Developer – Torn Banner Studios
Publisher – Tripwire Interactive
Platform(s) – Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5 (reviewed), PlayStation 4, PC
MSRP – $39.99
Release Date – June 8, 2021
Disclaimer: Review Copy was Provided for this Review
The title was first announced at E3 2019 and for years I’ve been anticipating the release of Chivalry 2. Chivalry as a franchise will always have a soft spot because of how much fun I had with Chivalry: Medieval Warfare all those years ago. At a time where the multiplayer genre has tons of titles, I’m glad that Chivalry has a dedicated audience.
The developer, Torn Banner Studios is pretty much known exclusively from the Chivalry franchise. Other than Chivalry, I don’t know much about Torn Banner as a studio other than the fact that they’re a relatively small team and are established in Canada.
I don’t know what the next project for Torn Banner Studios will be. Whether it’s the next installment in the Chivalry franchise or a brand new IP, I’m sure it’s years away. After 20+ hours in Chivalry 2, It’s a necessity that I check out whatever they’re going to put out next because to put it simply, this game is terrific in its own way.
Chivalry 2 is an online multiplayer that can be played in first or third person and is set in Medieval times. For those who aren’t familiar with Medieval, look at the image above and think of Game of Thrones. There are Soldiers, Swords, Axes, Catapults, and so much more stretched across a battlefield in one way or another.
As of this writing, there are 8 maps and you can play in team modes as the Agatha Knights or The Mason Order in servers of 64 players (32v32) and 40 players (20v20), or in a free-for-all. Team modes consist of moving certain objectives or being the first team to kill all your enemies. Free-For-All is straightforward, the player with the most kills at the end of the time limit wins.
There are 4 classes in Archer, Vanguard, Footman, & Knight. Each class has its own unique weapons and abilities that best suits your playstyle. The more that you play as a certain class, the class levels up and gets you additional weapons to use in battle.
I enjoyed how much Chivalry 2 felt to play in the Beta and I feel the same way about how the final product turned out. The atmosphere of the time period that’s being portrayed is done to perfection. The chaos on the battlefield (especially in free-for-all) is reflected in a way that the devs intended and succeeded at. At a time where you don’t see many multiplayer titles adapting the medieval genre, it’s a refreshing experience in so many aspects.
I’d be remiss to not mention an iconic staple in the Chivalry franchise, the Battle Cry. I’m sure the hours that numerous people spent in a booth yelling various lines into a mic was as fun to record as it is to hear in the actual game. You’d be hard-pressed to not find one battle cry or line that gives you a bit of a chuckle.
There are those multiplayer games that you play for about a week or two and then never touch again. I’ve done that with a couple of games myself, but I don’t see that being the case with Chivalry 2. Torn Banner Studios have already confirmed that they’ll be adding content to the game post-launch in the form of maps, game modes, as well as character voice lines, and customization.
When the main gameplay is as fun to play as it is, I look forward to what future updates will bring. The sound design is done to near perfection, there are a few times where the sound won’t necessarily match what happens on screen but those moments are so rare, the average player will barely notice. The blood and gore add so much than what I think most people realize, the effects give the game more of a realistic feel along with all the other aspects.
It’s also worth noting that I played Chivalry 2 on PlayStation 5 which means I took use of the haptics and adaptive triggers of the DualSense. You can feel the subtle vibrations of the controller when moving across certain surfaces such as mud or grass. The adaptive triggers are implemented tremendously, depending on your health, you’ll have to push the triggers harder to fully strike your weapon. If you’re using a bow and arrow, the resistance in the triggers kicks in every time you draw your bow. The longer you have your bow drawn without firing an arrow, the trigger will increase in pressure.
The only problem I have with the gameplay isn’t even the gameplay itself. As I’ve gone over, the combat is terrific in every aspect but the journey to actually get into combat can be a chore. Matchmaking in this game feels balanced for the most part, the problem is getting matchmaking to work.
There are times where I’ll load up Chivalry 2 and when I attempt to enter a match, I get the standard “can’t connect to server” message. The first couple of times it happened I assumed it was my internet or game in some way, but I figured out quickly that wasn’t the case.
On certain days, I’d restart the game multiple times and I still couldn’t get into a match. Then after about 2 or 3 restarts, the game would finally begin matchmaking. Then on other days, I’d start the game for the first time and get into a match with no problem. There doesn’t seem to be any specific time where this transpires, it’s completely random. Having to restart the game a couple of times in certain instances to get into a match isn’t a huge dilemma, but it’s an annoyance. Thankfully, I don’t you’re likely to experience any mid-match disconnections.
Graphically, Chivalry 2 has upgraded substantially from previous installments. The fact that I played this game on next-gen hardware helps its case in the visuals department. I also understand that there will be a ray tracing update coming in the future, which I will check out when the time comes.
Performance can leave a bit to be desired in some instances. The game doesn’t crash or have constant frame drops or anything, but I’ve had a couple of texture and player pop-ins here and there. Though for the most part, Chivalry 2 looks and runs extremely well.
The more that you level up, you’ll earn coins that you can use towards cosmetics. You can customize your character in each of the 4 classes whether it be on The Mason Order or Agatha Knights. As I was scrolling through the customization options, I was pleasantly surprised to see how many possibilities there were. The more time that goes by, the more we’ll see what odd combinations people will put together. Though, I hope progression is faster in upcoming updates because it feels like the amount of currency I have doesn’t match up with how much I’ve played.
Speaking of the Agatha Knights and The Mason Order, they’ve been a staple in this franchise from the beginning. One thing I liked to see in the home menu was the ability to learn about some of the lore between both groups. Stuff like this could’ve easily been left out, but I appreciate they went the extra mile for those who are interested.
Cross-play is an element that I know most have grown to hope is in the games they play. Chivalry 2 has cross-play, but for those who want cross-platform parties, you’ll have to wait as that particular feature wasn’t available at launch. The cross-platform issue wasn’t a problem for me and won’t be a blight on my review, but I thought it was worth mentioning for anyone who was wondering.
I absolutely adore Chivalry 2, it builds on the foundations of previous installments so much that I have zero interest in going back to those previous games. Torn Banner Studios crafted an experience that I know many are enjoying as much as I am.
I hope the server connection issues get straightened out soon because I could see it turning off some people from continuing to play. I don’t think the server issues are so widespread that it could become a colossal issue, but it still needs to be addressed. Other than the server problems and a few minor nitpicks, I couldn’t find much fault in my overall experience.
Chivalry 2 executes its elements in a way that works tremendously. It’s a chaotic multiplayer experience that I see myself returning to continuously. Combat, Atmosphere, Sound Design, and even the little touches with the haptics and adaptive triggers in the DualSense flow together so well. I recommend you check out Torn Banner Studios’ next installment in the Chivalry franchise, I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
Rating - 9/10