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What is Chivalry: Medieval Warfare?

Updated on September 18, 2013
Chivalry: Medieval Warfare features first-person swordfighting
Chivalry: Medieval Warfare features first-person swordfighting | Source

What started out as a mod and is now a full-fledged game, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is a surprisingly refreshing take on the hack-and-slash genre.

Chivalry is a first person sword fighting game developed by Torn Banner Studios set in the Medieval Era. It is a spiritual successor to the Half-Life 2 mod Age of Chivalry. You pick a side between two fictional kingdoms: The blue and gold Agatha or the red and black Masons. There are for main classes of medieval warriors, each with its own unique gameplay: the Knight, Vanguards, Men-at-Arms and the Archers.

An Agatha Knight
An Agatha Knight

The Knight

The Knight is the only class that wears full-plate armor and therefore can take the most hits. This armor comes at the cost of speed as Knights are the slowest class in the game. They are one of the two classes that can wield shields (the other being the Man-at-Arms). Because of their high durability, Knights are the best class for beginners to pick.

Weapons

  • Two-handed Axes
  • War Hammers
  • Swords
  • Flails

An Agatha Vanguard
An Agatha Vanguard

The Vanguard

The Vanguards are the offensive class in the game. Vanguards have a very powerful charge attack that deals massive damage when it connects. When the attack is parried, it knocks the enemy back a few feet away but the Vanguard will pause and recoil. Vanguards have the weapons with the most reach allowing them to swing wider and stab faster further increasing their offensive capabilities.

Weapons

  • Spears
  • Polearms
  • Two-handed Swords

A Mason Man-at-Arms
A Mason Man-at-Arms

The Man-At-Arms

The Man-at-Arms is a unique class. Men-at-Arms have the ability to dodge by double tapping a movement key. They can sidestep an attack and quickly move in for a counter-attack. The main trade-off is that Men-at-Arms are lightly and armored and can die to most attacks in around two hits. Along with the knight, Men-at-Arms can wield shields.

Weapons

  • Short Swords
  • Maces
  • One-handed Axes

A Mason Archer
A Mason Archer

The Archer

Archers are the only ranged class in the game. They have the least amount of hit points among the classes and are the easiest to kill ... if you can get to them. Arrows and bolts have a bit of travel time and drop so playing as an Archer in a sword-fighting game is not as easy as it looks.

Weapons

  • Bows
  • Crossbows
  • Javelins
  • Slingshot

Medieval Combat

The controls in Chivalry is simple and easy to get used to. Left-click swings your weapon while right-click parries (or blocks if you have a shield equipped). Holding ALT and pressing the left-click allows you to swing your weapon in the opposite direction. The mouse wheel controls stabbing and overhead swings. Scrolling up allows you to stab and scrolling down performs an overhead swing. Pressing Q while winding up a swing allows you to feint an attack and pressing F allows you to kick.This is especially useful versus opponents who are good at blocking/parrying.

While it appears simple enough, the combat mechanics of Chivalry contain a surprising amount of depth. Blindly swinging your weapon against a decently skilled opponent will get yourself killed fast as every missed swing leaves you wide open for a counter-attack. Even blocking and parrying takes skill as you still have to aim your blocks towards the oncoming weapon.

The gameplay is fast and fluid. Every blow you land feels incredibly satisfying and is helped by the fact that your attacks visibly cut your opponents up. The game is viscous. Limbs get cut off, decapitated heads roll around and blood is everywhere. Indeed a fair warning to our dear parents: This game is not for children!

The troops of Agatha against the Mason warriors.
The troops of Agatha against the Mason warriors.

Chivalry in the Battlefield

There are a variety of game modes ranging from your standard team deathmatch, capture the flags, king of the hill and free-for-alls. There is also an objective mode while one team tries to perform a series of objectives and the other team tries to stop them. This game mode is the most dynamic with the level changing as an objective gets completed. There are a plethora interesting and at times silly objectives to complete like pushing a cart full of corpses to pollute a water supply to defending the throne's heirs to actually defending the king himself (The top player of the defending side becomes the king).

Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is pure, mindless fun. Friendly fire is always enabled by default and this leads to a lot of team-killing. You would think that this detracts from the gameplay but it doesn't. In fact, it adds another layer of depth to the game as you would have to make decisions such as swinging to kill another player at the cost of your teammate's life.

Chivalry is an interesting and innovative take on hack-and-slash games and an extremely fun multiplayer game that will keep you hooked for hours. Bring a friend or better yet, bring three.

What is your favorite class in Chivalry: Medieval Warfare?

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