For Honor has the makings of a winner

Nic Rowen

Games have always struggled to make multiplayer sword fighting fun. It should be the simplest thing in the world, I mean, what is more video game than lopping off someone's head with a broadsword? But, it’s trickier to pull off in practice than it sounds. Something deep and fiddly like Bushido Blade nails the nuances of swordplay, but only works for strict one-on-one duels and tends to scare off the general audience. MMORPGs can capture the feel of massive battles, but rely on the “combat dance,” the flailing pantomime of axe heads and spear points clashing against each other.

A thin veneer of combat draped over what is essentially a spreadsheet of HP and armor ratings. Dark Souls PvP gets it right for the most part, allowing for interesting duels with multiple opponents and all sorts of weapons. But the number of hours you have to devote to be even halfway decent at it is a pretty big ask for most players, and even then it's tucked away in the nebulous corners of the game. After spending some time stabbing away at the closed alpha test this weekend, I’m pleased to say that For Honor seems to have solved the puzzle.   Read more…

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