Chivalry 2: Our test impressions from the closed beta

Chivalry 2: Our test impressions from the closed beta

Chivalry 2

With Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, released in 2012, the developers at Torn Banner Studios wanted to try something new: How about a first-person shooter, just with swords instead of firearms? The result is a unique mixture that is still unparalleled today. The multiplayer Lasher brings the intensity of epic battles from 300, Gladiator or Braveheart to your home screen. Together with dozens of other players you can besiege castles, plunder settlements and smash each other's skulls in gripping battles.

Table of Contents

1 Battlefield in the Middle Ages 2 Broadsword Ballerina 3 Your own battle of the bastards 4 Class struggle with a difference 5 It has to be a bit of fun Eleven years later, the makers are back with a second part. It wants to offer the same thrill as it was back then, just with even prettier graphics and refined gameplay. Before the release on June 8th, we were able to try out how it works in a closed beta.

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Battlefield in the Middle Ages

As a defender, you have to try to stop the enemy battering rams during team target matches. Source: PC Games The choice of game modes was of course a bit limited in the test version, only the two game variants Team Deathmatch and Team Goal were available. The former is of course quite self-explanatory in terms of its functionality: two teams of 32 players each compete against each other with a pool of 200 respawns, one is deducted for each death. The side that is the first to run out of life loses. So far, so clear. Team goal, on the other hand, needs a little more explanation: The mode can probably best be compared with the frontline mode from Battlefield 5. So an invasion is re-enacted in the course of which the attackers have to master various milestones. For example, it is first necessary to escort the siege equipment to the castle walls, then to take the ramparts and finally to penetrate into the throne room. You always have to keep an eye on the clock. If the defenders manage to hold you back for a certain period of time and thwart your progress, the offensive has failed. So team play is required on both sides. Those who do not agree with their comrades, who prefer randomly riveting enemies instead of fulfilling the given goals, will not get very far.

For such individualists there will be separate free-for-all battles in the finished game in which everyone fights for themselves. But that's about it with the available modes. The game variants known from the predecessor such as Last Team Standing, Duel, King of the Hill or Capture the Flag will not be available - at least for the launch. A PvE horde mode like the one offered by Mordhau, which was released in 2019, is unfortunately also in vain.

When it comes to cards, Chivalry 2 (buy now € 49.99 / € 35.99) is also minimalist: A total of only eight maps await you, half of which were already playable in the beta. So far, however, they have made a consistently positive impression. There are smaller arenas such as "Tournament Ground", where there is action everywhere, but also larger-scale battlefields such as "Battle of Wardenglade" or the fortress of Lionspire. In addition, the worlds always come up with nice little players: You can, for example, pick up barrels and throw them at attacking attackers or arm yourself with surrounding objects such as chandeliers, pitchforks or even burning chickens. There is almost a bit of sandbox in the levels of Chivalry.

The game's few cut scenes are nicely done, but the story they tell can be safely ignored. Source: PC Games

Broadsword Ballerina

Between the individual battles you even get something like a story: Chivalry 2 takes up the events of the series debut and spins the conflict between the Mason Order and the Agatha Knights a little further. It's not a realistic depiction of the Middle Ages, you shouldn't expect a Hollywood blockbuster in the style of Braveheart and Co. either. This time, Torn Banner Studios put a lot more effort into the lore and further elaborated their fictional universe with cut scenes and codex entries. The historical framework can also be safely ignored, in the end it's still about shredding.

Archery in Chivalry 2 is not that easy at all. There is a lot of hectic on the battlefield, so you tend to miss your target. Source: PC Games Chivalry 2 builds on the combat system of its predecessor, but adjusts it again in some places or adds completely new aspects. This provides additional game depth and gripping battles for players of all skill levels. Of course, nothing has changed in the general basic principle: with a click of the left mouse button, you carry out a light attack; if you hold down the button, you can unleash a heavy attack. If you move the mouse wheel up, stab it, if you move it down, you get a powerful blow. These four attack variants can then be seamlessly combined with each other and thus linked to form combos.

Your mouse movements are particularly important: In order to put as much force and speed as possible into your blow, you have to turn your hips by hand and get some momentum. That makes the sword fights a little more immersive, but also more unpredictable. Instead of just playing a pre-made animation, each shot is a little different. That requires even more attention and responsiveness. This system should no longer offer exploits: The ballerina moves known from its predecessor, with which you spin through the arena like a blade top, are a thing of the past, according to the developers.

