Title: Chivalry 2
Developer: Torn Banner
Release Date: June 8, 2021
Reviewed On: PS5
Publisher: Tripwire Interactive
Genre: First-Person Melee Action
Imagine running across a battlefield intent on taking a stronghold with the only thing between being an entire army. You let out a battle cry and rush in with your weapon raised with nothing holding you back. This is Chivalry 2, and you may die seconds after this or survive the entire match. Regardless, whatever happens, you’ll be having fun.
Chivalry 2 invites 64 players to a single match, which is as chaotic as it sounds. Players must take into account loadout as weapons have a distant weight to them. You must be strategic about your approach, but all the tools are provided for facing off against one or even three enemies at a time.
Strategy is definitely an important part of Chivalry 2 as this game has a learning curve that only improves after hours of playtime. However, that part is what kept me coming back for more bloodshed. Something is exhilarating about taking on multiple foes, blocking and parrying, and using every ounce of life your character has to push the line forward.
There are four different classes to choose from, Knights, Footman, Vanguard, and Archer. Knights are good at rallying teammates together and healing them. Footman is your typical soldier who will take part in skirmishes. Vanguard heads each push while the knight helps hold the ground. Archers can snipe foes from a far with arrows, but once in close range, they go down quickly.
There’s enough differentiation to each class to fit many playstyles, and each class can level up to unlock more weapons and proficiency with that character type. I didn’t find it necessarily unbalanced no matter which level class I was facing off against because the tougher battle comes down to the skill level of the enemy you meet on the battlefield. Using The Lord of the Rings as an example, we will all start as a generic orc facing off against Aragon, but that can change over time.
The Longbowman loadout is the initial Archer class that will eventually unlock a Crossbowman. This deals more damage and hits enemies with armor easier, but it also has its drawbacks. Further, an officer is good at healing and upgrades to a guardian that increases these healing capabilities.
This way of progression adds a unique layer of immersion to the game. Discovering your niche in the combat field is almost half the fun. Although another layer of this immersion applies to team damage being in effect.
If you aren’t careful, you can find yourself killing your teammates more than the enemy. This is especially easy to do since the battlefield is a hectic place to be. Whenever I play an archer, I seem to find an ally’s head much easier than any enemy’s. It’s pretty disheartening when you get killed and find it was by your ally’s hand.
Players can customize the character’s appearance as each level introduces more items to purchase at the customization shop. There are options to be a female, but you’ll be stuck with only one voice option while the male characters have many.
With how immersive Chivalry 2 aims to be, it’s a real shame they don’t use the haptic feedback more in the PS5 version. All the melee classes don’t use it, and the archers slightly add tension to the bow string. The feature is non-existent, and if realism and immersion are the goals, this would be implemented in a future update.
Chivalry 2 is played mostly online, which worked out well during my time playing. It’s super easy to find a match, and if there aren’t enough players, bots will fill the missing ranks. This keeps you in the game rather than waiting in a lobby. Lag wasn’t an issue, and I only spotted a hiccup on a few occasions.
Speaking of, there are times when you need to practice and get a feel for the controls or show off what you can do. There is an offline practice mood where you can face off against bots. However, they don’t employ tactics as a player would. This mode felt more akin to a Musou title, which boosted my morale a bit.
However, there aren’t any rewards for playing these practice matches, which makes them only useful for about an hour. The only way to get good is to play online matches over and over. I wouldn’t mind offline challenges to play when I don’t want to play a full-scale siege.
Chivalry 2 brings out the hero in all of us as we race towards death with our friends by our side. There’s something about the chaos and immersion that draws you in for hours. Thankfully the servers held up across matches full of battle cries and deaths at the hands of my allies. There’s never a dull moment, no matter your skill level.
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