Back in 2007, a small group of developers released a total conversion mod for the Half Life 2 Source engine. Released as ‘Age of Chivalry’ the game had a medieval theme with a focus on team objectives, close-combat battles and improvised tactics.
Skip forward five years and we’ve now got our hands on the new title by Torn Banner Studios – ‘Chivalry: Medieval Warfare’. ‘Chivalry’ follows on with the theme of a multiplayer first person slasher set in the Middle Ages. Players can choose from two sides – the ‘Mason Order’ or the ‘Agathian Knights’ – both of which carry out different objectives within each map. Players can also choose different classes from the nimble archer to the slow but powerful knight. To put it simply, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is fast-paced and exciting but most of all it’s just so much fun!
‘Chivalry’ delivers a medieval experience which I personally love and manages to pull it off effortlessly in a light-hearted experience which doesn’t make you think too much. I found ‘Chivalry’ providing me with the entertainment that games like ‘War of the Roses’ could not. If you have played anything like ‘War of the Roses’ you’ll know that the blocking and attacking systems in some medieval games can be quite advanced. It’s the simplicity of the mechanics in ‘Chivalry’ that show off its real value, and that’s definitely a personal preference. The fact that I can get on the PC at 11PM after a long day, load up ‘Chivalry’ and just lop some heads off without thinking too much makes me a very happy gamer.
In a world where developers are inventing more and more complex in-game mechanics, ‘Chivalry’ is that refreshing change that reminds us that simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication. With just two warring sides to choose from – both of which are equally powerful and just have opposite motives. (E.g – Push the battering ram vs. Stop the battering ram!)
With five classes to choose from which unlock weapons as you play, it’s not a complex decision. Many players will find their style and stick to a certain class which will have its own advantages and disadvantages. But with that said each class is intuitive and equally balanced and it’s definitely worth experimenting.
Even though I’ve praised ‘Chivalry’s’ simple mechanics and intuitive controls, that’s not to say they don’t require any skill. Each class and weapon swings and hits differently with each different type of attack, combine this with blocks, feints and dashes – not to mention the objectives you are probably trying to achieve – this game really does demand some quick input from you. Also, just forget about playing with a high ping and trying to do well as timing is key in a game where you are fighting at an arm’s length. Since the beta there have been approximately 5 Australian servers which are now quite often at full capacity, with others popping up soon, so finding a suitable server shouldn’t be a big hurdle.
For a game developed by a small development team, ‘Chivalry: Medieval Warfare’ looks and works pretty damn good. I’ve been playing since the beta and have noticed a lot of patching making the game a whole lot better. ‘Chivalry’ uses the Unreal 3 engine and all the landscapes and textures look far better than you would expect from an independent studio, but obviously aren’t at the AAA level of huge franchise games. The sound in game is flawless and never gets too much for your ears to cope with– unlike a 32 player gungame session on Counter-Strike. There a few bugs that you might come across sometimes such as ill-timed animations, but I’ve found nothing game breaking except for a few crashes which I believe have since been patched and this support along with free DLC releases have been announced to continue into the future.
All in all, I think ‘Chivalry: Medieval Warfare’ is an excellent game for anyone who’s looking for a scenic change from that of your terrorist/zombie/bomb defusal/military/genericvideogame setting of most games. For $24.99 USD on the Steam store, ‘Chivalry’ is a great gaming experience and a very spectacular entry into the industry by Torn Banner Studios. ‘Chivalry: Medieval Warfare’ gets 4.99/5 Drop Bears for me (yeah, it’s actually a five), with the only points being lost being for the occasional bug and the game leaving me without a single player campaign to slaughter my way through!