It’s about time we revisited our For Honor review. With the game having just celebrated its fifth birthday, Ubisoft’s unique fighting game has cemented itself as one of our favourite online titles of all time.
Leading up to Year 6 hasn’t all been plain sailing, however. For Honor was among the first vanguard of modern live service games, hampered by frustrating connection issues straight out of the gate. Not exactly ideal for a game that demands quick responses as you face down opponents in bloody medieval battles.
However, as we’ll explore in this For Honor review, the game has improved massively since launch day, and not just from a technical perspective. Regular content updates, smart gameplay changes, and a robust calendar of live events make it a must-play.
For Honor Review
Set in a brutal fantasy world that romanticizes history’s greatest warriors, players are thrown headfirst into a four-way conflict. Knights, Vikings, Samurai, and Wu Lin continually wage war in a never-ending battle for supremacy, where legacies are written in blood. With its fantastic imagery and designs, For Honor succeeds in immersing you in a world of constant strife and heroic fighters.
There’s a story mode where you’ll likely begin your foray into what can be a surprisingly complex and punishing multiplayer-focused game. With three chapters and eighteen missions, the campaign serves as an extended tutorial, allowing you to refine your combat skills before seeking out human opponents. It does a decent job of covering the basics yet offers very little in terms of storytelling and establishing memorable characters. After all, each hero is basically a nameless avatar, though we’ve definitely seen Ubisoft try to lean in and expand For Honor’s lore over the years.
Third person, one-on-one combat is for Honor’s bread and butter. When bearing down on an opponent, a three-sided icon will appear in the game’s UI, denoting their stance (either up, left, or right). If the active part of the icon is white then they are currently guarding in that direction, changing to red when they attack. Being able to react and outsmart your enemy is the very essence of combat. Through a combination of attacks, blocks, dodges, parries, and stuns, you’ll whittle down their health while at the same time managing your stamina.
Each of the game’s thirty heroes has their own particular movesets and quirks, adding an impressive amount of depth to combat. The Nobushi, for example, excels in evading her enemy while poking them with poisonous attacks. Meanwhile, heroes such as the Warlord and Conqueror, can create a shield wall, blocking all incoming attacks.
Over time you’ll begin to learn their various combos and nuances as you would with Ryu in Street Fighter or Scorpion in Mortal Kombat. However, the third person, over-the-shoulder camera and game modes available separate For Honor from every other fighting game out there. When playing Dominion (where you capture checkpoints) or Tribute (capture the flag) Ubisoft’s inspiration from online shooters is clear to see, yet the fusion with a unique melee combat system creates something so unique and refreshing.
For Honor in 2022 – what’s changed?
A quick glance at the original For Honor roster and how it has changed underlines the amount of work Ubisoft has put into the game over the years. Besides throwing new fighters into the fray, Ubisoft has reworked a number of heroes, constantly keeping an eye on the meta for a (mostly) balanced playing field.
2018’s Marching Fire marked a major milestone for the game – an incredible expansion packed with two new modes and a whole new faction, the Wu Lin, including four fun-to-play fighters. In Breach, For Honor players finally got the chance to immerse themselves in epic siege battles, each match feeling like a nail biting tug of war as warriors look to push or impede an encroaching battering ram. Attacking teams who make it past the second gate must then kill the enemy commander, carefully conserving their precious respawn reserves. Breach and all of its maps are free to all players, regardless of whether they purchased Marching Fire.
Meanwhile, those who forked out for the DLC did gain access to another mode, considerably boosting the amount of single player content on offer. Arcade has you running a series of combat scenarios, each layering on gameplay modifications to steadily ramp up the challenge and keep each AI skirmish feeling fresh.
With Ubisoft having buffed out the chinks in its armour over the years, there are now few flaws to pick out when playing For Honor in 2022. Just about every aspect, from connectivity and player progression to tutorials and customisation, has been constantly worked on over the past half decade. And while it would have been nice to see more game modes thrown into the mix, there’s been no shortage of experimental events, Ubisoft’s time better spent on building For Honor’s roster.