Chivalry: Medieval Warfare by Torn Banner Studios is perhaps one of the best multiplayer action titles to have come out in recent due to its great weapon combat. Compared to its counterpart War of the Roses, it had more weight and kinesthetic feedback whenever you swing a sword or axe. This and its well-done depiction of “going medieval” made Chivalry an excellent multiplayer title. Its developers have now decided to expand their horizons with the title by combining it with a certain reality TV series.
Deadliest Warrior was a fairly interesting show that combined some science into the realm of ancient combat, pitting two ancient warriors against each other in every episode. At the end of each episode, they would have a fight scene that shows the two warriors battle it out to represent the simulation. It was mostly done for the sake of entertainment and its depiction of factual analysis of historical warriors is rather skewed and to be taken with a grain of salt. It was cancelled by the network due to financial concerns, and it is now relegated to the footnotes of television history.
It did have a few video game incarnations though, most of which didn’t really hit it big due to their rather poor depictions and simulations of ancient combat. But by combining its concept with Chivalry’s game engine and design, then perhaps this one could be the one that salvages the franchise and make it cool again. Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior seems to be one of those games that could work in this regard, despite its rather ridiculous origins. The beta test made for rather mixed impressions though, since there are more variations to the weapons involved, but it should be nothing that further development during that beta phase shouldn’t fix.
The big thing in the gameplay is the variety of choices in character classes, each with their own weapons and abilities that suit different playing styles. There’s the Ninja, which is all about stealth and subterfuge with the fastest weapons in the game and the ability to create smoke to conceal himself. There’s also the Knight, covered in armor and equipped with a sword, halberd, and crossbow. If you just played Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, then you can go with the Pirate, who is armed with a cutlass, boarding axe, flintlock pistol, and blunderbuss. There are also the Viking, Spartan, Samurai, and many more to hack, slash, and skewer with. This should be pretty good fun in multiplayer then as you can come up with your own style of fighting to play this game.
Like in Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, you have the level up system that lets you make your preferred character class much stronger as you play more. You also get various achievements and unlockables by using certain weapons to kill foes, as well as upgrades to equip stronger weapons and sturdier armor. There are also ways to customize your characters’ appearance as you rank up, so you can truly make your mark in the battlefield. Each class also have their own themed maps, wherein various terrain features unique to each map can theoretically be used against foes, almost like a home court advantage. For instance, the Samurai and Knight have their castles with moats and choke points and defense against siege weaponry, Vikings have a fjord for attacking from longships, and so on. It doesn’t really work out as prominently as intended, but at least it does make for more variety and makes playing multiplayer much less boring in multiple games.
Unfortunately, it’s not quite perfect, even in its release version. There are still quite a few knocks and bugs that does need working out. But as a spin-off, Deadliest Warrior is quite alright as an entertaining deathmatch game that takes what Chivalry: Medieval Warfare had built upon and translated into this interesting DLC update. In terms of graphics and presentation, it’s not exactly as impressive as most other games these days. However, it does have that factor that If you have $15 to spare for this game, then you could get this and go thrashing with your friends and other Chivalry fans online.
Tested in PC. Final Score: 7/10