aTitle Screen

Could a medieval combat game be Kickstarter’s shining champion?  On September 15, 2012, Chivalry Medieval Warfare was successfully funded on Kickstarter.  Torn Banner Studios’ October 16th 2012 commercial debut of Chivalry Medieval Warfare came 5 years after its predecessor Age of Chivalry leaving the Half Life 2 mod scene behind and catapulting itself into Steam’s marketplace.

To be honest, this game wasn’t at all on my radar.  It wasn’t until the Free Play weekend on Steam in late January that I gave it a try.  It took only one multiplayer match for me to back out and purchase the full game.  Instantly I was hooked.  The technically diverse melee mechanics,  the brutally graphic death animations, and the beautifully crafted, occasionally Kinkade like level design took me to a time far removed from the Kill Streaks, Care Packages, and UAVs of today’s multiplayer mainstays.

Gameplay:

The game is set in Agatha where civil war has consumed this fantastical land.  The Agathian Knights aim to defend their homeland against the Mason Order.  Both are well equipped and blood thirsty.  Players find themselves with a bevy of choices from the get go.  Should they be an Archer and sling arrows into the fray from a distance?  Perhaps a Man-At-Arms with his well-rounded arsenal and dash ability helping him to avoid blows.  My go to character is the Vanguard.  The Vanguard has his weapon’s length on his side.  His halberds & pole hammers enable him to strike from a distance to avoid contact from shorter weapons.  Lastly we have the Knight.  This slower tank like class allows you to take more damage than the others while dealing death blows with his formidable broadsword.

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Standard tools of destruction include a Primary, Secondary, and Special Weapon set specific to each character class.  Both Primary and Secondary sets include weapons that can be unlocked when the kill threshold is met in the slot prior to it.

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The controls for wielding these weapons may at first appear to be cumbersome.  However, after a few horizontal, vertical, and lunging assaults are under your belt in the training mode you’ll feel like you’re ready to tackle multiple foes in the arena.

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Graphics:

Graphically, Chivalry Medieval Warfare can more than hold its own.  Although I’d advise against it, I couldn’t keep myself from stopping mid-battle to admire the scenery.  In the villages, you can almost feel the sun beating down on your face as it beams through the trees.  The castles have a cold, dank atmosphere that almost makes your skin crawl.  The arena with its spiked walls, death pit, and fire traps proves to be most unwelcoming to say the least while retaining an exquisite graphical quality.

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I found the character and weapon modelling to be impressive as well.  It’s obvious that each model was created with a meticulous attention to detail.  The developer took time to add even the smallest assets to the armour and weapons sets which in turn, makes it apparent that this was truly a labour of love.

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Sounds:

The crackling and popping of burning buildings or fallen warriors, arrows zinging past your head, battle cries from both friend and foe, and the occasional death rattle of a severed head make up only a fraction of the ambient sounds that create a sense of dread throughout the world.  Music in this game can be considered customary as medieval tones go.  Usually getting more intense as time expires or when objectives are met. 

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Multi-Player/Co-op:

Multiplayer modes include Team Objective, Team Deathmatch, and Free-For-All.  While the latter two modes are self-explanatory the Team Objective mode will have players raiding villages, burning farms, besieging castles, and defending their glory in the arena.

Although the game is primarily multiplayer it does include a single player bot match as well as a training mode.  Both are what you’d expect.

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Final Thoughts:

While playing this game, I frequently found myself laughing out loud and genuinely having a great time.  For me, this is something that’s all but disappeared online in Call of Duty and Halo.  Whether it’s protecting your village from the Mason Order or storming the castle to assassinate the Agathian King.  One this is certain, Chivalry Medieval Warfare is simply fun to play.

System requirements:

Minimum:

• OS: Windows XP+ • Processor: Core 2 Duo E6600 (2.4 GHz) or AMD equivalent, or better • Memory: At least 2GB • Hard Disk Space: 3 GB • Video Card:  ATI Radeon 3870 of higher, Nvidia Geforce 8800 GT or higher • Graphics card memory: 512MB+ • Sound: Windows compatible sound card

Recommended:

• OS: Windows Vista / Windows 7 • Processor: 2.4 GHz quad core or better • Memory: 4 GB system RAM • Hard Disk Space: 9 GB • Video Card: DirectX 9 compatible with 768 MB video RAM or better (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 / ATI Radeon HD 5850) • Sound: Windows compatible sound card

**NOTE** Although nothing has been officially announced, the developer has stated that a console version may be possible if the PC version sales are substantial.

 SCORE:

  8-5--10

Overview:

Publisher: Torn Banner Studios Developer: Torn Banner Studios
Release Date: October 16th 2012
Platforms: PC Digital: Yes
Game Cost: $24.99 ESRB Rating: N/A
Players: Up to 32 Players
Online: Yes Co-Op, Yes Competitive Yes
Online Pass: N/A