There has never been a more ambitious Ubisoft action game, nor a better one, than For Honor. That’s my stance – it has been ever since it dropped back in 2017 – and it still is now. It may have fallen out of the limelight over the years, falling back onto a core audience of passionate diehards, but it remains an incredibly engaging action game for those willing to invest a bit of time.
Now that it’s available on PlayStation Plus Premium - there’s no better time to pick up the sword and take up battle against other like-minded players.
The first thing you need to know about For Honor is it’s an ocean of skill expression and an easy to learn battle system that blossoms into complex combos and mix ups that’ll keep you guessing. The game currently has 30 playable characters – each with their own unique mechanics and intricacies that set them apart from the rest of the cast.
Take the Pirate. Released back in January of this year, this premier character in the Outlanders faction (also entirely new this year) uses their cutlass and pistol to chain together long attack strings and can make use of powerful counter attacks to slap on some heavy damage. No other character has access to their skillset, making every battle between yourself and another play a test of knowledge, reactions, and general prowess.
In this sense, For Honor is more aligned with a fighting game like Tekken or Street Fighter than Ubisoft’s other action games. Whether playing tense 1v1 duels between other warriors or tense team battles, aspects of spacing, punishing certain unsafe moves and perfect parries are critical to coming out on top.
Played correctly, there’s nothing out there that feels much better than landing a perfect parry and slamming your own charged attack into another player’s body. On kills with heavy attacks, you can transition straight into gory, cathartic executions where arms, legs, and heads fly off into the distance. Without sounding too weird, this is lush. There’s nothing that caps off a hard-fought duel than a bloody finisher.
Like any good fighting game, For Honor is damn wacky. Play the single player and you’ll get a decent overview of the story with a serious angle, but as soon as you jump into multiplayer it’s Pirates vs Samurai vs Vikings and comes with all the silliness you’d expect from that premise. It’s also well balanced, in spite of how bizarre the game is, with patches and fixes coming in semi-regularly to ensure no one warrior trumps the rest.
The game is still getting seasonal content, it still has players. While those players are likely monsters – animals who picked up For Honor years ago and are still bashing away at other melee-minded folks online – there’s still a community who are more than happy to walk newbies through how things work and how to improve. There’s a new veteran gaggle of content creators and streamers, and with the game available of PS + Premium, a new wave of other green warriors taking up the sword for the first time.
So if you pay for the service, there’s no better time than now to jump in and try it out. At worst, it’s a fun bash that you and your buds can boot up and play for an hour or two, swinging axes at each other's heads and throwing yourselves off cliffs and into spikes. At best, it’s your next major time sink – a live service title like no other out there right now and Ubisoft’s best action game for my money.