Chivalry’s Not Dead, Actually Looking Quite Good

By Nathan Grayson on July 12th, 2012 at 9:00 pm.

Everyone, stop fighting and check this out! I am SO GOOD at balancing on one leg.

We last posed about Chivalry: Medieval Warfare more than a year ago, and gosh, it’s come quite a long way since then. Which, I suppose, is to be expected, since that’s how game development works. At any rate, the first-person knight-in-shining-armor-slayer is approaching beta, so Torn Banner Studios has opted to take you by the hand and wade into the thick of battle. Head past the break to see the full thing. Oh, and probably bring an umbrella. Otherwise, you might end up getting arm in your hair.

I think this one’s definitely on my radar now. It looks like messy, nasty, ugly fun, but with a definite hint of one-wrong-move-and-you’re-done simulation. I’m digging the focus on mission objectives more creative than a thinly veiled “Go here, kill some dudes, move a thing,” too. Also – and this is probably the main takeaway – it’s first-person melee combat that actually looks like it can stand alone. A lot of thought’s clearly been put into weapon range, type, and relative power, so hopefully, it’ll sprinkle a bit of thinking into our hacking, slashing, and decapitating.

I do have some concerns about the general floatiness of combat, though. I mean, a few of those one-on-one battles looked like heavier hitting versions of herky-jerky Skyrim fights, so I hope Torn Banner focuses on tightening up the animations before sending this one to the frontlines. I also don’t quite get the same sense of embodying a character from this as I do from, say, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. Everything seems a bit stiff in comparison – less like a skilled knight and more like Frankenstein’s monster caged in a suit of armor. Still though, there’s promise here.

Chivalry’s out sometime this fall, and the dev log says we should “look for a beta in the summer.” A post on the website, meanwhile, offers a sign-up email, but also claims the beta was set to kick off in June. Regardless, I’ve sent an email to clarify.

And now this, because it’s pretty wonderful.

I mean, look at him. He's just standing there, holding his own head without a care in the world. What a guy, right? That's what I want to be like when I grow up and then die.

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54 Comments »

  1. Grey Ganado says:

    Made by the guys who made Age of Chivalry? I’m looking forward to this.

  2. Kamikaze-X says:

    ’tis but a scratch!

  3. Nimrod says:

    This looks good. Not only do you get objectives, but there’s an added incentive to do them because you get to engage in butchery. And mass murder too, if butchery isn’t your thing.
    The clangy weapons in the melee combat look and sound good too.
    Makes me want to don my butcher’s apron and grab a mace on the way to my next objective.

  4. dawnmane says:

    When he said you were going to care about the objectives, I imagined a whole background story about how you were defending your wife and children or how you’re going to free prisoners from dungeons, and then he went with “in medieval times, they went into a village and slaughtered everybody, and you can do that in the game, so that’s something you’re really going to want to do”!?!?

    Sometimes the glorification of violence in gaming is not just off-putting to people outside gaming. That made me feel bad.

    • Grygus says:

      The funny thing is that he’s not talking about gaming.

      Ha ha.

    • Universal Quitter says:

      Yeah, slaughtering villagers doesn’t sound very engaging. They would hardly put up a fight. And I’m pretty sure not ALL medieval combat was about slaughtering innocent villagers. I’m sure they slaughtered plenty of innocent townsfolk and merchants, as well.

    • Felixader says:

      Yeah was rilled up for something great too, then that. I probably will be one of the few not slaugthering the villagers, to be honest.
      It is not really something i want to do.

  5. phelix says:

    So I’m supposed to automatically have fun burning innocents? That’s console gamers, not us highbrow PC gamers. Not everyone enjoys mindless hyperviolence, you know.

    • Tibberius says:

      To clarify – the goal with that objective is to polarize players. If you don’t resonate well with raiding a medieval village then we are hoping you are pulled to the defending team and want to stop the attacking team from performing these terrible actions. So the choice is still yours, some will choose to burn and pillage, others to guard and protect. Ideally, all will feel more from this experience than the overused “Capture the Flag” to secure the area.

      • Hmm-Hmm. says:

        It is true that horrific things happened, well, in just about all ages, but it’s kind of curious this is a notable feature of a game called ‘chivalry’.

      • Pamplemousse says:

        IRONY:

        The expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.

    • Fincher says:

      Back to TF2, Quake, Wolfenstein, Unreal Tournament and Counter Strike!

    • alundra says:

      So this is it, we now live in a generation of pussies?? Don’t like being in aggressor’s team?? Have some cheese for that whine and then join the defenders team.

    • G-Lord says:

      I’m usually not comfortable with killing innocents in games, but I have to admit that I still enjoyed Postal 2 :P.

  6. ahmedaak88 says:

    “300 , Troy , Gladiator, King Arthur ” truly there aiming for a game that toke place in medieval times

    • sPOONz says:

      He was, to be fair, talking about the feel of combat from “medieval and per-medieval” times.

    • Davie says:

      Those examples work for me, mainly because Troy had that swordfight between Achilles and Hector that was probably the best melee combat sequence I’ve ever seen on film. Based on what I see here, the devs are nowhere near that level of fluidity and impact, but if that’s the standard they’re striving for I take it as a very good sign.

  7. TsunamiWombat says:

    “respect for that person who defeated you”

    hahaha no. if anything, my hatred will be greater.

    People will be calling Halbreds noob toobs. Mark my words.

    • Grape says:

      Seriously? Respect for the person that just defeated you?

      If you have a single ounce of testosterone in your body and the most vague winner’s instinct ever, you dedicate the rest of the match to finding that person, and utterly castrating him in front of everyone. If you’re the type of person who can experience a defeat at the hands of a another human being and SMILE and ACCEPT it, I have absolutely zero respect and understanding for you.

