Wot I Think: For Honor

There’s a scene in the History Channel’s Vikings where the protagonist, Ragnar Lothbruk, says he is “bloodsick” after a hard fought campaign. He’s maudlin, weary of everything. It’s as if he is coming down from a dark age combat high. Well, that’s sort of how For Honor leaves me feeling after a battle. Even if my team won, I’m frustrated and irritable at all the small deaths. That attack from behind by three other players. That shonky, crowded melee amid the NPC pawns. Those dozen cuts from a Samurai blade that I could have sworn I was blocking. All of it working together to leave me weary, sighing and bloodsick.

For Honor is Ubisoft’s ludicrous love song to the idea behind Deadliest Warrior. What if all these infamous fighters through history were to meet and fight it out? Vikings, Knights and Samurai clash swords, axes and katanas in a never-ending war. There’s a story mode behind it all, which puts a manipulative war God, Appolyon, at the centre of things, conspiring to make the three groups fight their infinite fight. This single-player (or co-op) mode has its strengths. It’s a good way of learning each character’s moves, for example, and completing the story gets you a good amount of steel, the game’s currency, which you can spend in multiplayer to unlock new classes of character or gamble for better gear in grubby loot crates.

But mission by mission it’s not much more than a conglomeration of recycled multiplayer levels with set pieces and terrible dialogue that you’ll recognise from hundreds of action movies. Toward the end, one of the characters confronts Appolyon, who has been stirring up trouble like an armoured Trickster since the start. “You!” the character gasps, “You want war!?” I exploded into laughter. Yes, you dense fugitive. We have known that since the opening cinematic. We have known that since the trailer.

You're an idiot, you are.

While the story mode is not much but a hackneyed tapestry sewn together from Ubisoft’s big box of levels, the real gristle to chew on was always going to be the multiplayer fights. The premise might be Vikings v Samurai v Knights but that’s not how the fights actually work. It’s red versus blue and you can mix and match, fight as any kind of warrior. So in the game’s 2v2 brawl mode you might have one team featuring a ninja-like Orochi and a blonde Raider, throwing down with a knightly Warden and a spear-wielding Valkyrie. The eternal war of three is only really for show (and for the ‘war map’ – which I’ll talk about later).

After moshing about in the open beta, I stormed into the full game confident in my ability to throw tin men off bridges. A lot of genres have been fused together here to create sportsmanlike battles full of angry men and women going back and forth and stabbing each other in the head. In game modes like Dominion there’s even a little bit of MOBA influence if you squint. Fragile creeps in the form of lowly soldiers constantly flood down the “middle” of the battlefield, and you have to help them out by clearing the way of enemy creep-soldiers. Unlike the other two control points, this is the only way to take the centre of the map. You have to pitch in with the plebs, which leads to all sorts of moshpit like fights with player-controlled enemies, as each of you try to find space among the throng to get a sense of your surroundings and lunge at each other.

In this mode, you need to get 1000 points and the enemy will “break”, at which point you need to kill them all and wipe them out, since they can’t respawn while they’re breaking. But if the enemy can hold out, kill your team and regain some ground and points, they will “rally” allowing respawns again and giving them the chance to break the other team in a counter-attack. This can lead to close games as warriors rush around the field reviving their dead mates (this doesn’t count as a respawn) and coming back from the brink of defeat. To ensure the dead remain dead and “unreviveable”, you can kick or push players off ledges, where their body can’t be reached, or you can perform an “execution” as your final blow against a flagging player. They can’t bring you back to life without a head, mate. Sort yourself out.

Much of the appeal comes down to the fights themselves. One-on-one bouts can be tense, exciting battles. You have to be aware of your foe’s attacking direction (presented as little white arrows) and match that direction while guarding to block the incoming hit, while also striking out in an effort to get past their own guard. This is the basic principle of the fighting, however, there’s much more going on underneath. Sometimes too much more. You can also grab opponents, throw them, parry attacks and perform heavier and slower attacks. It doesn’t really end there. Depending on the type of warrior you’ve brought into the fray you can also:

