Download the free demo of Ethereal if youre into historically accurate medieval combat action

Lots of games take place in medieval settings, butdespite all theknightly armor and weapons, most of these games don’t even come close torecreating the details ofauthentic medieval combat.Indie developerTeam Ethereal (opens in new tab)hopes tofill that void for blood-thirsty medieval fantasy fanswith its multiplayer-only medieval combat sim, Ethereal.

Medieval design tends to automatically look generic at first glance these days, but Ethereal sets itself apart. First, Team Ethereal, through the help of theSociety for Creative Anachronism (opens in new tab)(SCA),painstakingly (or rather, painfully)researched the details of real medieval warfareto get the combat historically correct.Let’s get one thing straight: tothink that SCA is just a bunch of LARPers would be profoundly ignorant. Nay, even to say that these people aren’t messing around would be an understatement. SCA makes all other forms of war reenactment look like baby play time. These people use real, historically accurate weapons and armor (sword blades are made of rattanfor safety, but approximate the weight of a steel blade) in skirmishes consistingof hundreds of combatants.

Above: Team Ethereal mounted a camera ontoa shield and took it into battle to gather data for Ethereal

Armed with data from real-life battles,the developers applied that knowledge to the gameplay,focusing the combatonreal-time physics hits to make the action more realistic. We’re not just talking about blugeoning vs piercing damage – your position and angle relative to your enemy makes all the difference when attacking and defending. You can’t just go in swinging willy-nilly, but rather you must use a bit of strategy to find your enemy’s weak spot and exploit it, while also defending yourself.

Ethereal ismultiplayer-only, and allows up to 16 on 16 battles in its Counter-Strike stylerounds.If you’re ready to meleeyour way to victory, you can trythe betafor yourselfhere (opens in new tab).

Jul 5, 2011

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