11 Best Medieval Games To Play in 2016
How many of these epic medieval games have you played?
Gamers can't shake their obsession with dark and feudal-age games. Iron and steel have ruled fantasy gaming and continue to do so, but what medieval games are worthy of your time in 2016?
11. Chivalry: Medieval Warfare
Turn warm bodies to cold ones using iron-clad weapons and classic warfare.
Sword & shield, or bow & arrow?
Chivalry's title can give you some insight on the game's strengths - warfare. It prides itself in being a first-person hand to hand combat game that gives you the freedom to make awesome fighting combos.
Medieval Warfare mixes realism aspects with classic, polished combat
With a focus on intense large-scale wars, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is a gripping experience. You get a glimpse of the day-to-day tasks of soldiers in the Era of Iron. See first hand what it was like to risk your life in the name of glory.
The game's combat flows nicely and is comparable to Fallout and Elder Scrolls styled first-person hand to hand fighting. You can choose from classic weapon and armor combinations and even create your own.
Did you know Chivalry: Medieval Warfare may be getting Oculus Rift support?
Live the life of a war-torn dark ages soldier by playing Chivalry: Medieval Warfare in 2016.
10. The Elders Scrolls: Skyrim (with realism mods)
Take a glimpse at what realism mods can do to Skyrim with Rycon, Youtube's greatest roleplayer.
With these insane graphic remodeling mods, Skyrim makes an incredible medieval game.
Believe it or not, Elder Scrolls: Skyrim is five years old already. The latest edition to the series (if you don't count Elder Scrolls Online) has been widely deemed a masterpiece by most gamers. While somewhat old, the modding community of Elder Scrolls is very active and has been helping the PC version progress since its launch in 2011.
While you might be thinking "I've already played a ton of Skyrim" - which most of us have - there is an entirely new world to discover by implementing realism mods to the game. You can find these mods on Steam or Nexus and adding them to your game is as simple as clicking a subscribe button.
Familiar locations are new again thanks to an active and engaged modding community.
With immersion mods you can experience Skyrim in a totally new way. From spectacular new graphical reworks to the addition of thousands of new bandit tribes, locations, quests and followers the variety of immersion mods is massive and constantly growing.
On top of environmental and graphical changes you'll find new armor, weapons, bandit tribes and more.
One of my favorites is the multiple followers add-on. Instead of the usual single companion you can now venture into new dungeons and cities with a whole squad of adventurers. Another awesome add-on is the character creation overhaul which allows you to truly customize your character.
The land of the Nords – Skyrim – has been evolving considerably thanks to its dedicated and talented modding community. Don't let all their hard work go to waste! Try out some mods from the Steam store or Nexus.
9. Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide
Rats: nature's worst nightmare. At least they aren't 7 feet tall and inconceivably strong though... Oh, damn.
Human-sized rats have taken over a small town. You're the exterminator.
At this point there are too many Warhammer games to count. While quantity seems to be a priority for the development team it hasn't caused a drop in the quality of the games. End Times: Vermintide is one of the most interesting titles of the series.
Eerie locations are amplified by dark lighting and demonic creatures
You are tasked with exterminating the rat population of a town. Not very badass, right? Or so it seems until you realize the rats are about 7 feet tall and way too human-like. There are so many rats in this one small town you would think there was a sewer system that connected it to New York City's old subways.
Although the foes seem surreal, rats and mice were a very big problem in the dark ages. They are historically known as one of the most dangerous rodents, carrying many diseases and even the plague. It's not too far fetched to think of a fantasy magic experiment gone wrong causing human-esque rats that destroy everything.
Vermintide is a fitting name. You'll find yourself battling hordes of ratmen. So many ratmen! Slay some disgusting foes in 2016 with Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide
8. For Honor
For Honor is a dive into a lore-filled land of ancient warriors.
For Honor is another game that focuses on massive medieval war-style combat. Its combat system is sort of first mixed with third person. You'll see a lot of cool dodging and blocking animations but most of the fighting will take place in first person.
