For Honor is a hack and slash fighting game developed and published by Ubisoft for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The game allows players to play the roles of historical forms of soldiers and warriors, including knights, samurai, and vikings within a medieval fantasy setting, controlled using a third-person perspective.
Announced at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2015, the game was developed primarily by Ubisoft's studio in Montreal, and released worldwide on February 14, 2017. Reception of the game was generally positive, with criticism mostly directed at the multiplayer matchmaking and technical issues regarding it.
For Honor is an action fighting game set during a medieval period inspired fantasy setting. Players can play as a character from three different factions, namely The Legion, The Chosen, and The Warborn. The three factions represent knights, samurai, and Vikings, respectively. Each faction has four classes. The Vanguard class is described as "well-balanced" and has excellent offense and defense. The Assassin class is fast and efficient in dueling enemies, but the class deals much less damage to enemies. The Heavies are more resistant to damages and are suitable for holding capture points, though their attacks are slow. The last class, known as "Hybrids", are a combination of the three types, and is capable of using uncommon skills.
All heroes are unique and have their own weapons, skills, and fighting styles. There are 12 downloadable content. Players fight against their opponents with their class-specific melee weapons. When players perform certain actions, such as killing multiple enemies consecutively, they gain Feats, which are additional perks. These perks allow players to gain additional points and strengths, call in a barrage of arrows or a catapult attack, or heal themselves. In most missions, players are accompanied by numerous AI minions. They are significantly weaker than the player character, and do not pose much threat.
A tactical combat system, known as "Art of Battle", is initiated when the player encounters other players or player-like AI in the multiplayer or higher health AI in the campaign. Players enter a dueling mode with them wherein players aim at their opponent with their weapon. Players then can choose how to place and position their weapons from three directions (from above, the right, and the left) when they are attacking their enemies. By observing on-screen hints and the movements of their opponents, which reflect their respective attack position, players can notice the weakest part of their enemies and attacks these parts. Choosing the correct position can block the other players' attack. Players also have other special abilities, such as barging into enemies with their own shoulders and performing back-stepping swipes. The strength of each attack can also be decided by players. The system aims at allowing players to "feel the weight of the weapon in [their] hand".
Similar to the single-player campaign, the multiplayer modes feature perks, AI minions, and the Art of Battle system. As the competitive multiplayer modes feature a structure similar to that of shooters, the creative director of the game called For Honor a "shooter with swords". Friendly fire is also featured in the game. Players can cause damage to their own teammates if they accidentally or intentionally hit them with their blades. The multiplayer aspect also allows players to customize their characters. For instance, the armor that the characters wear can be changed and modified. There are six modes:Dominion: Dominion is a four-versus-four multiplayer mode in which players must capture and hold multiple zones in a battlefield. Points are earned through occupying combat zones. When one team earns enough points, they must eliminate the players from the other team and win the match.
Brawl: In this two-versus-two multiplayer mode, a team must eliminate the entire opponent team completely in order to win.
Duel: Duel is a one-versus-one multiplayer mode in which a player must successfully kill the opponent in order to win.
Skirmish: Skirmish is a four-versus-four multiplayer mode in which players gain points while killing enemies. When one team earns enough points, they must eliminate the players from the other team and win the match
Elimination: A team of players must eliminate the entire team of opponent players in this four-versus-four multiplayer mode. The team that still has remaining warriors will automatically win the match.
Blood Bath: In this four-versus-four mode, players have 0% ability cool downs, revenge is earned 75% faster, there is unlimited stamina, and player health is increased to 200%. The team that has the most eliminations at the end of 3 minutes wins.
Each online multiplayer match awards War Assets based on the outcome and the player's performance. These War Assets are then deployed in the Faction War – which stretches across all platforms – where they are used either to defend an allied territory or conquer a neighboring one occupied by an enemy faction, with the most war assets deployed in a given territory determining the victor. Territories controlled are updated every six hours, while rounds last for two weeks and seasons last for ten weeks (five rounds). As the war progresses and territories change, the changing front will determine which maps that are played and their appearance (each map has variants depending on whether it is under Samurai, Knight or Viking control.) Players who have distinguished themselves and helped their faction gain and defend ground earn higher quality equipment as spoils of war after each round and each season. After a season ends, the map is reset and a new season begins after an offseason period, but the outcome of the previous season impacts the story background of the new season.
After a natural catastrophe that pitted the most fearsome warriors in the fight for resources and territory, the bloodthirsty warlord Apollyon believes the people of the Knights, Vikings, and Samurai have grown weak and wants to create an age of all-out war through manipulation of each faction. To this end the perspectives of characters within each faction are shown as events are shaped, battles are waged, and agendas are created as Apollyon works to ensure continuous sparks of conflict between the Legion, the Warborn, and the Chosen.
