Every so often a new multiplayer experience comes along and shakes up the online universe. Ubisoft is a company that has made several innovative, if not ground-breaking, multiplayer experiences. The company recently put considerable time and effort into bringing yet another new type of multiplayer to gamers.
Ubisoft Montreal has been working on the new melee-combat game known as For Honor. This experience is one in which gamers pick up a blade and stand as either a Samurai, Knight or Viking. While For Honor contains a beefy and intriguing single-player campaign, it is its multiplayer that makes this game shine brightly.
In For Honor‘s multiplayer, there are a number of modes gamers can choose from. There is the wide-open mode Dominion, a more methodical experience in Duel, the heart-pumping mode Elimination and several others. Each of these can be played against real-life players, while they can also be played against enemy AI.
Just about every mode in For Honor provides a different flavor or experience. A strategy you use in Dominion will most likely fail if you try and implement it in Duel. The opposite is also true. I’m confounded by the fact that every mode inherently forces the player to think and play differently. You may think you can successfully use the same playstyle in all modes, but those who do probably aren’t helping themselves or their teammates as much as they could.
Let’s dig into some of the game’s multiplayer experiences, shall we? Dominion is a very accessible and enjoyable mode that takes inspiration from Domination modes you’re probably familiar with in shooters. The goal is to reach 1,000 points, though if a match is close, it will take a bit more to win.
Gamers in Dominion have to work to capture three points around the map. Players will see a faster accruement of points if they remain at a point they have captured. While holding a position is a great way to earn points, so is killing enemy AI and enemy heroes. Slaying an enemy hero will net you the biggest jump in points between the two.
While this mode tends to be very wide-open, I enjoy how this mode caters to many different playstyles. If you are someone who likes to capture points and isn’t as strong in PvP combat, Dominion supports your playstyle. For the player who is very skilled in combat, he or she will love how plentiful PvP combat is and the type of impact they can have on a match, good or bad.
Even if you are someone who likes to crush AI characters and net points one-by-one, Dominion provides an entertaining avenue for you as well. Dominion is a great way to become familiar with many of the mechanics in For Honor. It is an effective step in the direction of mastering the art of battle.
Switching gears to Elimination, this is by far my favorite mode simply because of the drama this experience routinely produces. It is a straight up 4v4 mode that asks you to kill all members of the opposing team. The emotional peak of this mode is when you’re outnumbered and end up killing your attackers. Having won several matches where it was me versus two or three other players, the end feeling is truly empowering.
Gamers will gradually fill up their Revenge meter and if they activate it in time, they can wreak havoc on their enemies. Playing well while Revenge is active is a crucial part of being successful when the odds are stacked against you. The feeling you get when you survive an odd-man encounter is one of great confidence and pride. This is one of the shining pillars of For Honor: succeeding when it looks like there’s zero hope to win.
Of course though, there is far more to Elimination than its ending moments. The beginning is always an interesting time because it reveals how players strategize. Some gamers go straight for the one-on-one battle. Others may run toward a teammate and join them in a two-on-two battle. Some may even sprint around to find a boost and then partake in their one-on-one encounter.
Elimination greatly emphasizes the need to perform executions rather than killing an enemy with a light attack. Performing an execution means that hero cannot be revived. A basic kill leaves the door open for that to happen. Allowing for an enemy hero to be revived can be a serious mistake, even if your team starts out 4v1. Leaving any sort of opportunity for the opposing team to resurrect other heroes is dangerous, as you can see in the video below. I didn’t perform an execution on the first foe I faced and it ended up costing my team in the end.
While it is crucial to perform executions in Elimination, doing so can come with a price. Light attacks land quicker than heavy attacks. If you’re going up against a Peacekeeper and you’re trying to land heavy attacks, while the Peacekeeper deals out light attacks, you could be in trouble. Of course being adept in defense is a great way of creating opportunities for landing heavy attacks. Anytime you can land an execution on an enemy hero, your team will be far better off. Elimination is a flat out excellent mode. I think gamers will find the camaraderie and sense of empowerment to be several elements that continuously lure them back in.
Skirmish is another mode that’s very much in the same vein as Elimination. The main difference here is the involvement of enemy AI on both teams and the goal of reaching 1,000 points. The teams are still 4v4 and skill boosts are still available for picking up. If you’re someone who isn’t ready for straight up Elimination, Skirmish is a great first step toward that mode.
Then there is the mode known as Duel. This experience is a straight up one-on-one encounter in which there are no boosts and the map is much smaller. The confined spaces of a Duel map creates a far more intimate setting than any other mode. Duel is the ultimate test of skill and will truly inform you on your abilities.
Duel continues to give me the best lessons in how I need to improve my playstyle or strategies. Mindlessly stabbing and dashing will often times net you a quick three and out in Duel. Being successful in Duel means paying attention to your enemy’s tendencies as well as your own. Winning a match is immensely satisfying and can inform you on new ways to play.
Getting away from the gameplay itself, For Honor contains a progression system that is deep and rewarding. Each hero in For Honor has their own leveling. This means you can max out the leveling of every character in For Honor, but odds are that will take you hundreds of hours. From a progression standpoint, gameplay is seemingly endless.
As gamers level up, they’ll be rewarded with gear. Most of the gear I’ve received thus far is fairly basic. You can choose to either keep your rewards as inventory, equip them or dismantle them for Scavenge currency. This currency allows you to upgrade existing gear you own. While the gear you receive might not be immediately impressive, if it does accentuate a skill of your’s, like battling while in Revenge mode, then you might think twice about dismantling it. Equipping it and then upgrading the gear can transform an ordinary piece of gear into a very powerful one. Paying Steel for gear packs is also a great way of unlocking higher level gear.
Gamers earn XP through winning matches, performing well in battle as well as completing orders. Orders can include things like competing in a certain number of Elimination or Duel matches, killing a certain number of heroes in a certain mode and more. Players can also assign a total of three Orders and these are ones you will be actively seeking. Some Orders provide a bountiful amount of XP, while some of the more basic ones shell out less. No matter what, Orders are the best way to quickly progress your characters in For Honor.
I could go on and on about For Honor‘s multiplayer experience, but I’ll sum things up with this. Multiplayer games tend to revolve around similar themes and ideas, but we should all feel lucky to still have developers that stray from the norm to create an experience like For Honor. This game is a marvel in the world of multiplayer, and its campaign is the delicious icing on the cake. For Honor brings a new type of multiplayer and it is simply magnificent. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on For Honor. Ubisoft provided a PS4 code of For Honor for the purposes of this review.