After one alpha, two betas, and hundreds of online melees, there was one part of For Honor I had yet to get my hands on. Aside from an E3 presentation and snippets from pre-release trailers, the game’s singleplayer component has largely been under wraps. You can’t blame Ubisoft for wanting to draw attention away from what was always likely to be the weakest part of its latest AAA release. With online play being such a massive focus, For Honor would have had to spend much longer in the oven if the team in Montreal wanted to create parity between the two halves.
After a time of peace, the Knights, Vikings, and Samurai are on the brink of war once again. Split into three chapters, the campaign – which can also be played online cooperatively – includes six missions for each faction. These are broken down further with all of the playable classes having at least one mission to demonstrate the unique combat style.
If, like me, you’ve already had your fill of blade-swinging action, then those opening levels won’t do much to surprise or excite. At its dullest, For Honor’s campaign can feel like a glorified bot arena though gradually filters in bigger areas and occasional set piece battle. One of these has you playing as the Peacekeeper, a nimble assassin sent to sabotage the gates of a viking stronghold. Although the game doesn’t feature any stealth mechanics, the way enemy mobs are scattered gives the mission a clandestine feel.
The fights themselves, however, always revert to that same core combat system. As we’ve said before, it straddles the line between a third person shooter and fighting game. Honestly, it’s like nothing you’ve played before and although it’s easy to knock Ubisoft for their lack of originality in the past, For Honor feels truly unique.
One pillar that isn’t as strong as the other is the narrative. Although the setting and character designs are fantastic, the thread being used to string it all together is fairly weak. While it does a decent job of introducing the three factions and their motives for joining the war, the dialogue and characterisation is pretty weak.
What it boils down to is that this story mode is little more than a comprehensive tutorial for the game, just one that’s also been tasked with fleshing out this brutal fantasy world. Ubisoft could easily have gone down the route it took with Rainbow Six Siege and it’s series of basic situational missions, so it’s nice to see that the effort has been made.
If you’re coming into For Honor expecting the campaign to blow you away, then it’s time for a reality check. While Ubisoft has tried to dress up this beefy learning aid, multiplayer is where the action is – there’s no two ways about it.
- Developer:Ubisoft Montreal
- Platforms:PS4, XB1, PC
- Release Date:TBA