I was lucky enough to try out the closed beta of For Honor earlier in the year so going into this review of the full game I was excited. How did it all turn out once the weapons were drawn? Well read on and find out with the GamEir review of Ubisoft’s hack and slash game For Honor.
The story of For Honor is set in a medieval period in a fantasy realm where Vikings, Samurai, and Knights have been brought together for no other reason than to wage war upon each other and to allow gamers around the world to answer the ultimate question, who’d win in a fight a Samurai, a Viking, or a Knight? After many centuries of war, the enthusiasm for the battlefield has died down. That is until Apollyon, and her Blackstone Legion show up hoping to stoke the flames of war once again and bring what Apollyon believes is missing in this messed up world, purpose. You play as several different characters across the three factions through various battlefields clashing with enemy after enemy. And that’s one of the problems with the story of For Honor, it’s repetitive, uninspired and though the actors are trying to give life to these characters, the script offers them nothing memorable and thus offers the players nothing memorable.
The story of For Honor, however, is not the reason audiences were excited for For Honor when it first showed up. It was the gameplay that was offered, a fighting style that in my opinion had never been seen before in a hack and slash game. The gameplay system is one of a kind utilising a theatre style swordplay system where there are three areas of attacking and defending during encounters with your opponents whether they be A.I or other players. In a sense, it feels like a rock paper scissors game except it would be called attack stances, deflecting and dodging. It’s great fun and is incredibly addictive, and I couldn’t stop going back to the battlefield slashing my way through my opponents. The star of For Honor is the gameplay, and that’s one of the features I loved about it.
Another feature I enjoyed was the customisation of your character. There are so many different variations available to mix and match that it feels like your character is your own and no one else’s. With regard to characters, there are twelve available character types available for you to choose from. They range from the heavy warriors who are slow but can take the damage, to the vanguard which I used the most, they’re the P90 of playable characters highly versatile but specialising in nothing. If you’re wondering what faction I went with at this point, I went with the Samurai; this was mainly due to the design of the Samurai and their weaponry.
I brought my Samurai warrior into the several modes on offer with vigour: Dominion, Brawl, Duel, Skirmish and Elimination, my personal favourite is Dominion, Dominion is a four-versus-four multiplayer mode in which players must capture and hold multiple zones in a battlefield. Points are earned through occupying combat zones. When one team earns enough points, they must eliminate the players from the other team and win the match. It’s always fascinating to get to that final section of a Dominion game where you have to bring down the remaining players on the opposing team and then they reach the milestone, and then they go hunting for your team. It’s just such an enjoyable but tension-filled experience.
Duel is enjoyable as it’s exactly what it says on the tin, you duel with an opponent until there is a victor. Brawl is like Duel except there are two teams against each other, this is less balanced because you’re relying on your teammate not to die and that’s hard when you may not know the other player.
What I have experienced during my playthrough of For Honor is a renewed love of competitive gaming thanks to the inventive hack and slash gameplay and the outstanding level of customisation. Unfortunately For Honor is let down by the lack of a decent story which can be completed in a few hours and a sense of repetitiveness if you should play for too long. Not only that but it has had continuous issues when it launched which has affected the reception from gamers worldwide.
Ubisoft has given fans of hack and slash games something new and enjoyable in For Honor. I enjoy it every time I stick it on but with some issues upon launch and a declining audience For Honor may need to offer even more soon to keep its audience from leaving.