Five Things We Learned While Slaughtering Our Way Through For Honor

Jeff Marchiafava

We racked up quite the body count during our hands-on demo of For Honor. Here are the five big takeaways interested warriors should know. We played through two full levels of For Honor's single-player campaign, which featured the Knights and Vikings factions. The first mission is entitled Lords And Cowards, and follows the Warden as he helps defend a castle during an enemy siege.

The second mission is entitled Up The Beach, and follows a Viking raider as he and his clan attack a samurai stronghold (you can see part of this mission in our look at Ubisoft's stage demo). This was my first chance playing For Honor, and I walked away impressed with the gameplay. Here are five reasons why. Slow It DownUbisoft Montreal has been lauding For Honor's combat since the game was first announced, and I now understand why.

The entirety of the game is built on its swordplay, which forgoes the fast and forgiving beat-em-up action of most melee-focused games for a slow and methodical approach. Light and heavy attacks, blocks, shield breaks, dodges, and area-of-effect attacks are available to the player and enemies alike; reading your opponent's movements and anticipating their tactics is vital to survival. For Honor's combat initially reminded me of the action in Dark Souls, but the systems at play have more depth and nuance to them. Even after the end of my 45-minute demo, I was still learning new techniques.

Assume The PositionAt the heart of For Honor's combat is the stance system. Each character has three stances they can switch between on the fly: left, right, and a high stance. Players switch between stances by moving the right analog stick in the corresponding direction. Switch to the same stance as your opponent, and you'll automatically blocks his or her attack – but that works both ways.

As a result, combat plays out like a brutal dance, as you switch up your stance to mirror your opponent and fend off their blows, then change to a different stance and attempt to land your own. Each class of opponent has their own strength and speed attributes, requiring you reassess your strategy for each battle. Getting Into The Swing Of ThingsWhile the basics of For Honor's combat are fairly…

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