  • Sweep them off their feet
  • Chain attacks together infinitely
  • Feint to one side then attack at another
  • Guard from all directions
  • Stun them with the butt of your axe
  • Charge up a nasty attack
  • Perform an unblockable attack
  • Swing your mace around endlessly like a wide-eyed maniac
  • Cut them with poison
  • Set them on fire
  • Headbutt them down a cliff
  • Throw them over your own head
  • Charge into them from ten feet away and carry them across the earth like a sack of potatoes until they tumble backside first into a pit full of terrible spikes

Because of the variety of tactics and movesets, defeating even one player requires agility, timing and a vicious and permanent awareness of the nearest unfenced ledge. It’s a rough, adrenal affair. But then you find yourself up against two people. Three people. The entire enemy team. At this point you’re lean, high-grade mincemeat. Taking on more than a single person alone is folly. And that’s before you consider any of the character’s perks that are unlocked as the battle goes on. Some of these let you plant down a life-giving aura for other players. Some let you call in a volley of arrows on enemies, or throw flasks full of fire, or “mark an enemy for death” and reduce their defence.

I learned how to fight dirty when I lived with the Rat King Covenant, however. So I love the use of your environment to get kills or even just to make your opponent wary of approaching you. Throwing people into pits, moats, off cliffs, castle walls, perilous bridges. Booting them into a wall of spikes or headbutting them straight into a fire. It summons a good, bloodlusty feeling. It makes you feel like Rollo Lothbruk, you know, before he went all French.

But there are also plenty of players to whom the whole system of blocking, countering, feinting and slashing comes freakishly naturally. During one gore-soaked Dominion match, I had repeated face-offs with one Knight who was consistently swinging a mace around as he jealously guarded a control point the entire match. I tried everything – grabs, counter-attacks, stunning blows, dodging strikes. Every time it was a futile effort. Six times I had my head crushed by that mace during our vicious rivalry. Six times. It was like having a fight with a living quicktime event.

There’s usually at least one person like this in every match. Normally, a jerkish Samurai Orochi. These dual-wielding characters don’t have a default stance (same goes for the Knight’s Assassin and the Viking’s Berserker), so the direction of their incoming attack doesn’t appear until the last second, meaning you have to be quicker in response when guarding. They are fast, vicious monsters who can dart and dodge blows while delivering their own small cuts at the same time. You can play as giant, tanky characters and still succumb to the speed of these stab-happy rats.

The trade-off is that they are difficult to learn and master, like other classes of fighter. Spear-wielding Valkyries make me quake with fear, because they have a move that can sweep you up by the heels if executed properly, and they are fond of bashing you with their shield. The most rotund of the Knights, the Lawbringer, has a pinning charge that stabs you in the gonads, which can then be followed up with unblockable attacks that you’ll need to dodge, not block. But if you’re like me, the instinct to raise your shield will always take over and you’ll know before the strike hits, by the appearance of small firey symbol, that you are soundly dead.

But again, these classes are hard to learn well. They can still fall to the much more manageable Raider. I use this hearty woman to whap people on the bonce and stun them. In this state their screen goes “grrrhb?” and they can’t tell which direction the next strike is coming from. In their panic, I grab them and toss them off a rampart.

So, the fighting is quite good. But there are issues. The popular Dominion mode is both the most fun and the most annoying. Here, death comes by the gankful. A lonely player is a delicious lamb for a pair or a trio. And if you are being spammed with attacks from multiple directions, there’s normally no way out of it. You’re supposed to be able to roll out of a fight by double-tapping A. But firstly, the roll never rolls you that far. Secondly, any blow while “unlocked” from enemies interrupts your movement completely. Running is only an option if there’s already distance between you and your predator.

You could play the 1v1 duels exclusively, or you can just accept this pack mentality to be part of the game, train yourself to recognise the signs of a fight worth fighting. If I’m on my todd and I see three enemies, for instance, I tend to turn around and “nope” my way out of there lickety-split. If I see one guy, I’ll charge toward him and look for the nearest environmental hazard. But there’s no avoiding the gank sometimes. Players popping out of seemingly nowhere, AI bots becoming human at a moment’s notice, running around a corner to find the whole enemy team descending on you like a pack of rabid honey badgers. All these deaths and more will come to you in time, my sweet child.

