For Honor Masterclass Video

By Lucy Wood, 2 years ago
Ubisoft has released their full For Honor E3 Masterclass for anyone wanting a deeper look at the game world, combat system, animation process and more. In the 45-minute video, Community Manager Eric Pope sits down with developers Gaelec Simard and Geoff Ellenor to give us the lowdown on everything from gameplay to background research. This section-by-section breakdown will help you skip to whatever part you're most interested in.

The first segment of the video is all about the E3 cinematic trailer. We get some background on the thousand years of conflict between Knights, Vikings and Samurai preceding the events of For Honor and find out some of the backstory of arch-villain Apollyon.

Just after the 12-minute mark, the presentation begins to focus on combat, with commentary on a playthrough of the first mission of For Honor, which includes the combat tutorial and culminates in becoming a knight. The combat system resembles a dance, fundamentally simple but with great scope for thoughtful play. Once an opponent is selected, the player uses cn_RS to choose between three guard/attack directions - top, left and right. Matching the guard position to the opponent's stance will result in successfully blocking attacks from that direction. Conversely, to attack successfully, you must mismatch your opponent's stance and bypass his guard. Once you have the basic mechanics down, you can incorporate special moves (unique to each fighter type), feints, parries, chain attacks, guard breaks and even make use of environmental hazards such as fires.

Around 27 minutes in, the focus shifts to animation, including a video from the animation team. Ubisoft claims to have eliminated disconnect between player input and what is seen on screen by developing a new animation system they call Motion Matching. They explain that the traditional approach of using a library of short animations matching specific commands such as "run, turn left" was too unwieldy for the melee navigation of For Honor and actually disrupted the flow of animation. Motion Matching instead uses a library of longer animation sequences for general motions layered with specific combat moves, and these are selected according to how well they match the current player pose, future trajectory and desired events. Animations are based on motion capture of martial arts experts wielding real weapons, so every move seen in the game can be performed by a real person.

At about the 31-minute mark, Community Developer Emile Gauthier leads a general Q&A covering topics such as story structure, relationship between multiplayer and campaign, research into weapons seen in game, freedom to choose gender and skin colour, opportunities to participate in multiplayer betas and the impact of friendly fire on co-op play. Cosplay lovers should check out the final minute to see a Knight, a Viking and a Samurai live on stage.

For Honor is due to be released on Xbox One on February 14th, 2017. Anyone wanting to participate in future multiplayer betas can register on the official game website.

We've got the full list of For Honor achievements - check the list for guides to unlocking them.
Lucy Wood
Written by Lucy Wood
Lucy wasted her youth in the pursuit of music, art and stories. Eventually she discovered that video games combine all three with shooting and exploding stuff and a gamer was born.