Published on February 22nd, 2017 | by Tony Smith
For Honor Review
Summary: For Honor successfully recreates the time of Knights, Vikings and Samurai which pits players against these factions in some very brutal combat mechanics.
Steel on Steel!
It’s time to rejoice as FOR HONOR has finally arrived that for the majority of the experience, hits the right place when it comes to a carefully balanced game with plenty of replay value. So while I was given the opportunity to review this complex medieval fighting game for the PlayStation 4, I discovered that it’s more than just another hack ‘n’ slash fighter and actually has some substance. Beneath this graphical impressive third person fighting game are some clever in-game mechanics which makes the combat both a joy and at times frustrating experience. More importantly it gives the player plenty to strive for and although the single-player campaign is relatively short, it is in multiplayer where you’ll probably be spending the majority of your time. The antagonist of the campaign mode is the warlord Apollyon who is manipulating each faction in order to fulfil her nefarious plans of control. Needless to say, things go awry quite quickly for each faction that leads to an epic battle between the Knights, Vikings and Samurai.
Rather than going for hell for leather in a traditional hack ‘n’ slash game, you actually need to watch your enemy in order to ensure you get through their defences and this works for your opponents as well. As a result it takes away some of the button mashing tactics and delivers a much more fluid and strategic experience and one that may feel like you are actually fighting a real-person. Given that, there are a wide array of manoeuvres to employ that include everything from both light to heavy attacks and more importantly clever dodges and feints to help get the upper hand of your enemy. Imagine a game of Tekken thrown into the medieval world with all the various movies, chains and finishers… and this is what For Honor feels like on the PlayStation 4.
Given that there is a single-player campaign, I commend the developers for adding this mode to For Honor as it’s definitely the best place to start in order to learn the medieval ropes of this title. Although you have AI buddies in single-player and like most other games, it is still up to the player to do most of the work. So the campaign offers players three chapters based on each of the different factions which include Knights, Vikings and Samurai. Within these chapters are 6 ‘missions’ which must be completed per faction that adds a total of 18-levels which adds to the story and really helps flesh out the world of For Honor. As mentioned, the single-player campaign is a little short but is still a fun distraction and reminded me of something like Dynasty Warriors but with considerably better graphics and combat mechanics.
Levelling up your character does require grinding and the currency used is steel. As you engage in fights or accept missions/contracts, you are awarded steel which can be used to help upgrade your character. For those that want to speed things up, there is an option of using real-world money as well but if you put in the effort, you can grind your war to the top. Also, there’s different weapons available to your character, each from their own respective cultures such as the deadly Katana wielded by the Samurai or a massive Viking inspired battle-axe. Add in daggers, halberds and twin axes and you have everything you need to help with your dismemberment.
When it comes to classes, For Honor offers some great choice to the player which include four professions that includes Vanguard, Heavy, Assassin and Hybrid. Each of these classes have their pros and cons such as Vanguard being your all-round warrior that is a competent fighter but not a master in one particular strength. Whereas the Heavy is your traditional tank type character whose attacks are very powerful but they are limited with their speed. The assassin is the fastest class available to the player and although quick to attack, they are also quick to damage should they get struck.
Lastly you have the Hybrid who has the ability of using long-ranged weapons but are limited in close quarters. The good thing about these classes are that they are well balanced against each other but some practice is needed by the player to perfect their role. Given that, sometimes retreat is the better defence and there are tutorials available to help you master the controls and fighting. Although For Honor supports 1 vs 1, there are also two player brawl modes which is quite brutal but also very satisfying when you succeed. Needless to say, there’s going to be quite a few times when you die but that’s all part of the learning curve of this game.
Then you have the multiplayer side as two groups of warriors go head to head against in modes such as Dominion and Elimination. Unlike first person shooters, the combat mechanics are quite difference here which offers a much more primal experience as you attempt to maim your opponents with some very sharp and pointy weapons. To help keep things a little fair, the game incorporates a revenge mode which allows you to absorb more damage as you go on the attack. Furthermore and just like something from a shooter, For Honor gives the player feats (or perks that gives them additional abilities on the battlefield like access to a catapult and other fun bonuses like healing.
- Brawl: Two teams of two must defeat their opponents
- Dominion: Four versus four multiplayer which requires players to capture and hold set areas
- Duel: Classic one versus on fighting
- Elimination: Two teams of four must eliminate their opposing team
- Skirmish: Four-versus-four multiplayer mode where the team with the most kills wins
Graphics & Audio
Graphically, the developers really channel another era and time and whether you’re playing the Knights, Vikings or the Samurai, there’s some great attention to detail, particularly on their armour. I also like that the characters move with an element of human-like grace and given the concept behind For Honor, it’s quite a bloody and gory game. Add in some great use of dynamic lighting and some glorious weather effects and it’s like you’re on some ancient battlefield with the only thing missing is either the wind or rain on your face… maybe blood as well! Audio adds another layer of authenticity, particularly the sounds of steel against steel plus all the sounds of melee combat. All in all, it’s a good looking game on the PlayStation 4 which screams of realism.
For Honor is an entertaining game on the PlayStation 4 and after the 4GB initial patch which addresses a few issues, you’re ready to be transported back to the violent time of Knights, Vikings and Samurai. Sure, the story in the single-player campaign is a little contrived at times but it’s a great introduction to the game and more importantly the controls. Given that, the combat mechanics of For Honor is quite sturdy and can be very brutal at times, particularly in multiplayer but the amount of grinding and use of both in-game and real-world currency may deter some people.