With the quite spectacularly murderous multiplayer hack 'n' slasher Chivalry 2 out now for PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, and Xbox One and Series S/X, we thought it timely to reach out to its makers at Canadian studio Torn Banner and ask: how did you build and balance this buffet of bloody bombast? So that is precisely what we did.
Recently released to a roaring reception of blood-splattered positivity, Chivalry 2 impressed us plenty when we got hands on with it - and promptly proceeded to hack other player's limbs off. You can check that gameplay out in the video below. And beneath that, read on for our little Q&A with Torn Banner's brand director, Alex Hayter.
Chivalry 2 isn't subtle with its hacking and slashing, as you can see here...
GAMINGbible: How have you managed to balance the combat for this sequel? And how do you deal with any unintended dominant strategies?
Alex Hayter: We've tried hard to ensure there's no dominant meta, no single approach to winning combat - whether that means a best weapon, best subclass or even a best technique. The goal was to make a game where players always felt there was a creative option for them to utilise, and no single method to stick with. The design of Chivalry 2's combat was really a reaction to seeing how the meta in our last game - 2012's Chivalry: Medieval Warfare - became overwhelmingly focused on a narrow variety of combat techniques.
GB: So, how have you avoided a situation where every player picks one thing, this time around?
AH: All of the weapons in Chivalry 2 cater to a variety of different combat situations and come with strengths/weaknesses. Some, like the Greatsword, are going to excel in plowing through groups of enemies; but be wary of using them for duels! Smaller one-handed weapons, on the flipside, are awesome in duels and a bit easier to control in big crowds, avoiding team damage.
GB: The game's got its share of gore, but did you have to dial any of that down? Could you have gone further? Real-world battles like this must have been nightmarish, after all...
AH: Gore in Chivalry 2 is there to add to the satisfaction of kills - but it's never meant to be actually anatomically realistic or anything. It's truly inspired by the kind of over-the-top violence we see in movies like 300, and other Hollywood references like that.
GB: When it comes to the player stringing attacks together, did you put much thought into the time it'd take to swing certain weapons, in comparison to others? They impact with weight, but what does that take out of the player?
AH: Certainly the bigger, longer weapons are more unwieldy - but the risk/reward of that is they hit like a truck. These dynamics are also affected a great deal by players' choice of subclass: Vanguard subclasses are truly built for two-handed playstyle, while a Knight subclass like the Guardian is built to excel with a sword and shield.
GB: Is there any balancing necessary for crossplay, as I guess some weapons - especially ranged ones - might be 'easier' to play with keys and mouse?
AH: Ranged weapons on console have some aim assist to help with accuracy, though that's always something we're keeping an eye on if tweaks are needed. There are a lot of combat features in Chivalry 2, including held parry, and the vital importance of footwork, that help to keep the playing field level and ensure that players can demonstrate combat skill regardless of platform.
Chivalry 2 is out now on PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, and Xbox One and Series X/S. We have a giveaway running, right now, too. You can win an Xbox Series S and a copy of Chivalry 2 by clicking to our Twitter or Instagram page, and following the instructions. Good luck!
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