Having played the first installment of the 'War of' games for over 800 hours one might be inclined to call me a fan of the style of game Paradox had created and I was hugely enthusiatic about the next chapter in what could be a blossoming franchise.
However, (and this is taking into account the game is still in beta as I write this) the game has failed miserably in delivering an improved performance and gaming experience on the previous game. This is a watered down version of War of the Roses, but by no means does that make it easy. Hitboxes are non-existent as the game is all about movement of you body postion rather than skill/precision of aiming your weapon and feinting attacks. Consequently if you get average FPS (like me) then you need to steer well clear of this title as smoothness is imperative.
FIghting mechanics seemed to have had a huge overhaul in WotV, which isn't necessarily a good thing. There are 3 ways to attack (when in melee combat) instead of the 4 in WotR and there are perks that can give you 'autoblock' for one specific direction, taking the total number of ways to concentrate on to 2. You also have the ability to carry out special attacks, which if connect give insta-kills (or so I believe). Thanks to the above the game provides no real satisfaction when killing an opponent (during melee), as you don't feel like it materialized through your in-game education or skill progression, but rather came about thanks to the hack and slash elements of the game. Don't get me wrong, there is skill in EVERY game, but it isn't a skill that inspires you to learn more, want more and basically....play more.
Ranged wise the game has got similarities to WotR and there wasn't a desperate need for change, as the ranged system was smooth and worked well. It was satisfying and still is, with the addition of throwing weapons like axes etc it has added another string to it's bow, so to speak, so all in all ranged is pretty good.
In addition to the new implementations on the ranged side of things, customization has also been given a boost. Though so far I haven't seen anywhere near the weapon count of WotR, having said that it is in beta and will almost certainly be getting more content as the game develops. Nevertheless customizing the look of your character is still good. Capes, beards and helmets are all included as is the look of you clothes...I think.
Graphically the game is still pretty nice, I am not sure if it is as good as the previous game, but that is something YOU should make your mind up on. Although let it be said it certainly isn't bad!
There are issues with server drop outs and total game crashes, which one would hope to see ironed out when the final product is released. However I wouldn't hold your breath as these issues are a known problem on WotR and have so far been overlooked in every patch release.
In all honesty on a personal note I was hoping for a re-skin of War of the Roses with maybe a few new features chucked in, whilst seeing some of the bugs and glitches addressed. Unfortunately that was not the case, and instead of getting a very in depth, hand to hand combat game like it's predecessor, we were provided with a competitor to Chivalry for the people who have an ephemeral attention span, want a quick fix and nothing more. It does have some new features which are nice, but the core of the game is just poo.
For the discerning consumer out there, do youself a favour and give War of the Roses a try (and give it some time) or, if you want a quick fix go for Chivalry, but don't waste your hard earned cash on this sloppy execution of a game. For people wanting and expecting War of the Roses part 2, forget it, it is a completely different game. For those wanting a Chivalry emulator, snap this puppy up and spam until your hearts content.
In conclusion, a thoroughly disappointing game. Essentially it is all geared towards a fast paced, hack and slash game rather than the slower, more realistic fighting we came to love (and loathe) on WotR. Given time I am sure that improvements will be made, but addressing the core fighting mechanics is essential and unfortunately that is not going to happen.