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My Impressions of Ubisoft's For Honor

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For Honor has been a wild experience for me so far. The game has entranced me from the second I saw the trailer at E3 in 2015. To give this game an unbiased review is impossible because it hits upon a concept in video games I have always wanted. Knights, Vikings, and Samurai all stuck in endless combat to prove who is the strongest!

It is a simple, but effective concept for a game. History's greatest warrior getting the chance to battle it out with our help. It is an idea that is not only easy to market, but people get instantly. "Who would win in a duel between a Knight, Viking, and Samurai?"

Once you get past the concept the real question is "Does the game work?". The quick answer is yes, if you aren't on PC. The game has been a delight on console since its release. I have invested just over 26 hours into the multiplayer so far, it works. Combat is easy to pick up, but rewards the most advance players for their ability to understand the mechanics. Graphically, the game keeps up with the industry in its multiplayer aspect, but campaign is lacking. Campaign's animations and renders seem to be plain or clipping through common elements, but I imagine that was because it was a late addition to the game. Fans voiced their concern for the lack of a campaign early on in its development. Ubisoft responded swiftly by pushing their teams to create an experience to fill players need for a campaign.  I am not giving it a free pass, but it is something to take into consideration.  A full review of For Honor's campaign will be posted at a later date when I complete it.

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What is fun about for honor? The combat systems, the graphics, and the game modes. There are 5 different game modes to play called Elimination, Skirmish, Dominion, Duel, and Brawl. Each one offers a different experience for players. The core mechanics remain the same, but the style of play changes for each mode. Elimination is like search and destroy from the Call of Duty Franchise where players play a best of 5 series with one life per round in a 4 vs 4 team combat. There is only one objective, wipe out your opponents! 

Duel and Brawl work the same way, but are 1 vs 1 and 2 vs 2 respectively. These modes are prefect for players to fine tune their play style. It allows casual players to practice with their characters in a competitive atmosphere with almost nothing to lose. 

Skirmish and Dominion work by reaching 1000 points to deplete your enemy's spawns. Once you have gathered 1000 points through taking positions and killing enemies you can kill your opponents for good! Skirmish is the weakest game mode out of all five because of its pacing. There are no points to capture and next to no minions on the battle field causing the game to drag. It is basically a death match until you kill the team enough to stop their spawns. In contrast Dominion creates an awesome dynamic of fighting for positions. Players are forced to utilize team work to fend off the enemy advance and maintain their position. 

Each mode offers endless ways to play against both players and AI. The AI system works well, allowing players that leave to be replaced by bots or allow teams of human players to face off against AI. Any of the Player vs AI game modes payout a lot less in rewards, but still make for an excellent experience. 

Now for the current issues with the game. Right now, PC is riddled with issues. A trip to the /forhonor reddit page will greet you with a plethora of complaints. The P2P system breaks many matches because it reveals individuals IPs allowing them to be vulnerable to DDOS attacks. Hacking has been another issue where players are exploiting the game in a variety of ways.  Players leaving from matches cause major instability issues causing games to disconnect. Some accounts even experienced bans even though they hadn't purchased the game! It has been a very shaky launch for Ubisoft for a vocal minority of players. Balancing doesn't seem to be too far off, but changes to the guard break mechanic from the beta has left many players asking for a change. Ubisoft did make a post on reddit addressing their concerns explaining that the core mechanics will be fixed in their next patch. 

For my first impressions For Honor delivered an extremely enjoyable experience worth a $60 purchase. I do recognize I have been fortunate enough to have not experienced any of the instability issues that has plagued other players. Is For Honor for you? Check out my videos linked in the articular to decide for yourself! 

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-Reed