The problem, I think, is that there is far too much going on in any one fight. Say you run up to point C and, oh look, it’s a Warden with death in his eyes. That’s okay, let’s just keep your eyesight trained on his guard stance. Left, right… high red! Parry! Left, high… heavy left swing! Dodge! Phew, this guy is really dancing that’s for sure.

But as you’re doing all this you also need to be keeping an eye on those ledges nearby. There’s three drops into sweet nothing to keep track of here, and a forth onto a lower level, where he might throw you and jump down with a killing leap (or where you might be thinking to do the same) and these are – Left red! Block! Right red, parry! – these are things to be aware of.

So your eyes are going everywhere at this stage, when you suddenly, instinctively remember to glance at your radar. There are two orange blips coming up behind you. “GG, Warden.” You mutter as the knives come down, “GG.”

In other words, For Honor demands an often-exhausting amount of spatial awareness, abstract awareness of enemies, and the twitch-like instincts of the fight itself. It’s like trying to play three Batman Arkham games at once. Then, at a critical moment, the screen is covered with garbage.

I’m talking about the game’s UI here, which is as intrusive and irritating as any Ubi game can be expected to be. Even the menus outside a fight are busy, garbled boxes. On the multiplayer menu there’s a big war map which shows the territories owned and fought over by each faction. As you win matches you can dispatch “war assets” into these territories on behalf of the faction you’ve allied yourself to. I pledged myself to the Vikings at the start of the game, so a big axe comes down and stabs the map whenever I send my war assets somewhere. Take that, map! Every few hours the map changes, depending on how folks have been allocating their warboys.

But what any of this even means, I couldn’t tell you. At the end of a season, we’re told, there’ll be rewards for everyone who participated, according to your faction’s score. But fight-by-fight, this map is just a convoluted distraction. It helps to think of it like the map in Planetside 2, except you can’t explore a single inch of it and it has no real significance, since all the battles already take place on a preset list of cycling levels entirely unrelated to the larger world. An early video says if an area falls into enemy hands “you will see many changes”. But they only mean that some round shields on an insignificant wall will become square banners on an insignificant wall. There’s no real geography to any of it, no real war. Just a playlist of battles and a funny-looking map slowly being painted a Viking red (Valhallllaaaaaaaaaa!).

But nothing demonstrates the game’s overbearing UI like when a match goes to sudden death. Here, darkness starts to intrude at the edge of your screen, the left and right fills up with names and profile pictures so that you can see who’s dead and who’s not. All this at the expense of seeing, you know, the actual battlefield.

It is a frustrating and totally unnecessary obfuscation of your view. Your fighting attention is already busy enough, filled to breaking point with radar, player enemies, NPC hordes, and environmental obstacles. I do not need giant skulls appearing in my peripheral vision, along with more flashing words right in the centre of my sight. UI designers, please stop what you are doing. Please, stop.

There are other irritations, unrelated to stabbing men in the neck. Matchmaking is unreliable and often garnished with lengthy wait times. When a match ends players often leave, and the game doesn’t know how to look for new ones, even if there’s four people willing to stay, so it just kicks you all out at the end of a timer. I’ve seen all manner of error messages saying that a match I’ve tried to join is full, or that there’s a simple “network error”, both of which kick me out of matchmaking and back to the menus, rather than simply lining me up for a new match automatically. Network issues also mean you sometimes swing to stab an opponent for a cheap cut of human meat, only for the game to freeze and this to appear.

It’s not an ideal launch. Mostly though, the busy-ness of the fighting is why, despite enjoying the charge of my warring Raider and being a dastardly manipulator of gravity, I tend to come away from the battles surly and tired. But also, the over-reliance on ganking as a genuine and expected tactic simply makes losing horrendously un-fun. They definitely called it For Honor as a joke, because I have rarely yelled “oh fuck off” at a death screen with such disdain for my opponents. “This game is going to give me a heart attack,” said one player to the rest of our team. We had just won a match.

