From humble beginnings, Chivalry 2 is shaping up to be one of the best multiplayer games of 2021, albeit a bloody mad one. As we head toward our review, the game is now in the hands of early adopters, fans of the original that couldn’t wait to dive right back in. The question is, should you join them?
The original Chivalry: Medieval Warfare took to Kickstarter almost a decade ago in search of crowdfunding, fledgling indie dev Torn Banner Studios netting a tidy $85,000. The pitch was simple: a medieval spin on popular multiplayer shooters, swapping out guns for an assortment of gnarly weapons from the dark ages. Chivalry scored well among critics when it launched in late 2012, shifting more than 2 million copies in its first couple of years before making the leap to consoles.
It’s immediately clear that the long-awaited Chivalry 2 is a marked improvement over its predecessor. With huge medieval battles and manic melee combat still at the game’s core, Torn Banner’s sequel is somehow easier to pick up and play while adding more depth. It’s also very daft.
Each battle is its own saga in the never-ending war between Chivalry’s two rival faction: Agatha and the Masons. Diving into the matchmaking queue will drop you into a siege or skirmish hosting up to 64 players with a free-for-all option also available. It’s likely you’ll spend most of your time in Chivalry 2’s team modes, however, either taking part in objective-based games or throwing down in a frenzied deathmatch.
Controlling the four playable classes is pretty straightforward. Melee weapons can be swung from side to side, overhead, or in a stabbing motion, dealing damage whenever they hit an exposed opponent (or team mate, if you’re not careful). Block, dodges, parries, and counters turn each duel into a back-and-forth rally as players look to outsmart their enemy. Advanced moves such as feints, jabs, shoves, and ducks create even more options.
There’s an archer class as well, of course, though each class has access to thrown weapons. Peppering targets with arrows from afar can be immensely satisfying. There’s a brilliant level of interactivity in Chivalry 2, across every map. As you look to repel attackers from your castle gates you can throw rocks, chickens, and even haunches of bread, firing deadly bolts from ballistae while dodging deadly catapults.
The novelty of Chivalry 2’s multiplayer carnage has yet to fade even after spending several hours playing both the beta and launch version of the game. Each battle turns into its own saga with fearless ambushes, bold rallies, and climactic, nail-biting conclusions. Torn Banner has also given players plenty to unlock, from new weapons for every class, through to an extensive spread of customisation options. You’ll definitely want to keep coming back.
Blurring the line between massive multiplayer shooter and fighting game, Chivalry 2 is a perfect palette cleanser for those in search of something a little different. From its brutally immersive combat to its fluid presentation and intuitive cross-play, Chivalry 2 is well worth playing at launch, and we’ll have more to say in our full review soon.