Samurai, Vikings, and Knights, oh my! For those that have ever wondered what would happen if these three warrior groups ever met in open combat, look no further than Ubisoft’s newest release, “For Honor.”
Made by Ubisoft Montreal, published by Ubisoft, and released on Feb. 14 for Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Windows, “For Honor” puts the player in the role of a mythical warrior fighting for their people’s survival in a world ravaged by war and natural disasters.
The key thing to note about “For Honor” is that it has absolutely zero offline features. Now, that isn’t to say that it requires a paid subscription for Playstation 4 or Xbox One players to be able to enjoy the majority of the game, as players can play all game modes against the artificial intelligence (A.I.).
None of the game’s content can be accessed if a connection cannot be established with Ubisoft’s servers, which is definitely something to keep in mind. After two weeks of hands-on time with the game, I’ve found a handful of things that leave a sour taste in my mouth, despite the massive amounts of fun to be had.
The first, and most frustrating, of these issues would be the connection issues. Outcry from the online community has shown that the issues are there on all three platforms.
Since accessing any of the game’s content requires a connection to Ubisoft’s servers, any loss of connection to the servers results in the game promptly kicking you back to the main menu with an error message. This can even happen during the campaign, which I did experience, costing me roughly 30 minutes of time when it lost connection during the ending cutscene of a mission.
And speaking of the campaign, it seems as if it might as well not be there. The campaign is split up into three chapters with six missions each, with each chapter being devoted to one of the three factions.
The campaign, in its entirety, plays like a glorified tutorial, with a threadbare excuse of a plot. A glorified tutorial that doesn’t even teach you how to play all of the heroes available to each faction.
In addition, the Samurai chapter of the campaign feels like it was rushed. It lacks the narrative flow and fun of the other two campaigns.
Despite the game’s shortcomings, it has areas in which it absolutely shines, namely gameplay and art. The gameplay, while nothing innovative, is addictive and engaging.
Weapons feel like they actually have weight to them and combat is satisfyingly lethal. Fights can be over in as few as two or three swings of an axe if either hero makes a mistake, which forces players to learn how to fight defensively and look for openings in their opponent’s strategy.
And the art of the game is simply beautiful. It is gritty, dark, made up of a great deal of muted colors, but it all works.
The various battlefields that players take to easily look like they’ve seen the many years of fighting that the lore says they’ve been through. Everything is slowly breaking down or hastily patched, including wooden walkways built over broken castle walls and bridges with large portions broken away by siege equipment which routinely rains fire down over the map.
All in all, “For Honor” is a fun and enjoyable game, if you can get past the glaringly obvious issues that it has. Don’t get it if you’re looking for a wonderful story and don’t get it if you don’t have access to the internet on your console or PC.
However, if you’re looking for a fun online brawler that plays and looks like a cross between “Dark Souls” and “Dynasty Warriors,” then give it a try.