Overall, I don’t know exactly how I feel about For Honor. It sometimes feels like a Ubisoft hired a bunch of scientists in white coats to observe Dark Souls PvP from behind reinforced perspex and experiment on it with Dota DNA in a mad attempt to recreate a tame monster in a safe environment for their own nefarious ends (profit). What they’ve made is an interesting chimera, something that is both more accessible but sometimes just as unforgiving. I expect that to be able to enjoy it more, I’d need even more time to practice, more time to learn the ins and outs of all the characters, to become better at reading its clustered mess of a screen, to build up that thumb-cracking muscle memory to a point where I too can crush a man’s head with a mace six times in a row.

But I don’t know if I can face that. Because right now I just feel bloodsick.

42 Comments

  1. Retrofrank says:

    Sound like, after bug-fixing and tweaking the UI, this could become a wet dream for the “Git gud” – Folks.

    • Ghostwise says:

      Maybe if all the “Git Gud” people go play For Honour, we can then unexpectedly slam the door behind them and lock it shut.

      And revel in our new, brave world of piss-poor reflexes, lack of spatial awareness, atrocious timing, inability to do combos with more than two key presses, and perpetually misjudged distances.

      Because we will have won.

      • Pravin Lal's Nuclear Arsenal says:

        No, you maniac! We tried that with MOBAs and all we managed to do is to create a critical mass that spawned even more bloody MOBAs.
        Is history doomed to repeat itself?

  2. Premium User Badge

    Nauallis says:

    Graphically it’s like the menage-a-trois love-child of Far Cry 4, Samurai Warrior, and a very lurid Dark Souls. Hurrah for that, I guess.

  3. skeletortoise says:

    Interesting. It almost sounds like this is a bit of a fundamental problem with big multiplayer melee skirmishes. The distance involved in shooters leaves the opportunity to retreat or hide if you’re suddenly overwhelmed, but there’s simply no way to avoid gang ups at close range. Perhaps adding in more ability to be evasive and defensively retreat, but it would probably drastically effect the core play.

    • LexW1 says:

      You can actually get away – I know because I was playing earlier and not only was able to do it myself, but had a couple of jerks on the enemy team who were even better at it, and managed to dump me a bunch of times when I thought I had them. That said, it’s a bit more of a skill than turning tail and fleeing alone.

      • skeletortoise says:

        Ah, so your choices are be the hyper coward who never commits to battle or get wrecked by ambush.

    • Premium User Badge

      Nauallis says:

      The obvious solution is to adopt a perk like Martyrdom from CoD4, because in this clearly realistic and historical game, everyone needs to have grenades, just like the Vikings had back in AD 600 (but not like the ones carried by Roman Legionaries four centuries earlier, those were OP). What I got from this article is that the UI isn’t busy enough already and everyone would really enjoy the random grenade-spam death. They’ll say “If you didn’t want to die from my martyrdom, your teammate shouldn’t have killed me so close to you.” Ah, the nerdrage.

    • Behrditz says:

      Its balanced by having blocking for non-primary targets be EXTREMELY simplified. If you are locked on to someone, they use all three block zones for attacking. For anyone else, no matter what they do, you only have to block the side they are on. If they are on your right, a right block will block everything.

      All this defending also charges up your Revenge bar. A mode which when activated, gives you an overshield, infinite stamina, higher damage, and the ability to knock people all the way to the ground by doing pretty much anything. This is also a great time to run away if you need to.

      • Kitsunin says:

        Non-primary targets can still guard-break you though, so if the person you’re locked onto is fighting normally and the “helper” just spams guard-breaks, there’s nothing you can do about it since you can’t guard a guard-break.

    • Anti-Skub says:

      It’s really not that hard to avoid gangups. I think Brendan is rather overstating how easy it is to be ganked in Dominion as well as how hard it is to get out of a fight. Unless you literally didn’t notice the entire team jogging over to surround you a couple of blocks followed by a roll and sprint will get you out of the majority of situations.

      He’s right about the rest of it though.

    • Tane says:

      I think fundamental problem in melee multiplayer games is lack of movement. When I think best melee online games I think HL1 mods The Specialists and Natural Selection, even if they both were not full melee games. Without intresting movement mechanics, melee games are boring because in advanced level the skill is just right timing of your attacks. At least in shooters there is more skill in positioning and in aiming.

      • Marblecake says:

        While you make a good point that good movement is vital for a melee game, it does seem that you’ve never actually played a good melee-only game since you claim there is lack of movement.

