Chivalry: Medieval Warfare Review
The latest medieval killing simulator vying to bludgeon it’s way in to our cold, murderous hearts is Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, by Tom Banner Studios. There are only so many adjectives available that appropriately describe the art of smashing in faces, chopping off limbs and other gruesome activities which result in rivers of blood and guts. Brutal comes to mind. Then there’s barbaric. Savage, vicious and ferocious aren’t bad either. Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is all of those things. It’s also incredibly good fun.
CMW is a class based, online multiplayer, medieval gore-fest. Utilising the Unreal Engine to great effect, it can be played either from a first-person or third-person perspective, which immediately indicates the high level of quality and user-friendly design. The action is fast and furious, with melee fighting so intimate, that I physically recoil when attacked. The combat system is controlled by pressing mouse button one for slashing, mouse two blocks and wheel up / down stabs or slices. Movement is controlled by WASD keys. Successful engagement requires perfect timing and effectively predicting your opponents moves. Just like real melee combat, I imagine. Once I’d played the tutorial and become comfortable with the mechanics, it wasn’t long before I felt like a medieval boss. There are ranged weapons too, in the form of bows and cross-bows, if you prefer the more distant approach. Be sure to activate the Bolt-Cam! Some maps even have usable siege weapons, including catapults, boiling oil, ballista and battering rams. Not bad, eh.
The graphics are realistically pleasing to the eye and highly detailed. I was taken aback by the aesthetic beauty of the maps, it’s clear that a lot of work has made this an impressively polished release. Sound design is excellent; the voice acting being especially wonderful. Spoken lines are delivered with immense gusto, screams and blood-induced gurgles more entertaining than you can imagine. The music is rather lovely too. The use of Unreal Engine means that decapitating and slicing off enemies limbs can be achieved with gruesome satisfaction. This brings me back to the intimacy of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. I found myself completely immersed in this game with ease. It really is brilliant fun.
I highly recommend playing the tutorial from beginning to end, which gives the player opportunity to try the four classes: Mason, Man At Arms, Vanguard and Knight, all possessing a special ability. Each class has various weapons at their disposal, which are unlocked by playing multiplayer games. There are sixty weapons in total, ranging from broad swords and battle axes to longbows and javelins.
Multiplayer game modes are: Free For All, Team Death Match, Last Team Standing (perma-death), King Of The Hill, Capture The Flag and Team Objective. The latter being attack /defend and incorporating siege weapons. I found the servers to be highly populated, the most popular appearing to be Team Objective, Free For All, Last Team Standing and Team Death Match. There are plenty of Multiplay official servers available with great pings, I was very happy to see. There are currently nine excellent official maps and user-created maps are also available. An especially pleasant surprise for me was to see that players can create games on every map with as many bots as desired, which is helpful for honing those decapitation skills. The ubiquitous power of Steamworks have been implemented, so fifty or so achievements are yours to obsessively collect. Being that this is a quality PC game, all the options you want to tweak depending on your system are available as well.
In A Nutshell:
Chivalry: Medieval Warfare stands out as a unique and accomplished game. I really cannot find room for improvement. My time playing so far has been thoroughly enjoyable and I will without doubt be returning for more wince-inducing punishment. If you think you may like this game, buy it, because it truly exceeds expectations in every area.
Developer: Torn Banner Studios
Publisher: Torn Banner Studios
Release Date: 16 Oct 2012
Intel i5 3570k 3.4GHz Quad Core CPU
ATI HD 7850 2GB GPU
8 GB RAM