Real Talk By: KJ
For Honor has been one of my most anticipated games since the reveal in 2015. It combines three things I love into one: Samurai, Vikings, and Knights. Part Deadliest Warrior/Bushido Blade, fighters converge on the battlefield. Mix and match between 12 combatants with 4 assigned to each faction. Some rely on speed, using quick combos, dodging attacks smoothly if properly timed. More powerful characters lack in that department, but connecting with hits can be crucial. I didn’t expect the fighting to be this deep. Players will find exclusive combos, they will need to use the move list. Grapplers can snap you in-half, so maintain a cool distance. Some are entirely defensive warriors who strictly wait on errors to capitalize.
Faking-out attacks is another way to 1-up the competition. Pretending to swipe down, canceling, then attacking from the side can definitely cause confusion. The combat itself is what keeps me coming back. A Tiny Diagram signifying The “Art of Battle is shown. This is controlled with the right stick working as an attack and defensive guide. Moving the stick up means you’ll slash from an upward stance, the same applies when guarding. Safe to say this title doesn’t promote button mashing. The right bumper controls light attacks, while the trigger is for heavy. Everything uses stamina. Spamming heavy attacks will leave players winded and open for damage easily. The screen turns Black and White as the fighter slows down, gassing out. Timing is everything. Finish strong.
Executions are meaningful. Ending things with a light slice, means the defeated could be revived. Finish with a heavy attack, then the option to execute appears on-screen. Some finishers include neck snapping, eye gauging, and head decapitation city. It sucks to go out like this, especially when their teammate is in the background taunting. Not to mention unique abilities a-plenty. Land an Arrow strike from above to punish everybody caught in the cross fire, or jump from the high ground and slash an enemy from the air. Many tactics to discover. Would love to see videos of the motion capture for this one.
Let’s talk about graphics. Every Tree, Castle, Weapon, and Suit of Armor fits. Everyone looks pretty bad-ass, loving the art direction overall. Night and day, weather effects, it’s all rendered beautifully.
One of my big annoyances in fighting games is competing in areas unfitting with the IP. For Honor doesn’t have this issue. Aside from being layed-out in a way that encourages battling, Areas are littered with deathtraps too. Nifty things to do on the battlefield: Throwing a foe into a spike trap. Kicking someone into a Volcanic Geyser. So there’s more to watch out for, on top of players rushing your screen. Epic stage layouts overall.
Once the combat is learned the multiplayer experience really just depends on who you’re facing. Sometimes players will have honorable 1v1 matchups fights. Many will completely avoid fighting and run for their teammates so they can gang up. Be on the look out for either play-style and watch your back. In Elimination mode, players spawn right in front of each other. Obviously they expect a showdown out of you. The loud drum thumping (Crouching Tiger style) adds to the scene, giving For Honor an Action-Movie feel.
When fighting, in a duel, I can clearly see other members of the rival team observing. They would pause, waiting for my fight to end before stepping-in. It’s moments like this you’re not going to find regularly in other games. For those who can’t wait, Ubisoft added a revenge meter to help out. This is gained quickly when a player is getting mauled by two or more. Both Damage issued, and defense are greatly increased. Normally I find that comeback mechanics usually cheapen fighting games, but in For Honor this isn’t the case, especially when a mob is closing in.
In a game where combat is everything, network connectivity needs to be absolutely fine-tuned. For Honor demands players have an online connection. However, any game beyond a 2v2 matchup, you’re taking a chance each time. Expect to either wait an extended period for a match to begin (if it does at all), or it drops a few minutes into it. Microtransactions are implemented also. I’m not a fan of this included in already full-priced games, especially when the online is in shambles. Ubisoft is unquestionably one of Gaming’s top companies so this inexcusable. Fix this please. In-Addition, Split Screen 1v1 and Campaign would have been great for offline players. Online-only here is absurd.
Network modes include 1v1. Best of 5 rounds, the game will place you in different spots after each. Same goes for 2v2. Elimination is also round based with changing spawns, my favorite of the lot because of the 4v4 play. Dominion appears to be the bread and butter. Control spots A,B, and C. Lock out the other team. NPC’s roam the battlefield. They slow you down a bit and distract. Similar to Titanfall, try not to go on an CPU killing spree, because a human player will creep-up. Skirmish (Team Deathmatch) Respawn after death, as the Game keeps score.
Campaign can be played with a friend. Amping it up to realistic difficulty will take away the combat HUD (for the rebel in you). This story features some pretty solid voice acting, and set pieces. It’s part set up for the multiplayer versus, but also a fun diversion. There are some pretty cool cut-scenes here, showcasing a standout villain who strategically pits the three factions against each other. Some unique Armor pieces can only be acquired through this mode.
For Honor is a game that undoubtedly nails its presentation. Rugged visuals, sound effects, battle cries (I yell when playing), and thrilling combat. My hat goes off to Ubisoft for mixing up the multiplayer scene with something that feels absolutely fresh. It requires skill, communication, and practice to succeed. Strong teammates are needed. Now if we could get the servers together, so I can enjoy this finely crafted battle system.
For Honor Gets
4 Out of five
+Unique Combat System That Works Well
+Great Sound Effects
-Major Server issues