, just to name a few. You gain proficiency by performing the tasks. You get stronger by carrying heavy objects around, not by killing a few rats like some other games, but not like there's anything wrong with them. You develop your character through hard work and dedication. Want to become better at running? Take off your heavy equipment and do a few laps. Don't know how to swing your weapon? Engage a training dummy or another person for all that matters. Even your ability to widthstand pain can be increased. How? By losing. That's right, you are rewarded for losing. Those bandits didn't kill you when they had the chance? Sucks to be them, because now not only are you angry, but you're also more accustomed to the pain. The next time you see them, they may well be on the losing side of the fighting. Kenshi rewards you for survival and practice, much like the saying: whatever doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.

So back to my little tale to attempt to capture the game a bit more - After fighting a couple of fights with the city guard as backup, I tried luring a group of bandits back to the town only to my surprise - the guards at the gate weren't there. Either they left on a patrol, or were fighting another battle elsewhere, I had no time to check. The bandits were hot on my tail, and the only chance I had of survival was to either lead them away from town, or take refuge and hope to escape while they killed all the civilians. And in that moment, I saw a few brave men - shop guards - rush from the protection of their walls, and stop the bandits in their tracks. A bandit or two slipped by, and I gave chase. Unfortunately while I spent a good while fighting one, the other slayed an innocent civilian, and I was happy to see that the population count in the town had actually dropped. Protecting the towns actually has an incentive - no population = no trading. The bandits dispatched, the guards returned, and I resigned to head off towards that other town in the distance.

Now, as I could see the town, it didn't seem far. Plus, I had enough gold to recruit a new person to my little gang of righteous corpse theives. With some new equipment, a little bit of extra knowledge of how the world works and a new companion, I set out for the town. I travelled for at least two in game days. Two. I saw the sun rise, and set, then rise and set again. Such is the scale of Kenshi - the world is an open sandbox (quite literally at this point - no grass, just sand and rocks), and things that look far off in the distance are far off. And as I mentioned before, zooming out - I became a speck in the desert. The only that that kept my position known was the damn name tag floating above my head.

Kenshi may not be a game for everybody, but if you enjoy a bit of realism, and quite a bit of freedom, it may be worth it. It's still early access, which means that there are quite a lot of glitches, issues, bugs and crashes (I haven't encountered anything severe however), you may want to pass the game until it's more stable and developed decendant comes about. What appeals to me the most is actually two things: one, you are rewarded for winning, and are rewarded for trying. So long as you aren't dead, the game isn't over. It makes for one heck of a story if you keep little notes about what happens to your character when you play. The second thing is the scale and immersion of the game. Beyond the glitches sometimes breaking the immersion, I actually felt like a lone survivor in a desolate world, where people preyed upon the weak, and civilization may take days to reach on foot. Since I just recently bought the game, I can't say much about the developer, except that from reading what their vision is, it really is a grand one and has a lot of potential. Kenshi has lots of potential, but it also has lots of work left to be done. So pass it if you're looking for a more fleshed out game, but definitely get it if anything in this review has a major appeal to you. As for me, I'll be wandering the desert with my small group of companions trying to make a living in a world where death can come from even a small group of ill-trained, ill-equipped people. Afterall, you may know how to fight, but if a knife cuts you, you'll still bleed.
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654 of 780 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
124.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: December 5, 2013
Kenshi. Where do I start. It's about how the game feels when you start it for the first time. This is a game in development and somehow I just love it. When it's done, how I interpret it and see it, it is the ultimate RPG game. In a rich and huge (can't underline, but I would) world, filled with cities in biodomes and people, trees, water, dirt... In this world you can become a trader, a looter, a scavanger, but you can also found your own town, find new people for the party (very large parties) and become a power of your own. This sandbox RPG does sound a little too good to be true, but I don't know, it already delivers a lot and I recommend you come and see for yourself. Me and a lot of others are already enjoying Kenshi.

I can recommend this game to people who also like traditional RPG's, but also RPG's like Fable for instance (there are characters, they grow, and there are factions, you are one), people who liked building the village in Assassins Creed 3, people who like minecraft (the playthrough is what you make of it), even people who like Settlers or even Age of Empires! I recommend this game basicly to everyone who plays other games then Call of Duty, as long as you can live with early-access situations in which you play a bêta or even alpha of the end result though. But getting it now if you're interested does save you money in the (very) long run.