        Games like Mount & Blade, Chivalry and Jedi Academy all had proper movement systems and understanding how to position yourself was an important part of mastering the combat.

        For Honor also has a pretty solid movement system, though it offers less freedom than the above mentioned games since you have to “lock-on” to your enemy. However, it makes up for that by offering a much deeper fighting system than any of those three.

  4. Agnosticus says:

    No mention of the revenge mechanic? Small wonder that being gang by two seems such an impossible task for you to handle!

    Also double tapping A to get out of a fight is working well with the faster characters.

    Furthermore duels and brawls are much more interesting to play then 4v4s IMO

    I’ve played the open and closed betas quite a bit, unsure if I should get the full version though…

    And btw unblockable attacks are still parryable, it’s a small window tough!

  5. 2helix4u says:

    *In pedant voice* Actually the Orochi doesn’t dual weild, you’re thinking of the Peacekeeper who you called the Knight Asssassin, now *snort* while technically she is the Knight faction’s Asssassin archetype, that isn’t her name.

    I had pretty much your thoughts about this game but then I found a character I liked and figured out some of the more advanced stuff, I still think the UI could do with some work and you need two thumbs if you’re using a gamepad but I’m enjoying it a lot more.

    It also is reasonably possible to fight multiple players at once, whichever ganker you’re not locked onto you can block by blocking towards the direction he is approaching from, regardless of his attack. You also get the little Revenge style super mode very VERY quickly if you block these attacks.

    The real issue is all the hidden stuff you absolutely need to know to play at an intermediate level, stuff like the infinite combo strings on certain characters which I’m not even sure were intended by Ubisoft let alone included in the tutorials.

    • ooshp says:

      “you need two thumbs if you’re using a gamepad but I’m enjoying it a lot more.”

      I’ve read your sentence 5 times now and I think it’s reasonably accurate. I believe they had a thumb count of 2 in mind from the very first controllers onwards.

  6. Captain Narol says:

    In the same game category, did anyone around tried “Tiger Knight : Empire War” ?

    It’s chinese, available on Steam, Free-To-Play but still in EA, and seems to add some strategic management of troops in addition of the individual melee gorefeast…

    • GrittyGaming says:

      I have and I have to say its looking better than expected. However, my main reason for playing right now is to whet my multiplayer troop management appetite until Total War: Arena arrives on Steam. Also, pro tip if you plan on going further into it, pikes, pikes everywhere.

  7. Mecha_Rocky says:

    “This game is going to give me a heart attack,” said one player to the rest of our team. We had just won a match.

    So this. I nearly died.

    But yes there are parts of this game (played the open beta) I couldn’t get enough of, but mostly parts where I could see the grubby hands of Ubisoft infecting what could have been a solid 7.0 fighting title I could play with my buds. The overworld and UI just cock it all up, just showing how hard they were trying to put more meat on the bones of a simple-to-pick-up-yet-hard-to-master deathmatch/fighter/moba-like with sweet executions and weight.

  8. Hensler says:

    My brain looks like swiss cheese from too many concussions and traumatic brain injuries from sport and military tenures, so I usually end up only playing turn based games online. But this game is just tactical enough that I was still able to have fun and be relatively competitive in the beta, unlike just about any other modern online game I can think of. I had a blast! I’ll never be the best in the world, but even with messed up reflexes and coordination that is a little bit off of sync, you can still do pretty well in this game.

  9. Viral Frog says:

    The issues with this seem to be the exact same reasons I quit playing Chivalry. It was a rather enjoyable game, until you end up on the team that refuses to stick together and you all get picked off, one by one, by the entire enemy team.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Don Reba says:

    They definitely called it For Honor as a joke, because I have rarely yelled “oh fuck off” at a death screen with such disdain for my opponents. “This game is going to give me a heart attack,” said one player to the rest of our team.

    I actually had a nightmare about the game during the beta, it was so stressful. Add to it that the matching system always matched me with stronger opponents, so I was winning 5% of my games, if that. Only playing in premade teams with lower-level friends gave my confidence a bit of a boost.

