Last weekend (26 – 27.01.) Steam promoted Chivalry with a free weekend play and offered a significant price discount so I got the option to try out the game and get some impressions.
I’ve found it about a month ago, when I was checking some video reviews and Steam’s Christmas deals. It looked really impressing – good, believable and brutal medieval atmosphere. I must admit – I’ve always wanted to wield a big two hander or a longbow, dressed from head to toe in forged steal, but as I wasn’t born some hundred years ago (probably for good, sigh) and never got the opportunity to play a major role in a medieval or fantasy movie (although I think I am born for that) I decided to see how it feels in a virtual reality.
Chivalry is a multiplayer game, set in an imaginary medieval kingdom, torn of a brutal civil war. Or at least this is what I got from the short and pretty strange training I chose from the starting screen. You start in a military camp and can decide what to learn – from basics of melee combat to using siege machines. The sergeants and officers, who train you, are marvelous bunch of super humans. They talk to you through telepathy (or the developers were too lazy to animate couple of moving lips), if you do not follow exactly their attacking orders, you can smash them until they are bathed in their own blood, and while they teach you the defense moves, they are not ashamed to cut off your arm or head. In between the trainings you are met by the exact same looking guys, dressed in different color tabards, who call you a traitor for not choosing their order and unashamed attack you in front of your trainers (who of course do not give a damn of what is happening). If you get yourself eventually killed, you miraculously respawn upon your split body parts to a surprise of your attackers and must try to avenge your brutal death. At the end, something happens: the king summons you to battle, and the armies set sail to the sunset.
Ok, I understand this game is made purely for multiplayer madness and showing gory fights, but I think that authors should do a bit better in this early game presentation. However the disappointment grew bigger as it was not possible to finds a single server which is not full or password protected. After several tries I got eventually in a game of team death-match in which the winning team must hold a part of the map. Both factions are totally equal and it seems that they fight for which color is better – red or blue! Or may be Arsenal or Chelsea? I managed to get once to the top of the ladder (with most gained points and kills), but mostly I was brutally slaughtered and humiliated by red/blue hordes or even my own team-mates, shooting me with bolts and arrows from hundred meters right in the weak spot of my helmet.
I’ve started with the knight-class, which although slower, has the best armor, large two hander with a long range and 1 hander and a shield which you can switch between in battle. With of bit of luck and dedication I feel that the knight could be the best noob-friendly class. After that I’ve decided to test the archer with which beside some lucky headshots I did, turn to be a nightmare for me – lightly hitting weapons, long reload times (especially for the crossbow) and paper-thin armor. After several humiliating game rounds, I turn back to the knight and couldn’t get the courage to try the other two classes – the light armored man-at-arms who can dodge or the vanguard, who can charge.
I tried to switch server for a different kind of play but at the end I was staring of the server-screen, which as at the beginning, showed me only full or password-protected servers. I think it might be due to the free-weekend and reduced price of the game, but on the next day I really didn’t have the urge to test it further. I know I didn’t get the full view of the game, but of what it showed me during this couple of hours, it left me a bit disappointed.
So my final verdict for Chivalry: Medieval Warfare: 6 out of 10.
P.S. And in order not to end up with negative feelings, I must say, that for me 1st person melee combat in Chivalry felt much better in any of the Elder Scroll series. Which is really something. 🙂