As a kid growing up I always daydreamed about what would happen if the biggest, most badass warriors could battle each other. Vikings battling ninjas, pirates dueling gladiators, and samurai facing off with Spartans were fights I always wanted to see. Now, thanks to Torn Banner Studio in conjunction with Spike TV’s Deadliest Warrior series, I might get to see a few of these figures clash in combat with Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior.
Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is a stand-alone version of the classic Half-Life 2 mod called Age of Chivalry that focuses on first-person and third-person melee combat with some ranged combat mixed in. The game is based in a fictional medieval world that focuses on the struggle between the Agathian Knights and the Mason Order. Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior is an expansion that is looking to take the base game’s melee action and enhance it by adding in fierce new warriors from different time periods to create a battle royale for the ages.
Torn Banner plans to add five new classes with the expansion, with only two revealed so far: the samurai and Spartan. I got my hands on both for while at PAX Prime when I battled in three-versus-three team deathmatches with networked computers.
The samurai comes decked in a full set of armor and comes equipped with a variety of weapons including long swords like the katana, the studded club kanabo, and the yumi longbow as well. The samurai has no access to shields, but feels fast and nimble with the katana equipped. I had no problem dealing with shield-bearing enemies I faced, utilizing the samuri’s ability as a slashing blade to parry blows with great results. I only struggled with the katana when dealing with the length of polearm weapons, but found it the most satisfying weapon I used overall. The yumi bow also felt like it had some weight behind it and was also very accurate. Our Editor-in-Chief Jake Magee even pulled off a fast and furious pair of gruesome headshots while backpedaling across the map when we faced off against the devs.
In contrast, the Spartan has much less armor and access to short swords and a variety of polearms including the dory and throwable javelins, as well as the aspis shield. The strength of the Spartans came more in organized teamwork, as I struggled to win individual battles with sword and shield against katana-wielding foes. Coordinating with two other staff members, we decided to try a combination of three Spartans equipped with dories and aspis shields to perform the legendary phalanx formation. The results were absolutely gross, as patrolling together with shields and performing multiple spear jabs on single enemies led to lethal results.
I played with both classes across two maps, one with Greek inspirations and the other with a traditional feudal Japanese approach. The Greek map was wide open with players spawning in pantheon-esque buildings. A large pit was located in the center of the map for players to fulfill their dream of kicking enemies into an abyss in their best Leonidas impression. Range was very important with the wide open area and led to lots of use of the yumi bow. The Japanese map featured a more wooded area with small stereotypical Japanese architectural building that could be ascended with ladders to give the map a more vertical playing field. The map had small passageways that wrapped around the buildings and led to a more confined experience.
While both classes were equally fun and both maps offered difference experiences, the most notable thing I noticed with my time playing the Deadliest Warrior expansion was the game’s performance. Chivalry’s base game always feels a bit sluggish to me, and some graphical errors can break immersion. The build I played on was extremely snappy and responsive, and the graphics have received additional polish. The only odd bug I encountered in the demo was occasional killing blows would launch corpses hundreds of feet into the air like a rocket, but it’s something that will most likely be ironed out well before full release. Other interesting bits of information I was told by Rasmus Löfström, one of the game’s environmental artists, was that the game will feature faction battles with teams locked on using one of the eventual six factions, as well as a multi-team game mode that will feature all six warriors coming together in one big war.
Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior is shaping up to be a great expansion that features hours of content with new maps, game modes, and warriors. The expansion will retail for $14.99 and is set to enter beta shortly after PAX Prime. There is no set release date at present. Look back to Indie Game Insider for more Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior news as more classes are announced.