Chivalry: Medieval Warfare
Using a bow in Chivalry is sluggish, imprecise, and far more of a hassle than it’s worth.** Other classes also have access to secondary short-range missile weapons too. Admittedly, I love the Archer’s arrow cam, which is a cool feature, but long-range combat is nowhere near as fun as it should be — it feels unnecessarily punitive. When you get down to it, the broad range of weapons is what really set each warrior type apart in function and helps complement their inherent strengths. Each class’ basic loadout can be expanded by hitting certain kill quotas with a given weapon, unlocking the next one in line. There’s a lot of different gear to open up for each character. You can carry a heavy primary weapon, a lighter secondary weapon, and an unlockable special item into battle, which leaves ample room for tinkering until you find the sweet spot loadout-wise. Playing as an archer isn’t very much fun. Part of what makes the melee combat so satisfying is its speed and simplicity. Unlike War of the Roses, where there’s so much depth and variation among attacking and blocking that it can get unwieldy, Chivalry takes a more user-friendly approach. Basic swings, jabs and overhand attacks are handled with the left mouse button and the mouse wheel, while blocking only takes a single click of the right mouse button. Combos are simple to pull off and other moves like feints or special class-specific attacks utilize accessible keyboard commands. In contrast, it may not feel as deep of a system as other games, but it’s easier to parse when you’re in the midst of a crowd with weapons swinging every which way. That’s a good thing, because combat is fast-paced, bloody, and in-your-face. I also appreciate the option to switch instantly between a first and third person perspective, which makes battles more dynamic depending on your mood. Free-for-all and Team Deathmatches are rowdy killing sprees that play out on smaller portions of the map, while the bigger Team Objective matches open up the entire stage and sport multi-tiered objectives specific to each map. These massive battles have you doing everything from defending a royal family and keeping a village from being torched to preventing catapults from being destroyed or defending a signal fire. Your choice of faction will determine whether you’re on the attacking or defending side, and the flow of these large-scale encounters progresses through several levels of mission objectives before a victor is decided. While there are only six maps available at present, they’re all very well designed, huge, and visually striking. Dark forests, sunny desert cities, castle ramparts, and rocky beachside cliffs are just some of the beautiful settings you’ll carve up opponents in. ** - A previous version of this review mistakenly stated you couldn’t swap classes mid-match. IGN regrets the error.