Give ‘Em A Hand – Chivalry: Medieval Warfare Launches

By Nathan Grayson on October 17th, 2012 at 7:00 pm.

I would also like to point out that we live in a world where a prominent medieval multiplayer game lacks horses, but the new Call of Duty has them. Ponder this, and ponder it well.

And also an arm. And a leg. And a head, if you’re feeling especially generous/decapitated. Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, Torn Banner’s claimant to the suddenly contested online thwack ‘n’ slash throne, is now riding onto the battlefield. And by the looks of things, it means business. And by “means business,” I mean wow. I’ve been enjoying War of the Roses despite a number of flaws, but I might give it a break this evening to stare intently as Chivalry’s download bar fills up on Steam. I’m exaggerating, of course, but it really does look quite impressive. Peruse the limb-severing carnage with your eyeballs – which are hopefully still attached to your body in some form or another – after the break.

Digging deeper, I’m actually quite pleased by how different Chivalry sounds from its nearest (read: potentially not that near) competitor. For one, horses – those detestable beasts of burden and also lances – aren’t in the mix, so everyone’s on more even footing. Also, each level has its own set of (seemingly) diverse objectives – from defending siege weaponry to killing kinds to pushing corpse wagons. (There’s wanton peasant slaughter as well, which is apparently “realistic,” but also a bit bad-taste-in-my-mouth-y.) Will that give it more long-term appeal than War of the Roses’ rather limited mode selection, though? Fingers crossed.

Beyond that, it’s a pretty standard setup: slay your fellow man, unlock new implements with which to better turn innards into outtards, and so on. You can grab it on Steam right now or cut out the middleman and head to the official site. So then, has anyone tried this one yet? If so, is it worth a measured modicum of excitement? Also, how’s it looking in terms of staying power?

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66 Comments »

  1. jonfitt says:

    How does this compare to the mod that preceded it?

    • Bobzer says:

      Fairly faithful imo, I’ve put ~60-70 hours into the beta and it’s absolutely brilliant, much more skill based than warband or wotr (which both descend into spam fests with quick weapons), the scenarios are well done (slaughtering peasants and burning villages are much better than in aoc), they’ve introduced some customization, by killing people with a type of weapon you unlock other variants, the engine and art is beautiful, the weapon tracers are very accurate and dodging and blocking is much more rewarding, dismemberment is also good and getting an oil pot in the back from an ally is just as annoying as ever.

      Oh and my favourite feature is that they’ve made it much easier to run into battle shouting a war cry, just press V, (the taunts are also as good as they were in AoC).

      • txsnowman says:

        Although this game is good, im afraid its nowhere near as skilled based as warband. This game is lots of hack and slash visceral fun, but when it comes down to it, the warband combat system is much more complex and refined. Spamfest happens between the newer players, spamming a veteran player will quickly get you killed.

        • Lancezh says:

          Have you Played it ? Have you really played it ? Your statement is simply not true, either you didn’t understand the game mechanics at all or you havent played it, from the three this one allows for the most controlled combat.

          • astromach says:

            I’ve played a great deal of Warband multiplayer (and Chivalry in both its current and mod state, to a lesser extent) and I’m gonna have to side with txsnowman on this.

            There’s far more skill involved in Warband melee combat than Chivalry can shake a spear at.

          • Universal Quitter says:

            Between porn and people arguing about subjective experiences, it’s amazing that the internet still has room for gaming news.

  2. pepper says:

    Heh, interesting that the cheapest price is on gamersgate. The STEAM price is 3 euro´s more.

    Unfortunately there is no demo.. why oh why..

    • Bobzer says:

      How do you demo a multiplayer game?

      Counterstrike doesn’t have a demo…

      • pepper says:

        Simple enough, include one level. Unreal Tournament has always managed, same as Battlefield 1942 and Battlefield 2.

      • Voon says:

        Well, the first Unreal Tournament had one and it was very much multiplayer-focused.

      • cunningmunki says:

        Easy, you just demo a single map, or section of a map, there’s been plenty over the years. The Return To Castle Wolfenstein beach assault multiplayer demo was legendary. People still played it for years after the full game was released. Heck, they might still play it.

      • Terrell says:

        Enemy Territory : Quake Wars had a multiplayer demo which had “everything” but was limited to 1 map.

