FOR HONOR™ review
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Hack and slash fighting game For Honor knocks Vikings, Knights, and Samurai together in a historically inaccurate bloody war for lands and resources. The opening cutscene shows that natural disaster causes lava erupting, destroying lots of lands forever. So the fight for the remaining territories has begun and that’s on the warlord Apollyon, the antagonist of the campaign mode. Her motives are somewhat irrational and obscure - this bloodthirsty lady just loves war and wants it to keep going.
All in all the story behind the gameplay is a bit confusing, but what happened doesn’t matter, it’s all about what’s gonna happen next.
This third-person fighter by Ubisoft has plenty of depth and replay value, impresses with clever combat mechanics and fascinating multiplayer mode.
It’s now available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
The medieval settings of the game are executed in gorgeous high-end 3D. The graphics are truly stellar, making the game a treat to the eyes.
Ubisoft has really dug into the eras and brought out lots of fine details: Knights, Vikings and the Samurai have impressively detailed armor and weapons. Lighting and weather effects add to the authenticity. The characters move realistic.
The visuals create a captivating feel of an ancient battlefield and gory gameplay becomes even more engaging.
There are 3 factions The Legion, The Chosen, and The Warborn, representing Knights, Samurai, and Vikings, respectively. You play as a character from one of them in a campaign mode and choose one fraction for multiplayer. There are 4 classes in each faction - the Vanguard, the Assassin, the Heavies and the Hybrids class. Each class has its weaknesses and strengths. The Vanguard class has excellent offense and defense. The Assasins are the finest for dueling, they are the fastest but deliver less damage. The Heavies are tough and resistant, but slow. The Hybrids combine three types and have unique skills in their arsenal, they can use long-ranged weapons but are limited in close combats. All characters have their class-specific melee weapons, skills and fighting styles.
The single-player campaign is the best to start with to learn the system and practice in fighting. The campaign is relatively short and the story is a bit confusing with lots of “Lost on Time” excuses but is still good for exercising in the combat mechanics and controls. The single-player campaign can also be played in co-op.
In the campaign you take control over different characters from all three factions. It also helps to pick your favorite class and faction later for the multiplayer.
The campaign includes three chapters, each for one of the factions - Knights, Vikings and Samurai. There are 6 missions within those chapters, so it makes 18 levels to enlighten us about the world of For Honor.
The multiplayer section is where For Honor shines brightly. You choose a faction to fight for and a character to play and the tremendous and thrilling combats lie ahead. Furthermore, you contribute to the overarching Faction War. The Faction War stretches across all platforms and takes into account victories and defeats of all the factions members. You gain War Assets each online multiplayer match, depending on the combat outcome and your performance. These War Assets are them used in the Faction War for defense or attacks to conquer new territories or to get ones occupied by an enemy faction back. The territories are updated every six hours, rounds last for two weeks and seasons are ten weeks long. Over the course of the war, the front changes and the world map changes too. The most remarkable players gain higher quality equipment. The map is reset as season ends. The outcomes of the previous season impact the new one.
Multiplayer includes 5 modes:
- Brawl. A 2-vs-2 mode. Your team has to annihilate the opponents to win.
- Duel. You have to kill your opponent in a 1-vs-1 fight to win.
- Dominion. Two teams of four fight, gaining points through occupying combat zones, earn double points for holding ertaing battlefield points. You have to kill the enemies to win.
- Skirmish. A 4-vs-4 mode, where you earn points for killing the opponents
- Elimination. The aim is to kill all the players from the enemy team in the 4-vs-4 mode.
Keep in mind that you can damage your own teammates if you hit them with your weapon.
The combat system in For Honor requires lots of tactics and is called “Art of Battle". It’s complicated and nuanced, less of the button mashing tactics, more of the strategic experience.
You need to watch your opponent to figure out their weak spots and decide how and when to defend or attack. There are also on-screen hints to help. The combat mechanics include a wide range of various maneuvers to exploit. You choose the position of your weapon when attacking - you can attack from the right, the left or from above. The right position of the weapon can block the opponent’s attack as well. There are also abilities like barging into enemies with shoulders or back-stepping swipes. You also choose the strength of the attack from light to heavy.
So the controls are not that easy, especially for the newbies in the hack and slash fighting games. You’ll definitely die several times but will get better with practice. The single-player mode comes in handy here, an excellent way to start and train. Robust in-game tutorials are a huge help too.
Replay Value 5/5
For Honor has a lot to explore and a meta-game, the Fraction War, adds to the replay value. While the single-player is short and it’s doubtful you’d ever want to replay it, a multiplayer appears on the scene and involves you into vast online war, which progresses all the time and you contribute directly. So be prepared to dive in for a long time.
You gain Feats for certain accomplishments, like killing multiple enemies consecutively. You use Feats for healing, calling in a barrage of arrows or a catapult attack. The main currency used for leveling up your character is steel, earned through fights and missions. There are also various weapons available for your character. You can buy stuff for real money too, but it’s not a necessity, as you can earn enough. However, this requires grinding.
The bottom line
For Honor is an engaging and entertaining hack and slash fighting game. Gorgeous visuals and in-depth combat system Art of Battle create a captivating experience. A multiplayer is a star of the show with the whole meta-game concept. And there is a plenty of room for further growth. Practice is required to master the fighting controls, but you have tutorials and single-player for that. If you are a fighting game fan, you would love this one for sure.
An excellent fighting game with top-notch gameplay, complex and compelling combat system and metagaming adding extra purpose.
Pros : Stunning visuals;
Thought-out complex combat system;
Multiplayer mode is exciting.
Cons : Campaign mode is not a thrill;
Multiplayer mechanics are sometimes messy.
Replay Value 5