Since its initial showing at E3 last year, Ubisoft's For Honor
is a game that has intrigued me, so I was extremely interested to learn more about the sword-swinging action when I took to the Ubisoft booth at this year's Gamescom
When For Honor
releases early next year, you'll fight as one of three warring factions - Knights, Samurai and Vikings - with four different heroes available for each one. The game will include a campaign that can be played alone or cooperatively (even split screen on console) and a number of multiplayer game modes. For our Gamescom demo we concentrated solely on the multiplayer, beginning with a brief tutorial to learn some of the basic controls before facing off in a 4v4 game mode called Dominion.
For the demo there was only a choice of one playable hero from each faction and being a fan of the History Channel's Vikings
TV series, I decided to go with the Scandinavian faction. This hero was the Raider, one of the game's Vanguard heroes who was covered in tattoos and wielded a large two-handed axe called the Great Dane.
The tutorial was cut short due to time constraints, but we did see the basics of the melee combat that revolve around you locking on to an opponent with the left trigger and then switching your stance between three directions to both defend and attack. When squaring up against the enemy you will need to pay constant attention to which of the three stances they have taken (left, right and up) and either mirror them to defend, or switch to a differing stance to attack while using the right trigger and bumper to land blows in varying strengths.
Early fights against other opponents quickly turned into button mashing contests, but it became obvious towards the end of our time with the game that the action is much deeper than that. Fighting against someone who only attacks in one direction becomes readable quickly, for example, and when attacking you can land much quicker combinations if you start your next assault from the side on which your previous one ended. Even once reaching the stage where I felt comfortable in a one on one fight, I still felt that I was barely scratching the surface of For Honor
's combat system.
The match lasted for around 15-20 minutes and consisted of each team trying to capture and hold on to three points on the map. Points A and C, which were on the outside of the maps, were relatively easy to capture but point B was another story completely. Here the action was MOBA-esque with AI controlled fighters from each team converging there throughout the match. By default, it was the place that most players tried to capture. Battles to capture point B were often intense and team tactics were key to regain control; finding yourself against two or more players at once always resulted in almost instantaneous death.
Of course, the 30 minutes or so that were spent with For Honor
was just a taster of what we can expect when the game launches on Valentine's Day (February 14th) next year, but that game left an impressive first impression of the direction in which it was heading.