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Chivalry 2 hands-on preview: Medieval madness

We pick up our swords at Shacknews and check out Chivalry 2 ahead of this weekend's cross-play closed beta.

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In Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, multiplayer combat was the name of the game. Battles weren't conducted with guns or explosives, but rather with swords, lances, arrows, and shields. It was visceral, face-to-face violence, the kind that had fans clamoring for more. That's why, for Chivalry 2, Tripwire Interactive and Torn Banner Studios are thinking bigger.

Chivalry 2 will feature much of the same deathmatch action that made the first game such a hit. However, it will also go bigger with a massive Team Objective mode, which will see 64 players engaging over the course of multi-phase skirmishes. Never ones to drop our swords, Shacknews fought for honor and went hands-on with the game's latest version.

Upon entering each game, players will be placed either with the red-and-black Mason Order or the blue-and-gold Agatha Knights. After being assigned to a team, the Team Objective mode will begin with the team on offense looking to charge across a full map that includes open fields, a peasant village, and a massive medieval castle. The offense must advance by escorting mobile battering rams and siege ramps, breaking down enemy gates, capturing key points, and eventually getting to the castle. Upon reaching the castle, the objective is to kill the defense's heir to the throne. Once the heir is dead, the game goes to the offense. If the defense can hold any of these objectives until time runs out, they will be the victors.

As for actual combat, novices only need to know that there are three basic attacks. There's the stab, the slash, and the overhead. This is where Chivalry 2 feels more like a fighting game, as there's a rock-paper-scissors priority system to these attacks. For example, an overhead blow will crush anyone trying to stab you, but the stab moves much faster and have greater range than the overhead. Players will work in other major fighting game principles, like blocking, parrying, dodging, kicking, and swift movement in order to find success. Moving along with your strikes is a key mechanic, one that can help you aim for opponents' limbs in order to dismember them. With all of this in mind, make sure and watch the stamina meter, because attempting to block or parry with no stamina will lead to opponents disarming you.

Once you get the hang of the basics, that's when you can start thinking about wielding different weapons and objects. After mastering the sword, it's important to understand map layouts in order to find weapon caches. This is where players can find other arms, such as axes, sledgehammers, spears, and bows. There will be instances where you might gamble and try to chuck your weapon at an opponent, at which point you'll either have to get your weapon back or find a new one. At that point, consider improvising and picking up whatever's around. You never know, you might score a kill with a live chicken.

All of this makes Chivalry 2's combat system incredibly deep, combining the best elements of both multiplayer shooters and one-on-one fighting games. The moment-to-moment gameplay is a blast, whether it's Team Objective or Team Deathmatch. The map sizes are ideal enough that it's easy to either directly pick a fight with an opponent or let out a battlecry and just go charging right in with your pointy weapon sticking right out. It's wildly fun, leaves little downtime in the action, and is easy for anyone to grasp. Even I was dismembering enemies in short order, though there was at least one instance of somebody lopping my arm off and an "It's just a flesh wound!" message popping up.

Those hoping to try some of this out for themselves may not have to wait long. The Chivalry 2 cross-play closed beta is set to take place this weekend, from April 23-26. That means PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One players will all get to jump in with one another and try the game out ahead of launch. Just be aware that Ray Tracing features will not be available on PS5 or Xbox Series X during the beta and will not be avaiable for those platforms until after launch.

Tripwire will be watching this weekend's beta closely in hopes of snuffing out any cross-play snafus before the game's official launch. The full version of Chivalry 2 will release on PC (via the Epic Games Store), PlayStation, and Xbox on June 8. Those looking to get into the closed beta this weekend can get in by pre-ordering on the Chivalry 2 website.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 21, 2021 6:00 AM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Chivalry 2 hands-on preview: Medieval madness

    • reply
      April 21, 2021 6:13 AM

      Does anyone want a key to the closed beta? I got one but I'll be out of town this weekend. It's epic game store Apr 23-26

    • reply
      April 21, 2021 9:31 AM

      i thought this was out already

      • reply
        April 21, 2021 10:12 AM

        Nope! They've had a few alpha and beta tests, but the full launch is coming on June 8.

    • reply
      April 26, 2021 12:41 PM

      The first game was so goofy with the story line, but it was honestly loads of fun to play. Some weapons were kinda imbalanced and there were issues, but I’m really looking forward to Chivalry 2.

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