Mordhau REVIEW

Mordhau’s flagship mode. It’s a 64-player team-based battle in which you progressively capture control points on large maps, pushing the enemy back to their spawn. The scale and variety of these maps is impressive: each has a distinct look, from the white hills of Mountain Peak—the blood glistening on the snow has a certain morbid beauty—to the muddy battlefield of Camp, the largest map. My favourite among the four is Grad, in which one team spawns in a walled keep and the other in a wood across a field. Between them are towers with spiral staircases, ladders, log huts, stacks of hay and a lumber mill, each offering different tactical options.

Most of Mordhau’s modes are team-based frays, but its one-on-one duel servers best expose the brilliance of its medieval melee combat system. You can stab, you can strike from different angles by flicking your mouse, you can feint, “morph” from one type of attack to the other mid-swing, or “chamber” an opponent’s attack by matching the angle of their blade for an instant counter.

It’s initially overwhelming. I learned the mouse movements in an afternoon, but knowing when to use each move took me far longer, and I spent my first five hours dying repeatedly. During that time I wished Mordhau had a more in-depth tutorial so I could learn by playing instead of turning to YouTube guides.

However, once I’d realised the importance of holding my nerve against an enemy’s feints I started to improve quickly, learning from my mistakes in each duel and turning tricks that had once worked on me back on my opponents (as demonstrated above).

That feeling of constant skill progression keeps me coming back. Nearly 30 hours in, I’m still picking up new combos of feints and morphs, and I’ve spent whole evenings fighting opponents in the same duel server without getting bored.
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