We thoroughly believe in what we call the Ubisoft Curse. The curse affects new IP’s from the french publisher in which we are presented with amazing ideas – like say open world hide in plain sight assassins, or hacking a city for revenge – only to have the game not be as good as we expect it. That being said, the sequel will expand on what we were presented with, and actually make things better. Now that’s never to say that the game first game in the new IP is bad, but it just never lived up to the expectations we set for it. Like Assassin’s Creed or Watch_Dogs, the first game was mediocre at best
This brings us to Ubisoft’s latest IP, For Honor, a multiplayer game which focuses on melee combat in a new way that implements strategy between 3 of the best warriors in history. For Honor blew us away when we first saw it at E3 and after several testing beta, we’ve finally got a chance to play the game in its entirety with one question in mind, did the Ubisoft Curse affect this highly anticipated brawler?
For Honor is set in an alternate universe where a group of Knights, Vikings and Samurais have been trapped together on an unforgiving continent. Food, Water and livable land is scarce but after a long time of peace via separation (“you guys take this part of the land and we’ll take this side and just not talk to each other”) the three factions have found a way to live in peace.
Enter Apollyon, a skillful knight whose only goal is to make the factions fight with each other. By taking over her own legion of Knights, she sets in motion events to force civil war among the factions until they eventually clash with each other. The game’s story mode focuses on this by letting you walk the shoes of some of the heroes of the three factions as they fight each other for control of their land.
The Story isn’t anything special, it can be played in single-player or co-cooperatively but really only does enough to provide a bit of backstory to the locations and give you the ability to test fighters and learn their skills and items. You never really get time to care about the people involved and most missions hardly deviate from the “Kill this guy” missions.
What For Honor lacks in single player though, it makes up for with a Strong Multiplayer. Players are thrown into the Faction War and are given the choice of playing as one of the three groups. The Faction War acts as a Meta game in which players earn War Assets to help take over or defend their map in a glorified game of Risk. The map constantly changes ever few hours, with rewards happening after the event or season is completed, which will then reset the map back to normal.
For Honor really shines in its gameplay, which is balanced out extremely well. Players are given control of 12 different warriors from the three factions, each with their own benefits and move sets. With the right-stick players can set themselves to control specific sections of their body, left, right and top guard. Along these areas, players can defend, use light or heavy strikes (which can be linked into combos) as well as a guard break move which can be followed up with a throw which can do some environmental damage/kills.
There are various different Multiplayer modes available currently (with Ubisoft promising more as a free update in the future). The biggest one is Dominion, a Capture the Point mode in which players attempt to grab 3 points of interest in order to rack up the points, Players engage in 4v4 battles here with an army of cannon fodder NPC’s in the centre point. Next is Skirmish, which acts as a 4v4 death match style game with respawns and NPC fighters, and Elimination mode which pits players in 4v4 no respawn battles. The final two modes are more intimate, Duel and Brawls, these are 1v1 and 2v2 matches respectfully, in which players see who is the better warrior.
Winning or participating in matches gives players Steel, a form of currency for For Honor. Steel can be used to unlock gear and customizable items for the 12 heroes. Gear can affect stats with both positive and negative to try to balance out its use, including stamina use, stun-times, Revenge mode’s attack/defensive capabilities and more. Gear can also be won on during matches but the rarity or even the possibility of getting it as loot depends on how well you preformed in battle.
For Honor is a major step in a right direction, the game is well-balanced, its multiplayer is a blast and we’re excited to see the new content coming post launch including new heroes, maps, and game modes. I can safely say, at this point and time, that For Honor has not been affected by the Ubisoft Curse and should also be able to hold its place along with Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Siege as one of the best Multiplayer Experiences at this time.