|Developer||Torn Banner Studios|
|Genre||online multiplayer action|
|Platforms||PC, PS4, PS5(reviewed), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S,|
|Release Date||June 8th, 2021|
Chivalry 2 is a follow-up to Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, the hit game released in 2012. The series first started as a Half-Life 2 mod called “Age of Chivalry” and eventually became an original video game released on PC and consoles. 2019 was met with the release of Mordhau, an independent game made by fans of Chivalry. While it was one of my favorite releases of that year, Mordhau had a toxic community and experienced some controversy over racial issues. Chivalry 2 was also announced in 2019 and still shines despite the competition coming into play. If you’re a fan of the medieval ages and immersive action, you’ve come to the right place.
Violence: Chivalry 2 is centered around combat in the medieval ages, in which armies face off against one another in melee and ranged combat. Players have the option of using different kinds of bows, swords, axes, spears, and more to subdue their enemies. During combat, large amounts of blood splatter and cover the ground as soldiers take damage on both sides of the battlefield. Dismemberment is also a key feature of the game, which is pretty graphic as players can be dismembered and might be viewing it from a first-person perspective. Players can also pick up dismembered heads from the battlefield and throw them at enemies. However, if the violence is too much, players can turn the blood and dismemberment off in the settings menu.
Sexual Content: Voice lines and emotes are optional to utilize. Some of those voice lines are suggestive innuendos directed at an opponent’s or ally’s mother.
Drug/Alcohol Use: If a player finds a cup, tankard, or Chalice on the battlefield, they can drink out of it to make their character drunk which will blur the screen and hinder the player’s vision.
Language: “Sh*te” is used in the voice lines on occasion.
Honestly, it took some time for me to warm up to Chivalry 2. When getting my hands on it, I was pleased that the controls and basic combat weren’t as complex as Mordhau. Although, I had a fondness for that iteration on the formula in which the original Chivalry started. Learning that directional melee combat was satisfying and ultimately rewarding when surviving an encounter or winning to duel. Both games embrace the chaos of medieval warfare, but Mordhau emphasizes skill while Chivalry 2 encourages players to live in the moment. In Chivalry 2, that chaos is beautiful and makes for an enjoyable time,
First, I want to speak on the visual and audio presentations. Chivalry 2’s realistic graphics help create a grittiness that adds to the immersion. The maps were cleverly designed with details and plenty of objects and structures throughout that breathe some life into the world despite a battle. Then it’s the audio that especially stood out to me because even though I may be respawning after death, I still hear the battle going on up ahead—weapons clashing together, warcries, and screams of pain. I believe that most players will be playing on PC. Still, I opted to review the console version and discovered that the game fully utilizes the hardware and runs at 4k resolution with 60fps simultaneously.
Speaking of playing on console, I was somewhat worried about how little the player count might be. That concern came to mind when I first tried to play the original Chivalry on PS4, which had no one playing when I purchased it near the game’s launch on the platform. My expectations were instantly subverted when the game notified me about crossplay and gave me the option to turn it off. I thought this was a wise move because it immediately tears down the walls of a divided player-base and quickly puts many in a single match. Another decision the developers made to keep matches populated was to fill the empty player slots with bots. I wish I could report the player-to-bot ratio here, but I was too immersed in the game to care during each match that I played.
For those that have never played one of these immersive medieval warfare games, the best comparison I can make is that it feels like Battlefield but with melee weapons and bows. Swinging your weapon is done on the shoulder buttons that offer horizontal, overhead, and stab attacks. Chivalry 2 contains objective-based modes depending on the map you’re playing on. Most maps will have your team sieging or defending a particular village or castle, while a few maps are open areas built for TDM style gameplay. For the latter, it is incredibly cool that an AI commander gives a speech to you and your fellow soldiers who lined up waiting to charge into battle like a scene out of a movie. At first, I thought there weren’t many maps in Chivalry 2, but I find that the issue might be how they rotate. There are seven in total, but it would get tiresome when I would run into the same scenario almost back to back.
What I enjoy most about Chivalry 2 is how there is much simplicity and depth in the combat. For example, a horizontal swing adds momentum when you move the right stick into it, but that swing can attack more than one enemy. The overhead and trust attacks work especially great when you have allies at your side because it is possible and likely you’ll accidentally do damage to them too. I found the bows to work nicely too, which have an aim assist on console that helped when I would try and pick off enemies that were giving my allies a hard time. Throwing weapons and objects at others is quite fun; I used one character build to throw my shield like a medieval Captain America and manage to get a kill on one occasion. Some of the more comical moments were when I watched an old wagon wheel fly over the enemy army before crushing me, and one in which my team was attempting to break through a gate and had boulders dropped on our heads. Chivalry 2 will stay with me for a while because of the encounters that made me feel good at the game and all the times I laughed because of the funny ways I would either be killed or get kills.
The player progression in Chivalry 2 is also quite simple. You will level up your profile and the character classes that you use, which earns you gold and unlocks different weapons to choose from. The gold can be used on cosmetic pieces for your armor and weapons, and premium currency called “Crowns” is available for purchase if you want to throw some extra money into the game. The ability to customize your character’s facial features for each class is an option if you choose to get that much into detail, but I didn’t spend much time on it since I was more interested in the armor. All of the personalization is open to both factions as well. It’s possible to switch between the two at the click of the button. I admire that there is a lot that the game has to offer, even when you’re not inside a match.
Lastly, Chivalry 2 has lore that explains why these two factions are at war—more than a simple Red team vs. Blue team. The King of the Agatha Knights(Blue) was slain, leading the Mason Order(Red) to rule over the kingdom. Twenty years later, a new leader emerges for the Agatha Knights, which spurs them to retake their rightful throne. The lore influences the various scenarios and match types that I mentioned earlier. Lore and a backstory weren’t essential, but they have helped shape the gameplay experience that the developers had in mind. They could have inserted a slew of different match types we have seen in many multiplayer games, but they went above and beyond to make the experience more immersive.
I got to Chivarly 2 a few days after launch, and in passing, saw that it saw some high praise. I found myself questioning why that was and had to see for myself. I didn’t feel the same way during my initial experience and still think the map rotation could be better. However, I agree that Chivalry 2 is one of the best multiplayer experiences of the year. It is a game that you shouldn’t take too seriously and very easy to jump in and have a good time. I have memories of playing Chivalry 2 that I won’t have with any other game and found myself fully immersed in each battle. A significant plus is that there is no division in player-based, so the game will be populated with players regardless of which platform you decide to play on.
Review key was kindly provided by Tripwire Presents and Evolve PR
The Bottom Line
Though some aspects could use some tuning, Chivalry 2 takes is rightful place on the throne of immersive medieval combat.