Medieval multiplayer melee game Mordhau is out today, looking to split the difference between Mount & Blade: Warband, For Honor and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare with its blend of pseudo-realistic first-person brawling. Developed by Triternion, it's a big-team multiplayer game (with an optional battle royale mode) for up to 64 players, with a focus on lethal, heavily armoured and messy close combat. While the game itself looks fine, the first wave of players are reporting some launch-day server troubles. Triternion have temporarily cut matches down to 48 players until this is fixed. Below, a stab-happy trailer.
Mordhau seems like a bigger, messier version of Chivalry in a lot of ways, but with a density of troops comparable to Mount & Blade. From what I've seen of the game streamed, one on one combat is a tense, precise affair focused on blocking until you can see an opening. Conversely, larger scrums are a glorious bloody mess of flailing arms, flying heads and continually bellowed battle-cries. It's not all melee, with bowmen, cavalry and some siege weaponry too, but the heart of the game seems to be all about running up to some guy and poking him with a sharp bit of metal.
While multiplayer is the focus of Mordhau, there is a co-op horde mode for playing with friends, and bots to practice with offline. The current server status for the game seems patchy. Some players are having a great time, others are wading hip-deep in sludgy lag that's absolutely lethal in a melee combat game like this. Still, it's a good sign that improvements are coming quickly, with Triternion having already pushed out two updates since launch earlier today. I'd suggest that players hold off to see how players are responding tomorrow, but this one looks like a good, fun, messy time.