When I first heard about For Honor, I was ready to dismiss it as a pointless hack and slash attempting to cash in on the Dark Souls hype. It’s embarrassing to admit this given how wrong I was, and given how little I knew about the game, but having spent some serious time with For Honor, it’s obvious that Ubisoft have forged something special. But it’s something special that will grow over time that has a few more steps to take to be truly great.
While single player is not the focus of For Honor, there is a flimsy unapologetically stupid storyline to go with it that takes itself too seriously but still manages to work. After a magical fissure breaks the crust of the earth, a break in the space time continuum is formed and these warriors populate the planet from all realms of life. Knights, Vikings and Samurai – although existing in entirely different time periods – now exist together, and battle against each other. A warlord seeks to manipulate each faction to keep them fighting, too. It’s simple and unpretentious but it works to set the scene for For Honor’s concept.For Honor is a third person, medieval themed action game. Players choose their own class, of which there are thus far 12, from a team of knights, vikings or samurai. Each class has their own unique weapons, movesets and abilities as well as characteristics and features that ensures that they all play differently. They play so differently, in fact, that For Honor at times has more in common with a modern fighter than a typical multiplayer action game.
I say this because every character in For Honor has their own little idiosyncrasies. Their own intricacies that you’ll have to work out to play them effectively. A lot of that is hidden behind some (ironically) hidden tutorial videos that detail what each class can do and how, so it’s a huge recommendation that you put some time and thought into how you’ll play with the class you choose. Some are better at stunning players, others are better at guarding, while some might even be better at escaping. It’s for this reason that I recommend trying everyone in For Honor – the game lets you access them all from the get-go – before writing it off.The real meat of For Honor’s gameplay is what Ubisoft calls the “Art of Fighting” system. Essentially a glorified duelling combat system, it allows players to attack from three different directions as well as defend. Such a system sounds simplistic but adds a lot of depth and tension to every battle, especially against human opponents, where actions are as unpredictable as ever. It’s a simple system too – if your opponent is attacking from the left it’ll be a successful one unless you’re guarding in the same direction. Knowing when to attack is key – though unfortunately this means a lot of duels will just be staring contests until someone gets gutsy enough to make the first move.