For Honor Review

Description

For Honor is a hack-and-slash style game that draws elements from the fighting game genre to create a unique gameplay experience. It blends the two genres in a way that almost makes it a difficult game to genre while still being a clear ‘hack-and-slash’ game due to the use of medieval melee weapons.

The game is split between the main campaign and the multiplayer. It’s clear that the multiplayer is the focus of the game but the campaign also offers a nice experience while being a good teacher for the controls of the game.

For Honor is an interesting game that offers a quality experience however, it does run into som issues that drag the game down slightly.

For Honor Review

For Honor is a hack-and-slash style game that borrows elements from the classic fighting game genre. Ubisoft has done well to create a unique and fresh game that has plenty to offer players in both the multiplayer and the main campaign. While the overall game is great and highly enjoyable, there are some issues with the game which cannot be entirely overlooked.

Campaign

The campaign is the biggest let-down in the game. The story is relatively weak and isn’t very engaging so it feels a little bit rushed in places even as it slowly evolves. The good news however is the fact that this campaign can be played co-op with a second player over the internet. It provides a much better gameplay experience and the ability to replay the campaign at differently difficulty levels adds a high replay value to the main campaign.

The campaign is not a good enough reason to purchase this game alone but it is a nice addition however. The bulk of the game is the multiplayer which is well constructed.

Factions and Heroes

There are three factions in the game: Knights, Samurai and Vikings. Each faction in the game has four hero characters which also also divided into different class types. There are four classes in the game which dictate the role that character plays on the battlefield.

The four classes in the game are: Vanguard, Assassin, Heavy and Hybrid. The Vanguard is a good balance of all attributes while the Assassin class excels at counter-attacking and dodging. The Heavy class is orientated towards high defense with slow but powerful attacks while the Hybrid class is a blend of two or more other classes which allows for a unique playstyle.

While there are only four classes in the game, each hero character has a unique weapon and playstyle that makes them better suited for specific situations. Each character has their own strengths and weaknesses which makes them all feel different. This variety of heroes results in matches that are always different while also keeping a sense of familiarity.

Ubisoft has also confirmed that new heroes will be coming to the game in the near future. They will be released throughout the first year of the game’s life.

Each character in the game can be fully customised to make them better at certain aspects however, it also reduces their effectiveness in other areas.

Combat

For Honor introduces a brand new combat system to the genre which blends hack-and-slash combat with the fighting game genre. The “Art of War” is the name of this new combat system which is played out in a fashion similar to fighting games.

While the player can perform attacking without locking onto an enemy, they cannot see the direction that attacks are coming from and cannot perform certain moves. Locking onto an enemy allows the player to perform many more attack moves which makes this a necessity when fighting other players or AI controlled heroes.

Once a player has locked onto an enemy, they enter the “guard stance” where they have more control over their movements in the fight. The guard is split into three directions which will turn red when the enemy attacks in that direction. When that happens, the player must move their guard in that direction to block the attack or use a heavy attack in that direction to “parry” that attack. Catching the enemy with a parry will push them off-balance for a moment which allows the player to get a sneaky attack or a powerful combo in.

Players also have a “guard break” move at their disposal which hit the enemy and stuns them for a moment. This can be used to push any enemy away or allow the player to get some free hits in. Some characters with a shield also have an option that allows them to enter a full defence mode where they instantly block all incoming attacks.

Special attacks can be performed in a fashion similar to a fighting game where the player must input a sequence of moves to perform a special attack. Each character in the game has a range of unique attacks which are exclusive to that character. Some Assassin characters in the game can apply a bleed effect to their enemy while other heroes can perform special moves to knock down the enemy.

The depth of the combat system allows for highly engaging fights while also giving the game a high skill cap. There’s plenty to learn in For Honor and the addition of future heroes will only add more customisation to the game.

Multiplayer

There are five multiplayer modes in the game which can all be played against people or AI. It provides plenty of content for all types of players.

Domination, Elimination and Skirmish are the 4v4 modes in the game which each offer a different type of gameplay. Dominion is a capture-the-point style mode where two teams fight to control the points on the map and the centre point is fought over by smaller soldiers. Elimination is a 1v1 style mode where each pair of players is spawned around the map and the last team standing wins. The Skirmish mode however acts as the Team Domination mode in For Honor.

Brawl and Duel modes are similar to Elimination however, there are no active perks, feats or item abilities that give players a competitive edge. These two modes are played in a 2v2 or 1v1 match respectively where there are no respawns.

The multiplayer modes in the game are varied enough to keep them fresh and also include interesting twists on the gameplay. Each mode has a unique objective and while these modes are similar to classic multiplayer modes such as Team Deathmatch and Capture the Point, Ubisoft has added enough twists to the content to make them different to most other games on the market. As a result, For Honor features entertaining and unique gamemodes that don’t become repetitive or tedious after a few hours of play.

While playing the standard modes versus the AI don’t allow players to adjust their settings, it’s possible to create a custom match and change their difficulty settings. When creating a custom match, it’s also possible to select which characters the bots will play and the gamemode. It’s possible to play with and against the AI for the larger gamemodes allowing there to only be one player in match. This is great for practising without having any human teammates.

The biggest issue with the multiplayer is the peer-to-peer server system where players connect to each other. As a result, the IP address of each player becomes accessible and dishonest players can effectively DDoS other players in the game to manipulate the teams to suit their needs. It also results in “synchronisation” when the host player leaves which can take the game back several seconds. This system can take the game back several moments before a player died or back to a critical moment in the battle.

To make matters worse, For Honor is an online only game. While the campaign can be played single player, in order to access it the play must always be online. This is bad news for owners who just wanted to play the campaign.

For Honor does have a metagame however where each player selects their faction which they are ‘fighting for’ in the game. After each multiplayer match ends, the player has the chance to assign their war assets to different parts of a map. Doing this provides defensive and offensive troops for their faction. Each faction is struggling to gain ground from the others and Ubisoft has confirmed special rewards for the faction that wins each season.

Verdict

For Honor is a very entertaining game which has a lot to offer players. While the multiplayer is clearly the main section of the game, the campaign is entertaining and has a high replay value which even rewards players to playing the higher difficulties. Being able to play is co-op is also a huge bonus however, there is no split-screen co-op.

This game is a unique blend of the hack-and-slash genre with the classic fighting game genre. It creates a memorable experience with a deep combat system and varied multiplayer modes which makes this game stand out from almost all other games currently available.

The multiplayer in For Honor is definitely worth checking out however, the Art of War combat system will not be for everyone.

Pros

  • Deep Combat
  • Highly customizable characters
  • Unique Heroes
  • Nice range of multiplayer modes
  • Great co-op campaign

Cons

  • Always Online
  • Weak storyline
  • Peer-to-peer servers



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