You know that a game is truly captivating when you have to physically tear yourself away from it to write the review. For Honor plays this trick. It’s all too easy to sink into the medieval battle noise and man-to-man combat, because it’s these duels that make the title so successful. In the interaction with a beautifully worked out world and outstanding sound, it immediately captivates the player and doesn’t let him go again so quickly.
The setting of For Honor
In a post-Cataclyst feudal world, knights, Vikings and Samurai fight a centuries-long violent conflict over the last resources and lands. At the beginning of the game, you must decide which of these three factions to use in the cross-platform faction warfare the resources gained in the multiplayer battles. This decision has no influence on the availability of the heroes in the game. You can have sworn allegiance to the knights of the Iron Legion and send your enemies to the afterlife with the Orochi (a Samurai hero).
War of the platforms … but different
For Honor is basically a playable episode of “Deadliest Warrior”. Three different types of warriors between which an ultimate combat competition is sparked off. In multiplayer, players compete for areas on a large map. To conquer them, battles must be won. At the end of each of these battles, the participants receive war resources that are used in the war. The amount is measured by the personal performance of the warrior. If these resources are now used on the territorial map, the balance of power shifts at the border and the area can be conquered or defended at the end of the round.
As already mentioned at the beginning, even after several weeks of playing For Honor, I could hardly get away from it to write down the few lines here. On the one hand this is due to the innovative combat control and on the other hand to the fact that you get used to it very quickly, even though it is so cursedly different than anything you have seen before. The use of a controller is in my opinion preferable to the use of mouse and keyboard, since the mechanics of attack and defense seem to be made as for analog sticks and almost certainly much easier to handle. In addition, the execution of the combo-attacks – which by the way are very different for each hero and reflect the respective fighting styles very well – is easier with the buttons. Nevertheless, there may be players who will get along very well with mouse and keyboard.
The story – with a strong female antagonist
In story mode, an epic story is told about the efforts of antagonist Apollyon, warlord of the Black Stone Legion. In a total of three chapters – one each for Knight, Samurai and Viking – one experiences in a very impressive way how their machinations continue to spoil the world still marked by cataclysm. Apollyon’s philosophy is based on the secularist belief that mankind is divided into the group of submissive sheep and the dominant wolves. This division inevitably leads to war – the natural state of man according to their faith.
Apollyon is certainly one of the best and most authentic villains I have ever seen in a video game. Not only because she is an exception as a female antagonist, but also because of the story behind the character, the way dubbing and character development interact, and the wise way she works to achieve her goals.
If you play through the whole story before you go into the multiplayer battles, you get all the tools you need to succeed. By playing every hero at least once in the course of the story you could also describe the story as a very extensive tutorial. But even if it was thought this way – which I don’t seriously believe – it’s the best tutorial ever. At the same time you get a very good insight into the motives of the heroes, Apollyons and the story behind For Honor. There is also something for grinders and collectors, although not to the same extent as other games do. You can find various fragile objects in the individual sections, see sights and experience all this again in different difficulties.
But now enough of the praise of the story mode. After all, For Honor offers with the multiplayer the part of the game that is properly padded. I already mentioned that the faction war is the hanger for the countless battles and duels waiting for the player. All completed games – whether for PvP or PvE – bring you war resources with which you can make an important contribution in the battle for the territories. Depending on your personal performance, higher or lower amounts of these resources can be distributed among the territories to conquer an area or defend it from an imminent attack.
For friends of huge battles, the Conquest mode is certainly the best incentive. Here you have to conquer territories with a total of 3 other comrades, defend hordes of NPC soldiers and of course fight fierce battles with the enemy heroes. Sometimes it can be a bit chaotic and occasionally you face a superior power of heroes, but the hand can also quickly turn to the good and your own team wins the upper hand.
Then there are the 4v4 modes Skirmish and Destruction. The former is a weakened version of Conquest without conquering territories and with only a few NPC Warriors. If you get a certain number of points you have to kill the heroes of the other team one last time to win the battle. The latter forces duels and whoever is the last fighter to be victorious on the battlefield wins the round. After three winning rounds, the final winner is determined. So if you want to compete in small teams with your opponents, you have the perfect chance.
Last but not least, my personal favourites will follow: Duel (1v1) and melee (2v2). Here it depends only on the personal skill. In a duel with your opponent, you always have to keep a cool head, fend off the attacks and start a counterattack at the right moment. This back and forth makes the games so exciting. Only the technique counts. The developers of For Honor have even gone so far that they offer the bonuses that the collected equipment normally offers you in these modes no advantage.
But you don’t only get war resources for won battles, but also equipment and steel, the ingame currency of For Honor. In the area of hero personalization, the developers have almost surpassed themselves. There’s a true wealth of different weapon and armor parts – each with its own unique look. You can also decorate most of the parts with a pattern, emblems, and different colors. So there are countless combinations and the best part is that as the level increases, the equipment becomes more and more impressive. So keep fighting, looting and leveling.
I have very few criticisms of For Honor. Actually there are only two. The balancing of the heroes could use some fine-tuning. Especially the Nobushi of the Samurai deals a lot of damage with high range, even if she can’t take too much. However, she can very quickly dodge it and withdraw from a fight, which makes her a hard to handle opponent. The second point is definitely the server issue. For a game that was hyped like For Honor, I would have wished for dedicated servers. The currently used Peer-2-Peer system works only moderately well and often leads to relatively long
Basically, For Honor can be highly recommended. With a lot of love for