Yours own battle of the bastards

Once you have understood the basics, there are a few more advanced techniques: Crouching and jumping are just the tip of the iceberg. With the right timing, you can counter opponents or outsmart them with the help of a feint. There is also the option of breaking their cover with one kick or - if all else fails - throwing your weapon at them. There will even be mounted attacks in the finished game! You have to internalize all of this first. Accordingly, it is definitely worth investing the time in the initial tutorial.

The combat system of Chivalry 2 has to be internalized first. Especially as a newcomer to the genre, you should definitely take the tutorial with you! Source: PC Games At the same time you have to say: Chivalry 2 is still much more beginner-friendly than other genre representatives. There are no alternative fighting techniques, such as the Mordhau from the multiplayer slasher of the same name from 2019. You are also much more gracious when it comes to blocking. While the competition lets you hold your parade stance for just under a second, you can hold this position in Chivalry for an almost unlimited period of time. In addition, defensive and attack actions consume significantly less stamina, hits only if you miss your target.

This results in a much more intuitive, faster and at the same time very satisfying game feel. The weapons in Chivalry look massive and bring a corresponding force with them. To see how you split the skull of an opponent with a lot of speed is just great fun. This is also due to the appropriate staging: Inspired by Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and Co., the makers of Torn Banner conjure up an incredibly atmospheric battle atmosphere on the screen. And thanks to the power of the Unreal Engine 4, it looks really neat - apart from a few awkward animations. Chivalry 2 is loud, dirty and bloody, sometimes epic medieval blockbuster, but often just coordinated chaos. In the tangle of flashing steel, hailing arrows and rolling heads, it's easy to lose track of things, even if you switch to the optional third-person camera. Because of the thirst for blood, you sometimes beat up your teammate. But that fits exactly into the concept: after all, the developers don't do a sword fight simulation here. Rather, the stated goal was to make the game feel like a rough bar brawl. And that has undoubtedly succeeded.

A different kind of class struggle

Open fire! You can set fire to your opponents with pots of oil. The special ability seemed a little too strong to us during the beta. Source: PC Games The same applies to the classes. While you are putting together your own warriors in Mordhau, Chivalry simply offers you four prefabricated main classes with again three sub-classes. You can change them at the beginning of the game, but also dynamically during a match - depending on how your style of play requires it. Whether on a long or short distance, whether for supporters or damage dealers: There is a suitable archetype for everyone. If you have unlocked it. Some characters have to be earned by collecting XP and leveling up, but you also get new weapons and equipment. Then you can give your archer a crossbow or your knight pulls a war ax instead of a long sword into the field.

Each of the four main classes has its own level, which you raise by saying Class uses. This is how you unlock new subclasses. Source: PC Games In addition to different values ​​for health, agility and stamina, the individual classes also have their own individual characteristics: The polearm fighter receives around 25 percent damage bonus on sprint attacks, the devastator does not lose any speed when switching to his heavy main weapon. There is also a special attack and a special ability. These include, for example, oil pots that you can use to ignite opponents, horns with which you fellow players buff or medicits with which you can heal comrades.

Speaking of which: The healing mechanics of Chivalry 2 has changed again compared to its predecessor : Every player now has a bandage with them that they can use to treat themselves. In addition, you do not die directly after an enemy hit, but are first knocked out and can still be rescued. You can even keep fighting if you've lost a few limbs. After all, it's just a flesh wound. Greetings from the Knights of the Coconut!

A bit of fun is a must

Overall, Chivalry 2 doesn't always take itself that seriously, despite the martial presentation. You can now equip your character with various emotes and war screams, for example, and throw a few insults in the face of your opponents. Your avatar will also be freely modifiable in other ways: The developers have already confirmed that you can customize its appearance with a selection of scars, beards, tattoos and face paints. Even your equipment can be optically modified! At least that's what the objects that you unlock after a fight suggest - such as a painted crusader helmet or a rusty ax skin.

Even if you are missing your right arm, you can keep fighting for a while, then pull yourself together but the blood loss eventually went away. Source: PC Games Whether you can later purchase these cosmetic items for real money, the makers have not yet made a specific statement. However, microtransactions are not excluded, after all, they were already present in the predecessor. And for players with a particularly large wallet, there is already the chance to pre-order a special edition with particularly stylish pieces of armor and 1000 units of the premium in-game currency. After all: Anyone who has played the closed beta does not get any advantages. The progress is reset after the end of the test phase, at the launch all start at zero.

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