As we begin a brand new year of gaming and, more importantly, first-person shooters, we have been spending some time reflecting on the year that was. 2012, by all accounts, was a good year for the first-person shooter genre. Sure, another year came and went and Half-Life 3 is nowhere to be seen, but we did see some really good games see the light of day. I mean, who would have guessed that Black Mesa would (finally) be released?
But interestingly enough, one of the best first-person games of the entire year was Chivalry: Medieval Warfare and there were no guns, no oscar mikes and, come to think of it, it was pretty much devoid of all of the cliche FPS staples. There are handheld ranged weapons but nothing more extravagant than a crossbow and that doesn't count as a gun! In a world dominated by modern military first-person shooters, a little studio called Torn Banner decided to take things back a few years. Well, more like 700 years if you be specific about it, but who's counting?
We haven't covered Chivalry: Medieval Warfare very much this year and part of that was simply our hesitance to even call it a first-person shooter. After all, you don't really shoot things very often in the game and there is a distinct lack of guns, something that has been a staple in the genre since the beginning. But, by that same note, is Portal really a first-person shooter? Yes you fire a 'gun' from the first-person perspective, but what about all of the other classic FPS staples that the game leaves out?
At the end of the day, Chivalry - like Portal - is in a class of its own, and we love it.
Torn Banner built this game from the ground up to be the best melee combat game on the market, and we'd have to say they succeeded handily. With a massive amount of weapons at your disposal and multiple maps to play on, as well as a handful of fun game modes, Chivalry offers a hell of a lot of gaming for a pretty small price tag. With no single player campaign to speak of, multiplayer has to be good to keep people coming back and it is, and they do.
Chivalry features four playable classes; Archer, Man-at-Arms, Knight and Vanguard. Each class has something completely unique to offer and are balanced immaculately. Going as a man-at-arms will give you the lighter, speedier weapons but a single well-placed attack from the heavier weapon of a vanguard will finish you off.
On the other side of the shilling, you can go as a knight and bulk up your armor but expect the movement penalty that comes along with all of that extra steel.
Combat is seamless, easy to understand but difficult to master. We've spent hours playing on every class and we're nowhere near feeling like we've mastered everything that the game has to offer. On top of that, we also have leagues to go before we've unlocked every single weapon in the game. Unlocks are earned via kill accumulation on a per-weapon basis. In other words, if you find yourself enjoying the heavy swords in the game, you'll have to earn kills with the beginning sword before unlocking the next sword up. In a game that takes some skill to master, this can take some doing. Our advice is to spend time experimenting and when you find what you like best, stick with it.
Long story short, this is an amazing game and regardless of what genre you would place it in, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is worth your time and one of our favorite first-person games from 2012. Check it out on Steam at http://store.steampowered.com/app/219640/!