There are factions that all have their own diplomatic stances towards you and eachother, there are bandits raiding unprotected people. You can do whatever you want. So if you want your faction (you are your own faction) to become powerfull, train your party and have an army. If you want to become a trader, train them strong so they can pack a lot of stuff, if you want your own city... start building! The characters do not level up as is tradition, you train each skill by training that skill specifically by doing things that require the skill. Which according to me works.

The game is really hard, especially at the start. You start with almost nothing and you have to struggle for survival. I usually start with luring bandits to patrols and towns to get them to fight (and die) to then pick their bodies clean like a damned vulture. Sell their stuff at a merchant, buy new equipment, repeat, get a teammate or two and start to choose a place to settle down.

I played the game for the last time at version 0.62 and I have to say: it was an improvement over 0.50. It still feels the same (unpolished, cheap), but with the added notifications of approaching bandits, audio signals when under attack, female characters and at least some means of negociating with bandits I can only say: good work the last few months! Hair looks great, bodies look good, the rack on one of my partymembers is really too big, but looks good (not trying to be a sexist here, pointing out a detail) even beneath armor. I just wish someone would come to my stores to buy my goods, I don't want to walk to towns to sell them anymore ;)

I again had a good time, so I'm sticking with the good review.

The thing is though that you do have to create your own adventures and the world isn't alive enough yet to fully appreciate this. However, after playing with the same guys for over 30hrs, having built a town, having been in quite some sticky situations... my party did kind of grow on me. With the latest patches I did miss some of the buildings to build, but it was a step forward and I enjoyed myself.

Kenshi began for me when I read about it in March 2013 (who knows how long development will take), and read about a game about a man with a sword (the title translates into the swordsman, I believe) in a world. And he can do whatever he wants. The world is still empty, but it's more of a playable techdemo. In the end it will be a beautifull world, the graphics already are worth showing. So I tried it, lost a few hours immediatly. Later I found it again on Steam and decided to buy it.

A part of the experience now is that you are able to see a game being developed by a very small team. As I learned through the fora it was being made by one man. Just one man, this sounded like the late 80's and early 90's and I loved it. And by being able to sell this on Steam he made enough money to hire people and it is becoming very nice. The money is really being put to good use!!! I have checked out the roadmap and the website and trust me, this game is good and will be better sooner then I might have expected.

Besides this curious development by first one man, I have never seen this much fan-made artwork for any game of this magnitude, and the game hasn't even been finished yet! There already is a lot of content available ingame, some maybe replaced and a lot more will come, but I wouldn't worry about the amount of game you're buying. Especially if you find this game on a sale and you're into sandbox games, I would go for it! I'm not even an RPG fan, but I did go for it and I'm happy I did.

Usually with playtesting a game, there is room for feedback. There is no room for that here, the developer is too small to answer. The fora are spread over several locations and the information freely available may be confusing. But the price goes up as it's being patched towards a release candidate so spend the little the game costs now and join the ride. It's going to pick up speed very soon, everything looks promissing. With every patch the game is one step further, and you can actually feel it. There is a demo available on the website of the game, or you can download the torrent (you'll get the demo, nothing illegal her

I've seen the development go slowly at first, many patches but all small ones. Then after the steam-release the hiring of people and the patching slowed down a bit. Now there are 6 people working on this game and I'm all psyched again!!! I can't wait to start another playthrough! But I'm waiting for the next patch, it has been due for a while now and they promissed a big one. I will amend this review when I've picked it up again. My last play was in februari and a lot has improved. Also a new gameworld is announced, ingame animals and more. Even though they may still take a while to implement, these implementations would require a amendment to the review as well.
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221 of 273 people (81%) found this review helpful
16 people found this review funny
65.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 5, 2015
In case you don't want to read all of it, go straight to this mark <->

