Mordhau got my game of the year vote right from the point where I cut someone’s arm off, and he proceeded to punch me to death with his other arm.
Mordhau is a new medieval fighting game on steam which was released on the 30th of April 2019 and was developed on the Unreal Engine 4 from developer and publisher Triternion. To the best of my knowledge this is their first game they have released and they have done a truly incredible job.
Some people, including myself, consider it the successor to the fabled game Chivalry: Medieval Warfare which was released back in 2012 so because of that it has attracted quite a few Chivalry players. The free-flow fighting system for Mordhau is simple to learn, and players can easily understand the basics of the game in under 20 minutes with a thorough and easily understandable tutorial.
The Combat in Mordhau.
Even though the general mechanics of the game are simple to learn, they are incredibly hard to master, this gives the game massive skill gaps which will lead to a very rich and fun competitive scene. A mechanic that was excellently introduced into the game is that both you and your opponent gain the chance to counter attack if both players hit each other at the same angle and time. This unique mechanic can result in an entertaining and engaging battle between two skilled players.
Aside from counter attacks, there are also dodge mechanics and the ability to shift the angle of your attack. While using a melee weapon there is a small cursor on your screen which moves around as if it is on the outside of a ball; this signifies the angle in which your attack will come from. The angle can be changed at the last second of the fight in order to throw an opponent off and keep them on their toes.
One thing I have enjoyed in games over the last few years is archery, I’m not sure why but it is fun and intense. Rust, for example, has a great archery system in their game, so, when it came to trying out the bow I had high hopes and expectations. Mordhau executed their archery system in a near perfect way. It feels smooth and similar to the melee combat, the bows are easy to learn and understand, but very difficult to master.
Horse combat is also featured in Mordhau. Although the horses at times to feel a bit clunky and odd in tighter areas it changes completely when you have an open field with very little obstructions. While on a horse you are able to use Lances, which is the only setting in which you can use them. Additionally, many other weapons in the game are available to use, including frypans and lutes, which adds an entertaining and unique element to the combat system in comparison to many other games.
The Environment in Mordhau.
Currently, there are eight maps in Mordhau, There are variations on some of the maps, as well as differing biomes in order to present a more diverse and interesting environment from one map to the next. I have experienced no one-sided battles on the maps in Mordhau, with an equal chance to win or lose on each map as the maps feel very well balanced and even in terms of advantages and disadvantages. There is also siege weaponry scattered on each map, which include catapults and ballistas that are very effective in terms of damage on both teams. One catapult shot may kill 3 enemies but it may also kill 3 allies.
Mordhau Character Customisation and Classes.
There are 9 base classes at this time in Mordhau which are:
The Brigand, Knight, Protector, Huntsman, Scoundrel, Engineer, Raider, Veteren and the Footmen. Each of the classes are unique and range from easy and advanced players and give you a good understanding of the weapons and armour types.
What makes each character more interesting is the amount of customisation that is available to the player. It is highly encouraged to make your own character or “Mercenary” as it is said in game. However, I would not suggest making a character right away, as it is good to learn and understand the basics of each weapon, what you like and what you are good at.
When you make a new Mercenary you can name them whatever you like and use whatever weapons you like, providing you have unlocked them by leveling up and purchased the item with the in game currency (which is gold). After you have decided on the loadout you want to use there then is the cosmetic look to your character. The only thing that impacts the stats of your character is the weapons and armour you equip to them. Each weapon and piece of armour gives the character a different look, and I personally think that this makes each different character look unique and interesting.
There are then the perks, which offer you an edge in battle. One perk may reduce fall damage while another reduces friendly damage (that one is very helpful). But with the weapons armour and perks they require points each Mercenary has a set amount of points to spend on these things so one character sadly cannot have every perk.
However, I wish that the lore was invested more deeply into this game. The only inclination of the story is revealed in the tutorial, which says the battle started with a siege tower that was accidentally destroyed, which started a consequent war.
Mordhau ticked just about every box for me in terms of what I look for in a game. The combat is amazing and fluid, the graphics are perfect, the gore is very present but also done in a way that could be called tasteful, the ability to truly master their combat system and the ability to make unique and funny Mercenaries is highly entertaining and refreshing in the gaming arena. However, I have had a few issues with frames, ping, high packet loss and trouble finding servers. But However, these are not constant issues. The lack of lore in the game is something that is not necessarily negative, however, it does take away from the immersion and vision of the game. This game can be played solo or with a group of friends, and I could not recommend it more to those looking to buy it.
I have several videos available on my YouTube channel which look at gameplay and general combat.
Rating – 9.5/10
Written by Jack Adam-De-Villiers
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