Standing on the balcony, I watch as my fellow Knight moves in against his foe. Swinging his sword high, he strikes down...into the void the enemy occupied but a moment before. Spinning around, he blocks the incoming slash from the Man-At-Arms and moves back into a more defensive position. Believing he has the upper hand, the Man-At-Arms moves in and kicks my comrade, breaking his block and following up with a slash to his chest. The Knight charges forward, swinging his great sword in a wide arc, but the swordsman is quick, and dodges outside of the blade. The Knight keeps moving forward, but the swordsman is too quick, and the Knight's blows continue to slice the air. Suddenly he stops swinging - he's out of breath and completely helpless. Knowing that my brother had but moments to live, I lift my bow and aim. Taking a deep breath, I place my aiming spot above the head of the foe, take one last look, and release.
The arrow flies in a beautiful arc, moving like the Gods themselves gave it purpose, but I made an error. The Man-At-Arms moves to his left, leaving my friend open to the flying saviour. It strikes him perfectly in the back of the head, sending him swiftly from this world.
I open up the chat window. ‘Sorry!’
Welcome to Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, a brutal first (or third) person melee combat game produced by Torn Banner Studios. Chivalry is currently unlike any other game on the market. With its heavy focus on unadulterated and unapologetic combat, it is the closest the most of us (who are presumably not murderous psychopaths) will get to decapitating someone, and feeling the blood spray in your face.
A Little Bit of History
Chivalry started off as a mod for Half-Life 2 called ‘Age of Chivalry’, released in September of 2007. It became hugely popular in the opening month, and was uploaded on Steam in December of that year, which served to further expand its popularity. However, as the mod developed, the team ran into a variety of issues. In 2010, the Developers ceased production on AoC and started the company Torn Banner Studio. The team moved to the Unreal engine, acquired funding via Kickstarter, and set to work. In October 2012, TBS released Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, which instantly became a smash hit (pun intended).
Pop Goes Your Skeleton
On the surface, Chivalry is a very simple game. Move up to someone you might dislike, hack him to pieces, move on to your next foe. Underlying the simple premise, however, is a complex sword mechanic based upon accurate timing of moves (block, slash, bash, kick, etc) which will keep ardent perfectionists returning time and again to try and become the best fighter!
The game is hardly the place for a solo hero, either. Teamwork matters, such as in the "Assault" game type, where one team is tasked with objectives such as poisoning a well or killing the king. The objectives are difficult or impossible to do alone and only with a mix of classes can they be achieved.
Class of the Titans
Chivalry currently has four classes.
- Archer – As you'd expect, the Archer uses a bow and arrow or crossbow to kill at range. However, with accurate flight time and firing arcs, the class is deceptively hard to master.
- Man-At-Arms – Lightly armed and armored, the Man-At-Arms uses speed and agility to get under the swing of much heavier opponents to slash them with their short swords. They are also the only class which can throw fire bombs at people!
- Knight – Polar opposites of Man-At-Arms, the Knight is slow but heavily armored and wields a two-handed great sword capable of beheading whole groups of enemies with a single swing. This is, of course, hilarious.
- Vanguard – The Vanguard wields a spear or similar long arms as its primary weapon. Their tremendous damage and exceptional reach make them a critical part of any front line.
The mix of strengths and weaknesses means only a balanced mix of classes can bring you victory.
So why play Chivalry? It’s the reason people go into lowsec with a group of friends in T1 cruisers. It’s the reason people queue up in LoL, join a clan in WoT or MWO and join a squad in PS2. It’s about having fun with friends. It’s the joy of you and a posse of pals going onto a server and slaughtering. And if you’re looking for fun, this game has it in bloody buckets!
A Must Watch!
This video is passed onto you like a family heirloom, with the promise that you will see everything as I saw it. This video is the whole reason why I downloaded chivalry in the first place. While is shows the absurdity of Chivalry as well as a lot of the bugs (most of which have been patched, to be fair) it also does a great job of showcasing why I play it: because having a laugh is best with friends.
Now is also a good time to pick up the game, which is on steam for -33% till the 5th of january!