Chivarly 2’s use of Battlecry enriches its chaotic body-slinging warfare
Welcome to the 10th episode of the Game Design Spotlight, a weekly piece where I examine the design elements of multiplayer titles, such as character classes that nail the thematic notes of an ARPG and uncompromising combat systems. Last week, we looked at SOLO’s Picture Style feature and how it revitalizes game views and in-game models with color filter presets. As for today, I take us through the muddy battlefields of Chivarly 2, where the ensuing mayhem unfolds as boots hit the ground with weapons and vocal cords at the ready.
In Chivarly 2, you’ll chop off a guy’s arm, causing him to helplessly lunge with his left while comically flailing to his death. Often you might be on the polar side as blood splatters your screen; your helmeted head cut off your virtual body. The game pulls no punches at its bloodiest for both winning and losing players. However, something that rings true for all participants is the resounding howl of men and women running into their next victims or catching an unsuspecting pike in the noggin.
Battlecry, a feature that players can voluntarily spam as they please, enriches this chaotic medieval game of body-slinging in all places where screams matter. Nor is it nonsense gibberish. The screams slice through clashing swords, arrows whipping through the air, and echoing horns, seemingly helping to lift the spirits of people you don’t know on the internet. Battlecry simulates a one-of-a-kind feeling where screaming brings out the drama of conflict and, oddly enough, tries to speak to our primal nature and pleasure.
Scream when it matters
For players to use Battlecry, it’s as simple as pressing “C” on their keyboard, which causes their chosen character class/voice to cry out to the sky in a range of tones. And yes, you can use it at any time. In the tutorial, Chivarly 2 encourages its use as a mental tactic against other players, but honestly, there’s never a good time other than when it’s best for you.
For me, it was raising my polearm high with a warm battle cry beside my fellow soldiers as we descended the cobblestone steps of our citadel to face the enemy. Another time came when I cut off the heads of two soldiers with one blow, roaring through my hype as nearby enemy troops turned their heads. Chivalry 2 effectively diverted my brain at every triumphant turn.
We could go in depth and talk about how realism and fiction blend together to dissect the game’s violent appeal, but on a superficial level, Chivalry 2 does a fantastic job of letting you and others d to be hype men on the battlefield where confidence affects performance.
Screaming is an art form
Depending on which faction you play during a match, such as the Crimson Veiled Masons and Blue Agathans, you can choose from different locked and purchasable voices. These can range from the capricious squire boy immersed in the barbarism of the battlefield, to the devoted knight ready to die for his sovereign and his nation. These descriptions alone should figure out how they scream in battle, but I’ve dropped a video below that gives you a generalized listen to the depth, levity, and craziness of these:
It would have been easy for developer Torn Banner Studios to create these immutable gender/faction-based presets, but seeing there’s diversity really makes the storm of voices all the more compelling. Audition “For Agatha!!” in front of you in-game just past an octave tumult behind that represents your nation captures the claustrophobic vibe of sound in a sea of bodies. Plus, the dynamics of those screams throw your own excitement out of whack, especially just before charging into an iron swarm.
However, some players find the shouting annoying. Reddit user Michi2801 described how “the player characters’ constant, long, very loud screams distracted and annoyed them”. Another, Skanoirhc, said the voices would hurt their ears and drastically reduce their “playing time” due to “headaches”. There is an option to reduce in-game battle cries if players want to, but I would say that goes against the thematic focus and methodical gameplay loop of Chivalry 2.
Slice of realism
Players must go through the process of wildly swinging their weapon, blocking, and performing a battle cry before and after combat – even if it’s on purpose. This loop, reinforced as players die and recover just to be thrown back into the fray, would be cumbersome without features like battlecry.
From proud cries to hoarse and disordered cries, they add flavor to the disorder of bodies that collide wave after wave. Limiting the abrupt nature of its functionality kills some of the thrill and longevity of its repetitive DNA outside of new content like mounted combat. And, to top it all off, its respect for realism makes it perfect for role-playing enthusiasts. Chivalry 2 inspired its actors to simulate realism on a fictional basis and what better than through the spectrum of voices available to them?
This wraps up another week of Game Design Spotlight! Are you a fan of the voluntary Battlecry feature? When, where and how did you use it in a game? Let us know below! Also feel free to comment on any games or features you’d like me to cover for future stories if you have any suggestions!