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Mordhau Review

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  • Mordhau Review

    Mordhau is a new medieval game on PC that is taking on a life of its own with a very Souls like community sprouting up around it. Below is a short review on the game type Frontline which is an up to 64 man objective and ticket based game type; think if Rainbow 6 Siege and Battlefield conquest had a medieval love child. Complete/capture all of the objectives and the enemy teams tickets will be immediately depleted. Kill an enemy player and they will lose a ticket. When a team runs out of tickets they lose. At the start of a match players will get to choose if they want to be a member of the Iron Company (red team) or Free Guards (blue team). The join system is set up in such a way that players will have to join the team with less players so that a match begins balanced and doesn't begin 32 vs 20 so you'll have to wait for an open slot if you want to play on a specific team.

    There are currently a total of 4 maps for Frontline; Camp, Taiga, Mountain Peak and Grad. Each map has unique secondary objectives that may need to be completed before certain objectives are unlocked as capturable for one of the teams. For example on Camp the secondary objectives are actionable for a team after they have captured River, the central objective in the map. Once the blue team has captured the River objective a player must carry an explosive barrel to a siege tower. Once there the barrel will be placed and explode and the tower will fall, crushing any that it lands on in addition to changing the layout of the map with this new obstacle. There are three towers that must be destroyed before the next objective can be captured. In terms of balance Camp, Grad and Mountain Peak are all fairly balanced maps while Taiga is horribly unbalanced to the point where people may leave the game simply for being on the blue team (Free Guard). Others revel in the challenge of having the odds stacked against them or are just masochists in general and enjoy playing Free Guard on Taiga.

    Visually the game is pretty appealing with a few different environments available. Mountain Peak is a snow covered mountain pass leading to a castle gate where the vibrant red of your enemies blood is a very noticable stain on the otherwise pristine white ground. Camp has fortified positions on either side of that central point, a river running the length of the map with destroyed equipment and corpses of previous skirmishes strewn throughout. Grad is an attack or defense on a castle with a small village as the main combat area with a few partially intact peasant homes surrounding the central objective of the stables. Even the unbalanced Taiga is a mine and camp in a forest setting with bridges and logs across a gorge. As for the player models here there is a plethora of different visually different armor variants with players having the ability to customize the character itself in some fairly decent detail.

    Now for the most important part of the review; gameplay. Gameplay in Mordhau's Frontline game mode is straight up chaos with just a hint of method to the madness as teams swarm objectives en mass. A hefty variety of weapons, gadgets and even "vehicles" are available to suit each players particular desired build. Want to be a heavily armored knight with sword and shield? Suit up. An archer away from the chaos taking pot shots? Find some high ground. Like keeping the team well defended and supported? Grab a hammer, toolbox or medbag to keep them protected, supplied and healed. The musically inclined that just wants to jam on a lute all game? Some enemy players may join in for some head bobbing but they may sever your head before they leave (provided you don't bash theirs in with your lute first). Each build is point based with the player having 16 points to work with.

    For armor there are 4 choices; cosmetic, light, medium and heavy. Cosmetic is as it implies, cosmetic only and offers no defensive bonuses. Light is minimal defense, medium is moderate and heavy is much sturdier. "Why would I ever wear anything but heavy then?" you may be thinking. The answer to that is two fold: First is the cost. Mordhau is a point based loadout system with each equipped slot costing one of your precious points for the head, chest and leg slots. Cosmetic items have zero cost but that cost goes up one point for each defensive tier. For example someone in all heavy armor will have their apparel cost 9 points where as someone in all light armor will only lose 3 points. The second part of the answer is speed. The heavier the defense, the slower the character and slow makes for an easier target. Speed penalties for the heavy armors do not affect your weapon speed but instead they affect your movement speed. In addition to the armor slots, head, chest and legs, there are additional items that are cosmetic only for your neck/head, hands, arms, shoulders, waist and feet. These slots allow you to further customize you soldier to better suit your personal taste.

    Now comes the weapon(s). There is again a variety of items to choose from encompassing nearly any type of medieval weapon you could want. My personal favorite is the Greatsword; it isn't as fast swinging as the Longsword or as hard hitting as the Executioner's Sword nor does it have the reach of the Pole Arm but it's still my favorite dammit and I'd gladly die again and again and again with that weapon in my hands (trust me there have been many, many deaths as I'm still fairly new to the game with about 20hrs sunk in so far). As shown in my example above each weapon has disadvantages against others but it also has advantages over them as well; the Greatsword hits harder with longer reach that the Longsword and faster than the Executioner's Blade. Each of the weapons have their own stats and feel to them and vary in cost so it is important to find a good balance of armor defensive speed and strength and weapon damage, speed and reach.

    Adding another tempting factor into the already strained point pool is the perk system. Different perks can be equipped on the different characters that you create, each with their own unique attributes. There is a perk that increases your passive health regen if hit is run is your style or a perk that refills your health on an enemy kill if you want to go crazy in the middle of the field. Better perks cost more of those precious points with the perk that restores health on kill, Bloodlust, costing 5. The most expensive perk is for those players that love a challenge and costs half of your total available points and limits the build to only items that a peasant would use. Good luck.

    Combat itself is also very exhilarating. It is a timed game of cat and mouse as each player attempts to land those precious hits that can quickly devolve into uncontrolled chaos as each man swing and blocks furiously in an attempt to kill or fend off one or multiple enemies. The weapon can be swung from any direction including thrusts or flat our just chucked at the opponent which can be hilarious to watch as a player is impaled by a spear and with their sliver of remaining health removes the spear and hurls it back at their attacker before charging in for an all or nothing brawl or trying to fall back to heal and wait for backup. Blocking with a shield can be held but each hit on the shield depletes a players stamina and when that stamina is gone it's most likely curtains for you. Blocking with a weapon is a split second parry that if well timed will stop the attacker. Chambering is also possible where to block an attack you perform the same attack to either cancel out the attacker or counter their attack with an attack of your own.

    tl;dr
    Mordhau is a damn fun game to play by yourself and even more so with friends. The game has a growing community and a dedicated team behind it, both of which are dedicated to making sure the chaos never ends so if you're on the fence about it give a hearty shout and pick it up to earn some glory after many shameful deaths.

    P.S. - This went way longer than I anticipated.

    P.P.S. - Rapier/shield builds can burn
    "I'm just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe"

  • #2
    Good work, remember that you can insert images and videos.
    Games 2019: The Last Night - Biomutant - Doom Eternal - Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Mount & Blade II - Dead or Alive 6 - Tunic - Pathologic 2 - Eastshade - Scorn - A Plague Tale: Innocence - Descent (2019) - Wasteland 3 - Ancestors: The Humankinf Odyssey - Moduwar - Dawn of Man - Code Vein - Little Devil Inside - Team Sonic Racing - Street of Rage 4 - DESPERADOS 3 - Kirby Extra Epic Yarn - Void Bastards - Fimbul - The Forgotten City - The Last Campfire - Outward - Devil May Cry 5

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    • #3
      Another wall of text that lacks any interesting features.
      Celebrating over 1000 contributions of the highest quality! ?

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      • #4
        How would you say it compares to For Honor?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ARCTrooperNox View Post
          P.P.S. - Rapier/shield builds can burn
          This. So much of this. Also Firebombs.

          PS Great review.
          https://www.twitch.tv/coffeeandkeyboard

          "Stay Caffeinated, Stay Overclocked"

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          • #6
            Good review, initially looks long winded but you went through the points with enough depth for someone who hasn't seen the game, like me, to understand the mechanics and how the games play but also didn't drag it out longer than you needed to.

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