For Honor is set to be released on Valentine’s Day, however, Ubisoft recently gave us an opportunity to spend a few hours with the game and get a sneak peek into how the development is progressing. My immediate thought was that the game was beautiful and that there is a lot of strategy involved in being successful. There are different strategies that go along with the different classes so you will need to spend some time with each class to determine what you think but for me I really enjoyed being an Assassin. An Assassin is quick, nimble and strike efficiently whereas your more tank class characters are slower but more powerful. The first time that I saw For Honor was a couple of years ago at E3 and I really didn’t know what to think. My first impression was that it looked like it might not be something I would enjoy. Then this past year at E3 I was able to go hands on with it and it piqued my interest. After spending an afternoon with it now For Honor not only has my attention but I am looking forward to it being released and being able to spend time with it sitting on my couch.
The first thing that we looked at during our time with For Honor was some of the multiplayer functionality. We played the “Elimination” mode first which turned out to be a lot of fun. In this mode two teams of four players are pitted against each other where the last surviving player on the battlefield wins the round for their team. When your character gets taken out you then have to wait for the next round to begin, unless one of your teammates revives you. During my playtime with the game this component was key as there was one instance where I was the only member of my team left standing against the opposition but I was able to get to one of my fallen teammates and revive them to even out the odds a bit. It should be noted though that there is a timer once someone gets taken out. If you don’t revive them by the end of the timer then they are out permanently until the next round. There are also ways you can make sure your opposition doesn’t get revived at all. You can do this by executing your opponent and just killing them outright so that it isn’t possible for them to be revived. There is a bit of strategy in play here because if you execute someone then they aren’t coming back but if you just let the opposition lie there then one of their teammates might run over to try and revive them, at which point you can ambush that guy and take him out.
When you begin playing the Elimination mode you will quickly realize how essential teamwork can be to you winning. You start the match off being paired against one of your enemies. Instead of immediately engaging with them though I would spin around and run to one of my allies and team up against the guy he was fighting and then both of us would run over to someone else and help him out. There are times when you will need to go solo though and you will have to use strategy to make sure you prevail. If you just keep swinging wildly without thinking then chances are you will wind up on the losing end of the battle. You’ll need to block as well as dodge and try to time your strikes. I got into some pretty intense battles where my opponent and I seemed to be on the same wavelength where he would block everything I threw at him and I was able to anticipate what he would do and block his strikes. It can be exhilarating at times and immensely satisfying if you emerge victorious. During this mode I was also able to take advantage of some boosts in the game such as increasing my movement speed or knocking down attack and defense stats of my opponents. There was one instance that worked out perfectly where I was chasing an enemy and quickly hit him with something that lowered his attack and defensive capabilities and then one of my friends rounded the corner and took him out while he was weakened. It was definitely a lot of fun and something I look forward to playing more once the game is released.
The next thing that we were shown was “Faction War.” This mode is a cross-platform, persistent meta-game that displays the massive conflict between the three factions in For Honor. Cross-platform play here means that every multiplayer battle played across the Xbox One, PS4 and PC will impact the same world as you deploy War Assets to attack a territory controlled by another faction. Xbox One and PS4 players won’t play against each other directly, for example, but what takes place in these battles will help shape the world no matter what platform you are playing on. The Faction War is split into three different segments:
Turns (every six hours) - Faction with the most War Assets on a specific Territory controls it.
Rounds (two weeks) - Faction with the most territories wins the Round and rewards are delivered to all players who engaged into at least once MP activity in the said round. Rewards depend on the rank of the Factions and could include Scavenger Crates and Steel (in-game currency).
Seasons (10 weeks) - Faction with the most Round wins is declared the winner of the season and rewards are delivered to players of all factions (even if they did not play MP during the season) based on the rank of each Faction. Rewards include Ornaments, Scavenger Crates, Steel and emblem outlines. Season rewards are also exclusive to Faction War.
The Faction War will also change the maps that the multiplayer modes are played on. The War is happening on the Fronts and the map (as well as the variations) will differ depending on where each Front is located. For example, if the Dominion Front is located in Valkenheim, land of the Vikings, then all playable Dominion maps will be in one of their Valkenheim variation (snowy, Nordic vegetation and vistas). Then if this Front moves to the Myre, land of the Samurai, then the same maps (or different ones) will be all playable in one of their Myre variation (jungle-like vegetation, humid). With 12 maps and 4-6 variations per map, For Honor multiplayer can be enjoyed across 60 different map variations.
I mentioned up above that I really enjoyed playing as the Assassins. They are the Peacekeepers in the Knights Faction. While play as them you can rely on good attack damage and great speed. Their dagger is also poisoned and can cause enemies to bleed so they lose their health points over time. At the same time you your ability to block an attack is weaker than average so you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons.
Another class I tried out was the Shugoki who are the Heavy Heroes in the Samurai faction. The Shugoki have the highest health points so they can absorb a decent amount of punishment before being taken down. Their attacks can be pretty slow but very devastating when they connect and it can be hard to interrupt their attacks once they get going. If you are someone who enjoys more of a tank type of character then this might be one of the classes that you try out.
The other class I was able to try out was the Warlords. They are the Heavy Heroes in the Vikings faction. The Warlords are short to medium range heroes who mix an aggressive move set with some good defensive properties. They have some efficient throws and some of their Heavy attacks can not be interrupted. When they are on the defense they can only rely on their ability to block while attacking and their capacity to temporarily defend all stances at the same time.
After spending a good amount of time with the multiplayer they then let us go through two missions of the single player campaign. The first one was a Vikings mission called “Raiding the Raiders.” In this mission you are a Viking that is disgusted at how some of his brethren are behaving so you storm a village to claim some resources that are being hidden from everyone that deserves. You are looking for resources like food so that the people who are starving will no longer have to suffer. As you work your way through the village you will eventually come across Ragnar (one of the leaders there) and you engage in a duel with him that will culminate in a high speed horse chase.
The second mission I got to play was “Sabotage” and it was a Knights mission. At this point the Knights are now in Valkenheim and Mercy the Peacekeeper is sent to destroy a massive elevator that the enemy uses to transport troops and resources. This mission takes place at night and there will be many different paths you can take. I tried to go the path of least resistance when I could but there are some instances where you need to engage in battle before you can move on. Once I got to my destination though I was able to sabotage the elevator so that it completely collapsed as I was making my escape. Both of these missions were pretty fun to play and I can’t wait to see what else will be in store once the game launches early next year.
For Honor is currently slated to be released on Valentine’s Day but there is a chance you can get your hands on the game beforehand. Ubisoft has revealed that there is going to be a closed beta in January. Specific dates and content are not known yet but keep your eye out for those details if you want to get a sneak peek at For Honor.
As I said up above, after I spent an afternoon with For Honor they definitely have my attention now and I can’t wait to play the finished product. The single player campaign seems like it should be a lot of fun but there will probably be a lot of people who immediately jump into the multiplayer, especially faction war. The only question is, which faction will you pledge your allegiance to?