I finally had an opportunity to sit down and play For Honor this week. I have been seeing it around but didn’t really take notice until I saw a stream by StoneMountain64. Watching the action, I simply had to have the game. I have spent years trying to find a game that would satisfy the blood-boiling need to kill I felt the first time I watched Braveheart in 1995, but without actually having to decapitate a person. I have to tell you, For Honor fulfilled that inner rage and thirst for murder. There is a definite learning curve but the fighting is simply the best FP sword-play game I have experienced.
This bone breaking one-on-one effort was brought to you by the good folks over at Ubisoft. Makers of the popular titles, The Division, Watch Dogs 2 and the new Ghost Recon Wildlands. This is a weapon-based action brawler with 3 factions, Knights, Vikings and Samurai warriors. When I first read about this game my hope was that it would be a rich campaign based game with lots of mod potential but Ubisoft decided to focus on the online multiplayer aspects of the game.
The game does have campaigns for each warrior type but they are designed to train you for PVP on-line play. For me, this was a bit of a disappointment. It’s about 6 hours long (give or take and hour). You work through different levels of training that are designed, layer by layer, to teach you how to use the combat techniques of each race. That’s great and everything but personally I want to reenact the Black night scene from Monty Python’s The Holy Grail.
The story line seems secondary to online play. Missions are comprised of a series of very clear objectives. At the start of a level, a waypoint is highlighted that you head towards, killing enemies that block your way. I personally wanted to walk into a huge crowd of bad guys and start bashing brains in. I was not disappointed. Many of the enemies are grunts that can be swiftly dispatched in glorious and bloody ways, but there are a few that are tougher and can be locked onto so you can duel them. The grunts are easy but the targetable characters and “bosses” are tough. The reality is, people with less than stellar gaming acumen might get frustrated. In other words, strap in folks, it may be a bit of a learning curve. You have to replay these boss matches until you win but the end result usually has a pretty crazy finishing move ala Mortal Combat. I would be surprised if you were not out of your chair cheering at a beheading of the SOB that killed you 4x.
Each level you unlock feats that can be assigned to different slots that you can use during your battles. As time rolls on you level up these feats and can apply them during battle to greater and greater effect. This results in some pretty hard-core blood splattering fun. There are also passive skills you accrue that help you improve in the game. This will help you make sure that the blood on you is not your own. This is very common stuff most of us are used to in modern games. You don’t have to work through these campaigns to play on-line but it certainly helps you compete once you decide to enter the on-line fray. Go ahead jump on-line and play. You will quickly find value in playing through the campaigns.
Button mashing is not an option with this game. You will get destroyed every time. This applies to on-line or single player action. Parrying, defense breaks, combos, evasive rolls, For Honor isn’t a simple game to master. It has a counter based system. If you parry or block, you gain an advantage. So do your opponents. Your attacks must be calculated and timed to achieve the most damage and survive. It takes some practice but that first time you parry and end someone, you will be out of your chair screaming at the TV/monitor. Kelley must have thought I was a crazy person the first time I ran someone through.
I haven’t spent a lot of time on this game yet but I think this is a solid effort well worth the $59. If I consider the absolute shit games I have purchased in the past, this one is going to be in my rotation for awhile. It’s rewarding once you get it down and it’s eye candy. I’ll do a follow-up in a few weeks once I discover more about it. The coop options look really great and I’m sure I’ll have a lot to share. -Schtooping