Chivalry Wants To Be The World's First Successful First-Person Stabber

I've been spending quite a bit of time with Chivalry: Medieval Warfare lately. And with good reason: it's got a first-person combat mechanic that isn't entirely awful.

Think back to the last time you played a first-person game involving melee combat that was fun. Or even tolerable. There's...well, recent Elder Scrolls games are OK, and Zeno Clash tried a few things out, but they still suffered from the same problem every other first-person melee system does, in that the viewpoint makes defence and depth perception difficult. And that's before you get to the fact your peripheral awareness is almost non-existent.

That's why, for example, Chivalry's current "competition", War of the Roses, uses a third-person camera perspective. It gets around those shortcomings by giving you an avatar as a reference point, though in doing this you obviously lose a lot of the immersion inherent in a first-person game.

Which is why I like what Chivalry is doing. It realises there are insurmountable problems with the perspective and rather than trying to get around them entirely, works within their limitations and offers several neat mechanics to make it more enjoyable.

Above is the game's current (it's still in beta) tutorial sequence. Aside from showing off the game's sense of humour, you can quickly see that first-person melee combat is baked into the very heart of the game, instead of just being a simple last-resort combat option. You don't just click the left mouse button to swing (there are three different attacks you can make), and you don't just hold the right mouse button to block (well, you can, but you will die, and die quickly).

The key to Chivalry, you see, is that it's boiled melee combat down to something akin to a round of Street Fighter. It's all about precise timing and combos. To block an attack, for example, you actually need to be facing the enemy's weapon and click just as it's striking. Screw it up - which is easy to do - and you'll lose a pound of flesh. But get it right and they'll be vulnerable to a counter-attack from your well-weighted weapons.

To successfully strike, however, you need more timing, as well as correct attack selection. Your general slash is OK for most instances, but it won't get you past a shield. An overhead strike is devastating, but leaves you open for a quick counter before it strikes. A stab will get you around a shield, but needs precise aim.

This combination of strategy and timing means every engagement is a surprisingly strategic affair, as you and your opponent dance around looking for the decisive "in" that'll sever an arm or a leg, or smash open a chest.

I'm not saying it's perfect - the combat still moves a little too fast and, in larger engagements, the lack of peripheral vision is quite literally a killer - but it's progress, which I can't wait to get more of when the game is actually out.

Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is due for release on PC on October 16.

Chivalry Medieval Warfare Beta - Tutorial [Maddo03]


Comments

    Does mount and blade not count as a success? I know it can be played in 3rd person, but it isn't nearly as fun that way.

      This.

        Mount and Blade:Warband FTW. Not only great combat mechanics, great horseback warfare and create single player campaign. If only warbands campaign could be multiplayer :(

          Oh man if they made a Warband but with multiplayer campaign so many wallets would be thrown at screens.

      Yup, also have to agree... M&B, is the definitive swordplay game.. I didn't particularly like the addition of the blackpowder guns to the game but all the rest of it is AAA+ in terms of sword play and mounted combat in general. Fighting in the arenas was always challenging.. well.. until you got the hang of things and actually became skillful in the use of the various weapons... and that's what made the game so great.. it required skill to play.

    Indeed, M&B for the win.
    Lack of 1st person in War of the Roses is kinda annoying actually, played the beta a bit and was wishing for it the whole time.
    3rd person cameras should sick to platformers imo, 1st is better for everything else.

    Is it just me or does the guy at the start of the first trailer sound like Lemongrabb from Adventure Time?

    What???? Successful???? 10 million + copies of Skyrim not classified as successful? What about the Might and Magic series? Version 9 and beyond of any game would indicate some measure of success right?

      U need to use your brain and figure out wat games he was talkin about cause heroes of might and magic was a shocking game. Plagued with bugs and broken gameplay. Plus he allready mentioned skyrim.

    Never play the Riddick games? Some of the most fun I had getting into first-person fist fights.
    Dark Messiah of Might and Magic was heaps fun, especially with that kick button.

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