Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is a multiplayer action game that emphasizes melee combat. Enter a brutal medieval battlefield by choosing from four classes and fight using one of sixty medieval weapons. Intense game modes include players besieging castles, slaughtering each other in the arena, and raiding villages with up to thirty-two players in one match.
|Publisher: Torn Banner Studios
Type: Melee PvP
Release Date: April 4, 2014
Pros: +Entertaining gore effects. +Deep combat mechanics. +Objective-based game modes.
Cons: -Toxic community. -Random game crashes. -Hit-box detection issues.
Chivalry is a fast-paced action game with brutal visuals and a deep combat system set in the Middle Ages. Players choose from one of four classes and sixty different weapons, ranging from the two-handed Zweihänder to the Warbow. A variety of game modes are available to test yourself as a warrior, including Capture the Flag and Free For All. Charge into battle with teammates screaming for glory and break through the opponent's castle walls in Objective Maps. Chivalry employs a deep combat system that is simple to learn but difficult to master, with the ability to feint, parry, and direct weapon swings. Decapitate your opponents or sever their limbs with well-placed attacks to show off Chivalry’s bloody, and at times hilarious, combat. Taunt opponents as you charge into battle with voice-acted warcries unique to each class and faction. A DLC titled Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior pits the strongest fighters throughout history against each other across a variety of historically inspired maps.
Chivalry Key Features
- Great Voiceovers – extensive and amusing voice-acted taunts that are specific to both factions and class.
- Class Variety – four distinct classes with unique weapon layouts that can be expanded by killing enemies.
- Game Mode Variety - Free-For-All, Team Objective, Team Deathmatch, Duels, Last Team Standing, Capture the Flag, and custom games.
- Deep Combat System – allows players to feint, parry, and control the full range of weapon motions.
- Choose a Weapon – over fifty different weapons to choose from that are inspired by medieval warfare.
Chivalry Featured Video
By Sean Sullivan
Charging towards enemies to the choir of roaring battle-cries is both hilarious and heart-pumping in Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. Timed swings decapitate enemies and spurt blood across your tabard. Clashing with opponents is a gruesome and satisfying dance. Oftentimes I ended up squaring off against a foe in an epic duel as we hack away at each other. I block a swing as I watch my opponent's torso wind-up, to riposte with my Fork and send him straight to Valhalla. When we finally kill the King of Stoneshill, my team and I yell "Agatha" until our lungs bleed. It’s another day in the medieval world of Chivalry, and battle has never been this glorious.
“What A Lovely Day”
Running on Unreal Engine 3, Chivalry may not push the boundaries of video game graphics but it does evoke the atmosphere of a gritty medieval universe. Whether you're fighting in the sun-drenched desert Ruins or the foreboding Darkforest, Chivalry’s maps are war-torn worlds ripe for spilling blood in a time before antibiotics. And they offer enough variety that they seldom become repetitive. How could they, with the copious amounts of blood staining the lands in new patterns each match. Besides supporting up to thirty-two players on the field at once, the game shows off an absurd—to the point of being ridiculous—amount of medieval gore. But, it's gory in the same way that the Black Knight from Monty Python is gory; it's hilarious. My Freudian therapist might not agree, but chopping away enemy limbs is immensely satisfying, as their gurgling cries send them back to the spawn point. Especially after I’ve been dueling a dexterous Man-At-Arms for five minutes, before grinding his skull with my Maul.
Choose Your Apprenticeship
Chivalry has four classes, spanning the spectrum of medieval warriors. Lumbering knights rely on their plate-armor to endure attacks, before retaliating with devastating two-handed swings. The versatile Man-At-Arms spins around opponents, jabbing as he dodges attacks. Archers are the most vulnerable but survive by sticking their arrows in an enemy's cranium—if their skilled enough to aim. And the most well-rounded class is the Vanguard, wielding long two-handed weapons and poking opponents from a distance.
I settled for the Knight and wielded a Maul—a slow, blunt weapon capable of shattering players. Although, the most skilled players that I played with tended to choose the Archer class. The Archer class is the source of much disdain in the Chivalry community, but the vexing profession has the highest learning curve. Lining up shots on moving targets is a difficult task, particularly because arrows must be arced to take out enemies at a distance. It’s a realistic approach that prevents people from swarming to the archer class and turning the game away from melee and into Medieval Counter-Strike.
But if Archer isn’t your style, the other three classes have a huge catalog of weapons to satisfy your bloodlust. While the Vanguard starts with the Thrusting Spear he can upgrade to the two-pronged Fork after earning twenty-four kills. Each class has three starting weapon styles that can be upgraded by slaughtering opponents. And every weapon is suited for a situation—the Quarterstaff is great for dueling while the Claymore is perfect for decapitating a Man-At-Arms. But every weapon has its drawbacks. It's up to players to decide how exactly they want to play.
The Way Of The Sword (or Axe, Polearm, Falchion, etc.)
Chivalry’s greatest virtue is its simple and accessible combat system. Swinging the Zweihänder is as easy as pressing left-click, while the mouse-wheel is assigned to overhead swings and jabs. To block, right-click and hear the clanging of steel rather than the groans of severed flesh. It’s an immensely satisfying system as you exchange blows with another player, searching for the weakest link in their defense. And when two hordes meet among screaming cries, the battlefield is an intense and humorous bloodbath as limbs and appendages stain the ground. But the simple mechanics belie a deeper system that requires knowing your enemy and the game's combat system.
Experienced players can chain attacks without worrying about recovery time. And they can feint by pressing “Q,” where an attack is cancelled before the animation is complete, tricking an opponent into parrying and opening up their defenses. Even wide swings can be dodge by crouching, so you can poke enemies in their guts from below the belt. Understanding the simple systems at work in Chivalry is key to dominating the battlefield.
