This game is not getting near enough attention, so hopefully I can spread the good word around here at least and give my impressions of the game so far, after 30 something hours.
So basically, Chivalry is a brutal FPSlasher; think Counter Strike/Battlefield set in the middle ages with an intense, deep melee system. It's multiplayer only, supporting up to 64-players (though these servers are rare and most battles tend to be around 16-24) and gametypes you'd find in any competitive game like this (deathmatch, TDM, team objective, last team standing, capture the flag, and soon a 1v1 duel mode). You pick from four classes:
Knight, the heavy, tank class. Slow, but good at absorbing damage, fighting at the front lines with powerful two-handed weapons or playing defensively with the largest shields.
Vanguard, the 'assault' class that wields large two-handed weapons with a ton of reach like the spear, bardiche, and claymore. They have a charge ability, where they can sprint and leap into battle with a devastating attack.
Man-at-Arms, a lightly armored but quick warrior, that wields one-handed weapons with or without a shield. This is the fastest class, and they're great at dancing around the knights and vanguards with their dodge ability, but if hit, die quick. My personal favorite so far.
Archer, the cowardly long-range class. Great at picking off enemies from afar and supporting a charging group of melee fighters. They can use bows, crossbows, and javelins with a shield, are appropriately weak at close range, and are generally great at being a nuisance . They have their uses for sure, but man do I hate these guys for picking me off in the middle of an awesome fight. I love to kill 'em though.
So that's a basic overview I guess. The gameplay itself is intense, mainly because you're constantly up in people's faces, fighting for your life, where mistakes are punished severely and timing is key. Ranged attacks are about what you'd expect (aim and fire), but melee combat is where this game is really focused, and it is awesome. You have four attacks; a horizontal slash which is the easiest to connect with, a stab/thrust that is generally the quickest and longest reaching, an overhead slash that can be tough to hit with but usually does the most damage, and a shove/kick/shield-bash used to interrupt your opponents and throw them off balance. These are slightly different depending on the weapon and class you're using however. All these attack can be chained together if timed properly to make for some devastating combo moves, feinted to throw your opponent off your timing, and moved around based on the direction you're aiming so you can batter time a swing (blocking is directional as well). It can feel somewhat random when first playing, but once you get used to it, it is anything but. I almost always know what mistakes I made in combat that got me killed, and I'm learning how best to exploit my opponents mistakes. It's one of those games that really gets your blood pumping and leaves you with battle shakes. This video explains it much better, and shows you what it looks like in practice.
Massive brawls with lots of people swinging are chaotic as hell though, as they should be.
So now that that's out of the way, here's what I think of the game so far: without a doubt the most fun I've had in a multiplayer game in a long time. The intensity of the battles, and the sense of progression that comes from learning how to handle different situations and perfectly time your attacks, rather than unlocks and ranks is really satisfying. These are present too though, but ranks are just numbers, and new weapons (which unlock based on the number of kills with that 'class' of weapon) vary only slightly, and don't offer advantages to players using them but new opportunities to try new styles of fighting. Basically, just use whatever weapon you like the most, and figure out it's advantages and disadvantages.
The overall atmosphere is awesome. Maps are designed in a way that they feel huge, but are sized well for the relatively small scale of the battles (compared to Mount & Blade). Objective matches shine here in particular; in one, as the rebel 'Mason Order', you must pillage a village, slaughtering peasants and burning down homes, before you move on to escort a ram to knock down the door of a looming castle, where, once inside, you have to kill the king (the middle ages were dark and brutal, and the game doesn't shy away from it). Sounds of battle constantly surround you; peasants scream in terror, warriors shout and taunt eachother (the voices are hilariously awesome by the way), and catapults fire off in the distance. The maps just look fantastic too, and are impressively varied.
Not sure what else to say, I've already typed more than I planned, but no doubt I didn't cover everything, so feel free to ask whatever. Inevitably the game will be compared to Mount & Blade and War of the Roses because of the setting, but I honestly have not played either enough to give a fair comparison. I hope some of you guys will check the game out, and give me a shout if you do. It's fun as hell.
A few more gameplay videos:
TL;DR: Game is awesome, melee is awesome. Just... just watch the videos.
Edit: Missed RPS's article about it posted today, so I'm glad it's getting more attention than I thought, haha.