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For Honor: Our Early Impressions Of Season IV

Order & Havoc.

Ubisoft Montreal is about to launch its fourth season of free content for medieval online fighter, For Honor. Order & Havoc, which kicks off today and ends in February, marks an end to the game’s first year in operation, adding new heroes, maps, and other features the For Honor community have eagerly been awaiting. We were given early access to the Order & Havoc ahead of the upcoming update and can share some early impressions.

As always, the main focus of each season is its two new heroes. When Season IV lands, the total number of playable warriors will hit 18 – 6 more than when the game launched earlier this year. Much like traditional fighting games such as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Tekken, each character has their own unique playstyle. While many share the same basic combos, they all have access to advanced moves and mechanics that ultimately define their role in combat.

Watching For Honor’s roster expand over the past several months has been a real treat. From the hulking Highlander to the shafty Shinobi, Ubisoft Montreal has been on point in bringing these archetypes to life. The new layer of mechanics each new fighter brings to the game is equally as impressive.

Although not quite as experimental or nuanced as other characters, the Shaman and Aramusha are far from dull to play as. Joining the Viking faction, the female Shaman is feral in both her appearance and gameplay. An assassin class fighter that is bound to become a fan favourite, she favours mobility over raw strength and will mostly excel at dodging and deflecting enemy attacks before unleashing a counter.

What sets the Shaman apart is her ability to exploit enemies that have a bleed effect. Her grab attack will turn into a pounce, letting her leap on a weakened target, literally eating away their health as chows down on them. It’s a clever mechanic that suits her ferocious nature, making the Shaman particularly lethal in bigger fights. If fighting alongside a Nobushi or Gladiator, their bleed attacks will enable her to pounce in and deal some serious damage.

Far more disciplined is the Aramusha, a master swordsman and sixth member of the Samurai faction. Based on the ronin archetype, he’s a stoic figure and one that can unleash a flurry of blows to eviscerate unsuspecting foes.

Unlike the Shaman, he has no dirty tricks. Instead the Aramusha favours a versatile endless chain combo that requires him to alternate between side and top attacks, either light or heavy. There’s a rhythm to this chain and one that takes a deft, practiced hand to master. The Arashuma also has a hard defence option like the Warlord’s, able to block attacks from all directions though only momentarily. Still, if he manages a successful block, it triggers a free attack that can be chained into a combo.

Since launch, fans have been pining for a new objective-based game mode. Duelling opponents one on one is arguably For Honor at its purest though there’s plenty of fun to be had in its bigger, team focused matches. What Ubisoft Montreal has come up with is Tribute, a different take the regular capture the flag mode.

Two teams will fight to secure three flags, grabbing and taking them back to their spawn area. These flags can then be offered to one of three shrines to unlock a team-wide stat buff, but can be stolen by the enemy. The goal here is to secure all three flags then hold off the other team for a set amount of time. It’s certainly a change in pace from the others game modes, though it will be hard to tear fans away from the pitched battles seen in Domination.

Order & Havoc ushers in other fresh content and features too. Aside from two new maps, there’s a new tier of equipment with some fresh appearance options for heroes to dabble with. Faction War and ranked play are also undergoing changes with loads of smaller adjustments happening elsewhere.

From what we’ve played, Season IV delivers exactly what the team at Ubisoft Montreal promised, expanding on what is already one of 2017’s boldest, most unique online games. For some lapsed fans it may not be enough to draw them back in, and while server issues aren’t anywhere near as common they remain a lurking threat. Still, with four seasons under the belt, For Honor grows ever stronger and has mimicked some of the success of Rainbow Six: Siege. Let’s hope that a second year of seasonal updates is on the cards.

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4 Comments
  1. Tony Cawley
    Pint! Pint!
    Since: Feb 2009

    Funnily enough I just chatted with Roynaldo and Crazy Del about this on twitter the other night.

    We used to play quite a lot together, I found one of my saved videos and it brought back fond memories.

    I won’t be buying the game again, but I do kinda miss it. Such a unique title that was so fraught with problems.

    I’m really hoping for a sequel, one where all the issues are ironed out, at that point I’d jump back in.

    Comment posted on 14/11/2017 at 14:47.
    • Jim Hargreaves
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      What kind of problems did you have (outside connectivity issues)?

      It’s definitely a good time to jump back in with six new heroes to play around with.

      As for a sequel, it’s way too early to say really. UbiMon is working on dedicated servers (and, hopefully) more content. Watching how Rainbow Six Siege is being handheld is a good measure of what to expect with For Honor though R6 definitely enjoys more active players.

      Comment posted on 16/11/2017 at 18:24.
  2. Starman
    Member
    Since: Jul 2011

    Got this again after the free weekend at its sale price of £16, and I’m enjoying it, the connectivity issues are still there but much better than they were when I sold the game.

    Comment posted on 14/11/2017 at 20:53.
    • Jim Hargreaves
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      Haven’t had a disconnect at all since the new season launched. Still an issue for some and is sadly now part of the game’s legacy.

      Comment posted on 16/11/2017 at 17:32.

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