Chivalry: Medieval Warfare Review

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Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is another multiplayer, First Person Shooter (in this case, with a crossbow), which pits two teams against eachother: the Mason Order (red) and the Agatha Knights (blue).

Unable to do much more than the tutorial (I'm looking into buying a new computer in the coming weeks, because I can't blog effectively without a functional computer), this entry describes a number of usability issues I uncovered during the tutorial section.


Text Issues

The game's primary text issue is legibility. Prior to loading into the tutorial, the player is shown a few sentences describing the plot. But if you're not paying close attention, you might miss it: the words change so swiftly that even fast readers may find reading difficult. While one's success in CMW does not hinge on their knowledge of the story, timing the text too quickly denies many players early access to lore.

Another problem is text color. To represent whether the character you're addressing is an Agathian or Mason, CMW displays that character's name either in blue or red. But the default font color and thickness nearly obscures the character's name.

The trainer's name is "Captain Neckhole."


  • Time text transitions more slowly and let players control when they move onto the next text bloc. The current text speed makes lore acquisition tricky for fast readers, let alone players with reading disabilities.
  • Change the default name font. At the very least, bolding the words can improve legibility.
  • Some other notes: 'feint' is spelled incorrectly in the Advanced Combat section at least once. That, and the teacher says, "See how I swing my blade back and forth?" -- but he's actually wielding a club.


One of my biggest pet peeves as a player is losing the ability to control my character. While I understand there are some benefits to restricting player actions -- such as ensuring that players don't wander off in the middle of a crucial cutscene -- I believe CMW restricts movement to the player's detriment.

In the first five minutes of the tutorial, I lost control of my character at least thrice. The degree of agency varied from being unable to move at all (just as you load in), losing an ability (be unable to use 'kick' after learning it), and being 'teleported' to an objective (rather than walking 10 feet). After leaving the first tutorial section, I thought the game would allow me more agency in my actions. I was very wrong.

Interested in learning more about the various classes CMW has to offer, I wandered off to Class Training next. Most interested in ranged combat, I completed the Archery Training first (one complaint about that training: I wish it told me that crouch improves accuracy *before* having to shoot distant targets). After completing the training, I moved towards the archery targets to practice the class before moving on -- but couldn't actually practice. Leaving the Archery Training tutorial removed bows from my arsenal, leaving me unable to practice.

My next thought was, "Well, that doesn't work, so I'll talk to the tutor again and he should give me the weapons back." But the game did something I didn't expect -- it restarted the Archery tutorial completely, dialogue and all. After re-doing the target challenges, and uninterested in replaying the entire tutorial, I tried to exit the Archery Tutorial.


What I discovered is that there are only two ways to stop a tutorial: either by completing it, or quitting the game/program altogether. During my playtests I exited the game prematurely four times. Not only did the inability to restart or end tutorial sequences hinder my learning, but the frequent removal of player agency made me feel trapped.

And feeling trapped is decidely un-fun.


  • Allow players to quit their class training tutorials prematurely. One method to accomplish this is to create an additional dialogue option with trainers.
  • Shift how class training works so that players can practice the class further without restarting the tutorial and all of its dialogue.


While I would've liked to have tried out the actual game, not just the tutorial, I'm positive I wouldn't have bought the game. Not because I didn't enjoy the combat -- I actually really liked how CMW utilizes the scroll wheel and how clearly it lays out its control scheme --

CMW's loading screen.

but because I was so turned off by the lack of player agency demonstrated in the tutorial. Had I been able to try the multiplayer, I'm almost positive I would feel underprepared after completing the tutorial series. Which is really a shame.


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