-So this is my review for Kenshi. I have played 57 hours and I can say (sadly) that right now, that's probably how far you're gonna go, there's not enough content yet. However, that doesn't mean it's a bad game, Kenshi is a great game that shows you how life is hard ¬¬ at the start but after a few hours you can see the progress and it gets cooler and cooler as the time passes.
-If you want to buy Kenshi as soon as possible: You'll have a lot of well spent hours after you get the hang of it.
-If you want to buy a full game: Wait patiently. They are working really hard and I'm sure that there will be at least 4 times more content by the end of next year.
-Slow development CAN'T be used as a negative trait, because Kenshi producers are not a big company like Ubisoft or EA, in fact they're only 6 ! (here's proof http://lofigames.com/about/about-us/ )
Also, if you think that a game this creative and complex can be easily made, programming is not as easy as you think,
One of my professors once said: "Developing a game is the programmer's biggest challenge"

Conclusion: If you want to see kenshi growing and have a lot of entertainment, buy it, you won't regret it.
If you want to buy a full game, keep an eye on the updates and wait until there's enough content for you.
Oh, I almost forgot, you can download a demo on kenshi's website. I don't know how much content is there, but it's probably enough to convince you into buying (or not).
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157 of 187 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
265.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: March 22, 2014
So after playing Kenshi for about 50 hours with a few playthroughs I thought it would be time to write a review. Kenshi is mainly a openworld RPG with a bit of base building and strategy, as listed in the tags for the game. The character customizations go way in depth. Everything from eyes to hair, to the length of you arms and legs. I've seen some messed up people on the screenshots and just about laughed myself off my chair. The fighting is amazing. It's realistic. You try taking on a group of raiders 1v7 and you WILL lose if you haven't trained your person to be a great fighter. You can hire others, or go at it alone. The amount of things you can do now, is awesome. Anything from wandering around from city to city or building a home for you and your allies. Keep in mind, the game is in Early Access so there are plenty of bugs and random glitches. Things like out of this world rag-doll, people being stuck inside of each other (kinda funny at first, but can be a pain) and raiders spawning inside of your base. I have a little list I made that I write down everything and with this last update, a few of the things were fixed. I'm glad to see this game still being worked on and I can't wait to see this game fully built. I will keep playing this for a long time to come and I'll keep updating the review.
As always, keep on gaming!

EDIT: I forgot to say anything about crashes. This game does crash with me. I do also get the "Super Crash" every 5 hours or so. Playing the game for long amounts does trigger this and I hear that a number of things can also cause it to crash. Save everytime you do something that is major like buliding a town, buying a bit of really good armor, or even when you're on the move. I also have read a few reviews and I have noticed something. The game starts you out as a normal person. You are not all powerful, Dragonborn, The Arison, or somone else who matters. You start out with almost nothing. You pick a fight early on, and will be killed.

NEWEST EDIT: I wrote that review at about 50 hours into the game, several months ago. I figure its time to update it after no having 200+. The dev have been pushing updates and fixes out at a nice rate. So in other words, this game isn't dead. A lot has changed since I first played this game. There's a new race to play as, more starting stories, animals. The list goes on. That's the plus side of this new edit. Downside includes coming across new glitches and crashing games. Kenshi isn't as stable as it was a few months ago. In fact, I've had the game crash about 3 times in a little over an hour. The Devs are working on this, and I'm hopeful for this game and it's future.

Still a good game, with it's problems. Research the game before you buy, But keep an eye on this one if you don't get it now. 7.5/10
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135 of 162 people (83%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
69.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 23, 2014
I'm going to state my opinion straight out so you understand where my reviews coming from before reading it... I already love this game. I find it challenging, immersive and immensely satisfying. I can't wait for more content even though I think what's currently there makes it a worthwhile experience for the price tag, any game that can have me put 45 hours in without even realizing it is going to be worth twenty-ish dollars in my book. Also, this game is absolutely not for everyone. That can not be stressed enough, if you don't like struggling in the beginning of a game you probably won't make it very far, it can be tough as nails if you aren't careful and even if you are you'll probably end up suffering through a few coma's in the early section while you're trying to make your character not useless. There, now that that's out of the way let's talk about the actual game.

