There’s a special place in my heart for Chivalry: I participated in the Alpha for the original game, playing early builds with the developers and participating in the very early development stages for that game. Their next big game, Mirage, didn’t quite get the same attention as Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, and many players moved on to the excellent Mordhau. Well, I had the chance to participate in Chivalry 2’s closed beta last weekend, and I have to say: Torn Banner Studios is back to prove that they can still make one hell of a medieval multiplayer game.
If you’ve played Chivalry and enjoyed it, you should definitely be excited for its follow-up. Torn Banner Studios hasn’t changed the formula too much—you still choose a side: blue or red, Agatha Knights or the Mason Order. It’s been several years since the last major conflict between the two, but war has heated back up, and you have to once again hack, slash, and shoot your way through the opposing ranks to win. Think large scale multiplayer, but instead of guns and grenades you get swords, maces, crossbows, siege weaponry, etc.
The combat in the original Chivalry: Medieval Warfare was fast and brutal, and Chivalry 2 takes this brutal combat into the current generation. Fights can be fierce and chaotic, with multiple opponents sparring off in small spaces; it’s easy to accidentally kill your teammate if you swing too wildly. One on one battles are particularly enjoyable, too, but most duels in the beta tended to end with a third player jumping in to tip the balance, or worse, an archer sniping one of the combatants from afar. Chivalry 2 has a satisfying combat system that is one of the best first person melee systems I’ve played.
The attention to detail is amazing. Pieces of armor will get knocked off through fighting, so sometimes you’ll see a dazed and bloody soldier running around without his helmet. You (and your enemies) can also suffer catastrophic wounds, so sometimes you’ll see a dazed and bloody soldier running around with a limb missing. It’s rare a game allows you to keep playing when missing an arm, but Chivalry 2 revels in this bloody brutality. Chivalry 2 does a great job of making you feel like you’re participating in a large movie-style medieval battle.
The beta had two modes to try: a team deathmatch mode, and an objectives-based mode that consisted of attacking or defending points. Team death match is always fun. I always appreciate the impromptu duels that tend to pop up between players. The objectives-based mode is quite a spectacle, and really does a good job of making exciting attack/defend scenarios. I definitely had fun storming the castle. I really appreciate some of the additions, like spawning in as an attacker, already rushing forward at a full sprint with weapons raised. The shouting really adds something to it, too. There’s a button that allows you to battle cry at will, and multiple players spamming it (which is inevitable) really adds to the cacophony of the battlefield.
I’m looking forward to Chivalry 2 when it releases this summer. Those on PC that want to play it on Steam will have to wait, however, as it’s an Epic Games Store exclusive.
Chivalry 2 releases this summer on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Epic Games Store
If you like the video game, tabletop, or other technology content that Third Coast Review has to offer, consider donating to our Patreon. We are the only publication in Chicago that regularly reviews video games, and we cover lots of local Chicago-based events and more. If you want to contribute to our coverage of Chicago’s video game scene (and more) please consider becoming a patron. Your support enables us to continue to provide this type of content and more. Patreon.com/3CR
You can also catch us streaming games we’re reviewing and staff favorites on our Twitch channel.