A viking, a samurai and a knight walk into a bar. The bartender says, "Is this some kind of videogame?" and the knight replies, "Yes. Yes it is."
For Honor was announced at the Ubisoft E3 event last night. Under development at Ubisoft Montreal, where 90% of the world's games will soon be created, it's a violent blend of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, War of the Vikings and daft-as-a-motorised-frog TV show Deadliest Warrior*. As a viking, samurai or knight, you'll run around battlefields attempting to gain control of key areas, fighting human opponents as well as hacking your way through AI warriors. Two videos await below - a glossy made-for-E3 trailer and some multiplayer footage with dev commentary.
That second video actually caught my attention. I didn't think I needed or wanted a big budget Ubi-take on large-scale melee combat but the close control of weapons and shields could be quite the thing. A Die By The Sword for the new generation that is also a Die By The Sword that isn't actually awful to play, despite what many of us who spent time lopping limbs in it want to believe. The UbiBlog has more information about the combat system:
Using the new Art of Battle system, you will have full control over the placement of their weapons. You can attack and move around just like you normally would, and then you can also lock onto a single opponent and enter into a dueling mode. The second you lock onto a target, your right stick goes from controlling your camera to controlling your stance. If you flick to the right with your stick, you move to hold your sword or shield on the right side.
You’ll need to pay close attention to how your opponent is telegraphing their moves because if you leave yourself open to a heavy attack, you could find yourself out of the fight very quickly. You can perform a guard break to throw your enemy off-balance and give yourself time to quickly switch your stance to attack them where they’re vulnerable. Vandenberghe tells us to loosely think about this loop in terms of a fighting game. If you attack someone while they are defending, the attack won’t hit. Defense beats attack. Guard break beats defense. Attack beats guard break. You’ll need to be on the lookout for any move your opponent makes.
It's worth checking out the entire blogpost for more information about how the maps are structured and how matchmaking will work.
I am tentatively intrigued and am pleased to see that the Great Resource Shortage of 2014 seems to have come to a definite end. There are "battle brothers and battle sisters" represented in the combat. Here are some bulletpoints:
• Choose your hero among the three greatest legacies of warriors: Knights, Vikings, or Samurai. Able to turn the tide of battle and make their faction victorious, each warrior comes with their own weapon set and play style.
• Capture control points, and slaughter enemies with our groundbreaking multi-player mode.
• The Art of Battle control system lets you wield the weight of your weapon and feel the power and impact of each strike.
• Inspire fear in your enemies by customizing your warrior, including your chest, shoulders, and helmet.
If the vikings don't have customisable beards, For Honor has already lost all of the honour.
*a show which actually became DLC for Chivalry.