Chivalry 2 PC Preview

The Chivalry 2 closed beta is now over. Did it deliver?

By LG18, Posted 29 Apr 2021

This was frustrating at first, but as I got a little better, the more I grew to enjoy these frenzied battles. Chivalry 2 is the sequel to Torn Banner’s Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, the 2012 medieval hack, and slash that originally began as a Half-Life 2 mod called Age of Chivalry

There have been a few other titles to tread the same ground since most notably Triternion’s Mordhau which dropped in 2019. With the 8th June release date for Chivalry 2 looming, a bloody battle for the top spot between these two titles is brewing. Having never played a game like this before, I was eager to give the closed beta a try. 

Axe in back

If you’re wet behind the ears concerning the medieval hack and slash scene, you’re not going to want to skip the tutorial. As button-mashy as the name of the genre suggests, there’s a lot more to just swinging your sword and hoping to impale the foe before you. 

As I loaded into the training ground what struck me first was the game’s visuals. The lighting looked particularly nice as it bounced off my character's painstakingly detailed armor and weaponry. Characters and environments looked great, but before I had time to fully take it in I was being barked at by a disembodied voice. 

The tutorial taught fighting mechanics which were easy to understand but difficult to master. The player has three modes of offense: a horizontal swing, an overhead attack, and a jab. Unlike the melee in most games, there’s a significant emphasis on the drag of your weapon. You’ll need to turn into each swing to make it connects properly, and in a similarly tactile way, you’ll need to position your weapon within the trajectory of an incoming blow to defend against it. 

There are several ways to counter enemy attacks (which usually involve perfect timing), there are special attacks and heavy swing variants for each movement, and you can even kick a player off guard or throw your weapon at them.

Upon finishing the brief but succinct tutorial the player is then required to pick between two factions. It’s clear there’s going to be story and lore elements present, but to what extent is currently unclear. 
 

Siege battle

There were both Team Deathmatch and Team Objective modes to choose from in the beta. Team Deathmatch is what you’d expect: large-scale battles for the most kills between two teams. Team Objective is more involved, with battles playing out in stages; your objective may be to dethrone the opponent's king, for example, which involves fighting to the gates, breaching the defenses, burning the place to the ground, and then breaking into the castle.

Irrespective of which mode you're playing, it’s easy to get swept along in the adrenaline-fueled rush to victory. The maps are well designed, too, with decent variation between them.

While I felt I had a handle of things after the tutorial, 360-degree scenarios against dozens of real players is a feat of a daunting feat of multitasking.

As you try to keep your reflexes poised for the one-on-one fight before you, you’re inevitably going to get stabbed in the back — whether that be by the enemy or a misguided slice on behalf of your own team. 

The mechanics felt great and worked well, but at first, it often felt like I didn’t have enough space or enough time to test them out. The strategically designed combat somewhat fell by the wayside to fights of utter chaos.
 

Close quarters battle

You’re often surrounded by a ton of other players as you fight one person, meaning that even if you come out on top, there’s someone to effortlessly smite you down afterward as they take advantage of your low health. 

I went into my first few battles thinking I’d be able to strategically outwit my foes with the elegant dance of swordplay, but more often than not, I was either frantically swinging my sword or running away as three other players tag teamed me.

This was frustrating at first, but as I got a little better, the more I grew to enjoy these frenzied battles.

It’s been a long time since I’ve laughed out loud while playing a game. While I was often unambiguously bad at the game, that was part of the fun: running away from a fight gone wrong and then, in a last-ditch effort, throwing my sword at my pursuer and impaling him through the forehead, represented a cathartic thrill I hadn’t experienced before. In fact, you can pick up and use anything as a weapon – severed arm, wooden log, fish, you name it; Chivalry 2 is filled with these ridiculous, comedic moments. 

On the flip side, the game can also make you feel like a warrior. There were occasions where the mechanics clicked and I managed to fight off three opponents at once – an accomplishment just as engendering of a wide grin as the stupid fights.
 

Horse back fight

While the game’s combat mechanics are pretty deep, the depth doesn’t particularly add any extra realism. I went in expecting a hardcore, rather complicated (possibly convoluted) battle simulator, but what I got was a unique amalgamation of nail-biting, campy, often hysterical chaos. The game is full of people trying their best to use these robust fighting strategies, often failingly, but just as often in some feat of brilliance.  

Without this depth in combat mechanics, you’d lose the beauty of each scenario. The ability to fight in several different ways through wielding a diverse move set encompasses Chivalry 2's greatest asset: variability. 

The game keeps you hooked with fights that are always unique, always fun, and always amusing. I was initially of the opinion that these games were difficult to get into for the casual player – arenas full of highly skilled veterans slaughtering new players with ease. The sort of thing you’d need to spend hours with to learn the ropes, and many more to gain a competitive edge. 

There’s certainly a skill to Chivilary 2, but even the best of players can be knocked off their feet by a flying decapitated head, or by being slapped down by a fish. In its own unique way, the game facilitates a balanced experience that’s fun for all, and there's nothing else like it.
 

Linden Garcia,
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Chivalry 2

/100

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Torn Banner Studios
Developer(s): Torn Banner Studios
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Medieval
Release Date: 2021-06-08

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