For Honor Review – A Well Balanced Multiplayer Experience
For a long time, Ubisoft hasn’t been able to bring quality content. The publisher/developer is often accused of over promising, over-hyping its games. The Division, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Assassin’s Creed 3, The Crew and many other projects have dented Ubisoft’s credibility.
In the middle of all this, Ubisoft presented us with a genre it has never toyed around with before. A genre Valve and Riot are most famous for right now. Ubisoft revealed a game called For Honor, essentially a League of Legends/DOTA 2 but in third-person view, and a unique setting.
The community has been cautiously optimistic about For Honor and if Ubisoft drops the ball on this one, it would be a major hit to its reputation as a game developer.
For Honor Review
War is something that is a primary attraction in most video games and For Honor is based around the same concept. In such a game, it is essential that combat is the highlight of the show and thankfully, For Honor’s combat does shine. Looking at the game, you may think that For Honor will let you get by with just button-mashing. However, there is a complex system in place that will punish ignorance.
Button-mashing will not get you anywhere in For Honor.
Being defensive and knowing when to block attacks is as important as knowing when to be offensive. The game wants you to pay attention to your opponent, there is an impressive balance kept in combat by changing your stance depending on the position of your enemies. There are three positions available to you and each is important for deflecting, blocking, light attacks, and heavy attacks.
It is all about paying attention, breaking the defense, and getting your shots in. The pacing often feels slow as there is a lot of staring down each other’s eyes but each kill feels satisfying in the end.
Kill and do your best not to be a victim in For Honor, it is pure Medieval heavy metal action.
For Honor offers various deadly warriors to the players who shed blood across a handful of different multiplayer modes. Warriors are from different countries and continents; we have 12 characters packed into Vikings, Samurai, and Knights classes. Each character has its own pros and cons so you will not be playing with the same set of skills and abilities all the time, which would have made things dull and repetitive.
There is another layer on top of the basic gameplay mechanics. We have character specific combos and cooldown abilities for each of the 12 characters in the game. What’s great is that the clarity of For Honor’s combat is never obscured by any of these additional gameplay mechanics.
There are five different game modes and all of them are reskinned versions of our standard capture the flat or team deathmatch.
Dominion is a fun mode to play with your team as you coordinate and fight to capture sections of the map. Capture all sections and get more points, the enemy team will lose the ability to respawn.
Each team has not so tough minions that try their best to push the battle line. However, minions need to be buffed a little as most of the time they prove to be useless and the burden falls solely on the player’s shoulders.
Brawl on the other hands is a 2v2 best of five multiplayer mode. You and your teammate need to win 3 out 5 rounds to win the game. It is simple, fun, and often you end up spending your time here, away from all the chaos of Dominion which gets a little crowded.
The other three mods are pretty much the same with minor changes here and there. What makes them all interesting are the combat dynamics and how the scenario can change at any given moment.
The combat requires precision which can only come from practice.
The campaign mode is a great way to prepare for multiplayer PvP action. The story is non-existent and you don’t care about what’s going on so once again it is all about gameplay. It is an always online game so you need an internet connection to enjoy this 5-7 hours experience. The industry seems to like following in the footsteps of Souls games as there is some Souls-y DNA in the combat system.
The single-player mode seems out of place and serves as a glorified tutorial. Adding the mode seems to be a safe play from Ubisoft, just to avoid criticism from the community. There is no replay value to the campaign, nothing that even remotely keeps you interesting for more than a couple of hours. From there, it is a grind.
Admittedly, it does get a little better once the AI difficulty level is raised.
For Honor generates part of its revenue via in-game purchases. The in-game currency is called “Steel” which is used to buy different taunts or loot crates. Steel is earned by paying real -world money or grinding through the game’s multiplayer mode and completing daily challenges.
There are so many add-ons available to customize your character but not nearly as much steel can be earned by just playing the game. If you wish to make your character look like a badass, at some point you will end up providing your credit card information. Earning steel in the game takes time and commitment to the cause.
Multiplayer matches can get you around 20 to 25 steal per game. You can earn hundreds of these by completing daily challenges so you can earn 500+ steal by completing 10 games.
500 is nowhere enough to shop in For Honor.
There is a meta-game going on top of all game modes where you can take over territories for your faction of choice, allowing you to earn customization items for said faction. Visual customization aside, there is stat-changing armor available in the in-game shop as well. Such items do have a slight impact on gameplay and having them around does give way to criticism.
But they also give you motivation for keep playing the multiplayer mode as you can earn items to customize your stats slightly. The in-game economy in no way stands in your way for doing well or earning your meat through hard work.
Ubisoft dropped the ball on matchmaking by making it peer-to-peer and not ironing out the issues before release. Often you will end up starting matches with AI bots while the game is busy in the background finding other players, failing most of the time. Matches are short so the game is over before all players can join.
Carrying the same team to the next match is another problematic area for For Honor multiplayer matchmaking. If the game isn’t able to find an opposing team, it would just disband your team after voting on the maps. Why not just start with the bots and wait for others to join?
The situation gets worse; even if there is a single player missing, the same will happen. This affects the overall user experience but it is nothing Ubisoft won’t be able to fix with post-release updates.
Graphics and art style is highly appealing but needs some work. There are texture pop-up, pixelation on occasion, and out of bounds structures have dated visuals.
For Honor may not be Ubisoft’s finest hour but the game has potential. Ubisoft will surely build on the base game to make something even better.