In 2017, Ubisoft released an action based fantasy game on PC, PS4 and Xbox One, which mashed 3 factions from 3 different cultures into 1 world prompting them to fight for dominance.
The 3 factions have very distinct looks to them. The Samurai, the Vikings, and the Knights(western).
The game is well designed and thought out, adding many new and different mechanics that makes it different from other games that are similar in genre. These new mechanics are unlike almost any other game out there. With the only real comparison I could make being something like Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. A game that was PC only for a long time, allowing a gap in the market to crop up that For Honor filled.
There is a well told story, whereby a 4th faction known as the Blackstone Legion sought to combine these worlds to create perpetual war and in turn stronger men to rule over the weak. The efforts result in perpetual war between the 3 factions regardless, as each of the remaining factions believe in fighting to obtain peace. Thus neatly paving the way for the multiplayer universe which the game has a large focus on.
Ultimately I feel the single player story is lacking here. If you are looking for something deeply complex in story telling as say Skyrim or the Witcher series is, then this is not a game for you.
It is the multiplayer element of the game where this game enters its stride. You as a player, would choose one of the 3 factions to represent. Then, as you then participate in multiplayer matches, you would then influence the domination of the world map which updates every few weeks. This is a very unique approach to multiplayer matches. This give you the feeling that you can make an impact as part of a community and its world.
From duels to 4v4’s with hundreds of NPC foot soldiers, its hard not to feel you are part of a large scale battles and there is a certain cool factor involved when you clash with another hero on the field of battle and you win.
Every character/hero you can play in each faction has its own style, perks, abilities and unique armour and weaponry available to them, making the game extremely versatile. With such variety does come the risk over some characters being overpowered. This has been the largest issue since For Honor’s release. Ubisoft have addressed and balanced where they can, but there are plenty of players who still feel there are balancing issues to this day.
One very good thing is that Ubisoft have persisted on keeping the game up to date. They have added more content, new characters to play, and even made graphical enhancements. This shows that Ubisoft cares greatly upon satisfying and improving its community and balancing what it can, most of the time.
Because of the unique aspects of the game, it often draws its community back time and time again. With so few games of this type around, until there is a better alternative, I would predict that the community will continue to be active until there is.
The big question is, if you are new to this genre, should you get this game. With that said, I’ve listed some pros and cons.
The game has evolved since its release, multiple reworks. Fixes to previous unbalanced mechanics has meant that the game is now much more accessible for all players.
Story is decent, but not the most gripping.
Graphics are stunning, and the detail to the game has been really well made.
A lot of effort has been poured into this game by the developer. Whilst this is very encouraging, I’m not convinced if we’ll see any more now the game is almost 4 years old.
The game itself has won several awards including Best PC and Best PS4 Game of 2016. With it also being nominated in 2018 as one of the Best Ongoing Games.
Customisation and freedom on creating unique heroes is a nice plus as well.
The mechanics are very different to a lot of other games, this is not a button masher, so research is key before getting this game!
As most of this article has referenced, Ubisoft have been relentless in helping balance the game. Balancing can still be an issue with a couple of the heroes available. This is a big concern and topic for the game’s community. When this peaks, there will be a surge of players, using the same heroes over and over again. This is dangerous to a game as it can ruin the enjoyment of the whole experience.
Strategy – 5 – This is a massive factor as strategy is key to all combat techniques, skill, and team movements.
Complexity – 5 – The combat is well designed. Every hero having their own skill set, it makes practicing a vital thing to do. The practice pays off as you hone your hero’s skills and become a master in the bigger fights!
Randomness – 3 – I’m not sure if Randomness has an impact in this game. If you’re happy to accept losses in order to fulfill a random personal goal, then that’s fine. I believe that the strategy will end up overruling desire for randomness.
Humor – Inherent – There is very little comedy involved in For Honor. There will always be those moments where you and your friends create the humor whilst playing together on this game. The humor is not ‘built in’ to the game itself.
Attractiveness – Pretty – The game captures the cultures, designs and motifs of each culture very well. It is worth mentioning that Ubisoft did also later revisit and enhance the graphics with an update too (something rarely seen in games).
Average Length of Gameplay – 20 minutes on average.
Overall, if you want action, team based strategy, and realistic gore, then this is an ideal game for you. Its surprisingly fast paced and it has a very niche market. There are few games out there that compare or that are even comparable!
If you’re looking for story, or are typically someone drawn to single player RPG adventures. I do not think this is worth a buy.
The things I have enjoyed about this game is getting together with friends and jumping into the multiplayer and creating enjoyment from that. With each of us having specialized in our respective heroes, it is a very cool feeling when you create a synergy within a team.
Below is a link to Ubisoft’s plans for Year 4 as they continue their plans to evolve the game!