The Deadliest Warrior TV show has “Video Game” written all over it, and there have been some games based on the franchise, but none of them were remarkable. A few years ago there was a 3D fighter game based on the show that had some neat features, but was ultimately bogged down with too many problems (Namely the predominance of random lucky shots winning matches). When it comes to historically authentic sword fighting, the developers of Chivalry Medieval Warfare have carved out their own nook in PC gaming, so it isn’t surprising to see the new Deadliest Warrior game arriving as a DLC pack for Chivalry.
The main game in Chivalry: Medieval Warfare lets players select from four different classes that are all based on medieval soldiers. Players then fight in multiplayer-only battles that emphasize realistic swordplay. There’s no button mashing in this franchise, but rather a precise and unique control system where players can slash, thrust, parry, feint and kick in a system that’s much more subtle than a typical third person hack & slash.
With the new Deadliest Warrior DLC players are given a selection of six new warriors from different historical periods and locations. The DLC requires the original game to play, but it’s an entirely separate experience; these six new characters can’t join fight against the original four, and it doesn’t add any new features to the old game.
The six new characters are a Spartan, Viking, Samurai, Ninja, Pirate, and a Knight (Who’s a little different than the Knights featured in the main game). Each class has its own selection of weapons that suit their time period, and this does mean that pirates get to use firearms against the other characters. However a great of effort has gone into balancing the arsenals, and the true determining factor is player skill, and teamwork rather than the technological advancements that distinguish them.
Each player can outfit their character with a selection of weapons that starts off small, but grows larger and deadlier as players earn experience points to unlock new pieces of equipment. Players can equip a primary and secondary weapon, and some classes have additional equipment like shields and off-hand weapons. It’s a very similar system to the one used in Call of Duty and other online shooters. The higher level equipment is generally better than the starting items, but not so much so that newbie players feel overwhelmed by the loot of the more experienced players.
There’s a greater diversity in weapon types now. Previously only the archer class had significant projectile firepower, but now several classes can effectively strike from a distance. A pirate’s pistol still functions much differently than a knight’s crossbow or the Samurai’s longbow, though. Some characters can perform new maneuvers, like Spartans bashing with their shield – unlike the Knights in the previous game who sacrificed their kick to gain this power. Ninja can dodge with a surprising degree of agility, even when compared to the Man At Arms of the original game.
Players who know the original line up of classes will see some overlap here, but the new guys are all distinct enough to add something to the mix in terms of gameplay. And that’s not to mention the new character models, voices and animations (The pirates are swishy ponces who are blatantly patterned after Captain Jack Sparrow). The differences between the characters are more outlandish now, which might be a turn off for players who enjoyed the subtleties of the first game.
Since its launch, Chivalry Medieval Warfare has seen many substantial updates, including maps made just for dueling and several new types of match. Players also have a much greater range in terms of customizing the appearance of their character now, and additional weapons have been added to the arsenal.
Deadliest Warrior keeps a lot of these features and adds in some innovations of its own. It has switched to a traditional Experience Point system where players will be able to level up by making assists, and being good team players. The old system of requiring players to make a certain number of kills with the starting weapons before unlocking the next tier is gone. The new XP system allows inferior players to nibble their way up the ladder, but it also eliminates the frustration of having a kill “Stolen” by another player at the end of hard fight.
The DLC comes with its own set of new maps, each suited to one of the new classes. There is also new game mode that let’s the six different character types fight against each other in a multi-team battle that really takes advantage of the premise behind the Deadliest Warrior TV. All players who choose the same class can be automatically grouped together in one team, and the match will support up to six teams, one for each class. This is the mode that makes the new DLC really stand out when compared to the main game, and players will certainly enjoy watching large groups of fighters in a six-way battle.
Players who haven’t tried the franchise yet have one more reason to jump in. Chivalry: Medieval Warfare has been around a year and has grown from an weird little indie game to much more engaging experience. It has a selective appeal, but each new update will help bring it to a larger audience. Fans of the TV show who have been burned before by game adaptations should feel confident in buying this one, it does an excellent job of answering the old Pirate Versus Spartan Versus Ninja debate. Chivalry fans who already have the main game should be warned that 32 bit systems aren’t supported as of this writing.