Almost 5 months on from the rather successful launch of Kingdom Come Deliverance, we find ourselves with its first batch of DLC goodness in the form of rebuilding a bandit overrun hamlet. From the ashes, which is suitably named, finds us returning to Pribyslavitz, where the climax to one of the campaigns acts occurs. Sir Divish sends us on our way to find his Locator, who is meant to be finding land to settle. After finder Marius, the Locator, we are given office in the form of Bailiff over the town to aid in its reconstruction.
Sounds great, but we need to pay for it all ourselves, taking upwards of 100,000 groschens to get it built completely. Thankfully we will gain some income from businesses as we build them, and being a good portion into the game we should have 10 or so thousand groschens in the coffers already. Our main objectives in the DLC are to rebuild the church, have an income of 1200 groschen a day and have a population over 40, easy enough to do if you’ve got the capital for it.
As you craft buildings you will be fast-forwarded a few days, taking pay out of your coffers for workman and supplies. Once done you will have all the information stored in a book near your coffers that shows income, outgoings, buildings and the like. Besides spending money you can also go around to previously met NPCs in the main game to ask them to join your town, increasing income and unlocking a few new voice lines.
From the ashes sadly is a glorified spending simulator, while you may spend some hours hunting, taking on bounties and eventually selling all your loot for the money required, all the DLC allows you to do is spend money via Marius, see a loading screen and have the buildings put up. If you had the money beforehand this DLC will barely last 2 hours. Your groschen is basically transformed into nice looking houses in your settlement, with only a few added bonuses of brewed alcohol, smoking meats, and armouring horses.
Towards the end of the DLC, it also sets itself up for another half, which seemingly never comes to fruition, ending rather anticlimactically. After all, that money spent you’ve basically got a base on the northern part of the map to store items, sell goods, craft some gear and sleep. The final income isn’t too grand either, at only 2k per day if you’ve maxed it out. From the amount spent, you could have just bought the best gear in the game and be done with it, the income does not help at this point in the game, even less so if you do it much later on.
While there are many downsides to the DLC it can be fun to jump back in and do something a tiny bit new amongst all the other activities on hand. You can settle some disputes amongst townsfolk, either to decide where people defecate or what to do with a local herb woman, but there is no build-up to these decisions as well as ultimately ending with no real result besides voice lines. You do not care for these people as they have no dialogue around the town or after these choices are made.
The town does unlock a few new horses if you choose a stable, if you choose a guardhouse you can train with specific people and armour sets which you cannot do elsewhere. Besides that, you can cook new baked goods in the bakery or smoke meat in the butcher. Those 4 buildings being a choice, as you can only have 1 or the other. You can also choose between a swordsmith or an armour smith, with both not giving any unique action, feeling slightly pointless in the long run.
This DLC is also very detached from the main game, being placed as far away from the main map as possible combined with it never interacting with the outside world besides your trips to Sir Divish. Your town is never attacked, never has a crisis and never makes a difference, it feels so inconsequential. With the lack of buildings and upgrades, it also feels very short for the £8 you will be spending on it. Forcing you to grind for money without much return for the normal game make the DLC feel very unworthy of its cost.
Overall, From the Ashes gets a 5/10, it is a nice change of pace from the main game but requires the player to run around too much to gain the groschen required for the setup. Building a hamlet is fun until you realise it’s just spending groschen for a change of scenery. With the lack of development, continuation or impact the DLC feels very unimportant against the grand main story that leads to it. If you want to pay real money to spend money in the game, then this DLC is for you, or if you like city building. But be warned it does not last long and it lacks any climax.