Knights, Vikings, and Samurai, the holy trinity of the coolest warriors of history. With an all-star lineup of classes within each faction, there is something for everybody. This game pushes the limits to create some of the most intuitive combat experienced in recent times. For Honor does a fantastic job on playing to its own advantages and making the experience truly energetic. The combat mechanics make For Honor an “easy to pick up, hard to master” kind of game. And you really do feel these skill differences while playing. One moment you can be the most ruthless warrior on the battlefield, and the next thing you know, you’re watching your helpless character get brutally executed.
So what exactly is For Honor? Simply put, it is a fantasy-like fighting game that hits heavy on its competitive multiplayer. The three factions all offer their own unique playstyle, which in return, creates massive depth within its gameplay. The world of For Honor is set a millennium after a cataclysmic event where Knights, Vikings, and Samurai rose from the ashes of civilization, and thus war burns once again.
The game released last Valentine’s Day, gave thousands of people the opportunity to bask in the glory of battle instead of going on a dinner date with their significant other. And now that the flowers have been picked and the chocolates have been given, many more people will be asking if they too should play For Honor.
The strongest tool in For Honor’s arsenal is its combat. Hands down, this is what keeps you wanting more. It’s the basis of the game and it’s what makes For Honor so addicting. It makes you actually feel like you’re a noble Knight, facing off against a bloodthirsty Viking, knowing only one of you may make it out alive. For Honor’s combat system offers massive depth with hero classes, resource pools, an intuitive blocking system/attacking system, and class-specific combos that create so many different situations for players to encounter.
There’s so many variables that come into play when facing off against an enemy that truly make this game a skill-based fighter that is like no other. It is slower paced and gets you thinking. For Honor’s combat makes you be more wary of your opponent’s moves, as if you were actually dueling a warrior for honor and glory.
Although there are times when the game modes affect the combat to make it less enjoyable. The 4v4 game modes sometimes end with one man alive on a team and 3 enemies consecutively attacking the last man alive, thus usually resulting in a free round win for the team with the most players alive at the end. And although the combat does make it possible to perform a 1v3 comeback, it’s definitely a lot harder to do so. That being said, those comeback moments are the ones that make this game even more epic. There is nothing more gratifying than emoting over the corpses of your fallen enemies as you bask in victory.
The multiplayer itself features five different game modes. Dominion, a 4v4 team-based mode where your objective is to kill the enemy and capture special zones in order to dominate your opponent. There is also death-match game modes like Duel, Brawl, Skirmish, and Elimination. Some focusing on capture points, and some based purely on defeating the enemy. Although these differences may be minimal from game type to game type, you definitely feel the difference between a 1v1 duel and a 2v2 brawl. There’s more coordination involved depending on each one. It’s just enough of a difference to actually give the player a whole new experience.
However, the true feeling of glorious battle is strongly felt in the 1v1 duels, where you face off against one other player in a duel to the death. There are no other players to attack you while you’re in an honor duel. It feels a lot like a fighting game with the aesthetic of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare and these duels is where the core gameplay shines brightest. It focuses heavily on your mechanics and positioning while fighting, and ultimately leads to a truly epic experience of raw skill.
What makes these duels feel even more intense is that if you are facing off against an enormous Viking Raider with a battle-axe. You actually feel like you’re facing off against that hulking beast of a warrior. Each character looks and feels like how they fight. An Orochi Samurai looks and feels like an assassin. When facing one, you know that you are going to have to dodge and block his swift strikes, or else you’ll be punished. And if you are facing against a Conqueror with his strong defense, you know you’ll have to break it or else you’ll fall victim to this fortified Knight. The combat system alongside these unique characters are a match made in heaven. The multiplayer can sometimes be frustrating and unfair, but also has the potential to be glorious.
Some people hate the fact that other players can cheese their way through the revive system by running around collecting speed power ups to revive their fallen allies. This lead to a lot of frustration at first, but in return, can lead to a lot more communication between teammates (who are able to communicate) on how to counter this strategy.
With things like focusing executions, corpse guarding, and focusing power ups, this increased strategy and communication lead to me having a blast with the game modes. That being said, this doesn’t happen all the time. If you aren’t with your friends, and are playing with random people that don’t communicate, the feeling might be even more frustrating.
There are other problems though. Imagine facing off against a Knight. His sword gleaming in the light as you catch your breath, getting ready to strike him down with your Katana. You charge forward to face your enemy and then *POOF* “Please wait. Configuring session” is displayed on your screen as the game is paused due to the peer to peer network not functioning properly. This leads to frustrating game pauses and sometimes disconnects. These disconnects created a problem where a full health bot would replace a low healthy enemy. Luckily, Ubisoft announced on Reddit that they were fixing this issue to where nobody would face an unjust death due to their opponent disconnecting.
Initially, this lead to outrage as low health players would immediately be slain by a high health bot that replaced the player’s weak opponent. This was extremely frustrating to deal with as I myself have faced this problem. But it’s good that the developers are listening to the people and making these necessary changes. I have hope that they will fix some of these other multiplayer issues like the game pauses and disconnects, but as of right now, they are still in place.
If For Honor’s multiplayer was a juicy steak, then the campaign would be the salad on the side. It’s there, but it’s not as enticing. It’s easy to see where the effort shines brightest in For Honor, but that doesn’t mean the campaign is entirely useless. I noticed that the For Honor campaign was a good starting point for beginning players. It was easy, yet interesting. The gameplay mechanics are the same, but the AI is a lot easier. There are boss fights, however, that offer unique and interesting encounters where sometimes the map itself may determine if you live or die.
As for the quality of the story? Meh. The characters aren’t very interesting and are rather forgettable. The plot basis of the story isn’t all that well explained. All we know is that after a cataclysmic event, the three factions of Knights, Vikings, and Samurai rose up. And now a ruthless Warlord named Apollyon wants to bring about an age of war. I ended up finding myself questioning the motives of this character along with the rest of the characters involved in the story, and overall finding the plot rather lacking.
Besides the plot itself, the voice acting felt rather inconsistent. With some characters sounding totally awesome, and others sounding rather lackluster. What really got me was the in-game cinematics. When you take some of the coolest warriors of history, you know the cut scenes will be fantastic. And my gosh they were. The fighting, the stunts, the action, all of these variables made the cut scenes look so sleek and so cool. My favorite was early on playing as the Knights when a large fight broke out with Warlord Apollyon as she made quick waste of her enemies.
Overall, For Honor’s campaign is okay. It’s definitely not the sharpest blade in its kit, but it’s definitely a useful tool nonetheless. It’s a good way for people to learn how to get better at the game and prepare themselves for multiplayer. I’d have to say though, if you were considering buying For Honor specifically for the plot, you’d be wasting your money.
Overall, For Honor’s combat system is a breath of fresh air in multiplayer games. For Honor has really innovated with its gameplay and has delivered something that many people can enjoy. There are aspects of the game that players may find frustrating. From the chaotic messes of brawls, to frequent disconnects, For Honor has a blunt blade in its kit as well.
But the mere strength of the gameplay is enough to make players continue wanting more. The duels and other game modes are all unique in their own terms of strategy and skill. The freshness of the multiplayer and core gameplay make up for the lacking campaign. Given the sheer greatness of the multiplayer, I recommend this game for people looking for a fresh and exciting experience. To score it, I would give Ubisoft’s For Honor a 7.5 out of 10.