Medieval chaos simulator Chivalry 2 is calling up its big 64-player sword battles next month but you can test your mettle for free next week in its big open beta. Torn Banner Studios have released a new trailer to showcase all the things you can get up to during the beta that begins next Thursday, and it does sound like plenty to sink your spear into. There are several game modes to try, character customisation to get stuck in on, duel servers on PC, and it's all cross-platform to boot.
To start off with, the beta will now have character customisation, Torn Banner say, which looks plenty in-depth here in the open beta trailer. You've got battle scars to pick, gnarly bloody noses to sport, and choices for your armor and heraldry too. They also spend a good amount of time showing off the oh so many battle emotes and all the personality you can give your knight through the various voice lines available.
After you've got your face and voice as ugly as you please, there's all the combat of course. Torn Banner say that the open beta will have several team objective maps, a couple team deathmatch maps, and the new free-for-all game mode that pits you against every other knight in the match. Torn Banner introduce several of those maps and the chaos involved in the beta trailer as well.
Another new bit for the open beta, the developers say, are duel servers that are available for PC players to test their skills. While in those servers "participants are asked to abide by the honor system and respect players aiming to focus on 1-on-1 duels," Torn Banner say.
I'd generally laugh at the concept of the honor system in an competitive online game, but the atmosphere does indeed sound pretty chivalrous based on Ed's Chivalry 2 preview from last month. Amusingly, he chose to spend part of his play time with his arse parked on a bench, watching other players fight it out. Most of them were even kind enough to leave him be, giving him a friendly emote while he caught his breath. You can spot that silliness in this quick video.
In addition to those multiplayer goofs, Ed said he did have good things to say about the experience overall. "Chivalry 2 isn't some super serious medieval simulator," he said. "This is a game that doesn't take itself too seriously, and in doing so, the fights that break out are joyful. There's a sense that everyone is pals, and slinging swords for a laugh."
Personally, Chivalry 2 just underscores how gosh darn predictable I am. I'm always eager for more co-op and multiplayer shenanigans, but shooty games have never been one of my talents. I'll put up with them for the sake of paling around, but I sure do prefer sword fights. Pair them with a decent character creator too? Yeah, I'm predictably excited about giant castle battles.
You can spot the rest of the specifics on various game modes and maps in Torn Banner's open beta announcement post.
The Chivalry 2 open beta begins next Thursday, May 27 at 4pm BST (11am EDT) and ends on June 1 at the same time. You'll be able to pre-load the demo 24 hours ahead of time on May 26th on the Epic Games Store.
Chivalry 2 launches in full on June 8th. In addition to PC, it'll be available on PS4, PS5, and the Xboxes One/X/S.