While at the Australian EB Expo 2016, I stumbled upon a little gem you may or may not have heard of – For Honor. This new game coming to Xbox One and Playstation 4 pits multiple races of warriors in epic hand to hand combat. Now while For Honor will have a single player campaign, we were given a brief practice mode and then thrown into an intimate, crazy multiplayer match.
There we were, facing off, four against four – vikings, knights and samurai all bristling with anticipation to finally try this new game and we were not disappointed. On the face of it, For Honor looks much like another button masher, albeit with a very cool aesthetic and atmosphere but it definitely transcends that. It requires a keen level of observation and constant communication, because if you are cornered by two or more enemy players there is very little chance you will be able to live through it.
We were given a chance to play a type of Control/Capture mode where we had to hold three points -A, B and C, which gave us 100 points each time we captured one of them. The goal was to eliminate our enemies while holding the majority of the zones. The zones generated more points the longer we held them so this game mode at least needed a lot of communication and constant vigilance.
A unique aspect of For Honor, at least in multiplayer was something called the Front, which is essentially the front lines and translated to the B zone in our game. At the Front hordes of warriors on either side (Blue for allied, Red for enemy) attack each other relentlessly with neither giving ground. If you wish to capture the B zone you have to break the stalemate between your support troops and the enemy support. This means going absolutely nuts and killing as many as you can, but you have to be careful as while they are not a challenge on their own, you can easily get overwhelmed by a large force of them…plus you have enemy players to also watch out for.
When we did run into enemy players it was a warrior standoff with constant changes in stances to block attacks from the left, right and from above. If they switched to the right to attack, you had to switch your block, otherwise they had a clear shot at your warrior. This required a lot of concentration. Then with a barrage of quick and heavy attacks we beat at the enemy players until either they or us were left dying on the ground. We did lose a few players but For Honor has a respawn system so you can get your allies back into the fight relatively quickly. While battling we were also given access to specialised abilities that helped change the tide of battle. From abilities that could heal us to abilities that could send us into a berserker-like rage, For Honor definitely has a lot of combat variation.
Within the multiplayer game it was absolute carnage, with walls you could scale, fires everywhere and hordes of screaming warriors bashing at each other with weapons. You truly feel like you are back in medieval times, in some alternate universe where samurai battle knights and knights battle vikings for ultimate supremacy. For Honor has a look that has been seen many times, but the way the battlefields and combat are constructed, it appears to be a much more intimate form of combat gaming that blends strategy, third person play and minor button mash elements to form an awesome new game.
Ultimately our team lost that multiplayer showdown but I for one will be practicing a lot when For Honor is released on February 14th 2017.