View Full Version : Review: Age Of Chivalry (Half Life 2 mod)

25th May 2010, 11:10 PM
(Please note that i may give biased opinions towards certain things in this review, but all things should be taken with a pinch of salt. This has my personal opinion in it so don't not try something just because i spoke ill of it :) )

Half Life 2, a game which brings gamers together in one harmonious, "this game is way totally awesome". Now when i think of the word "Mod" i think "modification" where they take the basic game structure and change it slightly to make a different storyline or maps etc...What I didn't expect was a game like Age Of Chivalry (which i shall refer to as AOC from now on).

I don't quite know whether anyone has heard of AOC. I presume you have and either decided it wasn't worth your time or you couldn't be bothered to download it. Either way the game basically takes the basic HL2 concept and source engine, takes away guns, monsters, modern buildings, technology and gravity guns, then replaces them with battleaxes, maces, longbows, crossbows and all other types of brilliant medieval weaponry.

As I just mentioned AOC is a game set in the medieval period and it's a purely online game. As usual it has dedicated servers and they each have different maps (with some custom ones thrown in). Most maps are really good and you have different objectives for each map. Sometimes you have to batter a gate down with a ram, sometimes you have to play a capture the flag match, but the maps are so brilliantly designed with little pathways and secret entrances into places that no match turns out the same (I played an absolutely beautiful Lord of the Rings map set in Helm's Deep, complete with siege towers and all). Different maps can have trebuchets and huge crossbows which fire flaming balls of pain, and some have siege towers as part of an objective. They're very varied and very fun to play.

It works on a stamina and health based system. Your health is represented by a little red orb in the bottom left corner and your stamina by a little orange orb. Health is self explanatory and it goes up slowly whilst you aren't doing anything that involves stamina. Stamina is basically used whenever you jump, crouch, run, swing your weapon, fire a ranged weapon and it dictates a lot of the gameplay. If you don't use your stamina you won't get anywhere, but if you use too much then you'll end up wandering with your screen looking like someone is shaking it vigorously.

Controls are like any other source game but when it comes to using melee and ranged weaponry is different however.
With a melee weapon you left click for a horizontal attack, right click for a strong vertical attack, roll the mouse wheel forward for a stab attack and click the mouse button in for either a parry if you just have a weapon out or hold it down to hold your shield up.

For ranged weaponry you must hold down the left click for your character to take aim and then you can fire once you think youve got the shot. That's it in a nutshell.

It consists of two teams, The Mason Order and the Agathia Knights. It doesn't matter what side you choose in terms of classes, they are basically the same (aside from physical appearance). You have 9 classes:

Longbowmen-They use a small sword and a very high range bow. Brilliant at long range, but for anything up close, you may as well just put the sword down

Crossbowmen- By far my least favourite class, an absolutely huge damage crossbow but to reload it takes far too long plus you have to stand still. Amazing for defending on a wall and practically nothing else. He also has a shortsword to deal some up close pain.

Javelineers-I just love these guys. Javelins for medium range (although it has the shortest range of all archer type classes) and a spear and shield combo for anyone up close. Even though the javelins are hard to aim, and you only get eight of them if you can hit them then you can end up being a very powerful player indeed.

Men at Arms- These were made for rushing objectives. Battering rams, siege towers, building bridges, you name it these guys were made for it. They are the fastest class but also the least armoured of all the melee classes. Despite this they can put up a fight in melee, brandishing twin daggers for light attacking and a sword shield combo for any pesky archers. Complete with one flaming grenade pot thing (not too sure exactly what it is) and your good to go.

Sergeants- Fast and with a high defense these can be deadly if in the right hands. The problem is that if you miss one swing then your likely to bite the dust due to the maces horrible aiming. He has a flame pot as well and can have a mace shield combo to defend against archers.