  11. jamija says:

    Honestly, the biggest things that made a difference were a) picking a character and maining it, b) realising that you can practice either through the how to play section’s advanced tutorials, c) creating custom game mode duels against level 2 AI (you’ll die a bunch at first but they’re on a par with the better end of mid-tier players) and d) duels and brawls in the multiplayer. Oh and e) block + quick attack – not pretty, but you can wear them down slowly.

    I went from dying all the time against anyone and everyone to doing well against even the absurdly talented motherf—ers who play with Nobushi and make you bleed out… and only played an hour maybe of the open beta before launch. I’m also terrible at fighting games normally.

    FWIW, the duel and brawl (2v2) community seems way more “honourable” – they’ll pull nasty combos etc. but they won’t kick you off edges and tend not to gang up in brawls. YMMV.

  12. thelastpointer says:

    I applaud this article. Despite you’re not really fond of this game, I’m totally sold on it. This is brilliant writing, thank you!

  13. April March says:

    This looks like a game that one either loves and plays tirelessly until one knows all the controls by heart, or one doesn’t even try. Not a game for dabblers.

  14. Emperor Norton I says:

    I played this in the beta a bit. I quite liked the basic movement and comabt model, and didn’t mind the interface or the UbiSoft grindy grubby stuff.

    In my opinion, this falls short in basic game design. It tries to mash up a bit of the arena shooter, a bit of the Battlefield area control shooter, and a bit of MOBA, and it sort of gets the worst of both worlds. Dominion mode feels like a pointless brawl over a space that can never be conquered or controlled, unlike in better area control shooters (Red Orchestra for life!) or MOBA’s where you build visible map dominance. You have a hotbar of four abilities, like a MOBA, but committing to them would have pulled the game too far away from the arena shooter mold, so they end up feeling like a peripheral distraction.

    So, if you really like the brawling, (and it is a really nice system with a lot to recommend) than I can imagine that duels mode would be the right place for you, but then again, while the combat system is fun it does not seem as deep as a real fighting game and thus I wonder if it can sustain a community on duels alone.

  15. reiniat says:

    Orochi is annoying because shes fast and shes made to punish attacks but shes not OP or anything like that.
    If you want to git gud against her just remember that:
    -All her fast attacks come from top, so just keep your guard on top and watch out for side attacks (they’re slower and can be blocked on reaction easily).
    -Her only fast side attack is that charge she makes with her sword sheathed which is very obviously telegraphed.
    -Her sidestep has I-frames and its made to punish attacks, so never just attack her when in range, theres a bunch of things you can do, but the most obvious one is a heavy attack feint into a parry (or just a block) which leaves her open for retaliation.

    • reiniat says:

      The Conqueror on the other hand is one of my favorite characters in the game, it doesnt happen often that slow defensive characters are meta in fighting games.
      How to beat him?
      -Remember that his infinite light attack combo comes left-right-up or right-left-up, if his mace trail turns blue hes doing it; block, deflect or parry one of the attacks to stop it, then punish (preferably with guardbreaks if you just blocked).
      -His heavy attack can be charged to do extra damage and he can still block while charging it, hes only vulnerable when the wind up starts, also its depletes stamina so just stay out of range until he has to cancel it, or closer if you want to punish it and he doesnt know how to cancel it (You feint and cancel with B on a 360 controller!!).
      -If hes smart he will transition his heavy attack into a push, punish that with a dodge and a light attack.

  16. Technotica says:

    If you fought dual wielding Orochis it’s no wonder you lost a lot. Those are the most op class in the game, fortunately they are so very rare, you might even be led to believe they don’t exist!

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    Don Reba says:

    I really wish there was a Canadian localization of the game, called For Honour. I have to correct myself every time I write the title.

  18. Marblecake says:

    Yeah, I stay away from Dominion. Apart from really disliking the mode, everything that has more than four players in it is currently plagued by constant disconnects.

    However, all the other modes (4v4, 2v2, 1v1) is where the game really shines. There, it’s all about the fighting. It’s a wonderfully skill-based game with a fight system that is both easily accessible and incredibly deep. And I say this as someone who absolutely no-lifed Mount & Blade and played tons of Chivalry.

    Also, in Duel mode is where you actually find honor in this game. I’ve met tons of nice people, people who are willing to give you space if you want to practice something, people who give you tips, and who stick around for ten or even twenty duels even though they handily beat your ass every time but realize that you’re trying to get better.

