PAX East, two unlikely contenders stood out. They weren't indie darlings or supported by the donations of Kickstarter enthusiasts. And they weren't first-person shooters, nor character action games set against historic backdrops. Both games – Fatshark's War of the Roses and Torn Banner's Chivalry: Medieval Warfare – are about as far from my usual radar as games go. That was until I played them, of course.
Both Chivalry and WotR are set in (you guessed it) medieval times, though neither employs its setting much beyond a backdrop. The games are multiplayer-focused affairs; neither has any sort of single-player campaign. Given the backdrop, you might assume multiplayer to be of the Mount & Blade variety. You'd be wrong.
Both games are vicious, fast, and, most importantly, accessible. These are not the sim medieval combat affairs of many Paradox Interactive-published games. These are arcade-style medieval combat games, presented in first- and third-person perspectives, and they're like nothing else I've played in the past few years.