Impressions from the Chivalry 2 Closed Beta
The Chivalry 2 closed beta is about to begin, and thanks to Tripwire Interactive and Torn Banner Studios, we’ve got some impressions from the build to give you an idea of what to expect. We’ve played an early build of Chivalry 2 before, though over a year later, there’s been a lot of polishing to appreciate. With some new features and new platforms to play on (with cross-play), there’s a lot to look forward to on June 8th, 2021. Let’s see what’s new with the Agatha Knights and Mason Order!
First thing’s first. Upon booting up the Chivalry 2 closed beta, you’ll start a tutorial to prepare you for the battles ahead. This tutorial is pretty clear about how to be successful in the game, from attacking to blocking, and even parrying. It’ll cover the basics and make sure you know the most important fundamentals to combat. Attacks include slashing, stabbing, and overhead attacks, all of which have a heavy variant by holding the attack button. Momentum also plays a key part in attacking. To beat your opponent’s attacks, you’ll often have to move your cursor with your swings. The faster you “drag” it, the faster your attack moves. Of course, that doesn’t mean it will always earn victory.
Combining these attacks can unleash a flurry of offensive prowess, making you a force to reckon with. It still takes time to master, but once you do, you’ll be dueling like the best of them. Even if you manage to master these techniques, you’ll still have to deal with blocking and parrying from your opponents. You may even have to deal with some curveballs, like thrown weapons, kicks, and dodging. Of course, you have these defensive techniques as well, and it may be smarter to parry attacks to perform a riposte. This allows for a safe to use attack while dealing damage to potentially multiple enemies. Player stamina is a key part to this, and duels can be decided solely on that alone.
There are tons of weapons players can utilize, from swords to polearms, or whatever happens to be lying around. Many of the main weapons will have special attacks, including powerful sprint attacks or tackles. You’ll also have special items like small bombs or bandages to heal yourself with. Once you finish the tutorial, you enter a battle with bots to get your bearings. With this battle complete, you can finally move on to the beta content with other players. This is also where you’ll be able to choose a preferred class, be it Knight, Footman, Vanguard, or Archer. In the beta, players will have access to a handful of maps, including the Tournament Grounds, the Siege of Rudhelm, the Battle at Wardenglade, and a new map, the Fall of Lionspire. Depending on the map, you’ll have various different objectives in large scale, 64-player battles.
While there’s always an end goal for your team, the true goal of Chivalry 2 is to have fun living out your medieval fantasies. This includes fighting till your last breath (and limbs), and even delivering your best battle cry. There’s tons of voice lines and emotes in the game that allow you to roleplay with your fellow teammates. These range from energetic shouts to simple small talk, which can make the slower moments a lot of fun. While playing the Siege of Rudhelm, this team objective map starts with the Agatha Knights pushing siege engines toward the Mason Order walls. As many of my teammates were fighting, I was riding the siege engine with a fellow teammate, and we engaged in random voice line dialogue until the enemy finally approached us. It’s rather silly, but it’s fully within the spirit of the game.
The Siege of Rudhelm is actually an incredibly fun map. After the siege engines reach the keep, the Agatha Knights can force their way into the Mason territory. There are several objectives for the Mason Order to defend against while the Agatha Knights do their best to conquer them. These objectives include capturing key locations on the map, burning down tents, and finally killing the Lord of the keep. The Lord will be selected from among the Mason Order teammates and will basically have a target on their back. If the Mason Order does their job well, the match can be over quickly, but should the Agatha Knights prevail past each objective, this map can last a good long time.
I had plenty of time playing on both sides of the field, and I was actually doing incredibly well. While I never played as the Lord, I was often in the top spot on both sides. Fulfilling objectives and getting kills helps to improve your score, but it’s a very competitive position to maintain. When I found myself doing this well, I would often take the time to mess around. This included trying more unconventional weapons like throwing anvils, large tree branches, or even my bare hands. There were definitely a lot of other options, but in the heat of battle, you might have trouble focusing. In some cases, the game determined me to be too good, placing me on the opposite team to auto-balance the game.
Getting to the Battle of Wardenglade, this team deathmatch map was all too familiar to me. Playing on it back in the pre-alpha stages of the game, it was nice to return to it here. This map gives both teams equal footing as they work with a limited number of infantrymen. Both teams will send waves of fighters until one team depletes their stock and the other reigns victorious. It’s a simpler game mode, but it goes by much faster and gives plenty of combat experience. There’s several weapons to pick up and plenty of opportunity to fight multiple opponents at once in wide open settings. The same could be said about the Training Grounds, which gives even more weapons and items to interact with.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to check out the Fall of Lionspire map yet, but with the closed beta this weekend, I hope to rectify that soon. I also hope to check out more of the options like the player customization, and even playing with a controller. While I got plenty of combat experience, leveling up my profile, I feel like there’s still plenty to explore in Chivalry 2. Some of my takeaways from the beta are the improvements to the animation from the pre-alpha stages. The visuals also seem more polished overall, as the game looks bloody beautiful in motion. I love the amount of voice lines that characters have, and I can’t wait to have more time on the battlefield.
If you’re looking for a large scale multiplayer game with heavy emphasis on melee combat, Chivalry 2 should shoot to the top of your list. It’s fun to pick up, but it takes time to master techniques while giving players opportunity to find options that suit their play style. I found myself loving the polearm, but I want to get more time with bows and maces. I’d also like to explore more of the unlikely weapons like brooms and chickens. That’s right. I said chickens. Either way, I had even more fun this time around, and that’s saying a lot considering I had a great time in the pre-alpha gameplay.
The Chivalry 2 cross-play closed beta begins this Friday, April 23rd, 2021 at 7:30am PST, and it goes till Monday, April 26th, 2021 at 7:30pm PST. To help people get started, we’ll be giving away Chivalry 2 closed beta keys for all platforms on our Twitter. Those that pre-order the game will also be able to gain access to the Chivalry 2 closed beta. Will I be seeing you on the battlefield this weekend? Let us know in the comments below! Chivalry 2 launches on June 8th, 2021 for PC via the Epic Games Store, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.