For Honor Review
For Honor Review: Ubisoft delivers the fighting game many have been waiting for with the medieval For Honor.
When first announced, For Honor turned many heads. It introduced a new type of fighting game, one that would become almost an instant hit within the gaming community. Hated by some but loved by most, I’m here to tell you that For Honor is well deserving of the love it receives. Although there are some issues Ubisoft needs to fix to in order to increase the longevity of the game, I highly recommend giving this game a chance.
For Honor takes place in a medieval land separated between the three factions; Knights, Vikings, and Samurai. The story mode is set up into three chapters in the same order. The player starts out as a Warden defending a fort against another knight invasion force called the Blackstone Legion. The knight chapter follows the Warden’s journey from fighting against the Blackstone Legion, to being their recruit, to finally renouncing his/her allegiance to the Blackstones. The second chapter follows a viking called Raider, who unites the viking clans after they’ve been torn apart by a common enemy. The third and final chapter of the story surrounds the samurai champion Orochi as he/she takes the fight back to the enemy.
While the story-telling isn’t as compelling as it could be, it still highlights the era in which the game takes place to a point some would consider pretty noteworthy. Each chapter has about six missions and in some missions, you swap to a different character of the same faction. It is best to play the story first before diving straight into the multiplayer because the story mode gives you a preview of what you can expect from each of the different heroes. It’s a great way to learn how to play the game and how to play or react to each individual character. The game offers you certain tips and helps you grasp how to initiate certain devastating combinations.
As for the actual story, it is interesting, but it could certainly be… well, more. The story had the potential to have expanded the current list of story-driven games that Ubisoft has, but it doesn’t. It seems like it will just be a one-off story. I get that the multiplayer portion of the game is the main focus point, but I am still a bit disappointed. A For Honor series could really be something special.
As for gameplay, For Honor definitely delivers a high-quality experience. It has a third-person, over the shoulder viewpoint that distinguishes it from most other fighting games. Basically, you have three directions of attack; Left, Up, and Right. You point in one direction to attack that way or point in the direction of an incoming attack to block it. In the mix, you have things like guard breaking, parrying, and dodging that really help cement the three-dimensional experience. For Honor is definitely a fighting game above all else, but it really isn’t what you would expect from a typical fighting game. For Honor requires a lot more strategy than the usual fighting game.
Also, you have to be a lot more aware of your surroundings. Typical side scrolling fighting games do not usually require you to be wary of the environment. In For Honor, depending on which hero you use, you want to position yourself in different settings. That could mean you want to be in close contact with the enemy or in a more open type of situation. You can also be thrown off the map, so you want to keep an eye out for cliff sides or other holes.
The combat system is close to perfect, with some slight issues in terms of balancing and connectivity. But, being a newer game, that’s to be expected. You can do all the testing in the world, but nothing ever quite compares to the full product right at release. The game will hopefully be updated to become more balanced over time, as well as introducing new heroes that will mix up the status quo of the game.
As for mechanics, the game varies on reliability. The player is introduced to a 3-side attack/defend system. which at its core is a great idea. As the game progresses and the player learns different movesets for different heroes. You discover moves labeled “unblockable,” however, that’s not always the case. Unblockable moves may be parried, not to mention the parrying system tends to feel a bit broken at times. Parrying occurs when instead of just blocking in the direction of an incoming attack, the player points that direction and heavy attacks right before their opponent’s attack lands. This causes the opponent’s attack to be blocked and the opponent stumbles back.
Another mechanic is the dodging system. Sometimes, this works like a charm. An opponent will attack, the player hits the dodging button before the attack lands, and the attack misses. But, there are times where you dodge and the attack still somehow manages to land. Most of the time it has to do with timing, but many would agree and say that sometimes the mechanic just does not work properly.
Attacking and defensive measures also rely on the player’s stamina. Depending on the type of hero the player uses and what kind of gear they have equipped, attacks might cost little to almost half and even sometimes their whole stamina bar. Running out of stamina causes the player’s screen to turn black and white and does not allow the player to sprint. This adds a sense of awareness that the player might want to hold off on certain attacks if they are close to losing all of their stamina. It also adds a different, more cinematic feel to the game.
The final major game mechanic would be guard breaking. This has probably been the most problematic mechanic in the game since release. Although you can counter a guard break, the timing has to be exactly right. Also, in the beta of For Honor, if two players guard broke at the same time, one would usually just counter the other. In the final release, one guard break would land and the other player would not be able to even attempt to counter it. Ubisoft has announced that they will revert the situation back to how it acted in the beta so that hopefully the problem will be fixed.
With the release of the game, there are four different classes of heroes:
- Vanguard: Standard, all around character
- Heavy: Hard-hitting, tank type of class
- Assassin: Fast, agile, counter attacker
- Hybrid: A character that shares traits of two different classes
Vanguard Class Heroes
Heavy Class Heroes
Assassin Class Heroes
Hybrid Class Heroes
Overall, for my For Honor Review, I would give the game a solid 8.5 out of 10. It’s been a long time since there has been this sort of renovation of a genre of video games and I feel that For Honor does a great job for its take on the fighting game genre. I have only run into balancing and connectivity issues that can be fixed with a patch and an introduction of dedicated servers. Other than that, I would highly recommend giving this game a try.
For more For Honor and other video game news, be sure to check back with us. For Honor is out now on Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC.