For Honor's Review: Because Hope Is Not Lost
If you have watched action movies, anime, read manga or anything of the like, then you must have wondered at least once "What it'd be like to be on their shoes?"
A split-second decision, the rush, the thrill. To train, to predict. To take a deep breath, a step back... to bait, to be lucky...
There are multiple phases, yet they all happen incredibly fast in just one match. That's For Honor: one of the most rewarding and frustrating games I've ever tried.
So, In a semantic sense For Honor is an action PvP fighting game (Or hack and slash. Up for interpretations) developed by Ubisoft Montreal for Microsoft Windows, PS4 and Xbox One.
In a more literal sense, as shown in the trailers and in the video up here, the game aims to be realistic (which should not be confused with Historically accurate). There are no flashy movements (*cough cough* Shinobi *cough cough*), you can see and almost feel the weight behind every attack in how your character just gets pushed back, or even thrown to the floor. Is actually quite nice for a change to find a game where your most powerful move is not a black screen full of Japanese letters, or a 50 hit combo.
The heroes also talk in different languages (with some exceptions, because why not.), when executing some particular attacks of their move set, which really adds to the mood of Blood shedding deathly iron tasting battle.
Next, from a background point of view, For Honor talks about a great cataclysm that shattered the Earth, bringing three cultures together which in our history never met: The Vikings, the Knights and the Samurai. In a life or death situation, these factions had to fight for resources to survive, which led to a war that hasn't ended in today's time.
Now, as a new player you'll have to choose between these three before getting into the game. But don't worry, choosing a side doesn't limit you to only play the warriors from that Faction. Being a Nobushi fighting for the knights is totally ok. Once you decide what side deserves your bravery, you'll have to design your shield, which you'll be able to change anytime. The patterns and possibilities are quite a few (you may have seen people with the Twitch icon in theirs. No, that's not a predesigned picture), so you won't get bored if customization is your thrill. And that without mentioning all of the options you have in fashion for your Hero.
And then, comes the great decision. Once you complete the tutorial, you'll be able to do three things: fight in multiplayer right away, train the different mechanics the game offers... or to dive into the story mode.
Personally, the first thing I did was to play the PvE campaign. Is not long, approximately 10 hours with some calm exploration. But Why? well, I had already played the beta, so I knew more or less what to expect of multiplayer, but that is not the main reason. I went for it because I heard there was this max difficulty called "realistic".
You see, when facing an opponent, the game tells you where the attack is coming from. Right, left or top. In "realistic" PvE... there isn't such a thing. And I tell you now, is quite good to get used to watching the animations rather than the indicators, which in some cases come too late to actually react to an attack. (*cough cough* Pk *cough cough*)
In any case, the story is quite good. Great narration, and you get to know the background of some of the iconic characters For Honor has, (Like Raider...LEGENDARY) besides WHY the war continues even to this day. Is arguably a big badass tutorial.
Which leads us to the question... What does the big badass tutorial teach us?
Well, basically how to keep yourself alive. The first level of knowledge out of three in my opinion. Every level with more depth than the one before. Is in fact one of the things that I liked about For Honor the most.
(Also, let me say this: Most of the problems you may read on reddit or the forums about unbalancing and such... you won't really feel them until you reach a certain skill level.)
But then, how to keep yourself alive? Learn to counter guardbreak (a move that lets you exposed for a brief period of time). Learn to parry (to attack with a heavy in the direction of an incoming attack as its about to hit you). Learn to watch your stamina. Learn to recognize unblockables as soon as possible. All very basic but it can take you some time to get used to. All the more because of how new all of these mechanics are... which is pretty exciting to be honest.