Translated from a sophisticated Half Life 2 mod called the Age of Chivalry, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare was the first commercial title for the Canadian software house Torn Banner Studios, a "simulator" of white weapon fighting that has received (and continues to still collect) a good success on Steam, where it was launched in October 2012. A couple of years later and under the protective wings of Activision a controversial iteration for consoles of the last generation was also published, however it passed in muted due to the presence on the market of the new flagships from Sony and Microsoft. Precisely for the latter, the developers announced a conversion - by Hardsuit Labs - last November 19, landed on the PlayStation Store and on the Microsoft Marketplace about ten days later at a cost of 19,99 euros. We have whipped the one for Xbox One and this is what we think.
The Forbidden Hits of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare also on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Since the original work for PC came out, of which you can read our review by clicking on the following link, the title has been constantly refined and expanded by the Toronto team, and today we have a certainly more full-bodied product on our hands that has welcomed also single player and cooperative modes, although the competitive multiplayer sector always remains the core of the experience. As specified in the introduction, we are faced with a medieval fighting simulator, whose playful infrastructure is not exposed to the technicalities of the famous Mount and Blade and the lesser known War of The Roses, but offers an excellent compromise between carefree fun and depth of tenzone. The two opposing factions that can be used are the Knights of Agatha (in blue) and the Order of Mason (in red), whose deeds are accompanied by a very light narrative substrate that quickly leaves room for the noise of weapons. In the main menu, which shows in the background the glimpse of an epic battle that has just ended, among the various items there is also Training, a very useful arena tutorial that introduces the player to the stratified combat system. Starting from the basic dynamics, it is possible to master the most advanced techniques, also becoming familiar with the characteristics of each of the four classes present, specifically Archer, Man at Arms, Top Unit and Knight. Over sixty weapons are available in this version of the game, ranging from traditional swords, axes and crossbows to halberds and two-handed greatswords, through flails, spiked maces, war hammers and other painful death givers.
The weapons naturally offer range, speed of use and specific effectiveness, moreover they are not all accessible at the beginning, and to unlock the more "exotic" ones it is necessary to level up a lot. The equipment of each class includes a primary weapon, a secondary weapon and a very useful extra object, to be selected from additional ammunition (arrows and darts), throwing knives or various types of shields, which obviously favor the defensive action at the expense of mobility. The beating heart of the experience is the solid combat system, which translates into a tight ballet of death with one's opponents. The action is completely based on timing and resistance management, and it is essential to carefully mix dodges, feints, saves and the three types of attack, as well as the kick to break the defense or maybe push the unfortunate on duty in one of the numerous precipices that dot the maps. The commands are well implemented on the joypad and the solution adopted by Hardsuit Labs represents a valid alternative to the mouse and keyboard combination. The main attack and the combos are performed with the right trigger, with RB the powerful attack from above and with R3 the lunge, while the left trigger is delegated to the feints and above all to the parry, an action that requires the right amount of practice to be mastered to the fullest. The other buttons are used to navigate menus, switch weapons, crouch and deliver iconic battle cries.
Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is a title designed to be enjoyed mainly in first person, however it is also possible to play it in third person by pressing LB and X at the same time. polygonal. As specified, the combat dynamics are well studied and the various classes are sufficiently balanced, although soldiers equipped with long weapons (such as halberds and two-handed greatswords) have significant advantages in certain circumstances. The impact of the blows on the bodies of the enemies is generally solid and credible, with very violent results that can lead to clear beheadings, dismemberments and rivers of blood. In the heat of battle, one often ends up hitting and killing one's comrades in arms, moreover, it is not always possible to perceive exactly the size and power of the blows inflicted, but despite some technical hindrance the final result works very well, and the compromise between Arcade action and depth always guarantees thrilling duels and loads of fun.
Chivalry: Medieval Warfare offers the usual 1000 Gs divided into forty distinct objectives of 20 and 40 points each. Most of it is related to the unlocking of the numerous weapons, however there is no lack of achieving specific levels of experience or performing certain actions in multiplayer games, such as beheadings.
Among the most interesting features of this iteration of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare are the multiplayer up to twenty-four players and above all the dedicated servers, a detail not to be overlooked in a title where the slightest uncertainty of the connection makes the difference between life and death. . As for the game modes, in addition to the most representative team objective, we also find the various types of Deathmatch, Survival, Duel and Horde. In the latter, playable in both cooperative and single player, you face a series of waves of enemies made up of orcs, skeletons, ghosts, soldiers, trolls and other amenities, which follow one another in overwhelming numbers. In the Horde Town variant you start already armed with a sword and the various waves are activated after killing the helpless king, while in Crypt you can choose a class immediately after hitting the three skulls in the center of the map.
The artificial intelligence is rather cheap and there is no shortage of even gross and hilarious bugs, however the fun is not lacking and can be a pleasant diversion after a tight competitive session. In the aforementioned Team Goal, players must perform specific actions in sequence in the dedicated maps to get the better of their opponents. In Citadel, for example, in the first phase it is necessary to destroy the walls of a castle with ballistae, while in Coldfront it is necessary to prevent enemies from destroying or lowering a drawbridge and subsequently killing the fleeing king. Among the most curious objectives there is also the escort of a wagon full of corpses, and there is no shortage of sections with siege weapons or the elimination / protection of multiple VIP objectives. Among the most popular modes there are certainly Survival, where the only life available requires a more reasoned approach, and Duel, in which you face each other in very tight one-on-one. Apart from a few minor differences, the interface is practically the same as the PC version, but fortunately the bizarre "mixed" translation between English and Spanish has been corrected. From a purely technical point of view, unfortunately the game has a significantly lower cosmetics than the PC counterpart, moreover the Xbox One version is characterized by a limp fluidity at thirty frames per second, against the sixty of that PlayStation 4. Considering the type of product it would have been appropriate to cut the resolution (1080p) rather than the frame rate, moreover, in light of the quality appreciated in the latest titles released on Xbox One, there is no doubt that the developers could have done much, much more. The maps on the whole have a decent level design, but the darker color palette, accentuated aliasing and a rather low quality of some details and textures significantly reduce their charm. Good sound effects related to the clang of weapons, a little less some samples related to speeches and war screams. The soundtrack is impalpable.
Launched on the market a few days after the announcement, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare lands on the latest generation consoles with support for twenty-four players and dedicated servers, which guarantee solid online games without latency phenomena. Rich in maps, weapons and modes, the title offers a fun and deep combat system, which, while not exploring more simulative dynamics, manages to satisfy both the novice player and the expert. The technical sector, unfortunately, is not in step with the times and the overview is significantly lower than the PC one, moreover the version for Xbox One has to deal with a shaky framerate and halved compared to the competition. Although it is not perfect and has many angular aspects, if you like white weapon fighting and are looking for an engaging multiplayer title you can definitely give it a chance.
- Combat system
- Dedicated servers and 24 player support
- Good amount of content
- Fun and rewarding
- Very dated technical sector
- On Xbox One fluidity at 30 (wobbly) frames per second
- Several bugs and "rustic" aspects
- It does not support mods