Chivalry 2 -- Birthed As A PC Mod
When Chivalry 2 was released in early June, it became a point of interest for many players, content creators, and so-called influencers for its unique premise. Chivalry 2 is the prequel to Chivalry: Medieval Warfare which was born as the Half-Life 2 mod, Age of Chivalry in 2007. This means that the Chivalry series has, for better or worse, been in existence for over fourteen years yet it’s a series that has been under many console players’ radars until recently.
The premise is based on massive first-person medieval combat where the player enters a battleground, using improvised weapons relative to that time period. The sequel aims to be more ambitious, bloodier, and authentic than the first game, providing emphasis on teamwork and playing true to your assigned role than simply being a one-man army. With Tripwire Interactive at the helm in terms of publishing, Chivalry 2 received tons of promotions that it otherwise wouldn’t have received were it a self-published title.
Early Success Was In Chivalry 2's Lap
The game proved to be one of the early summer’s major hits, yet its popularity simmered down over the months. Many of the promised features including crossplay have yet to be implemented properly at the time of writing and the upcoming months seek to be a major one for video game releases in general. Is this game still worth a try for those who are thinking of picking up the game, three months after its successful launch? Or was it just as it appeared at first glance, a “fad?”
Upon finishing the tutorial and the small scrimmage against bots that the game plunges you in, the player is taken to the main menu where the only options are to play an online match, replay the tutorial, and customize your various classes. There are several classes including an archer, knight, spearman, and soldier. Each class plays a specific role, with archers attacking from afar and knights being the frontline of defense.
As With Most Fads, Chivalry 2 Is Dead In The Water
I would have loved to show the classes off as well as how each interacts in a player vs player environment, but there was one glaring flaw. Remember the question I asked earlier if the game still held its weight online once the summer hype died down? Well, I wouldn’t be able to answer that question, sadly, as the servers are currently down and have been down for the past four days.
That’s right, the original notice of server issues was posted on September 10th. It is now September 14th at the time of this recording and writing, with much of the same issues stated including failure to connect to the server persisting. Thankfully, there are online bot games but they go as well as one would expect bot games to go. The enemy team is a troupe of bumbling idiots as well as your AI companions, which means you have to play the role of the one-man army which is something the game discouraged you from being.
The game encourages the player to “turn with their sword” as they swing their weapon, but with the many attempts I was able to try it out for myself, I was only able to do it a handful of times. Regardless, it seemed like a fun gameplay system that’s easy to pick up yet difficult to master and it’d be fun to try it out against live opponents.
Despite Its Shortcomings, There's Still Hope
It’s a shame because the gameplay showed promise, as the emphasis is brought on the concept of “footsies.” Proper spacing between you and your foe, respecting their attacks and countering them with your own, feints and kicks to break through their guards, and other mechanics are introduced in the tutorial with many of the mechanics being hard to grasp initially.
That’s the issue with most “online-only” games that are built upon its multiplayer, as whenever something such as server issues come forward, that eliminates effectively the entire game. Aside from its online mode, there’s nothing to do in Chivalry 2 as bot games might as well be considered a glorified “training mode.”
Perhaps if there was an inkling of a campaign mode or a set of mission modes that the player could try out, doubling as a way to expand on the lore which was strummed up at the last minute, it would be worth it to play single player. Unfortunately, even after Torn Banner eventually fixes the server issues, I’m not certain if I could recommend the game in this state from first impressions alone.
Chivalry 2 is available on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.