Chivalry: Medieval Warfare
AMD Althon X2 2.7 GHz
AMD Radeon 3870
For a PC game having its origins in a mod is basically the, and I don’t mean this is a negative way, lowest point of entry into the market. For those who do not know, Age of Chivalry was a Multiplayer mod for Half-Life 2. Drastically different than the game it ran on, Age of Chivalry binned pistols, explosives and gravity guns for the good old sword, axe and bow. One could say that the developers behind it where one of those few individuals who still knew the value of honour and the gruesome pleasure us humans take from a good old Medieval bashing. It must be imprinted in our genes somewhere. Seriously, clad any human in armour, hand him an axe and off he goes storming a, often imaginary, rampart – Well, perhaps I have to ask the local geneticists to back me up on this one.
Anyway, Team Chivalry is back and this time they want to release a fully developed game on their own. Finishing up with $85.000 on their Kickstarter, they were not only successful in beating their set goal of $50.000 but now also have the cash to go into overdrive. We’ve taken a look at their game, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare and it is my distinct pleasure to give forth the news.
Did you really want to argue with the axe wielding man?
Chivalry aspires to bring you the gritty, intense and unforgiving nature of Medieval Warfare right to your PC. Taking inspiration from the fast paced, bloody and epic fights we see in today’s blockbusters, it wants to fill you with the adrenalin and heroic fervor we gamers desire but rarely receive. The combat, being the most important aspect of a medieval action game, do correct me if I am wrong, pulls this of quiet nicely. Each melee weapon is based on three attacks, the slash, stab and chop with the left mouse button and the mouse wheel controlling which attack you launch against your foe. While feeling slightly bizarre at first, it’s actually quite clever and the basic coordination is acquired within the first two rounds one plays.
Even during the tutorial, the player will experience the fast-paced and gory nature of this game. Once on a server, the action will be all around you with some diverse objectives and well-chosen spawn points that will get you to the fight fast without hindering the games enjoyment. Providing four different classes that each have access to different weapons many of which are unlock as you progress, the game offers enough variety to keep us gamers happy. As the archer will bring death in the form of thin, steel-tipped arrows and bolts from afar, the three other classes focus on getting close and personal. Each with a different style, it is up to the player to choose his favorite. While you may don heavy armour as a knight, others might prefer the sneakiness of the Men-at-Arms or, like me, rely on the brute damage of the Vanguard.
On the topic of 'armour'
No matter which class you prefer, even within your first fight you will feel as if you truly stand upon the field of glory. The combat induces you with an eerie sense of desire for slaughter. Weapon in hand, all you want to do is to launch yourself upon your foe and gut the pox-ridden bastard. It is hard to restrain yourself yet with a little bit of brain power and vision to fuel your swings and stance, the game becomes not only a Medieval ‘Slash ’em up’ but a skill-based game that will reward those that can think ahead. Being pushed back by a horde of dishonourable scum while slashing of their heads and limbs one by one until you stand bloodied yet victorious amidst their corpses roaring out your defiant war cry before rejoining the fray, basically makes you feel like the next best Medieval bad ass since El-Cid.
While each encounter with an enemy usually ends within seconds leaving the winning party in search of a further foe and the loser in search of his head, it does play in the games favour. While Chivalry: Medieval Warfare does not utilize the armour system or striking precision of the newly released War of the Roses fights feel nonetheless fair, satisfying and, most importantly, immensely brutal.
With the game still in beta, it’s obvious that it will have issues. The game definitely needs some polish here and there but already now it makes us look forward to what could very well be the game that ends up toppling high-budget medieval action games from their throne. And for a small team to do this with the funds of the community instead of the almighty Publishers – well, that will make some heads turn.
In short, this is one of the games of which you can feel its soul. It’s around you at all times and somehow, even though you chop of people’s heads, have blood splattered all over you and bellow out foul words of defiance, you have these queer sense of tranquility while playing the game. It is rather peculiar really, but somehow you feel safe, in a cozy sort of comfort one usually only gets at home, snuggled up under a warm duvet on a cold winters night. It is as if your body takes in the slaughter around you, the horrible bloodshed and violence and tries to tell you that this is the place where you belong. Seeing that we humans always try to find excuses to bash each other’s heads in – we’ll that Chivalry: Medieval Warfare can touch this violent yet distinctive core of us is just testimony of the immersion it creates.
Now if you’ll excuse me, kind Sirs, I still need to sharpen my axe for the next battle.