        It was in my opinion the best demo I’ve ever played. It was fun and really showed how the game was.

  3. sweetjer says:

    Latency makes it a bit of a crapshoot at times (so if your connection sucks, maybe think twice). I put in about 40 hours during the month long beta. Super fun, even when it was sort of difficult to find a server. The devs really care about the game and played a ton of sessions with us. The slo-mo effect (server admin toggle) is really cool. WOTR vs Chivalry? Who cares, buy them both. About the same price as the equivalent AAA with guns. MP only, but it’s pretty compelling. I haven’t been in since launch, but I did just check and server pop is looking pretty healthy. Registered to try and get inb4 wotr vs chiv takes over this comment section.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Faldrath says:

    A game called “Chivalry” without horses is just too amusing.

    I seem to remember that this one had a single-player campaign, unlike WotR? Or am I mistaken?

    • UncleLou says:

      I think WotR was supposed to have one, but it didn’t make the cut, and Chivalry was always mp-only. Which means I’ll buy neither one, despite loving the look of both. :-(

      • devil_92 says:

        I think that you are mistaken,i have followed WOTR from the start the singelplayer was ALWAYS ment to be training ground and war of the roses was supposed to be HEAVY multiplayer focused,but for some reason IGN say to people that it is and i quote ” War of the Roses features both online multiplayer and a deep single-player campaign.”

    • Magnusm1 says:

      There is a campaign of sorts, with light story and set objectives, kinda like in Brink.

    • RichardDastardly says:

      @Faldrath Well seeing as how Chivalry is being used in the context of what they called the knights code of honour, instead of the French word it was derived from, I don’t see how the name is any amusing?

      • iucounu says:

        Well, the medieval idea of a knight was very much as a mounted warrior; similar terms like cavalry/cavalier or the German Ritter (“rider”) also demonstrate that closeness.

      • The Random One says:

        If you can’t see how a word that means something but if you stretch its definition also means something else is amusing I don’t even know what you are doing in RPS.

        • RichardDastardly says:

          I don’t find it amusing. I find it a bit nitpicky to be honest. It also assumes that most knights were on horseback while participating in wars. We both know that’s not true.

          • TillEulenspiegel says:

            The word “chivalry” is derived directly from “chevalier”.

            If you don’t see the amusing irony in a game called Chivalry that doesn’t have horses, I don’t think anyone can help you.

          • Premium User Badge

            Faldrath says:

            I was mostly going for “silly”, not “nitpicky”, but you can’t win them all. I suppose the horse connection is less obvious for non-native-Latin-language speakers as well (“cheval”, “cavalo”, “caballo”, etc.) – in English it’s easy to separate “knight”, “chivalry”, “horse” – in, say, Portuguese, less so (“cavaleiro”, “cavalaria”, “cavalo”). We Latins like our horses.

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            AMUSING IRONY EVERYONE TEEHEEHEEHEEHEE

          • ratache says:

            Yeah, here in Scandinavia it took awhile before the horse was used in battle. Our chivalrous(in a scandinavian way) nobility rode to battle, then lept of the horse and fought the battle on foot. :)

          • harmlos says:

            @RichardDastardly

            I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but in mine (Germany), having a horse (and riding it into battle) was part of the job description of a knight for centuries. In fact, the German name for knight – “Ritter” – is the Middle High German word for a horse rider.

            Now it is true that the majority of soldiers on a medieval battlefield would not have been on horseback, but then the majority of soldiers where not knights.

    • cunningmunki says:

      *Looks up the etymology of ‘chivalry’*
      Ha, see what you mean.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Naum says:

    TB just put up an in-depth video comparison between Chivalry and War of the Roses. It has a large amount of relevant information, even though I find the presentation ever so slightly questionable at times.

    • MrLebanon says:

      TB wouldn’t know a good melee slash-em-up if it hit im in the face with an overhead swing

      • TotalBiscuit says:

        Oh look, a Youtube comment escaped into the wild.

        In my day we bothered to justify our opinions before we posted them on RPS.

        Also fuck the term “slash-em-up”, it’s inane.

        • captain lust says:

          Burnt.

