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Kickstabber: Chivalry Seeks Final Funding Push

A rare post, this, as I write about a Kickstarter project for a game that I've already played. Chivalry was at Gamescom and I chivalled the heck out of it. A multiplayer medieval combat game, with arenas, sieges, burning villages and brutal yet Pythonesque decapitation and dismemberment, it's quite spectacular. With its origins in a Source mod, the game is almost ready for release but Kickstarter is being used as a way to implement pre-orders and early access, as well as helping the development team to pay off the debts that have accrued over the years. I'll have a full preview soon (short version: the most fun I've ever had with a poleaxe) but for now, watch the video then the devblog below, and read about my two favourite chivalric experiences.

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$50,000 is the goal and with $13,200 in the bank awaiting entrance to the bank and 25 days to go, it's a promising start. The version I played is actually quite polished and, despite some shonky bot AI, I'd have been quite happy to take it home with me and chop off limbs the whole night long. The most impressive aspect is the way that weapons react to scenery, with longer blades and poles impossible to use in narrow spaces as they clash against walls and pillars. This allows for tactics and knives in the throat.

So, in lieu of the full writeup coming soon, here's my two favourite moments:

1) I loaded my crossbow and shot a knight in the back as he charged toward a peasant, ready to lop him in twain. The knight had placed his shield on his back so as to wield his sword two-handed, to ensure the twaining was complete. My bolt thudded into the shield, strapped there, and he didn't even notice. What does this tell us? Everything is modelled in the exact place that it currently occupies, from the angle of a shield to the exact swing of a blade. Collision detection is king. Yes.

2) Wearing leather armour and carrying a short sword and shield, I leapt about an arena stabbing and slicing at a single opponent controlled by one of the developers. Ha ha ha, I said, twirling my moustache like a less handsome and well-endowed Errol Flynn, ha ha ha, you are cumbersome with your plate mail and your giant hammer. Ha ha ha. He was dying the death of a thousand cuts and not for the first time. We had danced this dance several times and I was always the victor. Of course, he was probably holding back. I darted in for another strike and the hammer rose. One blow to the temple. The first-person view (third-person is an option) followed my head as it bounced into a corner of the arena, rolling and spurting. I saw my body slump to the floor, some distance away and then the hammer-bastard was standing over me, attempting to play croquet with what remained of my face.

Take a look at the pledge tiers and if you want to know more before deciding if this is the game for you, check back later in the week for a full report.

Oh, and Chivalry can happily co-exist with War of the Roses. They have their differences, and I am now launching a 'less guns and more swords' campaign.

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