The gameplay is kind of a mix between a diablo-style dungeon crawler and an RTS. Every character has their own stats that can be levelled up through using them, every character can be as strong if not stronger than your starting character. In fact the only real difference between them and your starting character is that you didn't start with them. The movement and combat are fairly basic, there's not much in the form of tactics yet. Other than ganging up on specific units and some limited flanking ability you can't control much more than who attacks who. The path finding can sometimes trip up in the more hectic battles (more on that later) but it is early access and that stuff is being ironed out.
The RTS elements shine through a bit more in the base building aspects, you build preset layouts for houses and fill them with various different things like work benches, beds or storage for materials. So far there's farming and resource mining as well as some crafting for weapons, armour and clothing. This will be a lot more balanced when things like hunger get implemented, right now there's not much to point to a farm other than making money and there isn't much to spend the money on other than materials and blueprints for items. You can also build defensive walls with gates and mounted crossbows for defense (and you'll need them, believe me) but these things can trip up the pathfinding again (still more on that later). Considering how unbalanced the economy currently is it still took me a while to get a base I was satisfied with and I enjoyed building it. It's only getting better as well.

The world is both great and not so great all at once. I found myself heavily immersed in the world, I love the style and the sense that you're picking through the bones of an advanced civilization that's been long ruined, the atmosphere is just fantastic. The aesthetic is my kind of thing with obvious asian influences and you can really feel isolated and threatened in the early goings until you have a decent squad, then you feel like you're a match for the world and that's a really satisfying moment. However... as much as I love the feeling of the world, sometimes it can feel really empty. Yes, it's a wasteland and it's meant to feel that way, but if that's not your kind of thing it will really turn you off. I feel like the addition of small bandit camps to go along with the roaving bands and some oasis-like areas where more plants grow would really do a lot to help that. There's also some work happening on adding creatures to the world and I think that will do wonders for this particular problem. My bar for a well done isolated setting is set really high to be fair, once you play S.T.A.L.K.E.R: shadows of chernobyl it's hard to settle for anything less. The fact I'm even willing to compare the two is very telling about just how great the atmosphere is here.

Now, on to the bugs (disclaimer: I haven't played for a while so some of these may have been fixed since my last session, I'll explain in a bit). You get to hear about the pathfinding which is my main issue. It's kind of broken. It's serviceable for the most part, they can manage to traverse long distances and only rarely do they get stuck, however they still get stuck and that's pretty annoying. I use the "bodyguard" command to make sure my squad moves at the same speed (an option to just make them do that would be nice) but the pathfinding for that is far worse than the regular stuff, they match speed and stay at the same relative position to the character they're guarding and don't realize if they're about to walk into a wall, this is where they most often get stuck because for some strange reason edges like to grab hold of characters and they get stuck in the ground. Also, I've never had them defend anything while under the bodyguard command. Frequent quick-saves make this a mild irritation at worst and if you ever get really stuck and haven't saved for a while there's an option in the menu to pick up and drop all your characters on the center of your camera to unstick them, but it's still a bug and it needs to be mentioned. The other issues with it are also minor, in a big fight sometimes units can get confused about what they should do and end up standing around with their finger in their nose while their buddy is fighting three bad guys at once but they eventually get it together. The last issue I have is that closing the gates breaks the pathfinding when your units are outside, if you close the gate no matter how far away they are or where you tell them to move they will turn around about half the time and walk back to the gate to maually open it. It can be really frustrating but the only time you need the gate closed is when bandits are attacking and they give you advance warning so it can be pretty easily circumvented.
Aside from the pathfinding there's an odd (yet hilarious) bug with picking up and putting down characters, if you do it on the ground they pop up into the sky and get sent flying. They only stop if they hit a mountain or you use taht un-sticking method I previously mentioned. Again, it's just a minor annoyance and it doesn't happen if you put them in a bed or jail cell which is where you should be taking them anyway, but if you get attacked you can't put down whoever you're carrying and you run the risk of getting knocked out yourself.
This is less a bug and more of a flaw with the system itself, and it's also the main reason I haven't played in a while. There's a serious memory issue, the game runs on a 32-bit engine and it doesn't have a high enough memory limit for extended play. I'm not sure if everyone has this problem but I can only play for about ten minutes at a time now, it's progressively gotten worse the bigger my base got and the more people I had control of. It used to take a number of hours to crash on me. This could be my fault, I haven't exhausted every troubleshooting option yet, but all the same it's an issue that needs to be addressed. There's also talk of transferring to a 64-bit system which would probably eliminate the issue, but as of my last play session it wasn't implemented and I can only talk about my experience.

