It’s been almost 10 years since Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, the first chapter of the saga of Torn Banner Studios as well as a mod of Half-Life 2, it landed on PC (and a few years later I know console), sowing death, destruction and lots of medieval laughter among players around the world. Now, the Toronto-based studio is back with a new chapter, simply renamed Chivalry 2, and this is ours review.
The Chivalry 2 review
The version tested for this review of Chivalry 2 is the one that landed on the Xbox Series X, where the game debuted this time simultaneously with its PC counterpart (and also on the other consoles) with which, among other things, it is possible to play through a very successful cross-play.
With Chivalry 2 we find ourselves once again in an experience exclusively multiplayer (except for an almost useless training mode), in which we will take control of one of the four possible medieval soldiers (and related variants) in first or third person. A richly recreated dark and violent world, in which we will travel battle after battle in search of enemies to slice, beat and kick thanks to a combat system full of possibilities and nuances.
To take down our enemies on the battlefield we can count on three different types of attack, to which we can give different directions with a simple movement of the mouse or our controller; also choosing which direction to parry with a fourth button and being able to count on a different special ability for each class (for example, we can set up traps or heal our playmates too). Combinations of attacks, feints and dodges are the next level of a refined combat system, which will immediately show the side to the harsh reality of the battlefield.
After a rather curious tutorial, in which we will have to deal with a decidedly over the top instructor, we will soon discover that in the field many of our lessons will often be impractical; with 1 VS 1 duels, in which you can show off our fighter skills, which will immediately become a real rarity. And… no, this isn’t necessarily a flaw.
The game modes of Chivalry 2
The game mode of Chivalry 2 they are just … 2. Or, better, the playlists to which we will be able to access are a couple of similar modes, one a 64 players and one a 40 players (a little less hectic than the first), in which a series of maps in rotation, between battles with objectives and simple team deathmatch, they will get us in the middle of the action.
The game maps are in total 8 (but others will certainly arrive soon) and, in particular, those in which we will be called to attack a castle or a village are definitely the ones that have succeeded best.
In fact, during our battles it will not be difficult to find ourselves having to raid the gold of a village, break through the doors of a castle with catapults, set fire to the enemy defenses or try to free the prisoners of our group. All while we will explore a map not very large but full of objects that can be collected, thrown or used as weapons (including fish, bones and stones).
There is actually one too free-for-all mode but, to be honest, the chaos faced in the classic playlists was enough for us. A damn funny chaos, in reality, in which we can also be the technically best rider on the field, but which will be impossible to control when 4 other players try to tear us apart while we block their way. And mind you, when I say “tear us apart”, I mean “literally tear us apart”.
Severed heads (which can also be picked up and thrown), mutilated limbs and broken logs will be just some of the misfortunes that can happen to you on the battlefield of Chivalry 2; and yes, every time this happens, even if we are the unfortunate on duty, we cannot help but laugh at our misfortune.
At the end of each game we will come rewarded with experience and gold coins. The first will allow us to unlock new possibilities of choosing weapons for our knight (or bows and crossbows in case you prefer distance fighting), while the gold coins will mainly serve to modify the same or our general appearance. No pay-to-win therefore, but simple aesthetic elements that, however, will immediately stand out on the battlefield.
Our digital alter ego of Chivalry 2 can be customized in many aspects, such as sex, look, complexion and much more. Under the armor you may not immediately notice our new fashion pageboy cut, but once they blow us the helmet we will still have to be presentable, right?
The weapons, on the other hand, will have different qualities and statistics but, and this is certainly to be appreciated, each one seems to be perfectly suited and designed for a given situation. A spear could help you keep the enemy at a distance, while a one-handed ax could pester him relentlessly with blows.
Technically it’s not the Middle Ages
Graphically Chivalry 2 convinces right away and, on Xbox Series X, the game is as pleasing to the eye as it is pleasant to listen to. Even the audio sector is in fact not bad at all, faithfully recreating the din and the noise of the swords clashing on the shields of the opponents, mixing everything wisely for a truly convincing overall experience.
The sore point of this new chapter of the Chivalry series are actually only the animations, with the third-person view that will show all the unnaturalness of some movements and, in general, ruin the tragicomic epic of the fights. A flaw that you will not notice by keeping the first person mode active instead (perhaps losing some overall understanding of the situation around you).
Technically Chivalry 2 defends itself better than we would probably do on the battlefield, thanks to a very stable framerate and, in 4k, also pleasant to watch.
In addition, the Chivalry 2 servers are passed with flying colors. After a hundred games, in which it was not absolutely difficult to find opponents even in 64-player games (a matter of a few seconds to get into the game), they gave up only a couple of times and for a very few moments, throwing us back into battle immediately without too many inconveniences.
The conclusions of our Chivalry 2 review
What a pleasure this Chivalry 2. Perhaps born with the idea of creating something more refined and competitive than its predecessor, it turned out to be a game to start whenever we want to feel powerful wearing armor and holding a broadsword … and then end up beheaded a few moments later or not knowing at all how it will end.
The feeling is that of being in front of a “Fall Guys” experience, but with more blood and screams (and fewer hot dog dudes out there). Epic, yes, technical, too, but much lighter and more carefree than perhaps it would not want to appear.
All of this is not actually a fault because, except for the screams that we will hear constantly as soon as we respawn on the battlefield, dying will not give us that sense of frustration typical of other similar titles. Indeed, we will be curious each time to find out what our inglorious end will be.
And it doesn’t matter if the combat system isn’t particularly good due to the confusion on the pitch, if you want to feel like you are Orlando Bloom in the The Crusades by Ridley Scott watching a group of imitating enemies pass by Monty Snape and the Holy Grail, Chivalry 2 is what you’ve been looking for (and you can find it TO THIS ADDRESS).
Chivalry 2 takes everything that was its predecessor, improves it and catapults it into the next-gen. As fun to play as it is beautiful to watch, the new chapter is madness and mayhem for 64 players … who don’t really care about making a difference on the battlefield.
Funny, crazy, very bad
Technically good and great to look at
Lots of customizable classes and characters
Refined and … almost superfluous combat system
We would have liked a few more maps