Posted on October 17, 2012 AT 02:58pm
This is the breath of fresh air I’ve been waiting for. Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is friggin’ awesome. I love it and am horrified that I love it so much. I never knew I would be so taken to gaping wounds and severed limbs as much as I am after playing this multiplayer gore-fest from Torn Banner Studios. I’m currently rushing through this review just so I can get back to the throat-slitting, blood-gurgling battlefields of maiming death. If those few opening descriptions of mutilation and dismemberment sound good to you, buy this game. Run, don’t walk to your computer. Be mindful of your footing and don’t knock over your computer, you’re going to need it.
For $25 Steam has placed Chivalry up for sale, or you can get the 4-pack for seventy-five clams. As the guy in the Legend of the Hidden Temple said: the choice is yours and yours alone, but I definitely recommend picking up some friends for this romp. The game is simple: Team Fortress 2 and COD style objectives are on the surface of this Medieval melee-brawler, but the skill and nuance required to slice off your foe’s head quickly becomes apparent. Yes you will be completing objectives, but it’s the way they are presented that makes the game so fun and unique. There is no capturing the flag here, but there is the burning down of villages and murdering of villagers. Take out the peasants and then your next phase is opened up – bringing in the battering ram to make your way into the castle to wipe the royal family from the face of this mortal coil.
Watch the launch trailer right now or die in a pool of mud and blood on the fields of battle.
Torn Banner Studios has set out to do one thing, and that’s to create the best melee combat game of all time. Besides Mount and Blade (which I’m a huge fan of) this game blows the competition out of the water. The graphics are spectacular, utilizing the Unreal Engine to it’s full, badass capacity. The music is pumping and makes you want to pound your chest and swing a blade in honor of your chosen faction. The sound effects are loud, clanging and with each spurting stream of blood and gurgle resonating in your ears, only the most questionably cold people won’t feel a burning in their belly yearning to scream ‘Victory’ and or ‘freedom’ so loud the neighbors will grow concerned. The only negative is the blatantly amateurish voice-overs, but for a game that was Kickstarter’d to what we see now, I can get over it.
The game is multiplayer only, with a solid mix of team death match, objective modes and free for all. The maps are stunning, (although I wish there were more of them) the sense of scale is great and the skill needed to cut down your opponent is hard-earned and satisfying to attain. Tell me exploding a skull with a warhammer isn’t the most visceral and breathtaking thing you’ve done in a videogame this year and I will call you a liar, sir/ma’am. The training portion of the game helps the novice learn to feint and parry while throwing in a confusingly accented plotline, but that’s barely needed. The real flesh (literally) is flying all over the place in the multiplayer game.
But how does it handle? How are the mechanics? Slow at first, but you are running around in suits of armor. Even then, the game feels somewhat clunky, but it’s forgivable in the name of an experience that delivers incredibly well on the hand to hand combat. Collision detection is incredible: I’ve seen slashes across chests from when a player moves out of the way at the perfect second. Heads cut off like a knife through butter on less armored foes. It’s all there, and aside from the ‘fire pots’ I have shockingly little to complain about. The game rarely feels ‘cheap.’
I played the game extensively with both the Xbox 360 controller connect to my PC and the mouse and keyboard. Although the gamepad was nice, the keyboard is needed to gain every edge possible on your enemy. One thing the gamepad did prove: Chivalry needs to come out on Xbox and PSN as soon as humanly possible.
SUMMARY: If you are searching for something new, and melee combat interests you – look no further. This is the game for you. I couldn’t recommend this title higher. If it weren’t for the somewhat hefty price tag for a multiplayer only game with limited maps at launch, I fear I would give it a near perfect score. But it doesn’t. Hopefully Torn Flag follows in the footsteps of Mount and Blade and adds community mods and plenty of patches/updates. If it does, I will be playing this game for a bloody long time.
THE GOOD: The collision detection and the gorily beautiful graphics.
THE BAD: The laughable voice overs.
THE UGLY: The dry cleaning bill over some of the knights. My God, what a mess.
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