Other first-person sword fighting games, such as Kingdom Come: Deliverance and Mordhau, have attempted to sell themselves on their hitboxes and high skill ceilings. However, Chivalry Medieval Warfare has always been open to falling a little more on the arcadey side. The sequel Chivalry 2 continued that tradition and I believe it is a better multiplayer experience. Although there is still a lot to learn, it’s much easier to jump in and get some bloody kills without feeling like a sheep among wolves. That’s how you create and maintain a strong community.
Chivalry 2 takes you to stylish, saturated battlefields where up to 64 players can play in either objective-based team mode or a massive free-for-all. Although there aren’t many maps available right now, I was impressed by the number of them. Each map has an excellent variety of objectives to defend and attack, interesting terrain and architecture, a mix of open areas, bottlenecks and open areas, and great overall pace. You might push titanic siege towers high up against a wall, with ballista bolts flinging at you from the top. The next moment you may be trying to steal as much gold from a village to get it back to you before time runs out.
There are certainly some objectives that feel unbalanced at this time. For example, the bridge at Falmire has been taken by the attackers only once in all the times I have played it. The ramp at Lionspire can be quite sticky. It’s not something that can’t be fixed with a few minor adjustments. It might be easier once you have a better understanding of how these objectives work.
Instead of having to build a custom-built kit with every weapon and armor you desire, Chivalry offers 12 set classes, divided into four archetypes. Four are available from the beginning, and the rest can be unlocked as you progress. There are also new secondary and primary weapons that you can unlock within each class. This gives you a lot of progression. Although I was disappointed that I couldn’t mix and match, I quickly discovered that there were kits available to suit almost every playstyle, from the deadly crossbow sniper to the rage-throwing berserker.
Some niches are stronger than others. The rogue class gets a bonus to damage from backstab, but I have never found a way to make the most of it in either one-on-one or team fights. Skirmishers throw javelins and are supposed to be a mix of melee and ranged classes. However, they feel worse at each than their specialist counterparts. Shields were more of a burden than a boon for me. The offensive monsters such as the crusader and the devastator are great fun. While you will see many people complaining about archers being too powerful in chat, it is possible to master the art with a lot practice and good instincts.
With Chivalry 2, I’m having so much fun! Outside of some balance issues, the maps are great fun. Everything, from shining armor to the majestic castle walls, looks amazing and there is a wide range of objectives to keep things exciting. Combat is a great mix of accessible, dumb fun and skill-based, rewarding mechanics that separate the wheat from the chaff. You know you are in for a great time when everyone is frantically pressing the battle cry button while you respawn. This sweaty jacket of mail is not something I will be putting aside for a while.