History denied us a fight between the sons of Odin, the defenders of justice and the warriors of art, but Ubisoft have given us the chance, in the form of For Honor, to step into the shoes of these legendary fighters and what shoes they are.
For Honor is an action fighting game set during a medieval period inspired fantasy setting. Players can play as a character from three different factions, The Legion (Knights), The Chosen (Samurai), and The Warborn (Vikings). Each faction has four classes each with their own strengths and weaknesses; the Vanguard, the Assassin, the Heavy and the Hybrid.
When I first played For Honor at Gamescom 2016 I was blown away at how easy the combat was. The UI was easy to understand, the third-person view gave great spacial awareness to the battlefield and it perfectly filled the great gaming catchphrase: “easy to learn, hard to master”.
What really makes the game is the AI. Now AI in most video games is either too difficult or too easy for most players, whereas in For Honor the AI seems to be reactive to the player’s skill. I have spoken to quite a few people who have played the game and each of them say that the AI is tough but not too tough. Now some people reading this will say that the players that I talked to were all about the same level of skill but I want to say (without naming names) that some of the players are not that good at the game, but ultimately according to the players that I spoke to, the AI provides a good challenge.
When it comes to customisation, armour is something that you don’t think that you can do much with, but then you’re not Ubisoft. With the armour, you can massively customise you desired warrior in any way you desire. From patterns crafted into the armour to ornaments on your weapons there will always be something that will set your fighter apart from the rest.
The levelling system is something that I like about For Honor. With the levelling system, you level up the individual warrior by playing them, but unlike some multiplayer games the only thing that you get by levelling up are customisation items and ability perks. This means that no matter when you start the multiplayer or how good you are at the multiplayer; the level of your opponent means nothing apart from how much they have played that warrior.
The story takes you on a journey in the lands of The Legion where you learn the secrets of the Black Stone Legion, a faction wanting perpetual war to embrace their heritage and to weed out the weak from the strong. It then progresses to the Northern lands of The Warborn, where your might is tested against the bickering Northern tribes and you must succeed in uniting your kin to ensure your survival. Setting your sights on the prosperous lands of The Chosen, where the people there are divided in a bloody power struggle which will determine if their art will live on or wash away in the tides of war.
When starting the story, you have four options, your traditional easy, medium and hard, and the new realistic setting. In this setting the AI is at its best using all of the abilities with good skill and tactics, the UI is completely removed forcing you to read your opponent’s moves and time your attacks and parries so that they don’t get the best of you.
The multiplayer in concept is great, but due to the loss of lots of For Honors’ player base and the seemingly poor matchmaking, the multiplayer is severely lacking. There is a wide variation of game modes for you to sink your teeth into but other aspects such as the Faction war feel disconnected from overall gameplay. Because everyone can choose their own faction one side will always be more dominant than the other and the way to boost your faction is only accessible after each match, does not stack and is lost if you do not use them straight away. This essentially makes the Faction war useless and unless Ubisoft change that I do not see many people sticking with it.
In conclusion multiplayer at its core is good but some serious overhauls are needed to be made, especially in regards to the Faction war, matchmaking and game modes. The story aspect of the game is fantastic, it is both engaging and fun to play, with lots of colourful characters to meet along the way. The customisation of your warriors is immense with the different options you can choose from to really stand out in the fields of battle. Even though some aspects of the game do let it down, For Honor is a really fun game to play and it is even more fun with friends.
If you have gotten this far we want to throw down the gauntlet and challenge you in glorious battle, send us a message on Xbox Live, we look forward to ending your lives and adding your skulls to our plinth of victory.