Review: Chivalry: Medieval Warfare (PS4)

chivalry-medieval-warfare-review-banner-yr10

Title: Chivalry: Medieval Warfare
Format: PlayStation Network Download (2.6 GB)
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Torn Banner Studios
Original MSRP: $19.99
ESRB Rating: M
Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is also available on PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows, Mac, and Linux.
The PlayStation 4 download version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Chivalry is an online multiplayer-only game with just the slightest hint of a backstory, and most of that is in the tutorial section of the game. It is your general good guys, bad guys sort of thing.

You will have a choice to be aligned with whatever side you choose. Running through the tutorial in Chivalry is a good idea due to the game being set in medieval times with weapons and tactics much different from your everyday FPS.

Combat is mostly melee based and feels very true to its medieval roots with swings from a heavy battle axe taking longer to connect then a short sword. Blocking will be your friend as it is very important to stay alive longer. Timing plays an important part in combat and that’s a good thing here. I will say that the unique combat style is a plus.

Chivalry: Medieval Warfare_20160306080654

If the game is unable to put you into a match it will start a game with only you playing. This is a good way to learn the maps if you choose, although there is not much need as some other games of this genre. You have four classes to choose from, varying between close to mid range combat and even an archer. The classes are well thought out and do not rely heavily on one class being the go to.

I played Team Objective the most. In this mode you have objectives to meet while you fight the opposing side. Teamwork is needed here although most times it was chaos as I played, with most players doing their own thing.

… you need to get up close and personal …
I enjoyed the objective based combat here, spending part of my time trying to stay alive and meet the objective. There are three maps you can play in this mode which fit this style of objective based gameplay well.

Team Deathmatch is your basic match type we have seen for years, and Chivalry doesn’t do anything new to this formula with the exception of its gameplay. Things are slower compared to the usual frenzy of a shooter and here you need to get up close and personal.

Chivalry: Medieval Warfare_20160306081206

Teamwork is the key to survival here as well and I mostly followed another player to try to assist in a support role rather than be the leader of the pack. It is rather hard to be in a support role in Chivalry compared to other games as there are not really any options for this type of role.

Free-for-All is the next mode and the title explains it all. It is every man and woman for themselves in this match and my least favorite. This forced me to be an attacker rather than support which is something I don’t like. In one round I had zero kills, and more than twenty deaths. Luckily they are six modes in Chivalry to choose from.

… duel other players for superiority …
Last Team Standing is like Free-for-All but with teams and it promotes teamwork to succeed. In my matches I found very little in the way of people communicating. I tended to fall behind the nearest player I saw and tried to help that player combat his foe, to varying degrees of success.

Duel takes you to a lobby where you can duel other players for superiority. This mode is a lot of fun if you know what you’re doing. I was lucky enough to win a few times against stronger players. This mode allows a person to figure out patterns and weak points to exploit them and was generally fun to play.

Chivalry: Medieval Warfare_20160306080455Chivalry: Medieval Warfare_20160306081130

Horde Mode takes a small team of players and pits you against enemies in waves. This one allows you to either play as a lone wolf or as a team player. I found myself helping teammates slay our enemies wave after wave instead of doing it all myself. Overall this was a lot of fun the few times I played it and I would say this is one of the strongest modes in the game. The downside to Horde mode is that it only has two maps to play.

Visuals:
At first glance the graphics and art style for Chivalry are mediocre until you really start to get into the gameplay. The lighting is phenomenal and the fog effects really set the scene. The art style lends itself to realism and sets the general tone of the game as it should.

… bland battle music …
There is some slowdown when you start fighting or attacking which was noticeable but did not hinder my performance. Another sticky point to the game was noticeable pop-in. While not major it did take me out of my immersion. Maps are diverse and somewhat plentiful with fourteen in the game at this time, ranging from the corridors of a castle to icy terrain. All the maps are designed beautifully and fit the world well.

Audio:
The audio is probably the weakest part of Chivalry. Not to say it’s bad, but it’s underwhelming at best. The music does repeat often and is, to my taste, bland battle music. The voice acting is serviceable although not the best while the sound effects do get repeated quite often. I usually turned down the volume and listened to music or podcasts when I played.

Chivalry: Medieval Warfare_20160306080927

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is an online multiplayer game only. There is no single player component to the game. Only a few modes have an option for AI Bots and those do not work well at all. At first I tried to use this option when available to learn the maps and perfect my combat skills, but the AI seemed an afterthought and was not really useful.

… many different map styles and character class choices …
Conclusion:
I wish I was better at Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, I truly do. The concept behind this first person melee combat game is fantastic and I hope this becomes a trend. While I would like to see a single player component more than just training, that part at least does the job well with the many different map styles and character class choices.

My only gripes come down to technical glitches and sound design. While not game breaking, they do take you out of your immersion at times. I can heartily recommend this title if you’re looking for a new experience and a new take on “first person shooters”, even though I personally did not have the skills to excel at this game.

Score:
7.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Powered By DT Author Box

Written by Shawn Hiers

Shawn Hiers

Disabled gamer. Married Father of 3, and playing since the Atari days. I have a passion for all things Lego and an avid Toy Collector. I am also an huge Doctor Who Fan and can talk all things Who for hours 🙂

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook