The biggest video games of 2016, as in every other year, were almost universally of the shooter variety: Titanfall 2, Battlefield 1, even the cartoony Overwatch. Their macho arsenals and familiar gameplay scratched the itch many gamers feel if their trigger fingers go too long without popping a foe’s head like one of those slow-motion watermelon explosion videos.
But variety is the killstreak of life, and Ubisoft’s combat focused For Honor introduces a much more up-close-and-personal style of killing.
Set in a world of knights, Vikings, and samurai, it’s an all-out brawl, offering players the promise of glory in battle before crushing their skulls under broadswords, katanas, and morning stars.
For Honor’s unique combat system is a multilayered game of rock-paper-scissors: Flick between stances (left, right, and high) to defend against attacks and launch your own.
And regardless of which warrior you choose, you can switch among a dozen unique fighting styles— each designed by real-life masters in weaponry—so when you engage with foes on the battlefield, mind games, feints, and parries are crucial to survival. Button mashing will only get you so far.
Campaigns in multiplayer “Faction Wars” last real-world weeks; when the dust settles and the smoke clears, the victors get the spoils, like warrior customization options. They can also opt to plunder the in-game world and control a nameless warrior in the single player campaign, like a Viking Raider who challenges and seeks to overthrow the ruthless chieftain Ragnar.
For Honor launches this week on PS4, Xbox One and PC.