Chivalry: Medieval Warfare Review

Chivalry: Medieval Warfare

I had a dream of battle. A dream of armed combat in which warriors rode to the field not in helicopters, tanks, or even “warthogs,” but only by the power of their own two legs and the battle cries of their brothers in arms. One where the implements of war were not made of techno-polymer and Tenifer, but of artisan-forged steel and solid oak, and a man’s mettle was tested in the face of his enemy, looking into the eyes of he who would become either victim or slayer. Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is the realization of that dream, and fills the void left by that instinctual urge for such a test of intestinal fortitude. In other words: this is the medieval combat game I’ve been waiting for.

Chivalry: Medieval Warfare

With minimal narrative, aside from the classic story of warring factions in a struggle for dominance, I head into battle as an archer, knight, vanguard, or man-at-arms – each class with its own strengths, weaknesses, and special abilities – against other warriors from around the world (depending on server latency, of course), entrusting my fleeting life to my three chosen weapons and my proficiency in their use. Should I decide to spend extended time on the battlefield mastering any one tool of war, other weapons of its type will become available as my skill improves. A total of nearly 50 different weapons fill out the arsenal, each with its own benefits and drawbacks, though fewer than half are available when I first step into the bloody fray.

Forests, fields, villages, castles, ruins, and gladiatorial arenas drink up the blood and severed limbs of the fallen; deaths are quick and brutal in the fight between the Mason Order and the Knights of Agatha, even during the addictive, multi-phase, objective-based combat that can span a given area over the course of an extended battle. The importance of teamwork accentuated in such miniature campaigns can knit together brothers in arms or tear apart individuals who are otherwise focused on the intensity and singularity of the duel and the thrill of the kill. In conflicts as deadly and messy as these, teamwork is indispensable to one’s survival.

Chivalry: Medieval Warfare

The cruciality of individual combat skills is not to be discounted, however. Nay, the man-to-man fight is the core of medieval conflict, and the depth of combat is emphasized in the world of Chivalry. Warriors stab, slash, and swing overhead, and can utilize feints and combos between parrying, ducking, jumping, and dodging to avoid suffering mortal wounds at the hands of their foes. Timing is everything in these fights, and milliseconds can make the difference between victory and defeat, especially when advanced techniques, like dragging attacks to either speed or delay impact, breaking guards, and forcing errant parries, are mastered. And let’s not forget the catapults and ballistas…

Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is, for now, the definitive virtual medieval combat experience. It’s the Counter-Strike 1.x of the Middle Ages: strong in its mettle, but as of yet a foundation upon which to build future generations of steel-clad warriors… and hopefully stables.


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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