      • catmorbid says:

        Yeah, nothing drives you forward like pure retribution. However, I do have to admit that during all the hundreds of hours I spent playing Age of Chivalry, at times I did meet truly awesome opponents and occasionally I did find this tingling sensation one might call “respect”, for the opponent who just decapitated me after we just traded blows for a few minutes. What totally sucked in AoD and will probably suck in Chivlary as well is some random fucktard backstabbing you all the time. I hated the deathmatch maps where combat was just chaos and people came out of nowhere and stuck a damn polearm in your ass. So annoying.

        Also, If they dropped the flail from the list of weapons, I think I’ll cry a little, but buy it anyway.

  8. S Jay says:

    War of the Roses, Chivalry and Clang… it seems 2012-13 is melee time.

  9. Sheps says:

    How many medieval multiplayer centric “shooters” has there ever been? These things are like buses, you wait for years and they all come along at once.

    I’m torn in all honesty, the combat looks far superior to that in War Of The Roses, but I’m such a paradox fanboy that I can’t bring myself to invest money into Chivalry.

    • DuddBudda says:

      what am I missing? combat looks identical to WotR and Warband before that, except with with spurty limb supparations

  10. circadianwolf says:

    And here I thought this was going to about a high-def remake of that Deirdra Kiai game.

  11. mageta says:

    going into villages and butchering everyone -> genuine fun

    o.. kay..

  12. derps says:

    So many wimps here.

  13. Om says:

    “Multiplayer focus.” And I stop listening

    • Gabbo says:

      I was on board until then as well. it does looks fun, but multiplayer isn’t my bag.

  14. Thurgret says:

    I enjoy combat-heavy games, to a point. There’s a hazy, blurry, poorly-defined line where the glorification of violence just gets to be too much. This looked sort of promising, to begin with. The suggestion that I might enjoy simulating the massacre of a village and, then, towards the end that mention of ‘glory’ along with a guy being brutally maimed in the video? Not so appealing.

    • wodin says:

      actually the fact you can cut limbs off etc made me look up. I think sanitising violence on PC games by making it seem more clean and not messy is far worse than the other way around.

      • wodin says:

        Unfortunately war and rape go hand in hand throughout the ages.

      • Felixader says:

        My problem here is not that it looks messy, my problem is that they say killing innocents is something i always wanted to do and even more the disturbing “you feel glory when you maim someone”.

        I really want to play a proper Multiplayer Medievil Close Combat Game, but gore (in this specific connection see later in this post) is not important cause it is “gloryfying”, it is important to me cause of the drama that it speaks of.

        I am not a great fan of gore and i hate when Sword based Combat lets enemys explode. This is one of the things that made sword combat in Dragon Age 2 and quite some other games, a fucking joke to me.

  15. magicwalnuts says:

    Guessing there wont be any women in this game, since it’s the men an children who are slaughtered and the women who are raped, since most knights are likely looking to rape as many women as they can.

  16. Neurotic says:

    I wonder what the Snow Crash dude would say about this? Probably ‘Pah!’

  17. ukpanik says:

    Wonder if you can get your noggin lobbed off…A 4-5 sec view of the world spinning. Maybe a brief glimpse of your headless body ~_~

    • LionsPhil says:

      You mean like in UT99?

      HEADSHOT!

    • Davie says:

      It looked like there was a bit where the player got his arm whacked off and it landed on the ground in front of him before he died. Despite my years of violent manshooting that’s still strangely disturbing to me.

  18. wodin says:

    Have to say…looked alot better than War of the Roses vids..Still not a 100% sure anyone can really do melee combat justice not even Mr NS and Clang. However I have my eye on this one.

  19. Leaufai says:

    For some reason burning and pillaging villages doesn’t seem all that fun to me. Never liked killing defenseless NPCs in any other game either.

    I’m stilling waiting for a game that does cinematic swordplay justice. It’d probably have to be third-person and would require a lot of automatic stuff going on (when you attack, the game would decide where exactly you’d strike on your opponent based on where the openings are). Games like Mount & Blade, War of the Roses and this just make it very hack-and-slashy, which looks very ugly.

  20. imperialus says:

    One thing that has always, always bugged me about games like this is the anachronisms. I mean you have guys running around in mail halburks and gothic salets bashing away at guys wearing Norman nasal helmets and suits of milanese plate. I mean I saw over 500 years of armour development in that video, sometimes two or three hundred years on a single character. It just doesn’t make sense. No one would have gone to battle during the 100 years war wearing armour from the first crusade anymore than the US army would drop a bunch of GI’s into Kabul kitted out with bolt action rifles.

  21. ObiDamnKenobi says:

    I knew it! They’re remaking Crusader Kings as a FPS! rabble-rabble!

  22. TwwIX says:

    I am glad that more developers are interested in improving melee combat. It’s pretty shitty in most FPS games. Dead Island was fairly fun, though. It’s certainly more fun than Skyrim.

  23. Grape says:

    Ooh! 32 players!

    EPIC!

  24. ocelot113 says:

    2:38 Disappearing head. Looks like it still needs some animation work. The biggest part of these kinds of games is realistic injury. If you don’t have that you lose all immersion. Nice graphics, just needs some animation work.

    Need more than just head removal, arm removal. Hand removal, legs feet, partial removal, broken limbs. Just not enough variety to set itself apart IMO. It’s a step up graphically than most medieval games but not combat realism.

    And, my guess is every time someone is decapitated they do the same standing, drop to knees, keel over animation. That is too bad. More variety!