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For Honor (PC) artwork

For Honor (PC) review


"It has something for everyone."


I have a fair amount of credentials this time around: I played about 40 hours of the open beta and I am just under 20 hours on the release version. I managed to make Reputation 2 on the open beta (which is like prestiging on Call of Duty) and am currently Rep 1 on retail. I’ve also done over 40 recordings, most of which have already been published. Suffice to say, I know plenty about the game even though I’m not technically very good at it.

I can honestly say there’s not a lot like For Honor that’s on the market. As it stands, the closest comparison is likely that of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. The entire combat system is based around blocking and parrying. To top it off, each character has an entire moveset that may be reminiscent of old school arcade gaming.

For Honor (PC) image


Yea, you have to cleverly time combos, break enemies’ guard, time attacks, and all kinds of things. It’s a simple mechanic on the core but has a high skill ceiling, some champions more than most.

For example, when I face against the “Peacekeeper” assassin class I tend to know one of two things are going to happen: They’ll be new-ish and easy to hit or they’re insanely good and dodge around, stun me, and apply a major bleed effect on me. There’s rarely any middle ground between “Somewhat new to the class” or “Played dozens of hours on the beta(s) with it”.

Anyway, to master various combos you have a few things available to you:

Story mode, which was absent from the beta. You’re put into the role of a multitude of classes and characters, most of them unnamed, as you let yourself get jerked around by “Apollyon”, an evil lady knight who exists primarily to keep the centuries-long war going. Why? I have no idea, she just says “I am War” at some point.

Some have claimed that the story mode is weak, but I found actually playing through it was moderately fun. Moreso with a partner, this game thankfully has a co-op function which is more than I can say for most competitive multiplayer games. My friends and I kind of enjoyed watching the various cutscenes and fighting the bosses.

Story mode even has its own "level" that you can progress through to get extra abilities, stronger variants, and collectibles that unlock cosmetics for you to run around with. You can replay any mission at any time and up its difficulty as you prefer, even to a realistic mode that completely disables the UI, meaning you’ll have to master the game and how every stance is from every enemy to predict their movements and block accordingly.

This game is, however, designed with multiplayer in mind. To that end, we have an entire “War map” function which is designed for players to deploy assets at the end of every game they play. You always get assets, even if you just play against AI opponents for most of your For Honor days, as I do. That appeals to many of us who don’t feel like getting crushed against players the entire time.

For Honor (PC) image


We have a few modes:

1) Dominion: The closest this game has to a MOBA-mode. You fight to control 3 points, and there’s always one lane with several dozen basic soldiers that you can one-shot and get reknown which, as in a MOBA, let’s you level up and get various active skills that you don’t have access to in the beginning. This is probably the bread-and-butter game mode but many players enjoy exploring the others, including

2) Elimination/Skirmish: Which act like the game’s Team Deathmatch. They both function slightly differently. In Elimination, it’s a “last team standing” deal as you fight to take out the other team, either by 1v1ing everyone or fleeing the initial duel to help your mates take out theirs. Elimination is more like the classic TDM where you get points for every kill you make, in addition to various NPCs that wander around for you to kill and get points that way, too. Finally, there’s

3) Duel/Brawl, both being 1v1 and 2v2 respectively: Very straightforward, and some people recommend exploring these modes to get the best feel for your chosen champion. It’s not a bad way to start the game but I preferred to just dive into Dominion as it might be more forgiving, if more frantic.

Now this is a Ubisoft, in everything that implies. There’s a multitude of micro-transactions but there’s only one element of pay to win here; you can buy a “champion status” for 2,000 in-game Steel which increases the rate of... Well, damn near everything. From extra end-match loot, bonus experience, and several other things. The only way this turns into P2W is the extra steel you will acquire, which allows you to buy gear for your chosen hero a bit more easily. I, however, have managed just fine without it. Exhibit A:

For Honor (PC) image


What you’re seeing there is a gear score. You can manipulate everything from sword hilts to arms. I’m at “blue/rare” quality. Go me!

After that, everything is cosmetic. And we all love dress-up, don’t we?

For Honor (PC) image


There's a couple of flaws that likely need to be known.

One of which is the obvious scummy business practices that have Ubisoft wanting 100$ for the Gold version of the game and I can tell you, it just gives you a 30 day champion status (I describe that earlier), earlier access for new heroes (500 steel ingame is not hard to acquire, trust me), and a large amount of cosmetics. All of it is optional and does not affect gameplay.

They're also using a flawed networking P2P system. No dedicated servers but it's not like other systems where there's a singular host with no ping and no lag advantage. Instead, everyone in a match networks together. Good idea in theory, but it mostly just amounts to "Play with people in your country only." My gaming group has a gentleman from Europe whom we can never play more than a single game with because it turns the lobby into a circlejerk of hosting and disconnects because his internet does not play well with the rest of us. It's unfortunate, but queuing games solo or with friends of a similar region leads to very little problems. Just be aware of that.

I just spent a lot of time describing a multitude of core mechanics but now it’s time to see if I actually recommend the game.

Some of you may be aware that I am a casual scrub that turns every game mode to Easy on every chance I get. You can play primarily against AI. There’s a co-op story mode. There’s plenty here for us.

On the other side, the multiplayer is fierce and competitive with a challenging skill ceiling and a lot of moves to master. There’s something here for hardcore PvPers, however it can be frequently frustrating when blocking doesn't work properly.

It has something for everyone, on both sides of the spectrum. Some may argue that the story is a tacked on afterthought but its solid in its own right, if a bit short but with a modicum of replay-ability.

Do I recommend For Honor? Yes I do.

4/5

Zydrate's avatar
Community review by Zydrate (February 15, 2017)

Zydrate is most active on Steam and Tumblr.

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Nightfire posted February 22, 2017:

Thanks for covering this. It's good to know that Ubisoft hasn't screwed the proverbial pooch this time. It's also nice to know that they've done something new and original rather than sticking with the same tired open world stuff that they normally bank on.

While I did give you some feedback on Steam already, I do have a criticism about the content itself now that I'm re-reading it again: The first paragraph feels like I'm jumping into the middle of the review rather than the beginning. You start off by telling us about ranks and reputations before we even know what this game is about. I think the second paragraph might've worked better as the introduction.

That aside, you do give us a more complete picture of what this game is about and how it works compared to some of your shorter pieces. The addition of personalized screenshots was also a welcome addition, particularly how they corresponded to what you were saying in the preceding and subsequent paragraphs, though I would've cropped them to be the same width for visual consistency (there are free tools you can use to do this, such as Paint.net or GIMP).

However, that's a minor gripe. I look forward to seeing what you submit next time around.

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