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Mordhau review

Our views on this medieval brawler.

Mordhau
Credit: Triternion

Mordhau from Triternion is messy, chaotic, bloodthirsty fun and I’m finding it very addictive, even though I’m absolutely crap at it. If you haven’t played already, Mordhau is an online competitive game set in medieval times so there’s no guns, just lots of pointy things to stab your enemies with and massive hammers to crush their skulls.

There are a fair few game modes to choose from including Frontline, Battle Royale and Duels. Frontline appears to be by far the most popular. In Frontline two teams are pitched against each other and the aim is to capture bases as you push towards the enemy base. Obviously, the enemy is trying to do the same resulting in some very frantic battles.

You can view the Mordhau launch trailer below:

When you first start the game you are offered the chance to complete a tutorial and I recommend that you do as the fighting in Mordhau can seem overwhelming at first. If you want to do well it’s not a game where you can wade in swinging blindly. It’s about timing your attacks and parrys carefully in order to expose your enemy and take them out. Also friendly fire is always turned on so if you just swing without thought you’re as likely to damage your own teammates rather than the enemy.

There are lots of pre-made classes so you can jump straight into the action should you wish. There are archers, a variety of melee classes and engineers to name but a few. Each comes with their own strengths and weaknesses and all are capable of making a difference in any game. You can also make characters from scratch and the customisation options are extensive. You could make a heavily armoured archer, a stealthy assassin or one I’ve been tinkering with is a battlefield medic who goes into the fight with no weapons at all. As you progress you earn gold and XP, both of which are used to unlock new weapons and armour.

You can see my medic in action below:

The combat is tricky to get the hang of, especially at first and I can see this putting people off the game in the first few hours of play. Mordhau rewards patience and skill so practice is the key. Thankfully you can set up a game to play against bots in order to hone your skills. The swordplay is much like Kingdom Come Deliverance in that the direction you move your mouse when you attack will affect the type of attack you carry out. Learning to parry is crucial and can open up your enemy to counter attacks if you get your timing right. There are already some truly impressive players on the battlefields of Mordhau who seem to have superhuman reflexes.

At first, I was put off by how clumsy the game felt. My expectations were marred by my experiences with FPS shooters which feel much slicker and faster. Having played for a fair few hours now it makes sense that the game feels a bit clunky. It wouldn’t make sense if two-handed hammers could be swung at superhuman speeds. These guys are after all medieval warriors wearing heavy armour and wielding heavy weapons.

MORDHAU

Credit: Tritenrion

Graphically Mordhau is ok. It’s not the prettiest game out there, but nor is it overly ugly. I feel that the focus of Triternion has been on getting the combat right and keeping the gameplay interesting and in this aspect, they have certainly succeeded. The game also runs very smoothly and I haven’t noticed any slow down in gameplay even when I’m stuck in choke points with loads of players all fighting at once.

To sum up, Mordhau is not going to be for everyone. If you want something casual to de-stress with I would probably avoid it. If however you have become bored with the slew of competitive shooters out there and want something that still embraces the essence of team focused play but in a melee format then this could be worth a look. As I mentioned before, Mordhau rewards patience and skill rather than just button bashing.

See you on the battlefield!

Mordhau was reviewed using a digital code purchased by the reviewer.

Publisher: Triternion Developer: Triternion Release Date: 29th April, 2019 Reviewed On: PC/Steam PC Spec: i7-7700, GTX 1080, 16GB RAM

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