Originally released back in February 2017, For Honor is easily one of the most underrated games of the current console generation and has only gotten better over time. With Year 4 Season 3 having started this week, we’re here to answer the big question: is For Honor still worth playing in 2020?
In the past Ubisoft have been given some stick for their somewhat homogenised approach to AAA game design, building brilliantly vast worlds yet smearing them with the same kind of repeated in-game activities.
However, you only need to look at For Honor (as well as the mega popular Rainbow Six Siege) to see that Ubisoft is an innovative force in the multiplayer space. Both of them are standout examples of what live service games should be – early pioneers, paving the way for the entire gaming industry to follow.
As a result, multiplayer games no longer have that one or two year life cycle they did during the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 days. Balance patches, content drops, and live events have kept For Honor feeling fresh and relevant even if it doesn’t have the huge playerbase of other popular games.
I’m new to For Honor
Arriving late to the party can be daunting with any multiplayer game, especially in the fighting genre. It’s true that the For Honor servers harbour plenty of regular, experienced players, but you shouldn’t be put off.
There’s definitely a learning curve though Ubisoft have continued to make For Honor as accessible as possible, making changes to the core combat design while introducing more robust tutorials and training tools.
It’s a fighting game like no other with full 3D movement, stance based combat, and game modes that wouldn’t feel out of place in an online shooter. However, it shares the same DNA as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, and many of the genre’s mainstays.
What makes For Honor particularly inviting is the low entry price. Chances are you probably own a copy already via PlayStation Plus, Xbox Games With Gold, Uplay, or Epic. If not, you can grab the base game at a heavily reduced price.
Although this core version doesn’t tout the full roster of 27 heroes, it includes a huge wealth of content that has steadily grown over time with more maps, modes, features, and gameplay improvements.
Returning to For Honor – what’s changed?
There may be some of you who purchased For Honor at launch then bounced off after a few weeks or months, having gotten your fill. Over time you may have felt that itch to dive back in, but maybe there’s been something stopping you. So, what’s changed since you last played?
Ubisoft have rehauled their online infrastructure for a start. One major issue that turned players away from For Honor was the regular server issues and forced disconnections whenever someone left a match. Since introducing dedicated servers, matches now run flawlessly.
On the whole, combat is also much more versatile than it was back in 2017. Ubisoft have continued to rebalance its diverse cast of heroes, going one step further this year with their core combat redesign. In a nutshell, For Honor now favours more offensive, creative playstyles instead of those that are defensive and reactionary (boring, in other words).
Of course, since release there’s been loads of new content added to the game. In its first year of post-launch support we saw eight heroes thrown into the mix, then in 2018 we got Marching Fire. This premium expansion added an entire new faction, the Wu Lin, with four new heroes, a solo/co-op Arcade mode, and Breach. This new match type has been very popular among the community, staging 4 v 4 siege battles spread across multiple phases.
The content pipeline has slowed since with four heroes in 2019 and two planned for 2020. While it’s clear that Ubisoft aren’t dedicating as many resources to For Honor as it did a few years ago, the game is still constantly being updated and expanded with a vibrant player community.
We find ourselves dipping in for some melee action every couple of months, checking out the new battle pass season, and maining a different hero. It’s one of those games we refuse to uninstall, and hopefully we’ll see For Honor make that next-gen jump to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X as well.