Imagine a war featuring the greatest warriors of all time in hand-to-hand combat. Knights, Vikings, and Samurai roam the land invading and defending as they claim superiority. In 2017, Ubisoft developed and produced “For Honor” an action game featuring these armies as you make your way across the land in massive battles. Released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, For Honor would feature a large online presence but would it cut through the competition, or is the blade too dull?
Set in medieval times, For Honor features three different factions to play as. A natural disaster has occurred throughout the land and has forced Vikings, knights, and samurai to compete for resources and land for their people. Aside from the natural disaster, there is Apollyon, a female warlord who is hellbent on creating a massive war between the three armies.
Apollyon controls a legion of the knights and splits the army in two. Her faction is the Blackstone Legion and the other is Iron Legion which you would consider the “good guys”. The story begins with the Blackstones killing off a few knights, you take control of a knight and battle the champion of the Blackstone. After defeating him, you are deemed worthy to join the Blackstones and are spared on the condition that you join their army.
The Vikings start to invade the territory of the Blackstone and you work to defend the land against them. Apollyon has her men raid Viking villages killing anyone who gets in their way while leaving just enough supplies for the Vikings to turn against each other and fight over. A great Viking warrior comes down from the mountains and starts to unite the Vikings together instead of bickering between themselves. Soon, the Vikings grow strong again and take back the land from the Blackstone Legion before setting out across the waters to raid the land of the Dawn Empire held by the samurais.
As the Vikings destroy most of the samurai, Apollyon and her men are already there as she kills the Dawn Empire’s ruler. The Emperor’s champion steps up however after being freed from prison and helps fight off the Vikings and their raid. The Emperor’s champion manages to unite the rest of the samurai together and sets a plan in motion to attack the Blackstone Legion’s fortress.
The samurai, Vikings, and the Iron Legion of knights who have broken away from the Blackstone Legion come together and attack the Blackstones. The Emperor’s champion finds Apollyon and fights her to the death defeating the Blackstone Legion for good. Once the Blackstones fall, the remaining three armies turn on each other beginning a new war.
When you begin the game, you’ll have your selection of a few game modes. There’s an online mode where you can battle one-on-one. I used this function a few times, and it was fun. For Honor sets you up against other players with your experience online so the more matches you win, the more experienced fighters you’ll be paired against. I probably played only two or three matches just to get a feel for how it worked and I came away victorious. I didn’t play online after that as I’ve always preferred the offline story mode for just about any game.
When you play the story campaign, you’ll have an overview of the world and what missions you’ll be playing with what faction. The atmosphere and environment for each battle are very detailed and feels like the epic war scenes straight from blockbuster movies. I had a sense of awe when playing through my first few battles as boulders were catapulted at me, arrows flung in every direction, and men lay burnt and slain on the ground as I navigated the battlefield. For such a gory scene, it was beautiful.
For Honor is an action game, but it’s no hack-and-slash. There are strict rules to battling and if you don’t master the controls then you don’t have a chance at surviving. You’ll need to lock on to an opponent as you two battle, otherwise, you’ll just swing your weapon freely which isn’t effective. Once you are locked on, you can change your weapon stance by using the joystick. Moving the joystick up raises your weapon, moving it down lowers your weapon and so forth. You’ll need to carefully focus on how your opponent carries their weapon because it shows how you need to attack and defend. If they have their weapon to the left, you need to attack their right otherwise they will block your attack. If they attack you, you need to see which direction the attack is coming from and quickly change your weapon direction to block their attack. The battle mechanics aren’t too difficult to get used to and once you master them it’s a fun game who wit and reflexes. You can use a light attack that is quick but deals less damage, or you can go for the kill blow by using a heavy attack that is slower. Knowing how your opponent fights are key to knowing which attack to use. Every opponent has a stamina bar and health bar to let you know how close you are to defeating them. Be careful because you have stamina too and every swing drains you of stamina so make sure your attacks count.
Every battle you can earn points that give your warrior perks and bonuses during the fights. Each faction has four different warriors that you can choose to play as depending on your style. You can choose from quick assassin warriors to balanced warriors and of course the big boys who have lots of armor, a powerful weapon, and are extremely slow. It’s fun to try out the different options and find a style that suits you.
I think I saw the trailer on YouTube and thought For Honor looked awesome. I put it down on my wishlist and my wife ended up buying it for me at some point. I enjoyed playing through the campaign and using the different armies in battle although it was a quick experience. I think I beat the story in a day or two. I dabbled in online play a little bit, but I liked the story the best.
For Honor has a fair and balanced battle system that allows you to find what style of fighting suits you best. The story campaign is short but is filled with lots of fun battles and gives you the opportunity to play as all three factions. The environments and atmospheres are epic as you relive battles you’ve imagined from movies.
For Honor scores an 7.9 out of 10.
Do you remember when For Honor first came out? What was your favorite army to play as? What did you think of Apollyon? Did you play online and if so what were your experiences? Let me know your memories and thoughts, I’d love to read the comments!
If you’d like to own a copy of For Honor, you can purchase a brand new copy of it for the PS4 from eBay for around $15.