Chivalry is a unique multiplayer game, but has a steep learning curve.
The Bad: Not enough content overall, some server instability, not enough classes, controls have a steep learning curve
While everyone is playing Black Ops II and Battlefield 3 there is a little multiplayer game called Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. This knight-in-shining-armor online only game pits players against each other and lets them have at it with deadly swords, crossbows, flaming pots, shields, and various other Camelot era weapons. This is a different multiplayer game and will keep you hooked for dozens of hours.
There's no story here at all so don't worry about that, this game doesn't need a story. You open up the game and you are greeted with a server list. There's a tutorial that shows you the ropes of this game. There's a bit more to it than just swinging around weapons. Each one has range, damage, and speed that you have to think about. In a small arena you probably want a short and fast weapon, while the more open maps you should use a javelin and a giant polearm. There are three basic attacks which are overhead, side to side, and jab swings. You can feint attacks as well to trick your opponent which is a key move you have to learn to master. You block, but you have to time it and you can't just block aimlessly. You have to be looking at the weapon or the block won't really connect. This is really a knight simulator and the game is just so much fun.
It doesn't stop there though, there are some projectiles. The bow is great to use and has an arrow cam which helps you adjust your aim. There's also a crossbow but reloading is very slow and you can't see around you when reloading. Larger classes get axes to throw, while smaller ones get knives and daggers. I found a strategy where I'd use up my projectiles and try to get in some kills that way before going in. There are 4 classes, Man-at-Arms, Knight, Vanguard, and Archer. The Vanguard is the biggest class and can kill in just a couple of hits but is extremely slow. He, and the Man-at-Arms, have a charging attack that will devastate anyone in its path. If you use a kite shield with these classes it protects you from rear attacks which is actually how I died the most. I would be battling an enemy and I'd get creamed by two guys coming up from behind that I couldn't see or hear.
Some levels have traps in them that you can activate to help your team or whittle down someone's health before going in for the kill. Each class is a lot of fun to play and I found myself constantly switching between them unlike other multiplayer games. I just wish there were more classes. Four isn't all that much, and there aren't enough maps. Torn Banner is putting out free content, but it's been slow coming since release last year. However, I still find myself coming back and playing a few rounds at least once a week, the game is very addictive.
The game modes are also lacking. There's just Team Deathmatch, Free-for-All (Deathmatch), Capture the Flag, and Dueling which is 1v1. There are a couple more, but these are typical modes found in other games. One mode that is unique to this game is a siege type mode where you use battering rams, trebuchets, and various other long-range siege weapons to break into the enemy's fortress and take it over. That is probably the most fun. On one map my team was trying to push a battering ram through a small village. We were trying to fight off the other team and it was a constant back and forth. Once we got to the front doors their archers made easy work of the battering team because their moat didn't allow us to surround the team and defend them. We just had to do archer battles or hang back and wait for people to come out.
As it stand, Chivalry has proven to be a very popular and well made multiplayer game. The graphics are fantastic and everything looks superb. Hopefully Torn Banner can continue to dole out new content to make players happy and continue playing.