“Hey, come check out this game,” is how a person I was staying with back in 2012 got me into Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. It was as simple as that – a little spark of curiosity that quickly gave way to obsession.
I put almost 1,000 hours into Chivalry: Medieval Warfare honing my swordsmanship and making friends by screaming at them during free-for-all (FFA) matches before running away and spamming the “laugh” emote.
Sometimes that act in and of itself would create a chain reaction where two or three people would join me in not actually playing the game for its objective. Instead, we’d all run around conga line style screaming and shouting things like, “Kill those archers!” even when we weren’t actually going to, you know, kill those archers.
As often as I goofed off in the game (a lot), I did wind up getting quite good at Chivalry. Enough so that I was able to join some of the user-created Chivalry clans on Steam. One of the first clans I joined was “Hell On Earth” which was abbreviated in our Steam names to HOE.
I was proud to be a HOE (the jokes write themselves with that clan name). There was also a clan called “TMNT” that I remember fondly as TMNT had members that I often befriended by creating a sort of informal alliance where we wouldn’t kill each other in FFA matches.
“Did we just become best friends?”
The player kindness aspect of Chivalry is one of the reasons why I loved Chivalry as much as I did, and still do. In Chivalry, players create servers to teach newcomers how to fight, players band together to votekick toxic people out of a server, players remember to bow to request a duel, the list goes on and on.
Chivalry 2 Review | The Return of Chivalry
When Chivalry 2 was first announced, I was eager to see whether this sort of chivalry would return. I was worried it might not given that Chivalry 2 wasn’t going to be available on Steam at launch.
I know a lot of Chivalry players who said they’d wait until Chivalry 2 is on Steam in order to play it, and I can understand where they’re coming from completely. A lot of people aren’t down with the Epic Games Store, and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare was very much a “Steam game” when it first released back in 2012.
I’ve been playing Chivalry 2 on the Epic Games Store and I admit, it feels weird. Would I prefer it on Steam? Absolutely. Is it unplayable on the Epic Games Store? Far from it.
The quickest way for me to recommend Chivalry 2 in this review is to say that I fully expect to put 1,000 hours into the game like I did with the original, except this time I’ll be doing it on the Epic Games Store.
Adding to the pull of Chivalry 2 is the fact that it isn’t PC exclusive like its predecessor. If you’re really against the Epic Games Store, you can pick up and play Chivalry 2 on Xbox and PlayStation consoles.
I’m not sure how they did it, but developer Torn Banner did a fantastic job translating the combat of Chivalry from mouse and keyboard to a controller. The PC version of the game has controller support, so I was able to go back and forth comparing the two.
I’ll personally always prefer mouse and keyboard for Chivalry because that’s how I first learned the game, but newcomers to the series starting out on console should find the controls to be comparable to PC.
Speaking of PC, the question of whether Chivalry 2 and Mordhau could co-exist is one that popped up a lot prior to Chivalry 2’s release. A lot of the die-hard Chivalry players went over to Mordhau after its launch, and it makes sense.
Mordhau is a fantastic game, but so is Chivalry 2.
After experiencing Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, Mordhau, and now Chivalry 2, I feel confident in saying Mordhau and Chivalry 2 can co-exist without issue. Both games have their own unique identities, and Chivalry 2 at its core is very different from Mordhau despite some surface similarities, like being able to throw things at enemy players.
The combat of Chivalry 2 is one of the main things that feels noticeably different from Mordhau and the original Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. Gone are the ballerina moves where you spin around and strike someone while faced away from them. Gone are the insanely fast ripostes with the Vanguard’s Claymore.
The fights aren’t as fast, frenzied, and chaotic as they used to be – for better, and sometimes for worse. I do miss the adrenaline rush of trying to quickly stab a Knight with my Claymore before they have a chance to shatter my character’s skull and one-hit-KO me with their Maul.
Sword movement doesn’t feel as “loose” in Chivalry 2 as it did in Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, if that makes sense. It’s tighter, more precise, and controlled. You can still feint, you can still drag a heavy sword like the Zwei, but Chivalry 2 has some nice counters available that’ll help you deal with players who use these moves.
A good 1v1 fight in Chivalry 2 is even more like a dance than the original Chivalry, and can last a lot longer between two equally skilled players. It’s honestly a shame that Duel servers aren’t available in Chivalry 2 at launch.
Duel servers were my bread and butter in Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. I loved having all of the distraction and chaos of a match removed and stripped down to just you and your opponent going head-to-head.
When I really got to know most of the regulars in Chivalry, duels got even more interesting as I’d come into the duel already knowing my opponent’s playstyle. No two players were ever alike, so the fights never got old.
The same appears to be true in Chivalry 2. No two players are alike, and people are already cultivating their own personal style. One of the user-hosted servers I joined in Chivalry 2 was for free-for-all (FFA), but was set up to support 1v1s.
Interrupting a 1v1 in progress was strictly against the rules of that server, so in a way, it's kind of like a Duels server. You run around, bow and battlecry to signal to another player that you’re interested in fighting them, and then you two just… fight to the death.
It’d get to the point where I’d run around seeking out the most challenging players to fight so that I could work on my technique and improve. It made me indescribably happy, because it was in this server that I truly felt like I was back “home” in Chivalry: Medieval Warfare.
All of those memories came flooding back, and I sunk in several hours in that server before eventually calling it a night.
At the end of the day, Chivalry 2 carries with it all of the soul, spirit, and charisma of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare with some fun new twists and turns to keep things interesting.
In Chivalry 2, the four classes of Knight, Vanguard, Archer, and Man-at-Arms return as do weapons like the Messer and Maul. However, there are expansive 64-player matches now, an improved combat system, and even the ability to throw a chicken at someone as a valid battle tactic.
Chivalry 2 has it all.
Most importantly, even with an influx of newcomers who’ve never experienced the social dynamics of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, there’s still true chivalry to be found on the battlefield, and I think that’s beautiful.
In conclusion, Chivalry 2 is very much a sequel to the original with a similar opening tutorial, similar game modes like Team Objective and Team Deathmatch, customization options, and screaming… so much screaming.
Fans of the original game will feel right at home, while also feeling catered to with new features. Meanwhile, new players will be able to enjoy that one-of-a-kind Chivalry: Medieval Warfare™ experience that so many people fell in love with back in 2012, with some much-needed quality of life (QOL) improvements.
If you’re looking for a bloody good time slicing foes on the battlefield – foes you may end up becoming friends with – Chivalry 2 is well worth checking out.
- Impressive AAA graphics and map design.
- Intricate sword mechanics that offer an improvement on Chivalry’s original combat setup.
- Expanded customization options that’ll help you recognize your friends on the battlefield.
- More players supported (up to 64), larger maps, larger battles.
- Chivalry players continue to practice real chivalry in user-hosted servers, welcoming new players and giving them a chance to learn the ropes away from the chaos of random matches.
- Not available on Steam at launch.
- Duel servers not available at launch.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review.