For Honor (PS4) review
Ubisoft’s For Honor is a third person melee game focused medieval warfare between Vikings, Knights and Samurai. The main draw of For Honor is the game’s guard system known as ‘The Art of Battle’. The guard system involves using the right analogue stick to position your weapon to block an incoming attack or to perform a light or heavy attack. The combat system rewards strategy as you and your opponent can see your guard stance, which means you need to watch and see what your opponent does. At first, the combat system may seem confusing, but it doesn’t take a lot of practice to use, although if you want to truly master the system is might take a while.
Of course, there is more to just clashing weapons, as you can use can break your opponents guard with a guard breaking tackle, or parry an opponent’s strike. Both these choices work well in combat, in fact, I would say they are the most effective ways to win a fight, which means some fights might just be two players running at each other performing guard breaks.
Outside of the strategic combat, what is For Honor about? For Honor is a medieval fan’s dream come true as Vikings, Knights and Samurai all fight in an all out Faction war to determine which faction is the strongest. There is no explanation why the three factions are within a stone’s throw of each other, but that really doesn’t matter as the game is all about proving your faction is better than the rest.
To prove your chosen faction is best you take part in various multiplayer matches, with wins gaining you resources, which you can use to help claim enemy territory. There is a decent spread of modes, which include 1v1 duels, 2v2 brawl, 4v4 dominion (capture point style mode) and 4v4 deathmatch; incidentally, all modes have a player versus AI option, for those who don’t like fighting against other players.
Before entering a battle you have to choose a hero, at the start you have a choice of three heroes, one from each faction, but as you gain steel (in-game currency) you can buy more heroes, until you unlock all twelve heroes, 4 for each faction. Each hero is broken down into a type (think class), the four types are the vanguards, the assassins, the heavies and the hybrids. Each hero type plays differently, with specific feats and play styles, for example, the assassin is quick and perfect for single target damage, while the heavies are slow and are perfect for defending capture zone in dominion.
When you have selected your hero, you can customise them. You can tweak their appearance, equip gear you received as a reward from winning or participated in a match, and change feats. For those curious about feats, they are like kill streaks. You are given 4 feats, which you are locked until you gain enough renown in a battle, renown is gained from killing AI-controlled soldiers and completing tasks. Additional feats can be unlocked by levelling up the hero you are using, each feat slot has a choice of three feats. Feats range from calling in arrows to boosting the morale of the soldiers on your team.
The multiplayer is For Honor is fun, especially in 1v1 and 2v2 modes, as you have no help for another player and as such must rely on your own skill and strategy. However, the 4v4 modes are disappointing, yes dominion is a fun mode that gives scale to the faction war, but I found most matches involve 2-3 players ganging up on one player, which in turn removes a lot of the strategic elements from the game, and well in my opinion that removes a lot of the fun too.
Now, even though For Honor is multiplayer focused, the game does have a story mode. The story is spread over three chapters, with one chapter dedicated to each faction. The story details how the leader of the Blackstone Legion, Apollyon, creates chaos within the Knight, Viking and Samurai factions. As you play through the story you see her goal is simply war, as the three factions had grown quiet and looked toward peace. While the story is short, it explains the faction war aspect of the multiplayer and gives you a chance to try out all the hero types.
Now while I have been pretty positive about the game, there is one thing that stuck out to me and that is the ability to buy the game’s in-game currency, steel, with real money. Steel is an important resource as it is used to unlock heroes, feats and more, so in many ways, the ability to buy gives those who spend money an advantage over the competition (although the measure of the advantage is difficult to determine).
In regards to any major issues with the game, I did notice some connection issues on the PlayStation 4, but at the time of writing this review, the connection issues seem to be greatly reduced if not eliminated.
For Honor is an enjoyable medieval focused game with an interesting combat system that is easy to use, but tough to master.
|+ The Art of Battle combat system||– Ability to purchase in-game currency with real money|
|+ 1v1 and 2v2 modes rely quick thinking and anticipating an opponent’s action|
|+ The faction war is a great incentive to keep playing|
|Ubisoft Montreal||Ubisoft||Action||18+||PC, PS4,XBOne||February 14, 2017|
For more information on For Honor, visit https://www.ubisoft.com/en-US/game/for-honor/.