Well this game has been a breath of fresh air for some and a massive annoyance for those not able to pick up and understand the mechanics. It’s been out for a couple weeks now so I decided to give my thoughts and opinion of Ubisoft’s latest game For Honor. For those of you wondering why a science fiction author would blog about a video game featuring medieval warriors fighting each other there are a couple reasons. One, we have in this game three factions of warriors who did in fact exist in overlapping time frames but one faction in particular is using wooden armor which technically should be out of use by the 11th century so it qualifies, but it is a game after all. I am only citing it because it’s an interesting observation, and two, I happen to play games as well as write and would like to have more than just movie reviews on my web site. Diversity of content is a good thing.
First lets talk about the premise of the campaign. There’s a natural disaster that influences a massive depletion of resources forcing infighting among three factions of warriors. The knights, vikings, and samurai. There’s a character named Apollyon who takes an army to defeat the Vikings destroying enough of their resources to force them to fight each other over the scraps until they turn their eyes to the samurai as a possible source to pillage. You don’t get to play all the heroes for each faction during the campaign but it’s broken up into three different parts as you do at least play using heroes from all three factions. This serves as a good tutorial in addition to the in menu basic and advanced tutorials for each hero. The story is so so but can be more fun if you have an online friend who is willing to join in co-op to unlock customization options for finishing on the highest difficulty realistic which takes away the UI on your HUD which would normally ask you to change your stance or guard according to white/red indicators showing you what stance your opponent is in so you know which direction to block or parry. On realistic difficulty you have to pay close attention to your opponents stance as there will be no other clues forthcoming. This will be really useful for when you decide to jump into the multi-player modes.
You choose to join one of the three factions which at the time have four heroes broken down into four categories, vanguard, heavy, assassin, and hybrids. Each have their own particular positives and negatives which you can take advantage of my seeing which one meshes better with your preferred play style. Regardless of which faction you choose you can play with the heroes from the other factions. In between matches depending on which faction you’re a part of you can deploy war assets to help your team dominate, and at the end of each season the winning faction will be rewarded. I have yet to see what that is yet. If you’re wondering I am with the Samurai though I do like to play with the Raider from the vikings and am now learning Lawbringer from the knights. Another interesting feature is that the weather will change according to which faction is currently leading.
I have heard people mention there are five different modes but to me there are really only three so after you’ve finished the campaign and both basic and advanced tutorial modes with your hero of choice it’s time to jump into the multi-player which is the meat of this game. It’s also where the fight mechanics shine. There are 1v1 duels, 2v2 brawls, 4v4 elimination or skirmish matches, and finally 4v4 dominion. The 1v1 mode is where you go if you think you’re good and want a challenge. The games can get really intense especially if you’re opponent is good skill wise as well as having awareness of the environment. Environmental kills can be equally satisfying when you get one and overly frustrating you are repeatedly the victim of them. 2v2 matches can be just as fun as long as you have a good partner. If you have a partner that is repeatedly killed 20 seconds into the round here is where you will see if your opponents have any honor or not which can lead to some pretty salty moments. Most of the time during 2v2’s the opponent will dispatch your partner and the observe you fighting their partner. Other times they will back you into a corner and commence taking turns mollywhopping you repeatedly until one of them can perform an execution only to then jointly t-bag and pelvic thrust ad nauseum over your fresh corpse.
In the 4v4 modes forget honor altogether. In dominion there are three capture points your team has to take control over for 100 points each. First team to 1000 then has to eliminate the other team. There are also NPC minions there to simply be annihilated in an attempt to control the center point. There are also feats or abilities you can earn and unlock as you get more kills which add a different dynamic in 4v4 modes like smoke bombs, arrow or catapult volleys or buffs for your teammates and debuffs for enemies that come into your sphere of influence while a feat is active. I almost forgot to mention, be aware of your stamina bar! You cannot swing perpetually if you do you will feel like a slow clawless cat while your opponent or opponents bludgeon you repeatedly leading to the morbid dance featured above. To me the game can be equal parts fun and addictive for it’s gameplay, graphics and team based strategy, to incredibly frustrating when you feel four people t-ing off on you, glitches and other issues from networking problems. Dedicated servers need to be used and hopefully Ubisoft will listen to the growing community for this game and implement them. There have been a few times where I am in my shining moment finally, about to witness my coup de grace only to have my opponent teleport. Replaced by a bot with full health who proceeds to destroy me.
The great thing though is that despite the shortcomings of this game, I wipe away the salty tears and am compelled to continue playing for the highly enjoyable moments it gives me and a few friends who like to get together and lop some heads off. It is great fun and hopefully Ubisoft will only add to its enjoyment. All DLC will be free (season pass owners just get access a week earlier) so the community won’t be divided. I highly recommend this game if you’re into skill based fighters that revel in defeating your opponents in the most technical fashion or even if you like hiding around corners waiting to bait someone so you can throw them into spikes or off a ledge. There’s something for everyone here unless you’re solely into a campaign experience which is present but deep enough to hold your interest for long. What are your opinions of this game so far? Leave a comment below. Until next time!