Like many games of the genre, For Honor awards players with points, perks and skills by killing enemies and completing matches. The game is a re-instilling of classic combat situations but delivers it exceptionally well with some awesome game modes.
Strategy is vital, and not being synchronized with your allies will mean unintended stabbing and slicing.
One of which is Dominion, which tasks you with capturing 3 points inside a castle. Sort of like conquest in several FPS games, the mode is fast-paced and full of action without downtime, unless your team does not have enough points for you to respawn.
At that point you're stuck waiting. The multiplayer portion of For Honor seems to be its most poignant attribute. The single player story has not been discussed much at all and we're left with unanswered questions.
For Honor is set to release mid to late 2016.
7. Stronghold Crusader 2
Control and command your legions to do as you please. You must ensure your stronghold can withstand attack.
The Middle East is ripe with conflict and it's time you join the fight.
The real time strategy game takes place in the sandy lands of the Middle East, where several monotheistic religions are at war with one another. Stronghold Crusader 2 is a game that requires tactical planning and micromanagement of troops and units to master.
Grow your economy or destroy your opponent's?
Changes were made and poor aspects found in the previous game have been fixed - mostly. There are still some bugs, such as enemies not being affected by any of your troops (rare but it happens.) Improvements were made to defensive units, defensive structures and path-finding was reworked to greatly improve the way you control and move troops.
Stronghold Crusader 2 has minor flaws but is a welcoming improvement to the series and a hell of a lot of fun to play.
6. Dark Souls III
Death awaits as Dark Souls III's release gets closer by the day.
Nightmarish foes, evil landscapes and death unlike ever before... This is Dark Souls.
It's easy to sum up the Dark Souls franchise in one word: death. You will die, and often. If you've played I and II you know this, but if you're new to the darkened medieval world you might be unpleasantly surprised at how difficult it is to stay alive.
What foes will await you this time? Perhaps old favorites reborn, as we saw in Dark Souls II
With that in mind you can see why Dark Souls is one of the most mesmerizing games of the genre. The developers have no fear of upsetting the weak-willed, with some of the most challenging boss battles in gaming history. A strong focus on lore and storytelling forces you to enjoy the mysterious plot.
Dark Souls features a simple but absolutely polished time-based combat system. Elegant simplicity is always wonderful.
Dark Souls III is set to release sometime in Q1 or Q2 of 2016 and continues the tale of a disdainful hero that must conquer enemies in order to obtain souls. Having lost his life force he must plunder the souls of others to stay alive.
5. Crusader Kings II
Check out the release trailer, showing the game's early development.
Imagine yourself as the King of an empire. You can rule all those beneath you in any way you see fit.
Crusader Kings 2 puts you in the shoes of just that, a King. You control your court, military and people by using the UI to perform actions like take over land, marry certain individuals, assassinate a political enemy and many, many other means.
While this has been done before by Paradox, the development team and others (think The Guild 2 for a similar game) Crusader Kings 2 takes it to a whole new level by intertwining randomly-generated scenarios with total freedom of choice and outcome.
You can fight battles from multiple points of view, including a 'world' view.
For example, I might have a son who is a pompous prick in one playthrough that tries to assassinate me to usurp my throne. In the next playthrough I can have the same son, but this time he is a loyal and helpful family member that will aid me in my struggles.
This is by far one of the most rewarding real time strategy games I have ever laid eyes on. Careful planning of your kingdom, whether tyrannical or benevolent, will make you the most powerful man in England.
4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
You don't just watch the trailer for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt... You experience it, and experience you shall.
With what I believe has the most realistic graphics of 2015, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a thing of beauty.
Never before seen enemies may or may not ambush you during your struggles.
The story is based on a Polish fantasy author named Andrzej Sapkowski but similar to film adaptations of books the game deviates from the original story at times. Play as Geralt of Rivia, a fearsome witch and one of the last of his kind.
A visual masterpiece. With that said, it is a definite contender for the best lore in a medieval game.
The characters you'll meet are incredibly diverse and each have a unique personality. The plot is extremely vast and with hundreds of characters (most involved in the lore) you might have a hard time keeping up. If you enjoy a rich storyline, consider playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
3. Total War: Attila
The Total War: Attila trailer is a personal message to all. Heed the warning, or perish.
