(Xbox One) For Honor: My Inner Viking Unleashed!

Fair Warning: This post contains spoilers of the game.

Picture from: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/ydN1TtiK4GA/maxresdefault.jpg

I love Norse Mythology. The idea of gods being represented with human flaws and human emotions fills me with excitement. However, this is not a review of the Norse Mythos (which frankly, as I am writing this I feel that would be an awesome, but daunting task to do). While I love the idea that I have Norwegian blood in me and that somehow makes me feel like a strong and brave Viking, this post is about a game. A game that allows a person to channel their inner Viking, their inner Samurai, and/or their inner Knight. That’s right, this game is about the blood gushing, the metal clanging, and adrenaline pumping game called… For Honor.

(I have been strictly preoccupied with online gameplay, with a very small chance to try the storyline. I will contain my thoughts and analysis to strictly online gameplay)

Quick Suggestions When You’re Starting

  • Complete both the tutorials to accumulate 3000 Steel
  •  Buy yourself Champion Status with the Steel (this leaves you with enough to buy 2 characters).
  • Only buy Champion Status if you know you are going to have enough time to play the game during the Champion Status duration
  • Do not buy gear packages when your character is less than 3rd You get gear drops from playing, and most of it will be replaced by the time you get to 3rd prestige
  • Have fun, honestly. You’re about to live your childhood dream. Do it with a bloodcurdling yell and a smile (unless you’re in an apartment building, a little fist pump and a smile would suffice)

 

Game Modes

There are several game modes to choose from. They are: Dominon, Elimination, Team Death Match, Brawl and Duel. For every one of these modes you have the option of facing other players or Bots (usually the bots are masters of the characters they play).

Dominion: Easily my favorite game type. Your objective as a team is to acquire 1000 pts and then eliminate each of the enemy players. Gain points by killing the little soldiers that are half your size, capture one of the three areas (A,B, or C), hold a capture point (1 pt /second), standing on one of your teams captured areas (doubles your pt/s to 2pt/second), and of course killing the enemy players. Each captured area gives you 100 pts. These pts only stay so long as your team holds the area. However, the points will be subtracted from your total if you lose the area.

This is particularly important and here is a scenario as to why:

Your team has surpassed 1000 points and are currently sitting at 1050 points. Furthermore, your team has eliminated 3 of the 4 enemies. In the midst of your team celebrating and teabagging the dead bodies of your enemies, the 4th and final enemy manages to capture an area and subtracts your total below 1000. As a result, all of the eliminated enemies rise from the dead and respawn, and your team must once again acquire 1000 points before once again trying to eliminate the enemy team.

The game is not over until it is over. However, if your team has acquired 1300+ points, then even if the 4th and final enemy captures all areas while your team is taunting and celebrating they will not dip your score below 1000 and their dead teammates will not rise to their aid. Celebrate and taunt at will.

Elimination: This is a simple 4 vs 4 match type with no respawns. To win, all 4 of your enemies must be incapacitated in some fashion at the same time. An execution will make certain your team gets a man advantage or at least permanently killing an enemy for the round, as well as en environmental kill (thrown off a cliff, thrown into a spike wall, thrown into a spike pit etc.). Try to 1v1 the enemy you are paired up with first and then start running towards an ally to help them with their enemy. Alternatively, ditch your enemy and go and help a teammate for a quick 2vs1 to pick up a quick kill. However, in doing so you allow an opening for your enemy to do the same thing.

When it comes to helping an ally, honorable fighters let a 1v1 continue with no outside interruption. Players that are dishonorable will jump in and make it a 2vs1. The choice is up to you. I personally let people 1v1 and will step into fight if my teammate dies, unless I am ganged up in a previous round then all honor is thrown out the proverbial castle window and I just want the enemy to bleed.

Team Death Match: 4 vs 4 with respawns, first team to 1000 and eliminate your enemies wins. This is just a free for all slobberknocker. Try to go in as a team, or at least in pairs. It’s more helpful to fight enemies when you know you don’t have to constantly fend off 2 or 3 other enemies.

Brawl: 2 vs 2 elimination type match up with no respawns. Best done with someone you know and can communicate with. When I play with friends we usually divide and conquer. “You take the one on the left, I got the dishonorable rat knight on the right”. Or let the enemy choose. Ultimately, this can either be treated as a 1v1 with two people, or it can devolve into a button mashing block fest with the Viking vanguard throwing you into a nearby rock and kneeing you in the face unexpectedly because you were too busy dealing with his teammate to notice him running at you… as an example.

Duel: 1vs1. First one to kill the other, by any means necessary. How you kill is up to you. Environment, block and slash, throw around and heavy attack for days. I highly recommend this game type. Go into each game expecting to get your ass kicked and learn something new. If you are dominating using the same button combination type attack then you just haven’t met the right character or skilled player who will put you in your place. Alternatively, you might never win in Duel but that’s perfectly fine. Don’t come out of a match frustrated (although the excessive taunting, teabagging or showboating of your enemy might make that hard).Take each match as a lesson to learn a character you want to get better with.

Character Types

The first thing you do as a game is pick your faction. And when you devote yourself to that faction there is a good chance you feel honorbound to become the best with that faction.

Vanguards: These are the first characters you get for each faction.

