The Art Of Battle
For Honor was released just short of two weeks and it’s given a lot to talk about. The third-person brutal melee game does a good job hiding a complex and tactical gameplay at first glance. For Honor was developed and published by Ubisoft. It was released with a price tag of $60 on February 14th, 2017 for Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC. The Art Of Battle refers to the innovative battle system that was designed specifically for this game. This system brings uniqueness to the melee combat industry by giving players full fight control. Players will be put to the test with their reaction time and movement skills like never before. The game is set in medieval times allowing you to play historic warriors including Vikings, Knights, and Samurais.
I won’t spend a lot of time going over the campaign since we see it more as a training ground to jump to the multiplayer. The campaign is divided into three factions (The Legion, The Chosen, and The Warborn). It contains six missions for each faction making it a quick 5 to 8-hour gameplay. We do believe the campaign sets a good foundation and skill set needed for the highly competitive multiplayer online mode.
Putting that aside and jumping right into the overall gameplay the game is phenomenal. Each faction has a total of four classes:
Assasins (Berserker, Peacekeeper, Orochi) – Fast and efficient in trade of dealing less damage and lower defense.
Vanguard (Raider, Warden, Kensei) – Well-balanced warriors with good defense and offense capabilities.
Heavy (Warlord, Conqueror, Shugoki) – High resistance to damage and survivability though their attacks are slow.
Hybrid (Valkyrie, Lawbringer, Nobushi) – A combination of the three classes being capable of using uncommon skills.
Overall each hero is unique and that’s what is interesting about this game. Combining all factions and classes you end up with a total of 12 different characters.
Each character has its own weapon, fighting styles and skills. The Art Of Battle system starts as soon as you engage an enemy player. There is no “block” button instead players must position their weapon from three directions (above, right and left) in order to attack or counterattack. The key is to observe the enemy player, predict and position yourself to block the attack or attack at the weakest point. This sounds very simple but is far from the truth. The complex battle system includes parries, guard breaks, counters, light attacks, heavy attacks, combos, unblockable attacks, stuns, throws dodges and last but not least gruesome executions. You must look at this game as a highly tactical requiring lots of skills just like Street Fighter or Mortal Combat.
Jump straight into the multiplayer mode and the results will not be pretty for you. There is no spraying and praying in this game. You must familiarize yourself with each faction/class. The more you know the better you will become at predicting attacks, blocking and counter-attacking opponents. Friendly fire is also turned on so be careful when you attack around your team. The multiplayer allows players to customize their characters and gain perks. Think about it as the Call od Duty of swords. Perks let you call in a barrage of arrows, catapult attacks, points of strength and even healing.
There are five game modes online:
Dominion: 4 vs 4 multiplayer mode in which players must capture and hold combat zones. Every time you capture a zone points are earned. Once a team has enough points they must eliminate the opposite team to win.
Brawl: 2 vs 2 mode where a team must eliminate the entire opposite team in order to win.
Duel: 1 vs 1 where a player must kill the opponent to win.
Skirmish: 4 vs 4 multiplayer mode where players gain points killing enemies. Gain enough points and you win the match.
Elimination: 4 vs 4 mode where you must eliminate the opposite team. The team with standing warriors wins the match.
One of the best features of this game is what they call the “Faction War”. Every time a match ends a player earns “war assets” based on their performance. These war assets can be used in the Faction War to defend an allied territory or conquer a new one. The territories are updated online every six hours. The seasons online last a total of 10 weeks or five rounds. As the war goes on the territories change and so do the maps you play online.
For Honor has brought us the type of melee game you never thought you would play. The innovative, complex and highly tactical battle system is the core of the game making it phenomenal. With no spraying and praying, skilled online players can put others to shame. This is the type of game where you need to really familiarize yourself with each character and spend time sharpening your movements. Predictability, accuracy and reaction time will be your greatest assets when you engage enemy players online. With already confirmed announcements of additional maps, characters and modes this game is worth your investment. It is guaranteed to provide you with hours of blood pumping fun.