          I thought the video was good except for two points: 1) “War of the Roses has good sound”… I mean slashing someone with a sword sounds like a pair of scissors cutting through paper. The sounds is also incredibly uncommunicative, making even harder to understand what’s going on. 2) Failed to mention how much better Warband is. I played War of the Roses through alpha, tried it once in beta and saw nothing had improved so didn’t buy it. The fact your video puts Chivalry on the same level as War of the Roses is a turn off for me to be honest.

          I’ll get round to trying it eventually but I just feel like from looking at videos I can understand exactly what it’ll be like… and that’s not what exactly what I want. Warband is what I want C:

        • PostieDoc says:

          I like Jaffa Cakes but are they really cakes or are they in fact biscuits?

  6. Magnusm1 says:

    I recommend that you try the mod “Age of Chivalry”, which is a source-mod that this game is based on.

  7. RichardDastardly says:

    This game is better that WoTR. Hell, Mount & Blade is still better than WoTR(2 reasons. 1)actually having a single player campaign. 2)M&B’s horse combat is more realistic and even. M&B’s joust damage is based on the speed you’re going at and “couched” lances. WoTR has a static damage number. Combined with its COD style perks, WoTR’s cavalry system is stacked.) Less glitchy now that it has been released.

    The melee system is probably the best in an MP game since Rune.

    • Davie says:

      WotR is the only game I’ve ever actually regretted buying. I’m still playing Warband multiplayer after two years, but WotR feels so insubstantial, like everyone’s halfheartedly swinging at each other with hollow replica weapons. Add that to the constant framerate issues and I probably wouldn’t buy it for half the list price if I’d known ahead of time.

      This, on the other hand, looks meaty and crunchy and clangy and shouty and all manner of good times. Good to hear some confirmation on that front.

      • Mattressi says:

        Yeah, WotR feels very robotic to me. Swings involve a quick animation were you pull back your weapon…and then hold it there for half a second while a bar decreases, telling you you’ve charged the attack. Then, the attack swings quickly (with the weapon and arm basically just travelling between two points in a line – there doesn’t seem to be any noticeable articulation). The swing is stopped (the weapon doesn’t appear to have mass and continue to travel if you don’t hit anything) and you wait for a little bit, then you can robot swing again. It just feels very wrong to me. M&B was so fluid – it felt like you were actually swinging and blocking, whereas WotR feels like you’re controlling a robot who rigidly swings and blocks.

        This ignoring the horrible balance, clientside hit detection (which means that laggers can hit you through your blocks and all manner of stupid things happen), terrible squad spawn mechanic, near-instant-revives and 2 second, fully health bandaging of yourself.

        Chivalry looks a little better, but the swing animations of the two handed sword in that video seem very slow and it doesn’t seem to provide and feedback that you’ve hit something (other than the person you hit being hurt). The weapon just sails through them – or, rather, near them. To me, it doesn’t look like the weapons ever appear to connect with anything in the first person perspective. Maybe I’m just very wary after WotR

        • Lancezh says:

          This and this. BUT, you have to play chivalry, it really really just feels right, i had exactly the same sentiment before i actually could play it. Chivalry all the way no question.

  8. Cytrom says:

    This looks more fun than WotR even without horses.. although having them would be even better, but the maps are obviously designed for infantry.

    Also, team objective mode in chivalry = assault in Unreal Tournament = objective mode in wolfenstein: enemy territory. I always loved theese objective based game modes… far more enetertaining and teamplay driven than any standard deathmatch modes.

  9. ScubaMonster says:

    This looks like it craps all over War of the Roses. I tried the beta for WotR and I didn’t like it at all. This looks like something I could get into.

    • Lancezh says:

      I kind of liked War of the Roses but then i got into the Beta for Chivalry, played 2 hours, stopped. Got a refund for War of the Roses preorder and returned to play Chivalry.

  10. Herzog says:

    How many people are there on a server? 64, 32, 16? We are having a lan party next month and still looking for some games to play. Is 16 people too less?

    • mrmalodor says:

      All servers are 32 currently, but the devs have said that there is nothing preventing people from running 64 servers if the server hardware can handle it. Unfortunately a lot of servers can’t handle UE3 well.

      I really recommend this game for a lanparty. You will have very low latency and tons of fun.

