When the world falls into ruin, due to massive environmental catastrophe, three factions of warriors fight to claim the best territory. As they rebuilt the world, the war continued between the Vikings, Samurai, and Knights. When it seemed as if nothing could unite them, a common threat emerged in the form of Apollyon, leader of the Blackstone Legion. Through her rule, the Blackstone Legion began conquering the warring factions, killing all the weak links and keeping the strong for her army.
In order to take her down, it will require a Warborn, a Legion, and a Chosen to fight together for the prospect of peace.
Mediocre Medieval Campaign
After you’ve opened the For Honor box, pulled out the disc, inserted into your console, and booted up the game, one of the first decisions you’re supposed to make is to decide who you’ll fight for our of the three factions. My initial thought was that this mattered to the campaign and that I’d be able to go through the entire game with one faction’s point of view, win the war for them, and then select a different faction, and do the same.
However, that wasn’t the case. When you select your faction, it really doesn’t mean much. If anything it’s only there to serve as an emblem template. Otherwise, the decision doesn’t affect the overall game. Instead, the campaign is split up into 3 chapters, with the Knights taking Chapter 1, Vikings 2, and you guessed it Samurai 3. Each chapter leads into the other, as the Blackstone Legion invades each rival faction’s territory.
While that would seem like a compelling story to tell, the campaign mode is merely a front for something a lot more basic. Essentially, it’s all meant to be one big tutorial, so you can get to know each warrior within the faction, to eventually use in multiplayer. Throughout each chapter, Apollyon or the leader of a faction will send out some specific member to take down a settlement. That specific member ends up being either the Assassin, Vanguard, Powerhouse classes, or the main hero. As you play in the campaign, it gives the gamer tips and tricks for how to play the game. While they’re nice receive, the frequency of them quickly approaches the line of unnecessary.
Within the campaign are some unexpected events that do make the game a little more fun. For instance, the Viking gets into a horse chase, where he has to kill people on horse and avoid obstacles. For the Knight, you have to fight wolves and even protect a ram, at one point. It ends up becoming a welcome reprieve from the usual fighting grind.
Unfortunately, the story itself just seems lackluster. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun. However, the use of it as a tutorial vehicle seems to take away from a compelling tale. Apollyon is definitely a badass villain, but I would’ve liked to have seen more out of her and her conflict with the leaders of each faction. Overall, it seemed as if Ubisoft made the multiplayer function as the top priority and the story second.
Clunky Fighting Mechanics
One of the big selling points for the medieval war game was its nuanced fighting style. For Honor includes a style that requires a lot of patience and skill to perform. When you get into combat with another “Hero”, you must use the right joystick to anticipate your opponent’s strikes and outsmart them with yours. It’s definitely a unique way of fighting. Unfortunately, it’s also a flawed way of fighting.
During Ubisoft’s marketing campaign for For Honor, they released beta after beta, showing off the battle style. Even back then, the game felt clunky with certain classes being unusable based on speed, power, and moveset. In fact, the main consensus was that the Samurai was the most OP. Furthermore, the blocking and striking method can easily be undone, using the grab function. The only time it gets you into trouble is when your opponent is in the middle of striking, then you’re pretty much screwed.
For Honor punishes gamers for abandoning defense. This isn’t a hack-and-slash game when it comes to fighting heroes. Instead, you have to use patience and skill, otherwise you’re done. Also, don’t even try two-on-one fights. You’re pretty much guaranteed to lose. While two people are attacking you, you’re having to jump between blocks and locking on to each target, it becomes cumbersome and almost impossible.
That being said, the clunky, flawed mechanics are still manageable and have its place in For Honor. It’s just a good idea to be able to talk with your friends and strategize whether in co-op play or in the middle of a heart-racing multiplayer battle.
The obvious highlight in For Honor has to be its multiplayer mode. Ubisoft has been really big on multiplayer functionality with its games, of late, and For Honor’s multiplayer definitely cracks their top 5 list. The reason behind it lies in the different, unique modes they have to offer. If you just want to hone your skills as a hero, you can fight 1 vs 1. You’d probably get your butt handed to you like I did, several times, but it’s a good way to train. There are also 2 vs 2 battles, as well. However, my favorite are the 4 vs 4 Dominion matches that pit you in a battle to conquer your opponent’s settlement, or vise versa.
If you’ve ever played a Control game on Destiny, it’s very similar. Go around, claim territories, kill heroes and lackies, etc. The difference in For Honor is that the moment the points are reached, you’re supposed to eliminate the rival heroes to win the game. That’s when the game gets really interesting.
I remember one game I played where I was a Peacekeeper, Knight Assassin, and I was doing a pretty decent job killing the rival heroes, but my team was still losing based on territories. We ended up losing the battle in points, but one the war by eliminating our opponents, in the end. Frankly, I killed one hero in the final moments, but it came down to 2 vs 1, with our team having the latter. My team’s one guy lured each warrior into his zone, one by one and barely took out both to secure our win. It was a really satisfying way to win a match.
For Honor also allows players to customize and advance their favorite warriors by using materials gained in the story mode and winning matches. These advancements help out tremendously, as each new item has a unique ability. It’s one of the many features that make For Honor a fun multiplayer game, not to the standards of Overwatch or Battlefield 1, but it’s definitely unique in its own way.