Ubisoft’s For Honor once looked like a write-off, but the competitive sword-o-brawler has somehow pulled itself together. Today’s expansion – Marching Fire – adds a bundle of new content to the game, a lot of it paid, but some major upgrades free for everyone. All players (regardless of version owned) will get access to a castle siege playmode and a slew of graphical improvements, but a new solo/co-op mode and four new Chinese-themed characters remain the domain of people who put down cash. Below, a launch trailer, featuring stabs, stabs, stabs and the occasional thwack.
Rather than drip-feed players a new season pass worth of content as they do with Rainbow Six Siege, Marching Fire drops all of its content in one big lump. Four new classes cover the classic Chinese martial arts archetypes – the Shaolin is a staff-wielding monk, the Tiandi are armoured swordsmen wielding curved blades, the Jiang Jun fights with a guandao (a large-bladed polearm), and the Nuxia is an agile assassin type with twin hooked swords. Some fun new ways to stab or be stabbed, and those without the expansion will still bump into players who own these classes.
For players wanting to de-rust or introduce friends, there’s also Arcade Mode introduced in the expansion, a new solo or co-op (two player) mode. Players take on a chain of increasingly difficult small challenge missions, with randomly assigned modifiers. Sometimes, you just need to fight while on fire – them’s the breaks. For competitive play, there’s Breach Mode, which is free for everyone. A 4v4 mode of attack and defence. The defending team use their castle’s traps to slow or kill attackers, while the invaders have to smash through gates with a battering ram.
While not the hugest of expansions, I feel that the price reflects that this is the first time a lot of players will have paid for For Honor. Ubisoft gave the starter edition of the game away during E3 – a wise decision, as the game has remained consistently well populated ever since. While it’s possible to (very gradually) unlock additional characters in the starter edition, it’s far more ideal to just buy the base edition of the game or first season pass and upgrade from there.