Age of Chivalry review

As a game based in medieval times, the game has taken a risk by choosing FPS as its format, conventionally swords and arrows has been limited to the RTS/strategy genre. In my opinion, the risk was well taken and the game is an unbelievably good one, I actually have to say based upon fun in this game during multiplayer that this is a really great game.

The game is 100% free for download via the steam platform but requires that you own a source game.

This is a very high quality game; the menus are well designed, the models are well designed, the maps are simply bad ass and everything fits in really well. In my opinion the sound quality in particular for a free mod is well done, the battle taunts are great. What makes the game fun is that it has taken a pre-gun/electricity time in history and made it fun, it doesnt bore you with historical crap or taking 20 minutes to position your soldiers, it is just fun.

Skill

The game is undeniably easy to get into but hard to grasp some of the finer points (not relating to complexity of the game, rather the skill required). By this I mean I could give this game to most people and they’d be able to get into it easily, everything is straightforward and I don’t think it’d ever be one of those “whats going on” situations.

AOC: Age of Chivalry screenshot bridge
Many aspects of the game are based upon traditional gaming styles (i.e. capture the flag)

Spawning is nice and fast, however the walking speed for some classes (like the crossbow) is slow; this is good, this keeps classes balanced and makes the game fun to play.

Rather than give you a class by class analysis of the game i’ll sort it into two categories

  • Guys with arrows (longbow, crossbow, javeline)
  • Guys with swords and shit

That pretty much sums up the classes; you have your ranged guys (archers all have swords), and then your close combat guys (some of whom have small daggers etc for throwing from medium range).

AOC: Age of Chivalry screenshot class selection screen
Class selection screen

The arrows are nice, but it does take a while to figure out the aim; this game doesnt use conventional crosshairs and also arrows don’t travel as fast as a bullet from a .357 magnum. The same thing goes for swords; you dont really connect during combat, so if you swing you have to be constantly aiming at the person and you have to be within range, if that makes any sense.

I have been getting more used to the arrows and swords within the game however I think part of the issue may be that I’m a high ping player (140 or so on EU servers) and the game possibly isnt optimized too well for such a ping.

AOC: Age of Chivalry screenshot swords castle
Castle invaders

Manners
In some maps the gameplay is somewhat like Sven Co-op where one must work together with other players to achieve objectives; players must essentialy display courtesy to other players (‘raise the bucket’ is a good example of this) and overall this is always a great thing to have in a game.

The other display of courtesy and manners is with team killing, many servers have friendly fire on and it you kill someone on your team you are expected to apologize. It is common to kill friendlys as when there is a ruckus it can get quite crowded.

The manners displayed in the game are something that make it what it is: a great game.

Fun
You might ask yourself what is fun about medieval in FPS.
Ask yourself these simple questions:

  • Have you ever seen someone bunny hopping or teabagging in chainmail?
  • Have you ever had someone say “mason sappin’ ma captives!~”
  • Have you ever headshot someone using a crossbow?

The game really has its own special crowd, seeing as the game doesn’t require such a time investment from players (unlike WoW etc) everyone is nice and casual. I am reminded a bit of Rune, however the combat isn’t as tense as in Rune. One of the fun things for me is running away from enemies (you have the ability to sprint using the shift key), usually however they catch up and kill me but sometimes it does lead to funny cat + mouse shenanigans. There is actually a ‘warm up’ before you start playing properly, during which time you are free to roam the map with other players–more often than not this leads to hilarious team killing all around (everyone’s scores are reset by the time the warmup period is finished so it’s all good.) So based upon fun alone, I’ve really grown to enjoy this game. I would go so far as to say it is epic. The game itself is serious, but it is the crowd that makes it fun. I would also say a high proportion of players use microphones.

Technical Shenanigans
Overall the game’s technical side is great however one problem I had initially was constant crashing upon launch; this was most probably due to the intro video. I managed to fix this by using the novid launch option from within steam. The game still crashes quite often when ALT+TABing in and out of the game, in fact I havent managed to do so once without it crashing.

System requirements are a little bit higher than other source engine games, though not that restrictedly high. The game will run fairly well if you are able to run HL2 well. High FPS really isnt that necessary or apparent in this title.

Conclusion
This game is fluid. It all matches well. It is high quality. It is fun. It is entertaining. It is a great game.

I rate this game

9.9/10

You can find more about the game Age of Chivalry at the following links:
http://www.age-of-chivalry.com/
http://store.steampowered.com/app/17510/ (Steam page)

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