Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior DLC Beta Impressions

Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior is out in a couple of short weeks. Buying it early lets you in on the beta. So seeing how much I enjoyed Medieval Warfare I picked it up. After putting in a few hours, I was compelled to talk about it here, as I did with the Battlefield 4 beta.

So far the DLC looks like it will be worthwhile to those who enjoy the base game. There are a number of new features added to the formula. As well as a few changes that keep the game from devolving into a re-skin.

For starters, the DLC adds a lot of new classes to tie in with it’s Spike TV show cross promotion.  The game carries over the Medieval Knight class from Medieval Warfare. But then adds Nordic Vikings, Japanese Samurai, Ninjas, Spartan Warriors, and 17th Century Nautical Pirates. Each of these classes has it’s own special abilities as the classes in the base game do.  Based on my limited time with them this is what I’ve noted so far.

Pirates are the class the most vocal DLC opposition in the community bring up the most often. There is a fear some fans have that because pirates have access to gun weapons, the game will be heavily lumped in their favor. This doesn’t seem to be the case as of yet. Pirates can indeed choose a pistol or blunderbuss which do fire some powerful rounds. However, both weapons can only carry a meager 8 pellets. The reload time is longer than that (As of this writing) of any of the base game’s crossbows. They also lose a lot of punch at farther distances. So while a point blank shot will in most cases kill an opponent (or at least heavily damage them), further distances do very little damage.

Moreover, Pirates themselves have no armor. They also have easily the lowest health in the expansion. So a miss with one of these weapons usually means getting fragged. Their melee weapons aren’t bad, but are weaker than most of the other classes’ blades. This means Pirates have to work hard at scoring combos, or confusing opponents to win. A Pirate’s saving grace is the ability to heal by using the war cry command. However this uses a lot of stamina, and the player has to sit still while doing it to be effective. The developers seem to be making them a high risk/high reward class.

Ninjas are shaping up to be a very nice “Go to” class for  a lot of people. They can run the fastest, and are quiet, making them effective against campers. They also have a modified evasion dodge.  The tradeoff is the low health, and high stamina usages. Getting pinned against a wall, or taking two hits is usually doom. That said they have a disorientation attack that blurs an opponents vision, as well as shuriken throwing blades. This leads to many players using hide, and seek tactics or hit, and run play styles.

Vikings have the largest health pools, and can throw their shields as projectiles if the going gets too rough. They also have a dual wield ability which adds an entirely new set of mechanics to Chivalry. Really, the main weakness with Vikings are the slower attack speeds. So it pays to be defensive with them. Vikings are also pretty strong, so they can take down weaker classes in one or two blows.

Spartans are going to be the choice for those who loved throwing spears in the main game. The slash attack isn’t here the way you might remember it though. They do have a lot of armor so they can take awhile to take down if you’re unprepared for one. They aren’t as slow as the Vikings but they don’t seem to have as much health either. Still, there doesn’t seem to be any major advantage or disadvantage here thus far.

Samurai are the last of the new classes, and seem to be pretty well rounded. Their armor is about on par with the base game’s Vanguards. But they also have an option for a war bow. If you enjoyed using archery in the main game it isn’t too much different here. It’s still going to require a mastery of leading your shots. However, they take longer to switch weapons (Although the sword strike ability mitigates it if you have a sword in your load out).

Gameplay has been sped up a bit too further making the game feel different than the main game. This also has the consequence of changing the timings to parry many of the weapons, as well as making it harder to drag blade attacks.  The game still needs some optimizing as there appears to be some stuttering here, and there.  The new stages are pretty fun, and players can vote on what map or mode to play each round. So far I haven’t run into anything too easily taken advantage of though fans are sure to take note of any of it as the DLC gets closer to release. As of now all of the weapons are usable. So if you are buying the game early get your fill so you’ll know what you want to unlock.

There are a couple of minor bugs I noticed, like sometimes a blunderbuss won’t fire more than once even after reloading. My hope is that these will be ironed out before release, as the main game did have a long pause between some of it’s post summer sale updates that brought along a couple of bug problems. These were patched out before the Deadliest Warrior pre sale though, so hopefully the developers can fix any issues with DW before it goes live.

In any case I like what I see so far. If you’re a HUGE fan of Chivalry you may want to take a chance by pre buying. If you only enjoy it casually you may want to wait for the full release reviews, and impressions first. It’s probably not going to change the minds of those who don’t like Chivalry, but it is looking to be more of a good thing for those who do.

We’ll see how the game turns out next month.

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