Guardsmen-These are average in terms of defense and speed but when it comes to attack, these are the melee guys for the job. Their stab has HUGE range and the ability to one hit kill a lot of classes. Perfect for guarding objectives (as the name suggests)

Crusaders-Good speed and defense. Either use the weapon two handed for increased damage and attack rate or whack a shield on to defend against archers (whilst slowing you down and decreasing your damage). They have throwing knives to get people from a distance (but they are by far the hardest weapon to aim in the game)

Knight-These high defense snails use a ball and chain to deal their damage. Instead of a regular stab attack they spin their ball and chain in a circle which can be deadly in the middle of a group of enemies or stupid in a group of friendlies (yes i've done that before by accident). Also equipped with throwing knives.

Heavy Knight- If you see one of these crawling towards you, run. Don't think, don't desperately lob throwing knives at him, back up until your safely around team mates. Whilst this tortoise can't do much from across a map if he starts coming up close he can do a lot of damage. He has a huge defense and a very high attack. To compensate he is the slowest of all classes. He has a double handed axe/hammer which he can use to one hit kill a lot of the classes. He also has a handy throwing axe for any people who think he isn't good at range.

I thought i should let everyone know about how amazing this game really is. Although there are flaws. The aiming system is piss poor (no crosshair of any sort) and it takes a lot to get used to. You always seem to throw left of wherever your hand is pointing (that's the aim system for throwing weapons) and it's as if the game has given you it to purposely fuck with you. It's like giving a 4 year old kid a birthday cake, only to have a stripper jump out of it and while it's all well and good for people with experience who know how this stuff works for someone new it's just going to confuse them and make them ask questions about where the birds and the bees came from. There is also no way to kick or ban annoying players, as the admin actually has to be present which mean's teamkillers or stupid kids yelling into their mics can continue playing merrily whilst us real players silently rage..

I could rant about how bad some of the maps are that users created but that's not the game's fault, that's simply poor map designing.

All in all i think this is a bloody brilliant game and well worth everyone's time and effort to play. It takes some getting used to at first ( it took me an hour to get the hang of it and actually have some fun) but once you really get down to playing it really is a brilliant game.

My thoughts of this game?
Good points:
Varying classes, good map designs (mostly), it's actually fun to play
Bad points:
Sometimes unfair team advantages (push a battering ram up a hill in open ground where you can get easily shot? why would you do that to me AOC.), awful aiming system until you figure it out, lack of voting system for banning and kicking

I love this mod and I doubt I'm going to get bored of it soon. I'm not going to score it because that can mean people judge games based on score and a lot of the time it's based on opinion :)

Tell me how you like my first review and what i could improve about it and stuff :)

Colonel Mitch
26th May 2010, 03:57 AM
you missed the word way off the end of the first sentance :P

26th May 2010, 09:08 AM
i will edit just for you mitch ;P

26th May 2010, 09:19 AM
Longbowmen-They use a small sword and a very high range bow. Brilliant at long range, but for anything up close, you may as well just put the sword down

Or have a game of ye old fisticuffs :P
But very nice first review :D

26th May 2010, 09:23 AM
ahh the good old queen's rules

thanks :)

26th May 2010, 10:46 AM
Well done on the review! You really went in to great depth to properly explain the game in general, which is useful for those people that haven't heard of it before. The problem you do run into then is that it all becomes a rather large block of text, so images would have been nice to show what you were talking about.

I believe I have played the game a bit before, but was one of those things that ended up being ignored :p.

26th May 2010, 10:53 AM
Yeah i noticed i was just putting down walls of text and considered putting a tl;dr but then i wanted the reviews to be judged on its merits alone so i figured i would leave it how it was. thanks for the feedback :)

26th May 2010, 12:13 PM
Heh, always meant to try this, but it keeps corrupting in download... Really should, I guess

Oh, and nice review. Very in depth, etc etc.

26th May 2010, 12:20 PM
not bad for a first try :P

26th May 2010, 12:40 PM
I played this game before, its was pretty lol but I didn't really enjoy it that much :s nice review though :D

26th May 2010, 01:11 PM
yeah happened with another mate of mine....it's a marmite game really :)

27th May 2010, 03:55 PM
Alright review - in-depth analysis was ruined by the atrocious grammar and formatting. As it was a first attempt though, I suspect we can let it slide. I did really like the refusal to give a score though - certainly a good point.