- Gameplay (including horrible Sword Reach)
- Graphics and Art
- Matchmaking and PvP Support
Chivarly: Medieval Warfare is a frustrating game to review. It’s also a frustrating game to play, but I’m far more willing to chalk that up to my own failures as a gamer. The game ultimately delivers what it advertises: It is multiplayer slasher, it is “gritty and realistic” and is indeed very “fast-pace”. It captures so much of the spirit of medieval combat, but ultimately I felt like I was grasping at it through some sort of barrier: I never felt like I truly connected with that game, and it mostly came down to mechanical issues. The controls feel sticky, the visuals blur far too much, and the game as a whole never really seems to feel visceral.
There are however, a number of good things.
First is the tutorial. A word of warning: Play through the tutorial! There’s a lot of finesse to this game, and the tutorial does one of the best jobs I’ve ever seen in actually just letting the game teach you itself. It never stoops to babying you and lets you learn the mechanics the hard way: By dying over and over and over again. You’ll get beaten by Captain Neckhole until you are a bloody mess, but you’ll learn. and that’s the point. It’s frustrating, it’s infuriating, and I swore numerous times, but eventually I figured out how to dodge, when to kick, and how best to preserve my stamina. This really is one of the best tutorials I’ve ever experienced in a game, and it doesn’t even stop with the basics. After you’ve learned a few things, you’ll fight a belligerent member of the Mason Order. He’s not much of a challenge but its akin to a pop quiz: do you really know how to do this, or were you even paying attention? The tutorial then flows seamlessly into its many parts, letting you get the feel of more advanced tactics, the different classes, and even siege weapons.
The classes of Chivalry, which I will mention later, are diverse and fun. There’s a nice balance between defense and offense, hardiness and speed. Weapons are varied, and I was always see-sawing back and worth between different build trying to compensate for the small hole left by the last weapon I choose. It there is one game breaking element to the game in terms of the classes, it is the the Knights. they seem far too heavily armored, have horrendously overpowered weapons, and their sacrifice of speed barely seems like a punishment at all. Maybe this has something to do with my many deaths by greatsword but…
One of the most blatant issues I have with the game first appears during the tutorial, from the very first swing of your sword. It is in fact, the swords, and all the weapons. While the game has a great variety of weapons to choose from, I find their ranges and effects very hard to pinpoint or even notice. The range of weapons is very hard to tell in particular, and while im sure hours of play would remedy my inability to tell where a sword would hit, I feel like that should be evident from the first swing. When I swing my sword, I want to know that I’m going to hit something in range. This game never really delivers that visceral feel of slicing into an enemy, BECAUSE YOU CAN NEVER SEEM TO HIT YOUR ENEMY. When you do hit an enemy, it is amazing. Seeing a hand of head fly off in to the distance is amazing, but I never felt like it was in my control. I’d see my sword go through the guy in front of me, and it wouldn’t actually hit him. In game where hitting people is the ultimate goal….it’s good to put that in your control.
The game does look beautiful though, even when you are observing it from the ground through a blood red lens. The environments are perfect, ranging from ancient arenas to villages under attack. They are well laid out, offering plenty of opportunities to hide, ambush, and fire on enemies. The character models are perfectly acceptable, and the weapons look superb. Even the tutorial is a perfectly set up military camp, full of tents, braziers and crockery.
Once you have cleared the tutorial, you’ll be released into the world of multiplayer servers! In my time playing I focused on two different modes: Arenas and Team Battles. I first attempted my hand at Arenas, and boy was that a mistake. Arenas are a simple free for all, and if you don’t know what you are doing, you’ll die really quick. I liked the idea of playing an archer, so rocked up with a crossbow, a short sword and a wood barricade. I landed my first bolt, but that was it. I died and died and died. Okay, maybe an Archer isn’t the best class for an Arena fight. Let’s try out the Man-at-Arms! Oh…apparently speed doesn’t count for much… To the Knight! I thought these were OP… To the Vanguard! Well, That’s a little better…
My arena experience wasn’t really that fun, but then I joined a team battle. An hour and a half later i realized that this game did, in fact, have the ability to be addicting and fun! Working with a team in Chivalry is a completely different experience. Archers stay back and support the front line fighter. Knights dominate, but Vanguards are great counter, breaking the lines of the enemy. I still think that knights are severely overpowered, and I still can’t quite figure out how to bring them down, but I suppose that is the point.
I did encounter a number of technical issues during my time playing Chivalry. Models would glitch and jump about. I once wielded two axes in one hand, quite impressively. Texture see-saw from beautiful to atrocious, but for the most part I was impressed with the visual style of the game. The few visual bugs weren’t enough to hurt the game, but some of the lag and model rubber banding I encountered were game breaking and really spoiled a few fights for me. I’m sure this was probably an issue on my end, but it was certainly frustrating and didn’t help me enjoy my time with Chivalry.
Chivalry: Medieval Warfare delivers in some respects: it set out to do exactly what it says it wants to, even if it sometimes feels a little disjointed.If you want to experience medieval combat Player versus Player action, I don’t think I’ve seen a better example in ages, but be prepared for a steep learning curve, not only in terms of the controls, but in compensating for the games poor mechanics. Staying away from Arenas will vastly improve you enjoyment of the game in my opinion, as would an internal limit on the amount of Knights a team could use at any one time…
…God-damn greatswords….OP as shit
The Good: Nice Variety of Classes and Equipment, Team Matchs are a Blast, Visuals are Solid
The Bad: Can Handle Poorly, Knights are OP (Plz Nerf), Reach is Poorly Implimented