So let’s be honest, the simple idea of having a Samurai, a knight, and a Viking fight is a little kid’s wildest dream. Now in For Honor, Ubisoft is making this dream a reality, and quite frankly, most of us at the multiplayer session pretty much fell in love with what we were playing in an instant.

After having Ubisoft put us in set-ups of 4V4, we were first introduced to the game through a quick tutorial. A tutorial, you say? That must’ve not been needed? Well, quite frankly, we would’ve been lost without it. Giving us a crash course of For Honor’s in-depth combat system, it’s quickly clear that the game is anything but a button masher, as we start by learning to defend ourselves from danger.Screenshots_0003_FH_screen_RAIDER_GC_160817_920am_1471354577Attacking and blocking in For Honor is done in three general directions. First, you look onto the opponent of choice (this only applies to actual players) and then you’ll either have to hit or block from one of the three directions, which keeps you alert constantly. Especially in hectic situations with lots of enemies on screen, it becomes a real challenge to act and react to your player enemies and I mean this in the absolute best way possible. For Honor’s combat is incredibly hard to master but it’s incredibly satisfying, which helps the fact that the game consists of a lot of trial and error in the early stages, even in the tutorial for some. It’s simply not a case of press A to win and that’s what makes the combat so engaging because mastering it is an art and at the end of a match you really feel like you deserve the win. What is especially rewarding is breaking an opponent’s defense as you proceed to tackle them to the ground and deliver a potentially fatal blow.

What about the game mode in the session in question? For this behind closed doors demo, we were put into a domination-type situation, where the first team to reach 1000 points and eliminate the entire enemy team wins. Sounds easy enough, but reaching the 1000 point goal isn’t as easy as it sounds. With the loss of one of the control points, the accompanying 100 points from the last capture go along with it, which creates situations where your immense advantage is nullified as the losing team turns the tide, which is sometimes well beyond one, if not both teams cross the 1000 point mark. This intensity was amplified by the intriguing map design, with our middle capture point B serving as a bottlenecked slaughterhouse that pretty much symbolized the heavy power struggle that was going on.Screenshots_0001_FH_screen_WARDEN_VS_OROCHI_GC_160817_920am_1471354583But the 8 players weren’t alone in this chaotic battle, as hordes of AI allies and enemies accompanied us in battle creating a hectic yet awfully personal experience where you truly felt every blow that you dealt and received. You feel powerful and mighty as you mow through the hordes of AI enemies, but once you get into a player v player situation the game changes to a power struggle where the tides can change with one simple mistake that gives you or your opponent the upper hand. Every bit of damage dealt feels satisfying but every bit of damage received also feels deserved.

A lot of expectations have been set for For Honor as both a single and multiplayer game, but the game definitely moved up on my most-anticipated list for 2017 as the game delivered one of the most satisfying combat systems I’ve ever laid my hands on and one of the most satisfying multiplayer matches that I’ve ever come to play, which was honestly a high bar that I didn’t expect the game to pass beforehand.

For Honor launches next year, though Ubisoft has opened signups for the Alpha and Beta stages of the game that will take place up to the release.