The chivalry is back and swaying, which means heads are about to roll. Medieval style. Chivalry 2 is a welcome sequel to the brilliant Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, released almost 10 years ago, in 2012. Chivalry 2 aims to raise the stakes and reclaim its throne. With 64 player matches, fierce and brutal fights and killing people with chickens? Let’s see how it went, okay?

Paint me a bloody picture

While Chivalry 2 won’t win any awards for its overall graphic fidelity, it looks pretty good, with nice details on weapons and armor. But where it really shines is in the cards. The maps in Chivalry 2 are fantastic. With castles and amazing seascapes with small shabby huts in the middle of a forest. It seems believable. The eight cards that are currently in the game are also varied. There’s a lot of rock, mud, and wood, but after playing each one a few times, you get a feel for how each map works differently.

Animation and sound design really tie everything together for me. Nothing looks too janky, even when bodies are flying all over the place. Seeing two other players fight looks pretty good. You see the guns colliding as you think and in the first person you see everything up close and nothing so far has taken me out of the experience. The real test of this is in some matches where the two armies meet on open ground and clash. It’s bloody and loud and awesome and it looks and sounds huge.

Death tone

What struck me almost immediately while playing Chivalry 2 was how inconsistent the tone was. Right from the tutorial, it hit me like a sledgehammer. A soldier, in what I think is one of the most obnoxious vocal speeches I’ve ever heard, yells at me. I understand what they were looking for with the wacky dubbing (shit) and mindful jokes. I know this was also the case with Chivalry’s first game, but it looks dated. Oh, have you watched Monty Python and Blackadder? Good for you. Now stop with the horribly read and garish lines and let me chop off a guy’s head.

You fight in these well-done, grounded environments, and then you have a dumb character who claims he’s part of the blue team. It really pulls me out of the experience which, for the most part, is a great experience. The game can be brutal at times, when you see a downed teammate walking away from an ax wielding armored bully it can be quite dark, but never overtly. It’s mostly hilarious.

The humor in this game is honestly at its best when it’s not trying. The number of times I laughed during games surprised me. There is a real sense of merriment in the chaos of Chivalry 2. One beautiful moment that I witnessed was an ally disarming itself, so he picks up the closest object which happens to be a pumpkin. He then throws the pumpkin needlessly at the oncoming Mason Knight of the Order who quickly cuts off my comrade’s head. Brilliant.

chivalry-2-game-modes

Knock at home

All of the issues I mentioned above, while still valid (I highly recommend turning down the volume on the voice), become trivial once you step into the fray and experience the brutal, satisfying combat. The combat is as deep as you want it to be. You can learn the correct timing for the feints and reduce your dodges to a tee. Or you can just run and swing wildly. Either way, you will have a lot of fun. Chivalry 2 may have the best first person melee combat I have ever experienced. You can also play in the 3rd person, which allows you to see a little more but you lose a lot in immersion. Each weapon is unique and they are all stunning and / or horrific. Other than the crossbow, I did not find a weapon that I did not like to use.

I love it when games allow you to interact with your surroundings. I especially like when a game allows me to use said environment to crush an enemy’s head. The improvisation that was introduced in Chivalry 2 might be my favorite part of this game. The fact that you can start a fully equipped fight to roam the battlefield in search of anything to kill your enemy is really exciting. . There is a real dynamism in the fights.

The real meat and potatoes of Chivalry 2 is the team objective mode. This pits the Knights of Agatha against the Order of Masons in what can be quite long, goal-oriented matches. Think Battlefield Rush and you’ve come to the right place. This mode, like the rest of the game, is ridiculously fun. In one game, you might start by escorting a ram and then end up fighting with the royal heir in his throne room. I don’t know how Torn Banner did it, but the battles always seem huge. It always feels like there are over 64 players in this mode as well. The free-for-all and the team deathmatch are great fun but I didn’t spend too much time with them.

No eye in the team

In your early games, Chivalry 2 might not seem like the most tactical game. It may just look like bloody chaos. This is until you start to understand the different classes and weapons, and how what you do can really help your team in a fight. There are small skirmishes all over the battlefield, and a well-placed arrow or a charge with a battle ax can make all the difference. Sometimes you will find yourself in an impossible battle against five other enemies. You’re not looking to kill them, you just distract them until your team gets behind them and gets chopped up.

I especially like the way the respawn works. This is done in turns, so there is a common countdown for people to respawn. So when you reappear on the battlefield, you’re not alone, but actually charge forward with a number of your teammates. It adds to the flow of the games, as if you are providing a real boost to your team struggling to hold the line. It would be nice if there was a squad system similar to Fallout, that way it would be easier to plan with your friends and strangers, which is best to attack or defend.

Bare bones

At first it may seem like Chivalry is a bit lacking in content. None of the game’s systems are explained apart from the general tutorial. By pressing two buttons (and a super fast loading screen) you’re in a game, hacking. There are customization options, but it’s a bit superficial. There are three different game modes and eight maps, five for TO and three for the other two modes. I think this lean approach really helps Chivalry 2. It keeps it simple.

There is no bloated leveling system or perk shafts. You just level up and get gold, eventually unlocking a new weapon and leveling up your rank with the class you use. There aren’t a thousand challenges or millions of skins or business cards. Part of me wishes there was some kind of kill / scorestreak in the game. Like being able to summon a rain of arrows or war dogs, but that can spoil the simple fun this game offers. The experience is in fact quite pure, despite all the dismemberments, which may not be suitable for everyone. The developers have mentioned that they plan to add enough content to effectively double the size of the game. So that’s something to look forward to.

If you love Chivalry 2, check out our list of new and upcoming medieval games to watch in 2021 and beyond.

8/10

summary

Chivalry 2 is one of the most enjoyable multiplayer experiences I have had in a long time. It’s pure, simple, satisfying, and chaotic, but can be a bit too thin for some players.



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