  11. mrmalodor says:

    I’m loving Chivalry after being very disappointed with Roses. Chivalry is more skill based, has more interesting and satisfying and immersive combat. I am having fun despite problems.
    There are several issues currently:
    1) lag spikes and generally high latency which affects hit detection and especially the usefulness of blocking
    2) certain weapons are a bit overpowered and are too easy to spam

    • derbefrier says:

      I would have to agree. I have tried really hard to like WotR and I do like some things the hit boxes are superb. I like how they handled armor but I just couldn’t get into the spammy combat and thats really the most important part of a medival combat game and Chivalry got it right. I only spent like an hour with it last night but i already like it better. I cant wait to boot this up at the next LAN party.

    • Gorillion says:

      Have to disagree. Too many quick-kills in Chivalry to make skill a major factor in combat. And the control over swing speed (through customization) and timing/power (through mechanics) is a major factor in favor of WotR. We can also mention the terrible net-code and lack of character customization, directional blocking, and realistic armor protection. All that said, Team-Objective gives you a reason to actually keep playing, something WotR is (for the time being) sorely missing.

      • Cytrom says:

        Is character customization really an important factor for soldiers in a war? I guess since CoD it is..

        And WotR’s delicate combat would be more fitting to a turn based roleplaying game than a real time fighting game. Its the QWOP syndrome. Its more complicated to do attacks in that game than swinging a real sword. I just cant see that as a good thing even if on paper its more tactical and deep. The same reason I dont like Arma.

  12. sinister agent says:

    Wanton, you say?

    Hmm.

  13. Danny says:

    This is – hands down – the best MP melee game on the PC since Rune. M&B: Warband was nice, but this beats it all every level.

    The feeling of running in as a Vanguard and doing a jumping swing that takes someone’s head clean off, is more satisfying than I dare to admit.

    Can’t wait for duel servers!

  14. Shinwaka says:

    For some reason while watching the vid I kept waiting for someone to yell out “It’s only a flesh wound!”
    I’m also hoping they’ll have a peasant beating a cat for potential peasant slaughter.

    • lordkrekt says:

      one of the objectives is to push a corpse wagon, does that count?

  15. rapier17 says:

    Archery is far better in WotR than Chivalry but other than that I prefer Chiv. Seriously the archery system for bows in WotR was very well done – actually ‘felt’ like you were drawing a 120lb warbow not a childs toy bow, and not being able to hold the string for what seems like an eternity was great (all about timing – spot target, draw, track, loose).

    Big problem I have with Chiv is the retarded shield in front of your eyes unnecessarily (only a fool blinds himself in combat without reason) which includes raising up the small buckler in front of your eyes. Might be meant to balance things but it’s stupid. I used to be a Dark Age re-enactor and I’d never raise my shield over my heads unless a high shot was coming in or arrows/javelins were in the air. You can use your shield to blind your opponent as to what you’re doing but blinding yourself for no reason?

    • RichardDastardly says:

      If you didn’t have the shield go over your face in Chivalry, you wouldn’t have a face for very long. Seriously Archers in this game don’t mess around. And the reload quickly too. The shield would be obsolete if it didn’t block for from headshots in this game, which are kind of easy to achieve. Even with throwing axes.

  16. Premium User Badge

    BathroomCitizen says:

    Many people seem to hate Mount & Blade weapon mechanics. I love them, apart from the fact that weapons feel quite floaty due to engine limitations and don’t have the heaviness of, say, Dark Souls, but even then they’re quite deep with their directional system.

    What’s wrong with M&B mechanics?

    • Nameless1 says:

      You should ask yourself what’s wrong with them.
      M&B controls are absolutely perfect, and I mean it from a objective standpoint.

  17. mrmalodor says:

    By the way, the devs have promised that duel mode will be added at some point, which I’m personally going to love if it’s done well.

    When Jedi Knight 2 came out, there used to be servers which were basically big rooms for lightsaber dueling . Everyone was invulnerable normally and could just chat and goof around, but you could walk up to someone and challenge them to a duel. Man, those were the days. I want to feel that feeling again.

  18. Nameless1 says:

    Not going to buy It until I see better controls. Right now I need like 7 keys mapped where Mount&Blade needs TWO. And these are the proportions for basic controls like attacks and defence.

    • RichardDastardly says:

      The controls are fine. Its essentially a way more refined version of M&B’s blocking system combined with a simple melee combat system with depth. And I don’t know where you’re seeing 7 buttons needed. I own the game, it’s 3 buttons. compared to M&B’s 2.