TL;DR, this game is an extremely rewarding and challenging experience if you're willing to stick through it and are a fan of post-apocalyptic worlds or deserts in general. If not, there's very little in it for you. The early game is pretty slow and it relies on you enjoying the world around you more than the gameplay, afterwards they both work together and that's when the game shines. If you can't handle crashes or potenitally broken AI then hold off on your purchase but definitely keep an eye on this, when all the issues are ironed out this game will be phenomenal. If you don't mind crashes or other early access problems then this game is worth the money as-is and will only get better with time.
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92 of 108 people (85%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
1,710.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 3, 2013
Not many games get this type of attention from me. even in Alpha ( when i wrote this review ) this game is awesome. it has quickly taken over as my favorite game right now besides Civ V, KSP and Planet Explorers.
Kenshi will be awesome once its done. wait even not finished its still awesome.
two paws up for this game.

Edit 2/13/2014

Females are in the game at last! New factions, Gameplay, diplomacy, bandit raids, Cannibals or as also known "Bacon Cultists" With more coming soon. and a new AI being worked on for those pesky super crashes and pathing issues.
The game music is moving an wonderful, first game ever where i did not mute the music while playing the game. or kill sound effects along with it. It adds just the right amount of mood to the game.

Why buy the game?
Well for one its not like any other game you have played before. its a original and still developing and after each core update it gets better with more items added to expand your gaming experience.
A original RTS, sandbox game. If your tired of starting a game where you can go out and kill people in one hit from the start! Then this is your game. It will challenge you, you have to fight to survive, living long enough to train yourself from a nobody whom everyone could beat up, to a legendary Hero or Heroine depending on your Gender. It is not a quick game, there is no ending, It is moddable even in its current state.

Why not to buy this game?
It is Alpha Stage Development game. If you don't like dealing with bugs, core game play content thats not added yet, then this game is not for you. The game is not complete, so do not buy the game thinking it is. Some bugs (depending on the computer) can render the game unplayable for a short while. If you're still interested in the game, then wait and watch. Come back in a year ( From this rewrite posting 2-13-2014 ) then give it a try. Until then pass it up and leave it on your wish list

Edit 6/11/2014
Would like to add a useful page to visit for those reading reviews.
Useful Information and links For Kenshi
Included is a link to the Demo.
A report on the super crash thats in the game. it is being worked on to be corrected, that update should be out in 2 weeks or less ( from when i edited this post ) barring any problems. The prospecting thats now in the game is very good, with a high science skill you can easily find hotspots to build your bases. no more turtling up in one spot. The NPC squad slider was adjusted down, ( From 4x to 2x ) for everyone put it at max then complained their FPS went to He** double hockey stick.

Total time the Dev has said it would take to complete the game. he is shooting for the end of 2014, but its possible it will actually be some time late in 2015. personally i think it will be late 2015 mostly because there is still a lot more to be added. but we will see once the 64bit Conversion and new pathing Engine are added.

Edit 12/25/2014

Version 0.70.x is now in the beta testing stage before public release. it was released early and full of game killing bugs, which have been ironed out to a point. so should be ready for public release soon.

We now have animals, Leviathans, Pack Gar's, Dog things, and beak things.
new factions though the actual people in them are not in yet.

Prisoner Cages are back in police stations, though been having issues with those.
The Memory Leak is gone. though the game is running rather rough at the moment due to it being released too early. but things should smooth out soon and look much better once Directx 11 is added.

We still have the 1 biom but that won't change anytime soon.

Bandits no longer attack you on sight but now chase after you tossing insults and if you just keep running they eventually stop, leaving you to your own shenanigans.

Multi levels to buildings has been added, and looks like the GUI will be redone soon. no more badly fitting text or buttons will be coming with that, plus the squad sizes are supposed to be increased in a couple updates from now.