The warlord Apollyon takes control of the knights of the Blackstone Legion after murdering her rivals, who fight for and protect the people of the land of Ashfeld, allowing her to sow the seeds of perpetual war and create stronger men to rule over the weak. During the Blackstone Legion's attempt to bring another, dishonorable lord-turned-mercenary, Hervis Daubeny, to justice, his second-in-command, known as the Warden, helps to stop the Blackstone siege and battles the champion of the Blackstone knights. Upon defeating Holden's warrior, the Warden is made a knight of the Blackstone Legion by Holden Cross, Apollyon's lieutenant and leaves with him. During his time in Apollyon's army, the Warden helps to defend against the Viking raiders of the Warborn, but soon realizes shortly after meeting with Apollyon that she cares nothing about protecting people and seeks to manipulate her enemies into endless battles. Starting with the Vikings, Apollyon and her warriors including Cross, the Warden and fellow lieutenants Stone and Mercy, attacks their settlements and sacks their strongholds in the northern land of Valkenheim, leaving only enough food and supplies to fight over, and sparing those who would eagerly fight for those scraps or are strong enough to do so. Sickened by this and by the senseless slaughter, the Warden deserts the Blackstone Legion, soon followed by Holden.
Afterwards, in Valkenheim, the Viking clans fight among themselves, killing one another for the dwindling scraps left by Apollyon. This continues until a powerful warrior known as the Raider comes down from the mountains, and begins uniting the warriors of the various clans under the Warborn banner, alongside warlord friend Stigandr, valkyrie warrior Runa and berserker Helvar, first by killing the brutal raider Ragnar, who steals what little remains from those who cannot feed themselves, and then Siv the Ruthless, who seek to conquer and plunder their own people. After killing their rivals, the Raider's rapidly growing army retake a Warborn stronghold from knights of Apollyon's army, and then set out to the land of the Myre to raid the Dawn Empire of the Chosen, a group of powerful Samurai, to resupply and feed their people after finding treasure in the stronghold. The Raider then leads the assault on the Samurai, and succeeds in overrunning their forces, causing them to retreat back to their greatest city. In the chaos, Apollyon strikes and kills the Dawn Empire's ruler, killing his Daimyos that refuse to fight each other and setting free the ones she believes will kill one another and in turn become stronger.
Into this chaos is brought the Orochi warrior known as the Emperor's champion, the strongest and most fearsome warrior in the Dawn Empire. The champion could have easily prevented the Viking raid but had been imprisoned for speaking out of term against the Emperor. During the chaos of battle the Orochi is freed and helps to push back the Vikings but fails to prevent Apollyon from riding through the chaos and murdering the Imperial family, forcing the Daimyos to fight one another for control of the Dawn Empire. After learning of the devastation of the Viking raid, she/he, fellow samurai Ayu, the Shugoki Okuma and Nobushi Momiji attempt to reunite the Daimyos under one banner, using the vikings as a common enemy to rally against. It is also during this time that the Emperor's Champion learns of Apollyon's manipulations of the various factions and rallies allies to stop Apollyon, invading Ashfeld to attack Blackstone Fortress. During a scouting mission with Momiji, the Orochi is met by the Warden, now leading a rebellion against Apollyon with Holden by his side and, after dueling him, realizes they are allied against the same enemy. Both armies besiege the castle on separate fronts, with the Orochi searching for Apollyon. After finding Apollyon, the Orochi duels with and barely manages to kill her, but not before learning that she wanted to create eternal war to weed out the weak and create the strongest of men, making them evermore bloodthirsty like hers. Despite her death, Apollyon got what she wanted: an age of wolves. In the aftermath, the armies of all three factions attacking the Blackstone Fortress; Knight, Samurai and Viking alike all turn on each other, resulting in a terrible war lasting seven years. Realizing the war's futility, Ayu, Holden and Stigandr meet after their respective leaders send them as envoys to end hostilities. Though all three people realize that the prospect of peace may be futile and they may all die in the attempt, they all agree that peace is worth fighting for and that it will make for an unforgettable tale.
For Honor was developed by Ubisoft Montreal. Blue Byte developed the game's PC version. It was announced during Ubisoft's E3 2015 press conference. A CGI trailer and a gameplay demo were shown during the conference. Development of the game began in 2012. For Honor was the company's first attempt at developing a strategy-action game. The structure of the game is inspired by shooter games. The game was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on February 14, 2017. The game's original score was written and produced by film composers Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans. A 20-track original soundtrack will release alongside the game on February 14.
For Honor received "generally favorable" reviews, according to video game review aggregator Metacritic.
PC Gamer awarded it a score of 74/100, saying "A tense, tactical medieval brawler that will reward anyone with the patience and will to master it."
For Honor debuted at number one of the video game sales charts during its first week of release in Japan, selling 40,062 copies.