Another game that fans of ancient Rome will love is Total War: Attila.
The final chapter of the Total War Rome series, Attila takes place during the fall of the Roman Empire. You become part of a massive army that seeks to reclaim what is rightfully theirs and to defend themselves from oncoming disaster.
An accurate description of what a typical battle looks like in Total War: Attila.
True to classic medieval combat, weapons range from sword & shield to bows to catapults. You must rely on your army - soldier by soldier - to back you up during epic battles and also need to keep an eye on your allies to ensure you aren't losing too many men.
Victory awaits those who stride valiently. Death awaits the weak-minded enemy.
Other than combat you can enjoy this Dark Age gem by taking part in political feuds, upgrading the city's buildings and businesses and even commanding (and upgrading) the military. You can also command troops in a map-style battlefield to ensure you capture areas beneficial to your army.
Total War: Atilla encapsulates the entirety of medieval warfare in a visually rewarding way.
A massive brawl in Medieval II: Total War
Medieval II: Total War is a similar experience, bringing massive crowds of soldiers onto life-sized battlefields and allowing you to control their movement and attacks. The game features massive catapults, trebuchets, different tactical options and a huge array of units to choose from.
It sort of feels like Age of Empires II on steroids, with constant action and brutal victories.
2. Ryse: Son of Rome
Roman Soldiers faced adversity regularly. As expected when one must defend the greatest empire of all time.
Now I'd like to introduce a game that made me jump in excitement when I initially found out about it. That game is Ryse: Son of Rome. It takes place over 2,000 years ago, when emperors like Marcus Aurelius ruled the great city.
Aid your emperor in his political battles and you may be rewarded.
Ancient Rome is absolutely fascinating. From gladiatorial combat - where the most powerful slaves were made to fight wild beasts like lions and tigers, to Machiavellian politics, the city of Rome was a sight to behold in its prime.
Ryse: Son of Rome lets you experience this amazing world of emperors and warriors. The game is played in third person and features a combat system that isn't exactly unique, but vibrant and fun to watch. You fight enemies with a sword and shield and when they reach low enough health you can perform execution-style attacks.
It may take you a bit to get accustomed to the camera view during combat in Ryse: Son of Rome
These executions are automated, similar to Fallout's headshots and killing blows. Once you get the target to low enough HP it is an auto-kill. This is a bit repetitive throughout the game but always exciting to watch.
In the end Ryse: Son of Rome doesn't disappoint. Stunning visuals and enticing combat mean every encounter will grip your attention from start to end.
1. Mount and Blade Warband
Mount and Blade: Warband features interesting on-mount combat that adds a whole new layer to medieval games.
After a rough launch, Mount and Blade carved its path to greatness and became a game worthy of your time.
The new stand-alone Warband game delivers on previous promises made by the studio and offers new multiplayer modes and a solo campaign. The world is massive and open, allowing you to explore whatever area you see fit.
It has a Elder Scrolls-esque feel to it, with quests and objectives that share many similarities, but it is not as graphically entertaining as TES. The single player content is fun but nothing special - the real fun is in the multiplayer.
A more traditional approach to warfare is taken. You'll find yourself in situations such as these often.
With several multiplayer game modes like Team Deathmatch, Conquest and Capture the Flag there are several strategic ways to take on other players. Pair up with teammates to time attacks on enemies, push back your foes and inevitably execute every last one of them.
Fluid controls make combat extremely fun and engaging. You will react to oncoming blows naturally without the need to fumble over awkward controls or get used to new button layouts. The game is made to pick up and play which has led to a large online following.
The game's simple UI and controls let you pick up and play without confusion.
Mount and Blade: Warband is a game you can get lost in way too easily. One minute you're having your morning coffee and exploring grassy fields - then all of a sudden it's 4:00 AM and the sun is about to come back up.
I hope you enjoyed 11 Best Medieval Games To Play in 2016 and sincerely hope you try out some of these titles, as they're plenty of fun and all a nice addition to the genre.
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