No game Iíve played this year has nailed itís core game mechanics like Chivalry Medieval warfare has.
In previous entries in this November series, Iíve highlighted games that have a lot going for them. Guildwars 2 has brilliant art direction and pleasant music, Battlefield has lagless net code, great sound design, and obviously the graphics are awesome. Chivalry has none of that. Iím not going to get into what game mechanics are again, please see my last two posts for more detail of what I would define game mechanics to be.
The sound design at the best of times barely breaks the barrier of bad. The Graphical assets in the game hardly inspire. The net code can get pretty bad, and the game has itís share of bugs. But none of that matters. Not a thing. The gameplay mechanics are so great, and are executed so well, that the game is still, after all that is said, still brilliant.
Honestly, itís the best example that I can think of to showcase how a bad game, can be made amazing by having a solid foundation of core game mechanics to base itself around. The level design is bland, but because what you are doing is so awesome, it makes a castle setting, or an arena setting really come to life. ĎA fight in an arenaí seems so clichť. Even typing it out was boring. But god dam the arena level in Chivalry is such a fuck tonne of fun.
The fighting in the game is played out in 3 basic parts, all of which are simple when separated out, but piled on top of eachother in the heat of battle, things get complex fast, and youíll have to think on your feet to stay alive.
Part 1. Positioning
The first step of any battle in Chivalry is position. Position is key. Youíll have to pick where you fight your enemy in an area that isnít advantageous to your enemy, and gives you a clear stricking path. This means, looking at hills (there are a lot of mounds and raised platforms in the game), looking for obstructions so your swings arenít obstructed. Fighting in and around buildings. Picking where you fight is paramount to survival.
Part 2. Timing
The fight mechanics in chivalry are built around timing your attacks and block. You have 3 types of attacks, overhead, stab, and slash. Each to my knowledge to the same amount of damage, but all have different timings. Much like in a street fighter game, where you have heavy, medium, and light attacks for different purposes, Stab, slash, and overhead are used for different things. Stab gives you a quick lunge with a long reach, slash sweeps wide hitting a large area in front of you, and overhead is a long slow hit. Each can be used to throw off the timing of your opponent. If the block in time and parry you, you stagger and are exposed to a direct attack. So timing of your attacks, mixing up the range between you and your enemy, and changing from stabs to slashes, to overheads is key.
Part 3. Mind games
Mind games in Chivalry, just like any other fighting game you've played, play a paramount part when you partake in battle. Running forward to feint a charge, just to back up at the last second and let your opponent swing at the air, thus exposing himself for a quick lunge to the chest, is how you start to rack up a kill count. Wildly slashing at your opponent pushing him close to a ledge, to all of a sudden switch to a kick, propelling him to his doom? Changing strategies, doing different things, tricking your opponent with different thingsÖ.justÖ.ughÖ.fucking love this game.
Seriously Chivalry is awesome. Itís not a perfect game as I noted early in this blog thing, but the game mechanics are so solid you are going to have fun no matter what. Even if you play it for a few hours and put it down, youíll have a blast for those few hours.
PS: Bought a wii-u, add me @Lenigod