    I’ve only played two classes and I really don’t think I will ever touch the others. Conqueror and Warden are too much fun for me and instinctively click with my playstyle. My tiny brain just can’t handle the abundance of combos the other classes need to succeed :D

    All in all, the duel mode alone would have been worth full price for me. I don’t need anything else. This is the best dueling game to happen to PC gaming since Jedi Academy.

  19. Sin Vega says:

    Could melee-based team games PLEASE stop making one side the red team, thus inevitably causing moments where you’re unsure if the guy you just glimpsed was a Red or a Blue covered in blood? I mean, seriously.

  20. Master of nothing says:

    I agree with the battle map UI being a bit messy, but you can tweak the ingame icons almost at will (or disable them entirely) if you go to the appropriately named User Interface section in the Options Menu.

  21. nullward says:

    I had a lot of fun in the alphas/betas. Playing the open beta, I felt like there were more connection issues, but the core game is still very enjoyable for me.

    I like playing a game where you can get a big advantage by getting inside your opponent’s head and learning to read their tendencies (and also have to deal with the same). Bluffing, feinting, etc. all become really fun ways to make combat more interesting. It does require a complex system for this to work, with raises the learning curve significantly. I worry about that for the game’s long term health and general appeal.

    Dominion honestly is the least fun mode for me. I much prefer Elimination for a group brawl. In Elimination, four vs. four players start each facing off against one opponent, and you can either fight them right there or run around the map to find teammates and try to gang up. You can also revive people who weren’t tossed/executed. This leads to more exciting treks through the woods where you’re hunting people down or being hunted, and more quick/dramatic turnarounds.

    I decided I’m not paying $60 for the game, though. I’ll wait until it gets a bit cheaper, maybe. I just don’t see that much meat on it yet.

  22. salattu says:

    Could anyone that’s played both this and any Dynasty Warriors game chime in? Does For Honor feel like multiplayer DW?

  23. vahnn says:

    Firstly, let it be known that you can parry all unblockable weapon strikes in the game! As far as I know, the unblockable shoves,kicks, grabs and throws do have to be dodged.

    Secondly, let it be known that this game’s menus and connectivity and party system and matchmaking are a god damn mess. Button and keypresses to do caps things in different menus are nonsensical and random, there’s too much clutter, both in menus and the hud, and… well Brendan did I good job of explaining how annoying it gets toward the end of Dominion matches. Add to that the constant screaming of the announcer that the battle had turned around! Wait! It’s turned around again! And now again! It’s too much.

    Thirdly, it shall be known that I love this game. The fights are fantastic. I’ve never enjoyed such intense melee fighting on a game before outside of traditional fighting games. And make no mistake, this is a fighting game! You need reflexes, timing, and manual dexterity. You need knowledge of your character’s moves, and you need knowledge of your enemies’ moves. You need spatial awareness to avoid and make use of environmental hazards. You need to be aware of your teammates when they’re fighting and when they die, because that means their former opponent may be coming for you next! There’s a lot going on, and is absolutely thrilling. To the point that it’s exhausting.

    Finally, I keep seeing comparisons to Dark Souls and Dynasty Warriors for some reason. They are similar insofar as they feature melee fighting from a third person perspective, but it ends there. A more apt comparison would be lesser-known War of the Roses and its sequel, War of the Vikings, as well as Chivalry.

    Anyway, if Ubisoft is able to pull this game together by patching out the connectivity and party issues, add a faction-wide chat to the menus, clean up the ui,and maybe even add a hardcore mode that gets rid of all the”ez mode” aspects of the ui (like they did with R6:Siege), then this game will be a top 10 contender. But for pure, frantic, brutal melee combat with in your face intensity, it’s pretty much unrivaled.

    • Marblecake says:

      This guy/gal right here knows what’s up.

      But I guess the comparisons to Dark Souls stem from the fact that it is the only wildly successful melee-sorta-pvp game. The majority of people have never touched War of the Roses/M&B or Chivalry. Which are indeed the immediate relatives of this game. And as I stated above, I do believe that Jedi Academy is its grandfather.