Dost Thou Even eSport?

By – Trevor Shanahan

Are you familiar with Chivalry?  No, not “chivalry,” the religious, moral, and social code of medieval knights, but Chivalry; Torn Banner Studios’ medieval multiplayer hit.  Torn Banner is comprised of a group formerly known as “Team Chivalry” who released a Half-Life 2 mod called Age of Chivalry in 2007.  Using Age of Chivalry as a framework, Team Chivalry (who became Torn Banner) turned their mod into a standalone entity.

 

The game features 4 classes (archer, man-at-arms, vanguard, and knight); each with their own assortment of period-specific weapons and armaments.  Players choose one of two different factions to fight for and can play conventional competitive multiplayer game modes, just with the added flavor of medieval combat versus popular modern or futuristic time periods.  Players outfit their class and enter a game mode maneuvering, fighting, and fleeing in first or third person perspectives.

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Chivalry has a unique “gore” component to gameplay; straddling realism with seemingly life-like decapitations, dismemberments, and an entire grab-bag of bloody messes.

 

Combat forces players to invest in their moment-to-moment actions; whether they’re running, swinging a weapon, or standing idle.  Different weapons commit to player actions per unit time differently; swinging a claymore will take more time versus swinging a short sword.  Weapon animations are both visual aides to guide players to recognize a loadout’s strengths and weakness and semi-accurate representations from a historical perspective.

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The Deadliest Warrior update/DLC adds some new things to the game.  Yes there are Ninjas.  Yes there are Pirates.  No, I don’t know if these things are “medieval” but they are cool.

 

What’s really interesting is the game’s success.  According to SteamSpy (we don’t count Age of Chivalry because it was free-to-play), the game has sold over 3.2 million copies since 2012, and this is just on Steam!  SteamSpy also reports an average daily playtime of 3 hours and averaging 10,000 concurrent players a day over the past 2 weeks – not too shabby for a medieval competitive multiplayer title.

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See!  Both the attacker and their opponent have commenced strikes that commit to specific movements creating strategic opportunities for success or failure.

 

I talk a lot about eSports, eSports titles, and the expanding eSports industry; I think Chivalry’s success and perpetuity lend to the title’s appeal.  The game isn’t just Call of Duty or Battlefield with swords and shields; it’s a unique approach to competitive play in an equally unique setting.  Although Chivalry isn’t a title spearheading its way into the eSports spotlight, it has received a lot of recognition for its potential.  The game has even been featured in tournaments, contests, and within eSports competitive circles.  But eSport or not, it’s worth checking-out.

 

Chivalry, officially released on October of 2012 on Steam, has expanded to other platforms (i.e. Xbox 360, Mac, Linux, Playstation 3) and was just recently released on Xbox One and Playstation 4 on December 1st of this year.  Take a look at some of the streams and YouTube videos of gameplay and watch for digital game sales on your platform(s) of choice; don’t let your chance to play this game become ancient history.

 

ccccccMy name is Trevor Shanahan and I am pursuing a graduate degree in video games/media studies. I am interested in video games and everything they touch (their industry, development, games as art, psychology of games – like gamification, industry issues, culture, etc.). I have come to realize that the more I learn (and learning is so important) the more I do not know. Learn as much as you can about what you love and try to give back to it.