Large-scale medieval warfare is one of the holy grails of gaming and Chivalry 2 has taken up the mantle to snatch that honor again. Chivalry set the standard for multiplayer medieval battles back in 2012 and Chivalry 2 is the heir it always deserved. The battles are bigger, fitting up to 64 players on massive objective maps. The combat is deeper, with more room for mastery. Chivalry 2's melee sandbox battlegrounds rally around the glorious unpredictability of other players, putting you face-to-face with your nemeses in a way that you seldom get from PvP first-person shooters. Torn Banner Studios has raised the battle standard again, giving its first-person slasher series another glorious multiplayer clash between the Mason Order and Agatha Knights.
What makes Chivalry 2's combat so thrilling is that it gives you both moments to show off your blade skills and satisfying sprees of blunt-force battlefield bludgeonings. If you manage to master them all, Chivalry 2 gives you multiple types of swing with each weapon along with special attacks for each of its classes, interrupting jabs, feints, kicks, and kicks. For the original Chivalry fans, mouse dragging is back again too. Swiping your mouse as you swing lets you control the speed of your strike, another layer of skill for those willing to wield it.
The chaotic flow at the center of large-scale battles will call on you to decide if that kind of finesse is the right move. There's a satisfying thrill to taking down another player with a well-timed faint or canceled attack that opens their guard to a nasty swing. Equally exhilarating is letting out a battle cry, running forward, and chucking your weapon at some poor fool's head.
Chivalry 2's huge battles, fielding up to 64 combatants, range from ordered chaos to total chaos, depending on what kind of fight you'd like. Five different team objective maps require your horde of knights to work through forests and castles and more, capturing and defending objective points. These maps are journeys themselves, having your team storm through multiple areas from escorting a battering ram to seizing a town square, and eventually the castle. Three more maps offer either a straightforward and bloody team deathmatch or the complete madness of a free-for-all where every knight fights only for themselves. In addition to the eight maps it already has, Torn Banner has plans to add more after launch.
Across all of its game modes, Chivalry 2 is more than just a grim battlefield. There's plenty of comedy to go with all the bloody tragedy and all sorts of ways to express yourself. There are more than just your weapons at your disposal. Even if you've lost your sword, or lost the arm that was holding it, you can improvise with a pitchfork. Or if that fails, a hurled chicken. If not that, perhaps a tomato. A litany of voice lines and emotes to customize your fighter with can even be your last line of defense. If all else fails, falling to your knees and bowing before an opponent who's bested you could save your life. Or it could earn you an execution.
Those moments of medieval mockery are the other real victory of Chivalry 2. Objective maps and tense battles capture the epic scale of the big-screen battles that inspired it. There's also the other inspiration of the "it's just a flesh wound" variety. When you pull your head out of the action for a minute you'll remember that yes, you are all just a bunch of folks dressed up in fake armor and swords and yes, a hearty wave is a valid prelude to an impromptu projectile vegetable fight. Just be ready for a third element of chaos to come screaming through and take you both out. It's those moments of unpredictability that remind you the fight isn't fielded by NPCs. You're dealing with 63 other humans, all potentially ready to give you the fight of your life or a good laugh.
Chivalry 2 is a feat already, but Torn Banner has more plans post-launch to keep the battles rolling. Additional maps will be added, for one, along with horses, which are sure to be another element of battlefield mayhem. The studio also has plans for customizable servers and more.