Straddling the line between a third person action game and a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena), For Honor features three factions, The Chosen, The Warborn and The Legions – knights, samurai and vikings respectively – battling it out using an innovative melee combat system known as ‘Art of Battle’. Here’s how it works.
When players confront each other they enter a duelling mode that enables them to change stances and the directionality of attacks or blocks. The left thumbstick is used for movement and the right for positioning the player’s weapon either up, to the left or right (no word on how mouse/keyboard control will work as yet). The position of the weapon is key to both blocking and attacking as enemy players can see the directionality of the weapon and attack or defend accordingly. The developers are hoping to inspire real give and take in the battles, with players having to judge whether they will defend or try and take an opportunity to attack an undefended area knowing full well that the opposing player will be looking to do exactly the same thing. In addition to simple attacks and blocks, timing a block right results in a parry, allowing for a counterattack that can’t be defended against.
Each of the factions has multiple character types, only a few of which have been revealed as yet, but even though there are equivalent characters across faction lines, each side plays differently. The Chosen heavy warrior, for instance, is heavily armoured and wields a massive but slow longsword. The Warborn heavy warrior, on the other hand, is more lightly armoured and more capable of dodging and wields a fast, deadly katana. Each of these characters is customisable in multiple ways, with the only caveat being that they will always wield their specific weapon type. In this way, players should be able to know what to expect from any engagement when it comes to tactical choices.
In competitive multiplayer, For Honor only supports up to eight players – four a side – but each team is bolstered by a number of AI soldiers that will help achieve objectives or attack enemy players. These AI characters are easy to kill for players and can be farmed for experience to gain levels, unlocks and perks. By achieving objectives, capturing strategic points and killing enemy players, teams gain points, and once a team gains 1000 points the opposing team can no longer respawn. Matches end when all the players on one team are permanently killed. Capturing these strategic points from another team takes points from them, so it’s possible for a team to rally and come back from the brink.
We have a funny feeling that Ubisoft is angling to enter the televised/streaming eSports field with For Honor. At this stage the game looks beautiful and is as entertaining to watch as it is to play. There is no set release date for the game as yet but you can be sure we’ll bring you some in depth hands on in the near future.