For Glory, For Nation ... For Honor
In a world dominated by online shooters and MOBAs, For Honor offers a unique take on multiplayer gaming. The game gets extra brownie points just for that, being unique. But does being the standout among the crowd work in its favor? Let’s find out.
The moment you start the game, you’re prompted to join a faction. This is important, as you will be representing this faction for the rest of the multiplayer season. Once you’re decided on your faction, you get to design your emblem. This is basically a unique symbol players get to design to represent themselves. The faction you choose determines the shape of your emblem. You can unlock more designs and emblems as you play the game.
Once you’re done with your emblem you begin with the tutorial, which does a decent job of acquainting you with the basics of the game. This is where you’re first introduced to the ‘Art of War’ gameplay style, as Ubisoft calls it. More on that in the gameplay section.
We definitely like the fact that the game doesn’t force you into multiplayer. It’s even got a story mode and every single game mode is playable with bots. However, you’re required to be connected to the internet at all times, regardless of whether you’re playing single player or not. This is a big downer, especially for those of us who don’t have an Internet connection or constantly keep disconnecting.
The currency used in the game is called Steel, you can buy equipment, items from the in-game shop, and unlock heroes with Steel. You have the option to pay real money for Steel as well.
For Honor allows you to customise every single class in the game. You can unlock customisations as you play, or purchase them with steel. Equipment is class specific and often have stats in addition to aesthetic changes. However, you’re free to change the look to whatever you want, regardless of what you have equipped.
The story mode consists of 18 chapters, 6 for each faction. We started with the Knights, though we don’t know if everyone starts at the Knights or if it was because we selected Knights as our faction. The story was surprisingly good, which is great for a multiplayer focused game. However, it was short, which was kind of expected for the same reason as above. It took us a little over 6 hours to finish the story at normal difficulty.
The story also functions as a tutorial of sorts, giving you movesets and introducing you to different classes from the various factions. We’d advise you to play through the story mode at least once, if not to get a taste of the new classes, then at least to get some loot and Steel.
|Platforms: Windows, PS4, Xbox One
Price: PC: Rs. 1,799; PS4: Rs. 3,499; Xbox One: Rs. 3,499
Reviewed on: PC
Developers: Ubisoft Montreal
The crux of the game is its multiplayer and the ongoing faction war. The faction war is a war over territories that’s constantly being waged by the three factions: the Knights, the Samurai, and the Vikings. Whenever you win a multiplayer match on the faction war map, you’re awarded with assets which you can deploy on the map. Territories are periodically updated, so if your faction has the most assets in a territory by the end of that timer, it’s claimed for your faction.
One season, or the duration of one whole faction war is ten weeks, after which members of each faction are rewarded for their contribution. Of course, the winning factions reaps the most rewards. Rewards are given in the form of accessories for your heroes, and steel.
There are four game modes to select from in multiplayer –
- You have Dominion, which is similar to Battlefield’s format, in the sense that you have to capture and hold territories to gain points. Several AI soldiers clash in the centre while heroes attempt to capture and hold the three objectives across the map.
- Then you have Elimination, good old 4v4 action. With no respawns. Usually, takes place in a best of five format.
- Death Match is similar to dominion except you don’t have to worry about capturing objectives and respawns are enables.
- Finally, you have Brawls and Duels. Brawls are 2v2 while Duels are 1v1. Again, they take place in a best of five format.
We played the game through the uPlay client, and we encountered server issues every now and then; getting kicked out of matches, being unable to receive assets and experience immediately, opponents leaving midway (or maybe we were just that good and they ragequit?) etc. Matchmaking would sometimes pit us against opponents who were stronger (higher leveled, more experienced) and it can be quite frustrating when you’re straight up outmatched. This could spell bad news for a multiplayer game, so Ubisoft should get on that asap.
For Honor features 12 playable classes, 4 for each faction. The Knights have the Warden, the Conqueror, the Peacekeeper and the Lawbringer. Samurais have the Kensei, the Shugoki, the Orochi and the Nobushi. Last but not least, the Vikings have the Raider, the Warlord, the Berserker and the Valkyrie. Each class offers a unique gameplay experience, you won’t find any two classes alike.
For Honor uses a complex combat system called ‘The Art of Battle’. It relies heavily on user skill and reflexes. You’re required to match stances to block, time your parries, and wait for openings to attack. It’s a refreshing change from the usual hack and slash swordplay we’re normally accustomed to. To top it off, each class brings its own flair to the Art of Battle, you’ll find that mastering a single class will bring you more wins as compared to being a jack of all trades. There’s more to The Art of Battle than meets the eye, the more you play a class, the more ways you’ll find to play the class. It’s the little intricacies that make the game all that much more enjoyable.
Another neat thing we noticed in For Honor, was the accuracy of combat. Let’s just ignore the fact that Knights, Samurais, and Vikings never actually fought each other in history, but it’s evident that Ubisoft did their homework. We’re sure not many people knew how those large two-handed weapons were wielded. They will after playing this game. Ubisoft has done a good job representing each faction and their combat styles factually.
Graphics and Sound
The game looks great at maxed out settings, but you’ll need a beefy card for that. Customising character details such as engravings, armor texture, material, symbols etc won’t make much of a difference at the lower settings, but they’re clear at the highest setting. We encountered a few minor graphical glitches, especially when there was a major height difference between two combating characters.
As for the sound, the game has a good soundtrack. The OST is very fitting and goes well with the game’s setting. The music is also faction based. Voice acting was also good; factions use their native language during combat which just added to the overall authenticity.
Verdict: For Honor
For Honor takes a popular gameplay format and applies it to a time and setting that’s usually left untouched; especially in the multiplayer format. Doing so was a risk, but in our opinion, it’s paid off. The Art of Battle system was a fresh breath of air from mindless hacking and slashing, and every class from each faction brought something unique to the table. However, having to be constantly connected to the Internet to play is a big no-no in our books. An online game plagued with server issues and unbalanced matchmakings are also not very healthy for the game going further down the line.
Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh
If he's not gaming, he's... no wait he's always gaming.