Guest Author - James Shea
A deathmatch-style hack-and-slash game, "Chivalry: Medieval Warfare" brings a Call-of-Duty style experience to the middle ages.
"Chivalry: Medieval Warfare" is a multiplayer-centric game set during a war between the fantasy Kingdom of Agatha and the rebellious Mason Order. Players take the role of warriors from either side of the conflict and engage in a variety of battles - from simple "kill the other side" to more complicated objectives. In essence it can be thought of as simply being a medieval version of an average deathmatch game like Halo or Call of Duty; simply replace the guns and grenades with swords and axes, and you've got it.
The game's combat is conceptually similar to Mount & Blade - you can slash vertically, slash horizontally, or stab/thrust. Enemies can respond by either moving themselves out of the way of the attack, blocking with a shield, or parrying with a weapon. Each weapon has different stats with regards to speed, power, and reach. Combat relies heavily on keeping momentum and taking advantage of those stats. The addition of friendly fire into this mix means that battles become frantic and chaotic, with warriors trying to avoid hitting their allies while still dealing damage to their enemies.
There are four classes: archers, men-at-arms (light, mobile infantry), vanguards (polearms and two-handed swords), and knights (heavy infantry). Each class has three main weapons, at least two sidearms, and several extra options like throwing axes or shields. In addition, each weapon will unlock additional weapons of the same type when used enough. The tactical diversity in the game is surprisingly vast; while two polearms might look similar, the way they handle can be totally different. Each weapon feels distinct, as opposed to games where an extra weapon is just a slight change in stats.
The atmosphere in the game is pretty amazing. The game is incredibly visceral and gory; limbs and heads being severed is one of the most common things you'll see in the game, and the sound design totally accentuates the game's bloody theme. Whether it's the crushing impact of a warhammer, the war cry of a soldier, or the gurgling blood of a dying man, the sound in the game does wonders for giving the game a sense of impact. The game isn't exactly realistic, per se (it's close to something like "Hollywood realism") but it definitely sounds more crunchy than most games tend to. Coupled with the highly responsive weapons and movement, it's an all-around great experience. The only complaint I have is that the price is a little bit high for a multiplayer-only game, but that's a minor complaint as-is.
We purchased this game with our own funds in order to do this review.