The Canadian team of Torn Banner Studios was born from a knightly modification for Half-Life 2 called Age of Chivalry. It later evolved into the standalone commercial multiplayer game Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. It was released in 2012 and at least received a very decent response on the PC. Unfortunately, the console version didn’t work very well. In 2013, a separate expansion of Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior was released, inspired by the TV show of the same name. Then the authors paused for a moment. They wanted to build on the success of Chivalry with a similar but more fantastically tuned multiplayer action Mirage: Arcane Warfare, but in the end, despite the decent response, the players completely failed. And so the team returned to what it did best – bloody medieval arcade battles that would be grateful to Call of Duty players rather than history teachers. Chivalry 2 has already arrived on all supported platforms at the same time and is in great shape.
Sometimes you conquer, other times you defend, transfer things, destroy something or protect someone. The sub-quests gradually evolve during the battle, which has several stages as players advance through the map.
If you played the first part, know that two will give you more of the same and in a nicer package. The rivalry between the Agatha Knights and the Mason Order factions remains at the center of multiplayer battles, where there is no shortage of torn limbs and hectoliters of blood. It may sound scary, even disgusting, but the authors have again managed to find a comic element in this medieval rage, thanks to which the struggle for life and death is by no means traumatizing. In Chivalry 2, you can fight in everyone’s arenas against everyone, but the main thing is team multiplayer for up to 64 players. They will be divided into two teams, with each fighter choosing one of the four main characters available, which are then further divided into other sub-classes, which you unlock by gaining experience. In a similar way, you will get to other weapons and accessories, thanks to which it is possible to achieve a really varied offer of variously equipped and armed characters. It’s up to you, you seem to prefer strength and defense, or speed, dexterity and agile lunges at the cost of weaker armor and attack. Or maybe you prefer to reach for someone who can keep his distance from enemies, either with a spear or a bow.
The authors did not speak to the wind when they promised everything more, even in the field of editing their own figure. In addition to the class and weapons, you can also choose various cosmetic accessories that do not affect the function. You can unlock new ones by leveling, but also for ingame currency, which you gain in battles. Currency can also be exchanged for real money through micro-transcripts, but thanks to the fact that you do not get to functional improvements, you do not have to worry about the balance of the game. You will see more of it on the battlefield. The maps are much larger, variable and have a relatively impressive architecture and content. There may be more, but it will come in time. Developers in team modes mix different modes together. Sometimes you conquer, other times you defend, transfer things, destroy something or protect someone. The sub-tasks gradually evolve during the battle, which has several stages as players advance through the map. But the goal does not always have to be sophisticated. On some battlefields, it’s just a matter of sending as many enemies as possible to death. Unfortunately, at the moment the console version lacks one-on-one duels, which otherwise satisfy even those for whom the usual game is too frenetic or chaotic.
It is necessary to realize that Chivalry is not and never has been a tactical realistic simulation, but above all a frantic action that is easy to understand and learn the basics, even if the exercise is only a master. Not that you can make do with a single button in combat. The vast majority of characters in melee combat use three basic tips of attacks – cut, stab and swing over the head, which can be further chained and modified, either in terms of strength or direction. You usually also have some special attack or other special equipment that is subject to cooldown. You can throw your opponent out of balance by buying or pushing. Despite the fact that each weapon is fought differently. And without defense and the right timing, you will only survive in combat. But it’s still a fast-paced arcade carving, no For Honor or God forbid Kingdom Come in multiplayer. Otherwise, the more complex combat system benefited the game, because thanks to it, Chivalry 2 is more varied in gameplay and appearance. And you still have to watch out for your colleagues in the fight, otherwise you can easily inadvertently cause them serious injuries. It doesn’t pay to cut off your head in a group of partners and enemies.
If for some reason you don’t like the classic first person camera, you can switch to a third-person view, which will give you a better overview of the situation around you, but on the other hand, maybe a lesser feeling for the fight itself. That’s why I stayed true to the perspective of my own eyes, but that’s a purely individual thing. However, the choice itself is commendable. As well as support for cross-platform multiplayer, which could play a key role in the life of the title. The authors are going to further expand Chivalry 2, and the example of the first part suggests that the title may have a long shelf life. A compact, unified community will only benefit. And if you still feel that it gives someone an unfair advantage, you can turn off cross-play. I was also pleased with the support of the DualSense driver on the PS5. It’s not breathtaking, but it’s definitely nice.
This slowly brought us to the technical side. The first Chivalry certainly did not deny the Modder roots, and there was no reason to be ashamed of them. The second is already more polished in all respects and Unreal Engine is definitely not a disgrace. But it’s still a smaller project from a smaller team, and you have to keep that in mind. The graphics certainly won’t offend you, but they naturally lag behind the absolute top. On PlayStation 5, however, you’re bothered by the short rendering distance rather than the fact that you shouldn’t like the game as a whole. And in some places, the result still seems a bit shaky. But this is undoubtedly related to the overall concept. Eliminating and polishing large brutal battles full of interactions and contact battles would certainly be a great challenge even for much larger studies than the relatively small Canadian team. But what I can’t forgive him is a bit of moody matchmaking, occasional problems with connection and stability. In this sense, as a purely online game, it should work for number one and not that I solve a connectivity error or a bizarre ping value every other time I run it. But I sincerely believe that it is only a childhood disease that the newborn gets rid of quickly.
Chivalry 2 is an extremely fun, albeit somewhat quirky game. It is paradoxical how funny such a slaughterhouse can be. But the reason is simply catchy and refined gameplay, which overcomes even the shortcomings of the graphics or some technical difficulties. Torn Banner Studios has benefited from competition in the form of other similar games as well as an even more obvious coughing up of real history, thanks to which the title is more varied in terms of content. See it all on everything from guns to maps to clothes. You just have to respect that the absurd Middle Ages look like something between Robin Hood and Kevin Costner and a Disneyland attraction. But I promise you that it will stop bothering you the first time you humiliate your opponent so that you lose your head in battle just a moment later. Literally.