As a fan of the old Kingdom Under Fire games, I constantly lament the fact that there will never be another instalment of the highly addictive strategic hack and slash other than a MMO that will probably never hit Oceania. Luckily, For Honor looks like the closest thing we will get to a spiritual successor, with Ubisoft’s surprise hit being easily one of the best games at E3.
In an in-depth demo we went hands on with two major levels in the game. The first being the first main tutorial mission, and the second taking place well into the main game, depicting a beach invasion of Vikings against Samurai.The visuals and presentation astound from the start; with a cutscene of Viking boats crashing onto a beach raining arrows, it’s straight out of a big budget movie, and just as spectacular. This is as game that truly uses it’s budget, and it’s a real shame that the voice acting is simply not up to scratch, especially compared to the cutscenes and visuals. Dialogue is delivered in very flat tones, there is very little emotion behind anything, and turning point moments fall flat due to the almost comedic nature of the voices.
It’s a real shame because they take away from the bombastic nature of the spectacular visuals, which easily could be Ubisoft’s best looking game yet. Character models, attack animations, background environments and swarms and swarms of enemies make this game look absolutely spectacular. The very fact that you can walk right into these huge set pieces and kill every single one of these enemies is immensely satisfying. The level of carnage feels similar to Dynasty Warriors, but it looks about ten times better.In terms of gameplay, this is where For Honor really shines. I compared it to Kingdom Under Fire earlier, and while this is true to a point, it doesn’t carry the strategic elements that KUF is known for. Rather, allies are automatically controlled to attack or follow, and the bulk of the strategy comes from the in-depth combat system.