We won’t be seeing any full-blown reviews of For Honor for at least a couple of days from now as Ubisoft chose not to provide the press with early copies of the game, but instead opted to open the game’s multiplayer beta to the public over the weekend. If this game is on your radar or maybe you’re unsure about whether it’s the game for you or not, I would be honored to share my first impressions of it with you. Thank you to my awesome little lady for bringing this game home to me!For Honor is a very interesting game. If it were a first person shooter game it would be a very standard first person shooter game period. All of the match types you would find in one of those games are all present, and the objectives are all very much the same. And because it’s such a well-developed title, chances are it would probably still do very well because that seems to be the case for pretty much all games of that particular genre, critically speaking of course. The thing about For Honor is that is not an FPS game at all. It’s a third person action game. Instead of shooting at your enemies you swing a sword at them. But besides that, For Honor is a standard, run of the mill FPS game, and I mean that in the best way possible. In fact I think it’s brilliant. Much like Overwatch provided us with a well thought out alternative to games like Call of Duty, Battlefield or what have you, For Honor opens the door to a variety of different gamers from diverse backgrounds and play styles.
This game does have a single player story campaign (which I haven’t played yet), but the meat of For Honor is in the multiplayer menu. You have the choice to fight for one of three factions: Vikings, Knights or Samurai. War has been waging for centuries between these three groups and it’s up to you to choose whose honor it is that you want to fight for. I chose Samurai. Picking a certain faction doesn’t bar you from playing heroes that belong to other factions though thankfully. The three factions fight to dominate the map, and how each group performs during a season ultimately decides who will win the faction war. At the end of the season, each group receives special rewards depending on how well they and their faction did. Also worth mentioning – the faction war takes place across all versions of the game and the outcome will be the same for everyone, regardless of which platform they play on. *(Multiplayer is not cross-platform however!)Before being able to participate online though, you must first defeat the head honcho of the faction you chose.
The combat does take a bit to get used to, but the game’s tutorial does a fine job of priming you for battle. For the most part I found the sword fighting style to be very fluid and the one on one (or sometimes more!) battles are brutal and exhilarating. Taking down an enemy feels great and taking down a group of enemies feels even better. Every swing counts, teamwork is key and friendly fire is totally a thing, so pay attention to your team’s color. Yes, I accidentally struck a few of my team members, luckily the game has a few quick chat emotes, one of which is “Sorry!”
I’ve had the chance to play a few matches of each type of PVP. Aside for some minor server issues, it’s exactly what I wanted it to be. There is the standard Deathmatch which is 4v4 battles split into two types. The first being Skirmish where 2 teams fight to 1000 points. The other being Elimination, also 4v4 but there are no respawns. This mode is for the serious competitive types because if you die, you will have to wait until the rest of your team wins or loses. Next we have Dominion, also 4v4 PVP where players fight for dominance of the battlefield by capturing zones and slaying their enemies. The first team to 1000 wins; this is For Honor’s “capture the flag” or “king of the hill” by all means, and is a lot of fun. I found that battles were usually extremely close and I rather enjoyed taking down the hordes of grunts on my way to capture a zone. Last we have Duel and Brawl. The former being an intense fight to the death between 2 players. The latter being 2 vs 2 and requires a bit of planning and communication. Both of these modes are super intense, you better brush up on your blocking and parrying! Each of the multiplayer modes can be played against A.I. bots as well if you are feeling like brushing up on your skills or being a loner.
To wrap things up – For Honor absolutely gets my stamp of approval. It’s a breath of fresh air, the gameplay is exciting, the graphics look great and I just love how fiercely competitive it is. I see myself playing this for a very long time, I hope I can do right by my Samurai brothers and sisters. I can see how this game might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but fans of FPS and Hack n’ Slash games alike will find something to love here and I look forward to the future of For Honor. Ooh, and look how mine came packaged!