This article will be discussing For Honor, it may contain spoilers for some areas of the game.
Ubisoft comes swinging out the gate with this Action filled hack & slash title. Featuring 12 different classes based upon the roles of historical soldiers from 3 different factions, For Honor offers a different take medieval era fighting. With several different class types spread out among the Knights, Samurai, and Vikings, will the player be able to reclaim peace or further fuel the raging war set forth by Apollyon?
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, Playstation 4 & Xbox One
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Price: 60 USD
This title not only sets the player in a third-person immersive medieval fantasy perspective, but it also allows them to adhere to their playstyles with multiple different customizable options. The 3 factions represent 3 different armies from the medieval time setting. The Legion, The Chosen, and The Warborn each have 4 different classes spread out amongst the knights, samurai, and vikings respectively.
- Vanguards – Well balanced, offering a solid defense as well as offense.
- Assassins – A combination of fast attacks and strong dueling capabilities, but has weaker attacks.
- Heavies – The slowest of the classes, but ultimately the strongest. Yielding high damage resistance and slow movement, the Heavies also swing the hardest and are useful with tank-like tactics.
- Hybrids – A combination of all three classes and offers its own uncommon skills/attacks.
Every hero will have his/her own special fighting skills, weapons, as well feat combinations to be utilized in or out of combat.
Ubisoft introduces a new feature within For Honor called “Art of Battle”. This feature adds a strategic approach to combat, enabling the player to perform various combinations and attacks upon encountering an opposing enemy Hero. When initiated, the player will enter a duel-like stance, with a main focal point with three different offensive/defensive position stances: from the left, from above and from the right. By utilizing on-screen hints and animations, the player will select a stance to block against attacks as well as a counter stance to inflict damage. Mastering this system and combining it with baiting, as well as guard breaks, will be essential to combat. Though the lower health enemies will be easily dispatched with light attacks, the Heros and other higher health enemies will take different combinations to succeed in battle. Each character will have different approaches to combat allowing for the player to experience different play styles and methods of offensive and defensive approaches.
The Single Player:
An all out war between the 3 factions, The Legion, The Chosen and The Warborn (knights, samurai, and vikings respectively), begins for resources and territories only to be further fueled by the antagonist, Apollyon. Apollyon is a warlord seeking full-blown war between the 3 factions. Within the campaign, you’ll see the manipulation that is encouraged, as well humanity’s last defense to stop this war. Unfolding from many different perspectives, spreading out across each faction, the player will witness the events leading up to the never ending conflict that has arisen.
Following suit to the Single Player experience, the combat mechanisms will be identical, this time around it’s mixed with A.I. as well as other players. In addition to the “Art of Battle” combat system, the player will also unlock different feats and abilities that are varied among the different classes. The player can accidently damage their own teammate during combat, furthering the immersion of war as well as team up against other Heros.
Featuring an intensive customization system, the player will acquire different parts and armor, fully exploiting the options to build their character set-ups to better suit their experience. Customization for cosmetic and animations appearances are offered as well, ranging from different taunts, executions, and weapon & armor appearances. After each match, the player will scavenge the battlefield, often scoring different pieces of armor or weapons.
- 1v1 Duel – This game mode is the one that is mainly based on skill rather than character selection. Though upgrades throughout the game may change the way the player approaches combat, overall success will lie with the player’s ability to time their defensive and offensive interactions.
- 2v2 Brawl – Players team up in squads of two and face off in an even more brutal take on 1v1 Duel. By utilizing different tactics, the player can essentially keep reviving his fallen comrade until the opposing team is cut down. This game mode becomes especially more challenging when a teammate is slain and the player is left fighting the 2 enemies alone
- Skirmish – A 4×4 deathmatch that pits the player against other opposing players and A.I. bots. Not only is the experience of the 2v2 Brawl is doubled, lower health enemies are also thrown in to offer a experience similar to Dominion, but with more focus on dispatching each other as opposed to controlling points.
- 4v4 Dominion – In this game mode 4 players (or a mixture of A.I.) will team up against a team of 4 players or bots in a race to earn the most points. Players earn points by capturing and holding various points while fighting and defeating the other players and team. Once the score cap is hit, the winning team is tasked with hunting down the remaining opposing members and killing them.
Depending on the player’s outcome during multiplayer matches, War Assets can be distributed and deployed to help their Faction turn the tides. The Faction War will determine which maps are played and their appearance, as well as offer better victory items to the players that secure the most Assets. The rounds for The Faction Wars last two weeks, with updates happening every 6 hours to distinguish controlled territories and losing fronts. Every victory and Asset deployment will attribute to the player’s success within their Faction.
Final Judgement: 72%
For Honor delivered an intense competitive experience that offers historical fighting personalized to the player’s desire. Depending on the player’s overall progress, they can help their Faction win and reap even more benefits of the game. Maintaining a decent fun factor, the maps are well detailed and differ for each faction; though, there aren’t many choices, leaving the gameplay to almost become tedious after continuous play. With a title having such a strong focal point on multiplayer, I was expecting a bit more. The story within the campaign was lackluster and just incorporates the multiplayer experience with dialogue, in my opinion. The Realistic mode proved to be a great challenge, essentially eliminating the indicator bar of the enemy’s attack and forcing the player to learn the body animations. The overall experience with combat is fluid and invigorating but ultimately it grows repetitious once you start understanding the meta of the game.
- An invigorating combat system
- Deep customization
- Brutal executions as well as challenging combinations
- Few multiplayer modes and maps
- Lackluster Campaign
- Minimal Replayability
Graphics – 13/15
The overall graphics are well done and extremely detailed. Different attacks will result in various damages and wounds that will appear on the armor. Executions can be performed if the player is able to take down an opposing Hero with a heavy attack. This will often be a brutal animation in which the player dismembers or kills the Hero in a graphic manner. The historical art values maintained a sense of realism and encourage a more immersive experience in the medieval setting.
Sound – 11/15
The ambient sounds of combat provide an exhilarating experience and furthers the mood of battle. The voice acting had it’s moments, where it both shined as well as fell under par. The OST complimented the game well in terms of providing moments of distress and encouragement during battle.
Gameplay – 20/25
The gameplay offers simple controls in a complex atmosphere, allowing the player to virtual handle combat however they see fit. The progression of the story and multiplayer will allow for stronger feats and abilities as the player earns more experience and encourages victory with rewards.
Replayability – 4/15
After completing the Single Player story, you can go back through and comb through the 3 different Faction chapters as well as attempt the Realistic difficulty (if you didn’t beat it already on that setting). No new post-game content or any new modes of play added.
Fun Factor – 24/30
This title brings historical fighting with 3 different cultures of warriors. The multiplayer offers a competitive experience that has deep customizations. While somewhat showing a realistic approach, there is some fantasy intermixed with it to show different elements of combat during medieval times.
Here is the official For Honor trailer! Stay tuned for our take on the upcoming DLC, which is supposed to add more content and rumored to reveal new Heroes!