Platform reviewed on: PC
Also available on: –
Mordhau is a first/3rd person online multiplayer medieval hack and slasher where your only goal, be it with your teammates or going solo, is to destroy your opponents using whatever means necessary in order to emerge victorious. You create your hero with a surprisingly detailed character builder and you start wreaking havoc in large battlefields. There is no plot, only bloody and gory combat and that is about it. However, since in Helgates ratings we agreed that games without plot but with an interesting premise will receive a 7/10, here is the 7 for Mordhau.
Graphicswise the game is decent. It is based on the unreal engine so character models will look familiar to you. You can create yourself accurately using the builder since character models are pretty neat, if not perfect. Almost every part of your appearance is customisable; there a many pieces of armor that you can equip and customize by changing their colours and even adding emblems on them. There are also even more weapons where you can alter their grips, blades etc to create your unique killing machine. So far, in Mordhau there are 6 maps ranging from lush forests to snowy mountains which are all well designed and varied. Despite the fact that you will visit them over and over again, they do not feel repetitive and each one has their own unique characteristics. As the battle goes on, gallons of blood and tons of severed limbs and mutilated corpses litter the battlefield. The image of you charging along with your companions side by side against the opposing team while shouting battle cries never gets old.
The sound design of the game is also good. There is a medieval tune playing as you traverse the menus that while decent, it gets repetitive after a while. However sound effects are stellar; Horses galloping, swords clashing, limbs getting chopped of and arrows flying throught the air, all these create a mesmerising experience that really put you in the shoes of medieval knight fighting for his life.
Here is where the game truly shines. Initially, there are 4 game modes, 3 in casual play and 1 in competitve play. In casual play we have battle royale which is pretty self explanatory, horde where you battle alongside other players against waves of increasingly difficult AI bots until all of you die and frontline which is where you will spend most of your time. In frontline, there are 2 teams of 32 players each where you have to complete a series of objectives which vary depending on the battlefield you play in while fighting to the death with your oppoenents. For example, in Mountain peak, the goal of the blue team is to capture control points and push a large battering ram to the gates of the opponents’ castle. Objectives become very difficult if your team does not have discipline, a cooperative midset and goal commitment, and that is guarranteed. After each match in casual play, depending on your performance, you are rewarded with coins that permit you to buy new armor, weapons and cosmetics for your character, whereas experience levels you up and helps in better matchmaking. In competitive play, you duel 1v1 against another player. The first one that gets 5 kills is the winner.
Morhau’s combat mechanics while simple are excellent. First of all, as mentioned earlier, you can either play in 1st person or 3rd person perspective depending on your likings. On your crosshair, there is a small mark that changes its orientation depending on the orientation of your mouse. The orientation of this mark indicates the direction where your attack will come from. For example if this marker is on the right side of the crosshair, upon pressing left click your hero will perform a horizontal slash coming from your right. You can change this and assign the directions of your attacks in separate keys but for me it ruins the whole premise. There are two primary attacks, stabbing and slashing, but endless combinations. Each attack can be delayed or hastened, cancelled mid air or morphed from stabbing to slashing and vice versa. Your character can parry attacks and arrows by pressing the right click and he can also kick his adversaries out of ledges. Eventually you can ride horses that, while a tad to difficult to control at first, are an easy way to rack up kills if you are experienced enough.
If you are not into close combat you can create archers that shoot arrows from afar or play a more supportive role as a blacksmith that can construct traps, ballistas and repair walls in order to protect control points and your team. In character building, you have 16 points to assign to your character. This means that you have to be very careful and prioritise your perks, armour and weapons depending on the style you want to play. Speaking of perks, you can assign special abilities to your character. For example, with bloodlust every time you kill some one in melee combat your health is restores. With second wind, each time you hit your stamina replenishes by a small amount.
In addition, you can use siege machinery such as catapults and stuff, which are very fun to operate. I can go on and on about Mordhau’s gameplay but no more spoiling. The tutorial is very useful and teaches you combat basics but the only way to truly hone your skills is on the battlefield, after a lot of dying!
Value for money:…..9
Mordhau is an exciting but brutal game. It requires a lot of patience but, after you get good, each match will give you tons of gory fun. You can purchase the game for about 25 to 30 euros and if you like it, you will invest a large chunk of your free time.