Since launching last week, I’ve been playing a decent bit of Chivalry 2, which isn’t surprising considering I reviewed the game. It’s kind of my job and all that. The blend of engaging melee combat and slapstick humour is an infectious one, and is certainly worth checking out if you’ve got a couple of friends willing to make the trip to medieval times with you.
However, one aspect of the game that seems to be going underutilised is the ability to roleplay. During the game’s tutorial, it’s mentioned that roleplay is a significant part of the gameplay experience, but the gameplay does little to actually encourage that. There’s items to find in the various maps that encourage taking a less competitive route, along with the game’s extensive emote commands, but the Chivalry 2 community seem content to swing their swords until your head falls off.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the combat in Chivalry 2 as much as the next person, but sometimes you just want to revel in the fact that if you hold a tankard then perform a battlecry, you get drunk, or you want to try and challenge an enemy to a 1v1 fistfight, but these moments quickly get ruined by someone else running and killing you, which is a hard problem to reckon with.
The point of Chivalry 2 is to compete against other players and complete objectives, so to blame players for playing the game how they’re “supposed” to isn’t the right thing to do. I completely get that, but it is frustrating to be doing your own thing, exploring the world of Chivalry and interacting with the various items only for someone else to go out of their way to kill you.
Personally, I wish there were more options available in Chivalry that actively signposted an intent to role play as opposed to trying to shoehorn some silly bollocks in. Perhaps a seperate class with a large health pool or immunity, meaning it would be harder for players to intentionally murder you. Of course, that sounds like the prime opportunity for griefers to abuse high health to kill everyone, so perhaps initiating fights or attacking causes you to lose that health.
It’s also possible that role playing could play a bigger part in the game’s culture once custom lobbies and servers become more commonplace, allowing people to experience more relaxed games that aren’t just about killing everyone in sight. Perhaps introducing some kind of proximity chat into those servers would also help sell that aspect of the gameplay. A server of 64 players all role playing their hearts out sounds like it’d be hilarious.
Whatever form it takes, it’d just be great to see players in Chivalry 2 be given greater freedom to express themselves without fear of having their head separated from their shoulders. One of the best parts of Chivalry 2 is the ability to create experiences and memories by playing around with the tools the game provides, but I just wish the game provided more protections for those wanting to play around in that space.
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