Mordhau – Game Review

Mordhau is a Kickstarter funded indie game developed and published by Triternion. It features large 64 vs 64 player battles in a medieval landscape in which players battle in bloody melee combat. Mordhau doesn’t have a single player campaign, however, this doesn’t bother me too much as it has a pretty solid multiplayer and allows players to do single player battles with the AI. The game is a bit buggy at times, but Triternion seems to be fully devoted to making this game the best it can be.

Official Trailer

As mentioned previously, Mordhau is primarily a multiplayer game. It features a variety of modes, divided between Frontlines, Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Battle Royal, and Horde mode. In Frontlines, players engage in large battles to capture control points on the map, kind of like a supremacy mode in Battlefront, it also features a ticket system similar to that of Battlefield.

Game modes

Team Deathmatch and Deathmatch are all out bloodbaths. There are also Duel Servers in the community, where people go 1 vs 1, and don’t interrupt each other’s battles. This is one of the most fun things to do in the game. Though well made and fun, I haven’t cared too much for the Battle Royal or Horde modes. In short, all the game modes are well made, but some such as Frontlines and Deathmatch are better than others.

One of Mordhau’s biggest strength is its combat system. It is simple to learn but is incredibly hard to master. To put it bluntly, there is a substantial learning curve, however, it is not the biggest learning curve out there. The combat system allows players to swing from all directions, stab, parry, and even faint and repost.

One of the best parts about Mordhau’s combat is that it isn’t limited to just these mechanics. One aspect is that blade is actually there throughout the entire swing, anything that is in the way actually does get hit. This allows players to do more complex moves such as Drag and Accels. You can even press R to activate the weapons second mode; it may be throwing, reloading half-swording, and for some weapons, you Mordhau grip it.  This makes Mordhau’s combat deep and complex and ensures that skill is the main factor in determining who will win a fight.

To couple with this, Mordhau’s movement system is mediocre, however, it gets the job done. The main good movement mechanics require the player to put points into perks when creating loadouts. Simply, it is hard to have a good weapon and perks and good armor. However, this is for balancing reasons, maybe if certain perks like dodge were a bit cheaper, they’d be more widely used.

This brings me to the loadouts, I like how it’s done, it gives the player a set number of points to choose what class of armor, what weapon and what perks they want. Players have 16 points, so (for example) an all heavy armor with a great sword loadout would cost around 16 points (cosmetics play no role in the point system or gameplay other than looking cool). This enables balance, as some weapons (such as the Halberd Spear, Zweihander, and other weapons are incredibly good and would be even more devastating if the user had substantial armor. There is also a wide variety of weapons to choose from. There is also ranged combat, but it is very hard to master.

Mordhau’s visuals are pretty good. There is a nice variety of maps, some are better than others, but in my opinions, none are bad. The all look pretty well detailed and are quite colorful. All of the weapons have great modeling, the armor looks great too. However, at times a weapon (which is on your back) may clip through your armor when you’re running.

The gore in this game is amazing and really helps the atmosphere. This is especially true when your blade and armor are covered in blood and you look like you’re on the opposite team. This brings me to my next point, there is quite a lot of team killing in this game, mostly because of the close quarters melee combat which makes it hard to control swings (leading to accidental team kills), sometimes because of toxicity and other times due to people disguising themselves like they’re on the other team (which is quite annoying) or sometimes because it looks like you’re on the wrong team (mostly because of blood).

That is if ping isn’t playing too much of a role, which more often than not, it is. The servers aren’t great, and the main problem is that high ping will seriously affect your gameplay, especially in this game as you may be unable to parry and makes it almost impossible to repost with accuracy. The game runs ok, no spectacular optimization. I am able to get around 50 to 70 frames in the game, however, it has crashed on occasion and manages to freeze up in the worst time possible.

In conclusion, Mordhau is a great game with a lot of depth and complexity in its combat system. It has great visuals (not spectacular, but not bad) with very good gore. Furthermore, it has a good atmosphere and a decent variety of maps. Moreover, it has a great dev team who enact changes and actually listen to community feedback and implement good suggested changes into the game. Mordhau does suffer from a few issues though. For one, perks don’t play a huge role, and some are very lackluster. Moreover, there are quite a bit of server issues and at times frame issues which can make the game unplayable. Overall, I think Mordhau is pretty well made, and I am thoroughly enjoying playing it with my friends. In my opinion, it’s worth its price of $30, so I’m giving it a 7.5/10, and an 8/10 at anything around $20.

Final Score: 7.5/10

Plays way too many games and should probably sleep more.

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Aditya Rao

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