About a month ago, I published an article detailing my very first impressions of For Honor, and not much has changed.
And boy, is that a good thing.
Now, I didn’t really mention the visuals a whole lot in my previous article, because I wanted to save it for my full review.
Believe me when I say that the graphics in this game are stunning, and this isn’t specific to any console or PC. Whether you’re hoppin’ into a game of Dominion or starting a Duel, the painstakingly crafted environments really stand out. Even the armor on the back of your player is exceptionally constructed. I’ll be honest and say there’s not a point in playing where I say “Oh, well, this doesn’t look quite right” or “Eh, I don’t really like how that looks” — I’m always completely immersed in the world (except for a few times I’ll discuss later).
Maybe it’s just me, but I seriously appreciate when a game goes out of its way to make something look phenomenal, instead of just “good”. Take a look for yourself.
First, I’m going to discuss general gameplay (that is, gameplay outside of combat), and then focus on PvP.
However, the only other thing related to gameplay that’s NOT combat is P2P connectivity. This, of course, is complete trash.
Every session I’ve had (1 to 2 hours of play time) has resulted in at least 5 disconnections. In my humble opinion, this is absolutely disgusting. Most of this is due to Ubisoft’s choice for direct player-to-player connections as opposed to server-based connections. Less mass outages, but more frequent issues for individual players.
Of course, it’s not always the extremes – there’s lag, player “teleportation”; the whole nine yards – debatably, more painful than out-right kicks. Yes, all this is a bit of a downer, but it isn’t unlike all other games currently on the market.
Those of you who read my initial impressions of the beta are already familiar with this question–
“What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear something about medieval wars?”
And let me tell you — it is STILL men screaming as they sprint across the battlefield. However, after playing the open beta like crazy, I was certain that this concept was gonna get old; I was wrong — again.
I wholeheartedly believe that there will never be a day when I will say “No” to driving a spear through the heart of an enemy soldier. Gruesome? Yes. Justified? Oh, yeah.
Now, to speak to the combat system – it definitely requires skill. I also mentioned For Honor’s block-based system, which will be a turn off for tons of players, and I expected it would turn me off as well. Often times, you will have to perfectly time attacks and blocks and know your hero’s combo moves inside-and-out. Obviously, this is only for battling the game’s elite.
I think the challenge this game poses is the reason why I love playing it so much. Sure, you’re gonna get knocked sometimes down – a lot, actually – this is inevitable. However, those moments where you get to rip off the head of an opponent after a grueling 1v1 are totally worth it.
My only other gripe with the multiplayer is that there is very little diversity in the game modes. After the two betas, I was really hoping for a few more game modes that weren’t just permutations of each other, or what I like to call “the same, but different”. Skirmish was nice, but Elimination was the same as 1v1 or 2v2, only expanded to fit 8 people in a lobby. Maybe they could have added a randomized mode, where every time you spawned, you had a new character — or, a chaos mode, where it was Dominion except with 4 teams — I’m not sure, but I feel like they had more options.
Now, when I started up the story mode for the very first time, I expected what everyone else was — a strange, drab, poorly constructed mess.
From a critical perspective, this is still true. Objectively, though, it does just as much as you would think a primarily multiplayer game would do. Personally, I think that the studio was practically forced to include a single-player experience, solely based on how “story-centered” their marketing strategy was.
As for the specifics (without giving anything away), the story consists of 3 individual plotlines, one for each hero faction. What do you do in each chapter? If you guessed, “the same exact thing you do in multiplayer, except less challenging“, then you’re right on the money. Sure, there are some exciting scenes, but nothing too different from online – and certainly not something I would recommend anyone playing through. The visuals are nice, the gameplay is nice, but everything else is rubbish.
Ubisoft’s For Honor is a phenomenal game, and it will certainly pave the way for future Hack-and-Slash genre entries. But, while For Honor creates a magnificent multiplayer universe and hosts mind-numbingly immersive environments, it is not without its pitfalls. From a dreadfully weak campaign to unhonorable connection stability, it is clear that even the untouchable Ubisoft *sarcasm* is no match for common industry mistakes.