For Honor, in a time when multiplayer seems to be without innovation, gives hope that this popular gaming destination has more room to grow.
I love online multiplayer games, but we are currently in a generation that has not given us any innovation in that particular area. I personally have been craving something new, something that takes the power of the new consoles and gives us a brand new multiplayer experience unlike anything I’ve played before. Going into this E3 I was looking for something that would fill that void, something fresh with in a competitive mode that I could get excited about.
Ubisoft has been doing a good job of trying new IP and new things, instilling a confidence in fans that the company isn’t afraid to give something new a spot on the stage. So when they opened their E3 2015 conference with this brutal medieval combat title, my excitement shot through the roof. For Honor is a multiplayer focused action game where you choose between three different warrior legacies: Samurai, Vikings or Knights. Its focus is on a brutal and visceral melee combat that requires a ton of skill and is being created by the masters at Ubisoft Montreal.
At E3 we got a chance to get our hands on For Honor to see if it played as well as the trailer looked. Our demo consisted of a round of Dominion: a four vs four epic battle of capturing points. There are three points on the map that players must fight each other for while in the midst of another violent, overarching battle. One point was in the very middle of the map where AI opponents would clash while the other two were towers located on each side of the map where AI stayed away from and left players to fight it out alone. Despite the teams only consisting of four players, the game felt like a huge battle thanks to warring AI armies, but you never had trouble finding other player-controlled opponents either. The feeling of a huge epic battle, plus those intimate and tense action moments when it’s just you and another opponent fighter for a control point, was present throughout each heavy swing of a sword or ax.
As interesting as the concept is, its weird to imagine an action combat system lending itself well to what is a multiplayer focused game. For Honor does not play like a traditional action title; attacks are mapped to the top of the controller, like you would find in a Dark Souls game, while you only have three directions that you can block or attack from: up, left, and right. From these positions, you are expected to read the opponents movement and block in the direction you see him attacking from and attack in the direction you see him open. You have a light and heavy attack and a sort of shield bash move that breaks down their defense, allowing you to strike them if you are quick enough. It takes some getting used to, but you will find a system that rewards timing and the ability to read your opponent working at its peak, and feeling far better than I ever imagined For Honor could.
The battle I played lasted around fifteen minutes and was very tense and fun with victory coming after depleting their respawn reserves while holding all three points. I enjoyed every minute of brutal contest I was engaged in. One thing that should be mentioned is the unbelievable attention to detail within the map I played and just how fantastic it looked. It really brought my battle to life with blood and dirt flying everywhere, proving to me that For Honor is a game that will grab anybody’s attention just by passing by.
This was a big year at E3 with the new consoles finally coming into their own and some awesome looking games being set for release. There was a laundry list of upcoming titles that I was excited for leading up to this year’s show and of all the games I played there, I was impressed most by this multiplayer brawler. It’s a gorgeously visceral, melee-focused action game that has ton of promise and is being done by a studio that we all know makes great games. If For Honor wasn’t on your radar before, it needs to be now because we need more multiplayer games going in this direction.