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Know Before You Go…  For Honor Review

Vikings! And samurai! And knights! Oh my! Ubisoft’s multiplayer hack-and-slash For Honor is finally almost here. Just in time for Valentine’s Day. Thanks to this weekend’s open beta, you’ve probably been able to check out the game for yourself but the beta won’t actually give you the entire picture. For Honor is out February 14th on PS4, XBox One and Windows PC. Here’s everything you need to know before you go out there and get it. Ubisoft first unveiled the game at E3 2015, promising a unique take on competitive multiplayer.

With a focus on third person dueling. This is accomplished through what Ubisoft is calling “the art of battle” melee system, which makes the battles accessible, fast paced, but still based on skill and strategy. The game’s mostly centered around multiplayer play, with multiple competitive modes, supporting up to 8 players total. There is, however, a story campaign you can play but so far the early word about that comes with mixed results. So let’s get that out of the way first, if you don’t already know, For Honor is all about warring factions; the vikings, the knights, and the samurai. No, none of it makes any kind of historical sense. In this version of history, all three of these factions are located relatively close to each other. And are constantly warring over territory. The samurai have arrived from a far away land. The vikings left for a far away land, but have returned.

And the knights are just hanging out and fighting over their current lands. Makes sense! Each faction has their own unique types of fighters. Four each. With varying types of fighting styles and weapon proficiencies. Since one of the big features of the fighting system has to do with counterattacking and defending, different fighters have different amounts of skills in that department as well. And some of that will depend on their style and weaponry. The fighting system in For Honor is actually fairly in depth and centers around timing your strikes and counterattacks while targeting your opponent’s weak points. Each character has a specific moveset plus their own strengths and weaknesses. The knights classes are Conquerors, they use shields and maces and specialise in defense.

Wardens, a long sword wielding balanced fighter. Peacekeepers, the dual wielding highly mobile fighter. And Lawbringers, the axe hefting counterattacker. Meanwhile the samurai side we have the Orochi, the highly precise assassin that specialises in counterattacking. The Kensai, slow skilled fighters with very long melee range. Shugoki, an incredibly powerful fighter that disables with swings of a spiked club. And the Nobushi, a spear wielding warrior that is good at zone control. And not to leave anybody out, we also have the vikings, the Beserker fights with small axes and can chain attacks infinitely for harrassment.

The Raider, who fights with the double handed axe at a long range. The Warlord, a short range shielded defender. And the Valkyrie, another spear long ranged attacker. This fictional war between all 3 of these groups provide most of the backbone of the game’s story. However, the story mode does sort of feature a fourth enemy faction, the Blackstone Legion. Led by Apollyon, who is trying to sow the seeds of war so the conflict can continue.

Apollyon loves war! Apparently. Kinda their thing. The singleplayer campaign will put you in the shoes of each of these three factions. First the knights, then the vikings, then the samurai. The game is also available in 2 player co-op, although that’s online co-op only. Previously, Ubisoft declared the game would feature offline split screen play, but announced back in October that they had completely cut the feature. The campaign is also been deigned a little bit from some major outlets in early hands on impressions.

For instance, Eurogamer called it, “an afterthought”. It’s also important to remember that the game is always online. But of course, the meat of the game will come from multiplayer. There are a number of game modes in For Honor. Dominion, Duel, Brawl, Skirmish, and Elimination. Dominion is a 4v4 mode, similar to Battlefield’s Conquest where holding territories and killing enemies gives you points. First to a thousand wins. Duel, just like it sounds, is a 1v1 mode. Brawl, is a 2v2 mode with no respawns that lasts 5 rounds. Elimination is the same concept but 4v4. And Skirmish is a standard team death match. Participating in matches gives you experience, which allows you to level up certain feats, which are Call Of Duty-ish perks. Special load outs and customizations. You also get loot and equipment, which comes into play in certain playlists. Similar to The Division’s Darkzone. You can also buy loot from Steel, the in-game currency.

Since this game is a multiplayer centric title, Ubisoft is planning on supporting it, which means season passes! From some of Ubisoft’s comments, Rainbow Six Siege is providing the basis of how For Honor season pass content will play out. New maps and modes will be available to all players, regardless of season passes. However, there will be six new heroes added throughout the first year. Those with the season pass will get one week of first access to the new heroes as they are released. If you don’t want to pay for them with real money, you’ll be able to buy them with Steel, For Honor’s in-game currency, a week after they drop. So, what does the $40 Season Pass get you if not cool new characters and maps. Well, unique loot and a temporary experience boost. Totally not paid-to-win at all. Totally not. If you’re curious about the platform you should be getting For Honor on, the PS4 version will have PS4 Pro enhancements. If you have one of those consoles.

As for the PC, its recommended settings are pretty steep. For a 1080p 60fps experience, Ubisoft says you’ll need a i5-2500k, or FX-6350. Plus 8GB of RAM and at least a GTX 680 or R9 280X. And that’s with VSync disabled. So, plan accordingly. So that just about rounds up everything you need to know about For Honor before you go out and buy it. Are you planning on getting the game? Which faction do look forward to playing? And for more updates on the latest releases, be sure to check out more videos in our Know Before You Go series.

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