At the time of this edit, v0.70.x is only open to beta testing opt in. so things will change once its released to the general public.

General Info.
I am one of the Admin for the Kenshi Forums, the other is Gmat.
I write this review based on me being a regular gamer like everyone else. I personally think this is a great game and just getting better, but i also know its not for everyone.
There is a lot of links and information in the forums, including a link to a Demo ( link added on 6/11/2014 )
I can not stress enough to try the demo first before buying.
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817 of 1,174 people (70%) found this review helpful
12 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
63.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: December 3, 2013
I wish I hadn't spent $20 on this. Months ago, before I uninstalled this game, the developer was only putting out new content patches instead of fixing bugs which have been present since I purchased the game in Jan. 2013 (according to the forums there's still pathing problems with buildings, it's not getting fixed any time soon). Dare to bring this up in the forums, or any other criticizm for that matter, and a legion of fanboys will troll and drown your complaints out regardless of how you present them. The excuse that the game is in the alpha stage is used quite liberally, as these bugs go unaddressed most updates. And even when bugs are addressed the game developer takes a tone announcing it as though it's a waste of his time and he doesn't really want to do it. In fact, the new content and features updates seem to compound bugs which go unaddressed.

I could maybe forgive this, if the game were entertaining. But it's not, it's just miserably tedious and boring. The combat is slow and pointless, as you watch twenty men surround one for each to take turns swinging one weapon at a time at the target. Once you tire of that, spend hours on end standing around, researching new technologies to craft buildings and weapons and armor and other stuff all to... go out and watch twenty men surround one for each to take turns swining one weapon at a time.

I highly recommend this game - to be removed and for everyone who purchased it to get a refund.

Side Note:
Oh, and the forum moderator is either a paid troll for the game developer or a rabid dweeb trying to get in on the ground floor of what he percieves to be another game sensation like WoW. Either way, eventually anyone who speaks ill of the game gets their thread locked and buried. To me, that's the most frustrating part of the game; you can't even bring up a reasonable grievance against it, let alone warn others away. I hope this review gets around that hurdle.
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145 of 191 people (76%) found this review helpful
39.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: November 26, 2013
If you wanted to be a samurai or something else, kenshi is your thing. You can create your own story, manage your squad, build your city and so fort. Kenshi is an open world sandbox game the map/world will grow with next updates but even now, it's still "big". It's of course currently in alpha stage so you have to wait for updates but, you can still enjoy the whole game until it's grow up. There are people with over 700+ hours gameplay currently so you can spend many times in it.

I highly recommend this game those who also enjoyed games like Mount&Blade. But you should consider it's still alpha and there are bugs in this game. And please watch some gameplay videos before so you can see how is it.
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Recently Posted
113.4 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 24
It's great, get it. It's a slow start, but it's got a lot of depth to it. I would consider it to being similar to Mount and Blade (since that's a close comparison).

2 words of advice:


-You should probably invest some training in Theivery by picking locks until you can steal items at 100% chance.
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11.5 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 24
Well, I've bought this game couple of years ago, and now I can see that it was a great «investment». Even with all the bugs the game has, it is one of the best single player games for me, since it uses a totally different way of interacting with you as a player.

The world lives around you, and it doesn't care if you die. You are not special, and yet, if you've got patience, you can grow really strong and get your own faction going.

That's what most modern games totally lack, and this one delivers.

Totally recommend.
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every second awake is agony :)))
65.8 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 24
Overview – Kenshi version 0.93.28 Stable

Kenshi is an interesting game that's very hard to describe. It's a blend of RPG and RTS that functions quite well. You can dwell in the broken world just by yourself, with a squad of faithful friends, or with an entire army (using a simple mod, you can control up to 256 characters). So, what all does this game offer? Plenty of options you can find in most other RPGs.

Be a thief, pawning off stolen goods to make profit, or you can travel the cities to make a living off honest trading with a bull to carry your load. Scavenge the ruins for artifacts with a faithful bonedog companion by your side. Establish outposts/villages/cities, serve a holy purpose, hunt down cannibals, become a leader of an army to sweep over the lands, battle giant creatures, or just chill in a tavern and listen to some of the stories others have to tell. Sounds good, doesn't it, but does it actually work?

