For Honor is a recently released hack and slash, action, fighting video game developed by Ubisoft and playable across PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC. Set in a medieval fantasy world, players take on the role of historical warriors, choosing a character from three different factions: the knights, vikings and samurai.
Each faction within the game is comprised of four unique classes, the Vanguard, the Assassin, the Heavies and the Hybrids. The Vanguard is said to be balanced with excellent offensive and defensive skills. The Assassins are quick and efficiently take out enemies, however deals less damage compared to other classes. The Heavies are fairly resistant to damage and are the perfect class to use to capture and hold capture points in the game. However, their attack speeds are slow and can be countered relatively easily. The last class, the Hybrid, consist of a combination of characteristics of the other three classes, with the additional ability of being able to utilise uncommon skills.
Played from a third-person perspective, players engage in combat with their opponents using class-specific melee weapons. By performing certain actions and meeting objectives, players are able to earn Feats, perks within the game which allow for additional points and strengths.
One of the unique concepts built into the game is the ‘Art of Battle’, a tactical combat system which activates upon meeting other players or AI characters in the game. This system is activated to provide players with a real sense of the weight of their weapons. For example, the game actually allows you to feel the lightness and swift efficiency of a katana sword.
For Honor includes both a single-player campaign and a multiplayer mode. I haven’t had the chance to play through the single-player campaign but from the gameplay I have seen and comments from others, the game’s single-player campaign lacks in novelty despite setting up an interesting premise. This is unfortunate for a gamer like myself who tends to prefer easing into a game via single-player campaigns before delving into the more challenging multiplayer modes.
Like the single-player campaign, the multiplayer mode also includes AI minions, perks and the Art of Battle system, however, it also includes a friendly fire feature which results in players being able to damage their own team-mates accidentally.
The multiplayer mode and its engaging combat system is essentially what hooks gamers and makes For Honor the unique and exciting game that it is. What I enjoyed most about the game is that it allows for all kinds of gamers to enjoy the game, whether beginner or more experienced, and the aspect of the game which takes its mechanics from fighting games, which I personally am a fan of.
Another aspect of the game which I particularly enjoyed is that the game challenges not only the beginners but also the seasoned pro gamers. Having to pay close attention to an enemy’s guard and stance while varying your own strikes to combat your opponent can be tiring. A simple block just doesn’t cut it in this game and it truly encourages players to experience what a real life sword-fight would be like, which includes planning ahead, strategising and predicting your enemy’s moves ahead of time.
Visually, For Honor is stunning and truly emphasises the strength, courage and power each of the three factions bring to the table. The armour is by far one of the sharpest looking in-game armours that I’ve seen so far, and the ability to customise outfits and armour is fun.
For Honor, as a novel multiplayer game, certainly is one which is likely to grow in popularity over time. With an interesting and complex combat system, this is a game which allows for both beginners and seasoned gamers to enjoy at almost the same level, initially. Though the multiplayer is where the game shines, the amount of grinding does get tiresome, and it’s rather lacklustre single-player campaign is where the game falls short, for me personally. However, there’s still much more to discover with For Honor and it certainly is a game which rewards its players, so I won’t be closing the book off just yet. Hopefully, with more practice, I’ll get the combat mechanics down and be able to ‘use my hands’ so to speak and ‘feel’ the effects of the fight.