Chivalry has a Real-Time-Strikes system that allows attacks to be sped up or slowed down by moving the mouse with, or against, your swing. And you can choose where you want to begin the attack by looking at a particular part of your screen. Looking at the ground and using an overhead attack swings your blade faster than looking at your opponent head-on and attacking. And what weapon you’re using dictates your turn speed. A two-handed sword has a much faster turn rate than a poleaxe. It's a complex system that some players with over 500 hours of game-time don’t realize, even though they may keep you off-balance.
Playing With The Big Boys
Mastering the game's mechanics invokes a similar feeling to successfully parrying in Dark Souls—you’re able to withstand the onslaught of opponents and cut them down like Musashi Miyamoto. Chivalry has a high skill-cap that can be absurdly frustrating when you first encounter it. When you hit Rank 16, you’ll no longer be grouped with newbie players. Instead, you’ll be playing with the big boys—players with hundreds of hours of game time. Veteran players will mock you as they dodge your blows, feint, and combo. But facing them is the best way to learn. Enter the dueling arena often enough and you’ll have the right to power-trip as well.
Killing Filthy Peasants
Chivalry has enough game modes to keep gameplay fresh. Free-For-All is a shambolic bloodbath where you’ll most likely be killed by an opportunistic player piercing you from behind. It works best in the compact Arena where spiked pillars and fire-traps pose as much hazard as other players. Team Deathmatch is slightly more structured but proves friendly-fire can be as detrimental to your health as enemies. (Chivalry teaches you how to type "sorry" in chat without thinking about it).
But my favorite mode is Team Objective, and its where Chivalry earns its longevity. Missions are both barbarous and amusing, such as when you're slaughtering peasants or pushing a cart of corpses into your enemies' water supply. At its essence, one team is defending while the other is on offense. But the added element of an objective adds tension to the game beyond which team has the higher K/D ratio. Many games end with both sides clamoring for victory at the last second. You’ll still slaughter each other on the battlefield, but elements like catapults and battering rams add flavor to what's normally a fragfest.
The DLC is a pale comparison to Medieval Warfare. While on paper it looks great—the greatest melee warriors throughout history meet on the battlefield—its execution is lackluster. It does breathe fresh air into the series by offering Spartan, Pirate, and Samurai (among others) as playable classes. But every game devolves to a deathmatch. It lacks objective-based game modes. And Team Objective is the heart and soul of Chivalry. If you play Chivalry purely for deathmatch-stylized combat, or you’re a fan of Spike TV’s cancelled show, then Deadliest Warrior may be for you. But personally, without the objective-based gameplay, it feels like a re-skin without any of the love. And the DLC doesn’t justify its high price tag with how little it offers. Unless it's on sale you don’t need Deadliest Warrior to get the Chivalry experience.
Good Armor Ain't Cheap
Chivalry does offer cosmetic items for purchase to let you dazzle on the battlefield. Bash people’s faces in with your mace while wearing gear from the highly sought-after Agatha Macy’s Pack. Or show off your individuality by purchasing a luxuriant hat—Team Fortress 2 style. Feeling flashy? You can purchase new skins for your weapons that will glisten on the fields of war. No item adds an advantage to gameplay by itself. Many of the items are created by the community and distributed via Steam Workshop. Although being able to change your tabard to black can make you more difficult to distinguish as friend or foe on the battlefield. It's a customization option that needs to be addressed, as I often found myself swinging at friendly players dressed in black, unable to discern their allegiance.
Final Verdict – Excellent
Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is a self-aware bloodbath of medieval combat. Charging into battle with fifteen other players is an enthralling experience, and squaring off against opponents becomes increasingly satisfying as you master the games mechanics. While my pants would stink in an actual medieval battle I can't help but laugh listening to the exaggerated gurgling noises of killed players in Chivalry. When Chivalry is on sale there’s no reason not to pick it up and fight for the glory of Agatha and the Mason Order.
Operating System: Windows XP 32 bit
CPU: Core 2 Duo E4600 2.4GHz or Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 5200+
RAM: 2 GB GB RAM
Video Card: GeForce 8600 GS or Radeon HD 3400 Series
Hard Disk Space: 7 GB Free Space
Operating System: Windows 7 64 bit
CPU: Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz or Athlon II X4 615e
RAM: 4 GB RAM
Video Card: GeForce GTX 460 768MB or Radeon HD 5850 1024MB
Hard Disk Space: 9 GB Free Space
Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is Mac OS X and Linux compatible.
Chivalry Additional Information
Developer(s): Torn Banner Studios
Publisher(s): Tom Banner Studios (PC), Activision (Consoles)
Lead Game Designer: Steve Piggott
Composer: Ryan Patrick Buckley
Engine: Unreal Engine 3 with PhysX
Release Date: October 16, 2012
Release Date (Mac and Linux): February 25, 2015
Deadliest Warrior Release Date: November 14, 2013
Announcement Date: May 20, 2010
Kickstarter Funded Date: September 15, 2012
Other Platforms: Linux, OS X, PS3, Xbox 360
Chivalry was developed by Torn Banner Studios. The company initially developed the game as a Half Life 2 mod, called Age of Chivalry. The combat system was revamped and interactive environmental features were added for the release of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. And, while the game originally ran on the Source game engine, Chivalry utilizes the Unreal Engine. It was announced with the title Chivalry: Battle For Agatha on May 20, 2010, but soon after changed its title. The game met its Kickstarter funding goals on September 15, 2012 and released on October 16, 2012. Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is Torn Banner Studios’ first commercial title. An expansion pack titled Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior was released on November 14, 2013. It was developed in conjunction with 345 Games and is based on the Deadliest Warrior TV series, formerly on Spike TV.