The Good
  • True sandbox experience – almost all that the enemy can do, you can do too (and if not, there are mods for that)
  • Official mod support (with Steam Workshop) – modability can carry the game when the game can no longer carry itself
  • Giant map – even though only about ¼ of the map is implemented so far, it is still quite large, and will become only larger and more diverse as time goes on
  • Updates – disputable (read more in The Bad), but the game is basically being made by a single guy (except for sound, music, and art), so with that taken into account, the game is being updated quite frequently
  • Soundtrack – the music is great, and I applaud the composer for pronouncing the atmosphere of the game with fitting music. Look up the sound engineer and music composer of this game, Kole Hicks. You'll find that the music system of Kenshi is a lot more complex than you might think.
  • Gameplay – All I described in the overview, you can truly do.
  • Replayability – Even when I explored the map, seen what there is to be seen, I still have the urge to play again and again, just to try a different style, a different race, or just to hang out in the amazing scenery once again

The Bad
  • Bugs – the game, to be honest, is a buggy mess. Some features that are implemented are not working correctly. For example, mercenaries that you should be able to hire to protect your outpost or to bodyguard you on your adventures don’t work (they just eat your money and act as if they had done the job), clipping textures (your characters can get stuck in inescapable places), shops can get bugged and be opened when they shouldn’t, which leads to guards attacking you, and more
  • Pathfinding – While it’s amazing that you can just click anywhere in the map and your characters automatically go there, it’s not quite so useful when your characters get stuck, run around unnecessarily, etc. Your outpost workers will get stuck in buildings, behind staircases, and in other places.
  • Learning curve – it will take you quite some time to get the hang of the game. This means you won’t be able to experience the game in enough time to be able to claim a refund if you don’t like the game anyway. So, buy at your own risk, knowing you won’t be able to get a refund
  • Long development – the earliest Kenshi development video on the developer’s channel is 9 years ago, where in the description he also states that it’s a pre-alpha footage of something he had been working on for a few years by then. It just might be another decade before we see this game enter at least a beta stage. Still, at least we have an actually playable, feature-rich something, unlike another game that comes to mind – Overgrowth. What’s notable, though, is that even through such a long development the game is still being updated on regular basis, so the developer is definitely determined to see this game through.
  • Dubious PR – I can’t attest to this myself, just thought I should mention it anyway. There has been, allegedly, some controversy. I don’t participate in the forums/steam discussion, so make your own picture of this. For further inquiry, read Extrasmooth's review of the game. If what he says is true, I fear that the developer might dig himself too deep into unfixable bugs. We shall see.
  • Optimization – the game runs like garbage. You will have to contend yourself to playing the game at low/very low if you have older hardware like me. Still, the game will run like ♥♥♥♥ in some areas. Be wary. I don’t really care about the graphics as long as the gameplay is fine, but I know some people do care.

Phew, that's quite long so far. I don't think I'll be able to write the story of my first serious journey in the end due to character limit, but I might do some "greentext" version later on once I get it written down. Just so you know so far, yes it does indeed "work" and you can experience all I have said you can. With that, I do recommend this game even in its kinda broken state, as I most definitely got my money's worth out of it, and will continue to do so in the future. But, I still urge you to read through other reviews and to take "The Bad" things into account.
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22.1 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 23
Whew at first i thought this game was not kinda hard...i thought it was trecherous{bad spelling} but then i came to undwerstand some basic mechanics of it and now ive grown to love it..plus the mods make it very approachable..its still alil buggy but it should be quite a gem when complete.
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205.4 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 23
I originally backed this game on kickstarter a long time ago when the bugs were numerous and graphics shoddy. But even then I was taken in by the obvious care the creator puts into every detail, and by the awesome setting. It's a kind of post-apocalyptic, feudal samurai, crusader kingdom, semi-alien world, where survival is a challenge and violence prevales. As it is now, I keep coming back to this game, and every time there's an update it's like christmas (especially map updates). Can't recommend enough.
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57.2 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 22
Its pretty fun! though need to be more optimized for sure, Also. the hunger things is pretty bad now. It makes it kinda hard to play :/ Kinda miss the old kenshi. ( a lot )
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6.6 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 20
This game has been in my library now for awhile and I'm cleaning up my reviews, here's how I feel after owning this game for over a year:

The concept, the depth and the artwork are golden but why negative? They overhauled this game to what it seems to come back to the same conclusion, it's unplayable. The bugs, performance issues will slowly if not instantly ruin your game (mind you that this game is a grind, bugs and show stoppers will wash away hours of work). They have been adding to this game which is great but they still have yet to deliver something that's playable.

