Review: Kill for Fun in Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior
Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior is pretty much a playground argument beautifully realized in a videogame. Fans of of dismemberment and battle cries should inquire within.
There’s no story to be found in Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior. There’s no reason to why each faction wants the other dead and honestly I’m okay with that. Much like the Deadliest Warrior TV show its based on, people just want to see Vikings fight Samurai. Screw the why. Take a minute and decide which who would win in a fight, a group of Vikings and Pirates or Spartans and Ninjas? Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior is about pitting the greatest warriors in the world against each other just because. I am perfectly alright with this because Deadliest Warrior offers a one of a kind combat experience.
In Chivalry: Medieval Warfare you picked one of two factions of knights and went at it in a first person melee kill-fest. Deadliest Warrior expands the roster by adding Samurais, Spartans, Vikings, Knights, Ninjas and Pirates, all with their own skills and unlockable gear in this stand alone expansion pack.
The combat is more nuanced than it leads on. Players who mindlessly smash the left mouse button will find themselves beheaded before they can string another flurry of thoughtless attacks. The key to playing Deadliest Warrior well is practicing patience. There’s a dot at the center of the screen that is used as your guide for combat. Hitting your left mouse button will make you slash horizontally while the mouse wheel is for thrusts and overhead swings. The dot will tell you where your hit will land, assuming your target isn’t using a shield or is skilled at parries.
Parrying is one part timing and two parts patience, especially when you introduce feints into the mix. A feint can be initiated by hitting the parry button during your swing to cancel it out. This can be used to trick your opponent into blocking prematurely leaving them open for attacked. Mastering the parry and counter-attack system will make you virtually unstoppable.
Fights are exhilarating and keep you on your toes. Slicing off a Ninja’s head because you guessed right on which direction he’s rolling is gruesomely satisfying. I’ve gotten into tense sword fights against an overly defensive Samurai whose katana deflected all of my Vikings broadsword strikes. What that pesky Samurai wasn’t expecting was me throwing my shield at his face which killed him good. To hell with Samurai I say!
This leads me into the unique approaches to murder each class has. Ninjas can roll under attacks and somehow always manage to get behind you. Vikings actually get stronger with each successful strike, making them nearly unstoppable in tight quarters. Spartans have a pretty brutal shield bash. The Samurai have the best all around arsenal which is a great starter class for those who are clueless on who to pick. Knights are tanks that are mostly a mix of all the classes from Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. Pirates are the weakest of the bunch but the damage caused by their firearms could give pause to any dual wielding Viking looking for blood.
Fans of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare maybe be turned off with the lack of objective based modes. Deadliest Warrior is all about deathmatches. You can have random match-ups like Spartans versus Ninjas or six mixed teams going at it for top score. I would have loved to see a mode where you’re preventing a bunch of Vikings from pillaging or holding off hordes of would be marauders with a Spartan shield wall.
Looking for matches could still be improved. You get a list of hosted games but no quick match option and the filters are a pain in the neck to cycle through. Also it’s still an awful experience trying to get a group of friends together since there is no game lobby. Hosting a game is the only real way to ensure that you and your friends get in some killing time.
What’s new this time around is this “carrot on a stick” type progression system. The more you play with with a class the more you unlock. There’s a ton of potential customizable options for each class, such as cosmetic nick-nacks like shield decals for your Spartan or a flask to put on a pirate’s belt. Most importantly, ranking up opens up the availability of better and more varied weaponry. Some classes start with a pathetic arsenal (like Pirates having a slow firing pistol). Once the rifle is unlocked, however, a group of pirates become a formidable fighting force.
My favorite moments have been witnessing how all these different ancient fighters work well with or against each other. When I joined a Ninja teamed, I assumed that the heavily armored Knights would make short work of us. The Ninjas’ lighting speed and combat roll made it easy to get past the lumbering tanks’ guard. Of course Knights and Vikings become the crowd favorites with their high damage outputs and ability take a beating. It’s good to try to get a handle on all the classes since you may be forced to play a certain warrior, depending on the mode.
Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior is a well-balanced game with enjoyable multiplayer that is a great alternative from your run of the mill first-person shooter. The last Chivalry was easily my most favorite multiplayer diversion last year, and Deadliest Warrior will surprise a lot of people with its visceral and beautifully gory combat.