Tanks: These characters take all the damage and still dish out power. Whether this is through blocking (like the Warlord), or just… standing there… doing nothing…. Because apparently his thick skin is as tough as any armor… (The Shugoki (aka Sumo Samurai) )

Assassins: These characters dish out heaps of damage and have very little health and armor. So stay offensive

Hybrids: These are a mixture of different classes (as the word Hybrid would imply), and are used greatly for utility. Need a character swept to the ground while your three other teammates heavy attack, in rides the Valkyrie. Need an enemy pushed for half a mile? Bring in the Lawbringer.

Gear

Gear helps you tailor your warrior to the needs of the game mode and your play style. However with the boost of any stat comes a cost of having to decrease another stat, so be wary of that. If you find yourself blocking more often than attack, increase block reduction and reduce your damage. Playing 1vs1 Duel, reduce revive speed. Gear is all about customizing your character to the needs of you and the game type. However, a high gear level does not make you automatically more superior. It helps tailor your attributes to your needs, this does not necessarily make you a god among men (although if you have the Thor lightning strike look and emotes, then you can be a god among men but still die like a mortal). So when you are about to go into a match and you are a prestige 1 character with a 20 armor rating going up against an enemy with 100 armor rating, do not fret. The armor rating just means their character has been fiddled with more.

Prestige

When you are about to go into a match and you are a prestige 1 character with a 20 armor rating going up against a prestige 10 with 100 armor rating, do no fret about the armor, fret about the time that player would need to get to prestige 10.

Prestige put very simply is the amount of experience a player has with that particular character. A prestige 1 character has gone the lengths and fought the battles to essentially get to level 21 (level 20 and then leveled once to get to prestige 1 level 1). But a 10th prestige character has gone the lengths and back, fought the battles, wars and whatever other fighting they could get their hand on and have not come out the other side knowing their character very well (or at least, this is technically how prestige looks like).

Level 20 is the end of the prestige; afterwards you drop back to level 1 and the next prestige. Note: You DO NOT lose your feats. So prestige away and have no fear of losing your armor or all of your hard earned feats.

Gameplay

The gameplay for this game is both complex and simple. The simplicity is that you need to know your character. Know their movesets, know what hidden abilities they have, know if they can take a hit and if so from what characters. Knowing how your character functions and the best way to use them is the easiest method to getting better. The complexity comes into play when you realize every character is like your own and has hidden characteristics and movesets/playstyles. It also comes from when you find yourself being ganged up on and knowing when to block or counter a guard break. And most importantly, it comes from knowing where you are, where your enemy is and how your surroundings will affect how you fight. Fighting on a bridge with no railings? First one to push the other off, or guard break or counter guard break will probably win.

The maps are a stunning battlefield of gore and strategy. The buttons are easy to push, combos are easy to time, and the block system is an amazing step forward in a game type I have never come across before. Is that to say it doesn’t exist somewhere (because inevitably someone out there knows of a game where that concept was first used) no, but it’s never been in a game and so find this fighting style to be refreshing.

However, the servers are more often than not unreliable and kick players from games quite often. This is something I hope will be remedied in the future, or when the initial drop in players come then hopefully there will be less stress on the servers and we won’t have to worry about that. Additionally, guard breaking can be annoying when you know you are right beside the enemy and your guard break magically misses them, or during your guard break the enemy is suddenly attack, or you guard break and the enemy takes a few stumbles towards an edge and then stops just before they would have dropped. It is an amazing game feature but I don’t feel it has been perfected yet.

Executions, dear Thor the executions. Not that the executions are bad, but trying to pull one off consistently can be a headache. To execute you simply heavy attack when the enemy is about to die, that’s it. Sounds simple? Apparently not. My experience has shown that heavy attacks either activates your execution options, or the enemy just falls to the ground in a big heap of non-fatally killedness. And even when you get the execution commands, if you press the buttons they have a 50/50 chance of either decapitating (or whatever execution method your character has) or they fall to the ground in a big heap of non-fatally killedness. It seems silly that it would be this hard, and even when you activate the execution menu, you’re wrong.

Future Expectations

I know there are more characters for each faction to come. I am always excited for that. There are certainly more hybrid type opportunities and different harassing or utility type character voids that can be filled. However, I feel there is one big expectation that may or may not come. A 4th faction. the crowd gasps, a lady faints, babies everywhere start to cry uncontrollable That’s right, I think there is a 4th faction yet to appear. In the beginning video of For Honor, you see that the war is between the three factions, essentially over the lack of water resources. And funny enough, Vikings totally start the fight by not agreeing to peace (as a Viking Faction member, I totally will admit to this). But I feel there is either a secret 4th faction to appear that’s been under our noses the entire time, or there will be a 4th faction that comes in search of water because the area they lived in unfortunately had its water resources depleted. The tricky thinking is to find a historic warrior faction that would allow weapon type combat with fire bombs, bows and arrows and crossbows, but not be associated with projectile based weaponry (sorry pirates). I don’t think it would be disrespectful to think a native tribe could somehow be thrown into the mix and be a good contender, or possibly a Mayan type faction. This is my expectation for future DLCs and future updates.

If you have read this article, I thank you. If you recommend this to someone, that’s pretty awesome too and you deserve a WiFive!

Til next time, I’ll just be sitting here in my Cave.

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