Most of the previous positive reviews were more than likely from the previous build which was more playable to an extent***

The game itself will be a masterpiece if its ever finished but thats where I give it a negative review, it felt almost complete before the overhaul now it feels like its taken a few steps back but with even more depth and with the scale I'm wondering if it will every be completed.

I'd grab it on sale or hold off, its one of those games that wow you, you play, the bugs and un-optmized feel have you back shelf the game to only revisit.

Devs are active but are quick to ban... recommend not bringing up bugs or scorn against this game or commenting on the active state of the game.

Below is a response from a Dev/Moderator that I wasn't too fond of, if you have a questions and it can be generically answered by a moderator like below, you may see this again.

Originally posted by Captain Deathbeard:
This is what game development is like:
-You've got a list of 100 features and 100 bugs.
-Every time you add a feature, it adds another 50 bugs.
-Every time you fix 10 bugs, you discover 3 more bugs.
-Occasionally to fix one of the bugs you might need to totally restructure something. This will probably add 10 more bugs.
-When you fix bugs people say "These updates don't do anything, where are the features?"
-When you add features people say "Why aren't you fixing the bugs?"
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131.3 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 20
I'll be perfectly honest - this is an incredibly amazing game, and is quickly becoming one of my very favorites. I'm still uncovering its vast depth, its incredible size (with only a quarter of the map currently available at this time of the beta it's already enormous), and have recently discovered there's even something of a plot to the game, with competing factions that interact with you and one another. It's like a better, party-based indie version of Fallout (which IMO sold out in the 4th installment); it's ninjas meet cowboys in a dry, dusty, and surprisingly fleshed post-apocalyptic future.
But of all the struggles I've had with this game, allow me to describe the biggest one: the CAMERA. I came into the game recently knowing it was a beta, knowing it would have load times (which are bad but usually aren't that bad) but it's the constant, non-stop, every single ♥♥♥♥ing second struggle with the ♥♥♥♥♥iest camera in video game history that makes me say don't buy this for now. If you do, stick to the flat areas. God help you if the camera ever runs into a tree, let alone a forest, LET ALONE A FOREST ON A MOUNTAIN. If the ridiculous lag in the World's End area and the camera were ever fixed then I'd turn that thumb upside-down and stick with the first paragraph of this review.
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201.9 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 19
I'll begin by saying this game is huge, with many, many things to do and with a plethora of playstyles.

I'll middle by saying this game can sometimes be incredibly frustrating and has one of those roguelike elements of 'f*** you, watch your character die because I hate you and the world hates you and everyone is better than you, you piece of f***ing s**t'

I'll end by saying this game is by no means completed so runs like a bag of stinking wank, but is worth buying to try out. When it finally gets there, it'll be epic. Right now, it's flawed but fun.
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Doctor Bright
5.8 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 19
Spawns in with a dog in a weird spot with a bunch of farmers.
Get a feel for the game, do some training.
Templars later show up and beat up some evil dogs.
I look about and realize there isn't really anything interesting to do in the area.
So, I head off.
I end up in a town of the one really religious group.
I decide to steal some food since I'm starving.
Decide to try out the selling back mechanic,
get caught for selling uncooked meat to the bartender.
Proceed to get demolished by the city guards.
Drop the game for two days.
come back in and try to escape.
Escapes five times before being taken to a different cage in another part of the town.
The town gets attacked by ninjas.
I take that as my opportunity to run.
Realize I have no gear at all at this point.
Steal from a dead guard.
I am now disguised as a guard.
I am not known as an escapee anymore.
Leave the town with a big grin on my face.
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