The medieval multiplayer genre has taken off the in the last couple of weeks for whatever reason, with both War of the Roses and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare hitting the PC. While both games take place in a Middle Age setting, War of the Roses is a third-person combat game and Chivalry is in first person built on the Unreal engine. For no particular reason, I decided to pick up Chivalry this past Monday and I’ve been playing it for a couple hours a night and having a ball.
Unlike War of the Roses, which takes place during the actual conflict of the same name, Chivalry takes place in a fictional setting featuring a war between the Agatha Knights (Blue) and the Mason Order (Red). Players can be one of four classes, archer, man-at-arms, vanguard and knight, and can battle it out in a few gametypes like team objective and free-for-all. Team objective is currently my favorite mode as it’s a lot like Team Fortress 2’s Payload mode or Rush from Battlefield. While encouraging teamplay, it also features a host of wickedly medieval objectives like killing a village full of peasants or pushing a corpse cart into the enemy castle’s water supply.
The combat in Chivalry is brutal, with lots of feedback even on a mouse and keyboard. Weapon swings are slow and powerful and every impact hits with a satisfying clang on armor or a sickening wet thunk for a killing blow. You can hack off limbs and decapitate your enemies and friendly fire is always on, so every melee encounter is a whirlwind of steel and blood. Clicking the left mouse is a sweeping motion and rolling the mousewheel up and down wield yield a stabbing or overhead attack, respectively. Blocking is accomplished by clicking or holding the right mouse, depending on what item you’re using. A shield can be held up indefinitely, but your enemy needs to be directly in front of you for the block to work. Two-handed weapons can do a quick parry as long as you get it up in time. While the classes are mostly even, I feel like the vanguard’s polearms are a little unbalanced as they have crazy range and can still block close in attacks.
As frantic and fun as the combat is, Chivalry could use a little polish, especially for a thirty dollar multiplayer-only game. A few times I got stuck between pieces of geometry and did that weird forever-fall until I could crouch jump out, and there are major sound-clipping issues. There’s also an error where servers don’t show up for whatever reason, but the good news is this can be fixed. If you’re looking to for a Chivalry server fix , check out that link.
There’s apparently more free DLC weapons and other things on the horizon and the first-person combat is so engaging that it can cover up a lot of the less-than stellar aspects of the game. I get so engrossed in combat that at one point I actually screamed out loud when I was cornered by three enemy soldiers and stabbed to death.
Has anyone else played Chivalry or War of the Roses? What do you think?