For Honor Multiplayer Review
What would happen if vikings, knights, and samurai were locked in combat? For Honor is set to answer that questions
Ubisoft's For Honor contains a single-player campaign, but the main focus is the multiplayer war between the three factions. The beta provided a nice look into what the game entails for this multiplayer. As a heads up, I would like to make clear that I have spent all that much with every class . Therefore, I will only focus on the classes in which I am level 5 or higher.
Multiplayer consists of 4 basic game modes. The first dominion, For Honor's "Capture the Flag" game mode. The next is "Elimination," which is 4 v 4 death match. Similar to this brawl, a 2 v 2 death match. Finally, for those really wanting to test their skill, there is a 1 v 1 death match mode called "Duel".
The combat itself is like a game of rock, paper, scissors with some major changes though. Players can choose between three weapon stances — left, right, and top — which will end up determining if the strike is blocked or connects. If a defending player is in the same stance as the attacker, the attack will be blocked, unless it is a special unblockable move.
An attack can be deflected if the defending player dodges in the same direction as the attack. To parry an attack, the defending player must guard right before an attack hits, but the defending player must still be in the same stance. There is also a dodge, and a guard break. Attacks can be light or heavy. Finishing off an opponent with a heavy attack will lead to a chance to execute the opponent, which replenishes some health. Some attacks can be linked into chains.
Each attack takes up stamina, and if you’re stamina runs out, your character goes into a state of exhaustion. This means your character can’t run, your dodges are slower, and your attacks are slower and weaker. It’s essentially a death sentence if your opponent has most of their stamina bar.
Now onto the classes.
The peacekeeper is a small, agile character with a sword and a dagger. It is the assassin class for the knight faction. It can also bleed opponents, which is a damage over time effect. When bleed is applied, a portion of a player’s health bar will turn red, and then the red portion will slowly tick down. All of the heavy attacks for this character can be cancelled into a stab, which applies bleed, or a dodge. A guard break with this character can lead to three stabs, if the attack button is pressed with the right timing.
This class doesn’t have a lot of health, but dodging around opponents and playing the cat and mouse game with the bleed effect is a lot of fun. This class actually has a running grab, which leads to the three stabs, so you can run up to an enemy, stab them three times then leave. My friends just call this character the “stab n go” because of this. It’s definitely a fun class for people who either want to go full aggression with quick attacks or those who enjoy the cat and mouse style games.
This is the assassin class for the vikings faction. It cannot apply bleed, but is still agile with dual axes as a weapon. My favorite thing about this class is that the dodge heavy attacks have an unbreakable stance. This means that a player cannot hit you out of these moves unless it is a killing blow. This is my favorite of the assassin classes because it focuses on being an aggressive counter attacker. The basic chain for this class can also be done infinitely until you run out of stamina.
This is the hybrid class for the samurai. It is a spear wielding character that can apply bleed as well. Each attack of this character can be canceled into a kick, which pushes enemies away, or into secret stance, which has dodge frames on start up. The kick can also knock players off ledges for environmental kills. The basic light chain, and the dodge attacks apply bleed with this character. The Nobushi specialize in bleeding players from a safe distance since the spear actually has deceptively long range. I still haven’t fully figured out this character, but it’s really fun to just bleed an enemy from just outside their maximum range.
The Raider is the vanguard for the viking faction. This character has a huge axe and revolves around stunning enemies then following up with a heavy attack. The raider also has an unblockable attack, which can be used in some of the chains. Each dodge attack with the raider causes a stun to the enemy, which makes it hard for the enemy to dodge away or know which stance you’re using. The raider can also carry and throw other characters. A knockdown from a throw leads to a free heavy attack.
The Raider can carry opponents by either sprinting then holding the guard break button when they run into an enemy, or pressing and holding the guard break after performing a guard break. There is a throw at the end of the carry if the opponent is not carried into a wall. It can be used to carry opponents and then throw them off ledges for an environmental kill. If carried to a wall, the raider will throw the opponent against the wall and knee them in the head, causing a major stun.
Overall, the game was really fun. The only real complaint I had was that the combat system was a little clunky. While that felt good for the Raider and Nobushi, it felt really bad for the peacekeeper and Berserker since they’re supposed to be fast and agile. They also felt just a little too slow for their role. I realize the combat has to be clunky due to its stance system, but it just feels bad for the more agile characters. However, I’ve still had a huge blast with the game so far, and can’t wait to play it some more.