Who hasn't wanted to pit the classic warrior classes together? Ubisoft will give us all the chance this year. Which will you lead to ultimate glory?
Announced at 2015’s E3, Ubisoft Montreal’s hack-and-slash For Honor is set to release on February 17, 2017. The title takes place in a medieval period fantasy setting, where players get to choose from three different factions, “The Legion”, “The Chosen”, and “The Warborn". These factions are made up of knights, samurais, and Vikings, respectively.
Like any good hack-and-slash, each faction has four class types: Assassins, Heavies, Vanguards, and Hybrids. These names should evoke a familiar understanding what each role will entail: assassins are quick and nimble, adept at dueling, but lacking on burst damage. Heavies, like tanks, are good for capturing points but are slow to attack. Vanguards offer a relatively balanced toolkit, split between offense and defense. Hybrids, much like the name suggests, are a combination of the other classes, with their own unique spin. While all factions share the same class types, each brings its own flare to the role, with sub-class names like Kensei, Warden, or Berserker.
While there is a well-developed single-player campaign to look forward to, a lot of the bells and whistles surrounding the title will feature multiplayer combat and rankings. Originally, the title was going to be released with an offline component. However, it was revealed that the title would be required to be online at all times of play, independent of whether or not players are undertaking the single player campaign or multiplayer gameplay. This reveal has left a degree of dissent for those waiting for the title, as it had been previously touted that the title would not be online-only.
Pre-launch complaints aside, hack-and-slash fans should look beyond what For Honor will not be offering, and instead look to the unique package Ubisoft Montreal is offering. In addition to pitting samurais, medieval knights, and Vikings against one another in epic clashes of steel, both the single player and multiplayer formats offer a tactical “Art of Battle” system, which enables players to duel grand foes. Duelling allows players to position their class-based weapons in order to exploit enemy weaknesses and counter attacks. The strength and grace of your own attacks can also be customized via this system, adding a new layer to the traditional hack-and-slash style gameplay. Rather than clicking or mashing your way through the field of battle, players of For Honor will require further finesse and skill in order to take on foes--AI and multiplayer alike.
Every ten weeks, For Honor’s multiplayer Faction War, will track the performance of players within each faction, and dole out rewards according to player’s ranks. The war resets at the end of this period, followed by an inter-season break before the next war erupts. Multiplayer gameplay, will consist of five different modes to conquer: Dominion, Brawl, Duel, Skirmish, and Elimination. Dominion is a 4v4 capture-and-defend mode, where players gain points for holding specific zones on a battlefield. Once a predetermined point cap has been hit, the winning team must defeat the other team in order to win the match. Brawl is a 2v2 encounter, much like Arena in World of Warcraft. Simple rules, the last team to survive wins. Duel, as the name would suggest, is a 1v1 mode, through which a player must successfully defeat their opponent to be declared victorious. Skirmish is another 4v4, where players gain points by killing enemies. The team that scores the highest within a set amount of time will be declared the winner. Finally, in Elimination, teams must successfully fully annihilate their opposition in a 4v4 mode. Whichever team has remaining players will automatically win the match.
Its release is scheduled for February 14, 2017 on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC but some players will participate in a closed beta this January, bringing the worlds of Valkenheim, Myre, and Ashfield to life before the game officially goes live. Additionally, a pre-launch event “War of the Factions” will occur, which will track all multiplayer activity across all platforms in order to declare a beta victor. Participants and members of the winning faction will receive respective rewards based on this event.
When in doubt about your Valentine’s Day plans, consider picking up For Honor for yourself, or your significant other. Nothing says love like a river running red with the blood of your enemies, right?