Chivalry was in no way a game I was highly anticipating, mostly because it remained off my radar somehow. I was making my usual rounds on YouTube when I came across The Game Station’s Duel-A-Thons. Watching those guys have fun with such in-depth and visceral combat gave me nerdgasms all over the place, so naturally I ran over to Kyle’s side of the apartment to tell him we need to take out our wallets to drop the $25 on Steam. Do you ever get the feeling that buying something on Steam that isn’t on sale is a bad investment, because chances are, that game is going to go on sale in a week? In any case, Kyle had already been thinking about the purchase himself, so my presence there only encouraged the transaction.
You don’t want to know how I bought it though, you want to know what I thought of it. I start up Chivalry and the first thing that catches my eye is the Tutorial. Watching the previous gameplay I could see how there is more depth to this game than meets the eye, so I gladly submit myself to Chivalry’s instruction. My initial guess was right, even if all you bring into battle is a wooden club, there are many different ways to bloody your enemy. Swinging a weapon alone presents three choices; cutting brains to balls, armpit to armpit, or a quick jab down the middle. Each of these strokes should be utilized to get the better of your opponent, because they each serve a specific purpose in different encounters. For example, a wide swing to the left might work better to get around an opponent’s shield, while a quick strike down at the crouch might subdue a slow, heavily armored enemy.
Swinging your junk is only a small part of Chivalry though. There is blocking, shooting, throwing, pushing, and catapulting to be done. This is in no small part thanks to the surprisingly well thought out weapon unlocking system. These upgrades are just the sort of thing you would find in a FPS today, only with Chivalry’s medieval twist. Swing your broadsword long enough and you unlock a faster scimitar. Each class in Chivalry as it’s own, unique set of unlockables that will have me upgrading my knight for weeks to come.
What else? Well, we have the ability to use either third or first-person. There are multiple game modes ranging from arena style free-for-alls, to larger scale sieges complete with ballistas and battering rams. There’s decapitations, battle crying, spike pits, the occasional flayed knight. If any of that sounds like a good time, you and I share the same definition.
Do I have any complaints about Chivalry? Two spring to mind. The first is the occasional lag spikes. I know this is to be expected when you’re playing on a strangers server, but I know part of the blame belongs to the game engine, because I experienced these hic-ups even in the tutorial. It doesn’t happen enough to piss you off, but when it happens it’s a major bummer, because in a game like this, a moments hesitation gets you killed.
My second complaint would be how hard it is to set up a server of your own. Hosting your own server to play strictly with your friends should be made easy, but in Chivalry, it’s anything but. In order to host your own game you must jump onto Steam to download a separate addon package. It’s free, but as Kyle will tell you, it’s a bitch to set up. Something like this should have come packaged with the game, and just seemed like a big oversight.
All in all, Chivalry is a kick ass game, and the first game of it’s kind I’ve ever played. Yes, it was a very refreshing change of pace from the triple A titles I’ve been playing lately. It’s visceral combat and flat out grit make me feel like a Lance-a-lot fighting for honor and glory. For $25 Chivalry- Medieval Warfare is a must own.
Now that you’ve heard my thoughts, watch Kyle and I play the damn thing!