For Honor
It's not just swords. Certain characters wield axes, maces and moreUbisoft

Ubisoft's slate of major releases are typically dominated by open world games like Assassin's Creed, The Division, Watch Dogs, Far Cry, Steep and in the near-future Ghost Recon: Wildlands, so it's no surprise For Honor stands apart.

For Honor aims to replicate close quarters armed combat between factions of Knights, Samurai and Vikings, who have been recreated with a level of historical accuracy but thrown together by a plot with fantasy trappings.

Set for release on 14 February (the perfect Valentine's Day gift!), here's all you need to know about the game, including why it's spelt wrong.

Why is For Honor spelt wrong?

Americans.

What is For Honor?

As discussed in our interview with Ubisoft's creative director for the game Jason VandenBerghe, a man who is incredibly passionate about this game and its subject matter, For Honor is entirely about recreating this specific type of combat and building a compelling game around those central mechanics.

As mentioned, it's about Knights vs Samurai vs Vikings, and each faction includes four class variants: Vanguard (warriors with a balanced approach), Assassin (faster warriors), Heavies (deal greater damage) and Hybrids (special warriors combining elements of the other three).

The single player is split between three chapters, one for Knights, one for Samurai and one for Vikings, and concerns how the world of For Honor was forged by a Warlord, Apollyon, who wants has a kill-or-be-killed attitude about humanity and believes creating and endless conflict will help humankind grow stronger than ever.

"You're going to play... a series of, sort of, handcrafted over-the-top missions that are going to give you a chance to dig into the lore, settle into the universe and get an idea of what it means to be fighting for each of these factions and what their culture is like and who they are," VandenBerghe told us.

The multiplayer side of things feeds into the overall lore of For Honor, but takes place long after the single player. It concerns the raging war between the three factions, one of which the player will have to align themselves with. Aligning with the Samurai for example won't limit a player to playing as only Samurai however, the choice merely dictates the banner you fight under.

This metagame sees each faction fight for control over territories on a world map, which is decided by the number of War Assets placed on certain battle lines. These War Assets are acquired through through playing the multiplayer's many modes, either against other human players, or bots.

For Honor
A Viking laying waste to some warriors.Ubisoft

Dominion is a four-on-four mode in which the two teams fight for control of three territories on a map. In the middle of that map is one of those areas, where AI soldiers representing both sides collide. These soldiers are easy for the players to take out, which helps them level up and regain health.

Brawl is an elimination mode in which two teams of two attempt to take each other out. Elimination mode is a four-on-four mode in which the teams attempt to take each other out. Skirmish is another four-on-four mode about accumulating as many points as possible through killing enemies human and AI. Finally there's Duel, a one-on-one round-based mode.

The metagame will take place over seasons, after which the result "will become part of the permanent lore" of the game, as its director said. Each season will last roughly two-and-a-half to three months.

How does For Honor play?

Attacks are handled conventionally, give or take, with the real focus of For Honor's combat being on the parry system. Players must move the right analogue stick to three positions (left, right and high) which will be both the direction they attack from and the direction they block incoming attacks from. Players are able to see what position other players are adopting and will need to be vigilant.

Movement is fairly quick, but the focus on blocking and thoughtful, methodical combat means duels are slow and considered. Coupled with plenty of evasive rolling, it's inevitable that the game has drawn comparisons to Dark Souls. However, For Honor is more accommodating and immediate than From Software's pioneering series.

Where can I buy For Honor?

Those places.

If you're game for downloading 30GB for a day or two of play, there is also currently (11-12 February) an open multiplayer beta you can partake in to get an idea of how the game plays and help Ubisoft test the game's servers.

Is there a season pass?

Of course. For Honor's season pass will include six new characters released two at a time at the start of the game's next three seasons this year. The pass also includes six outfits to customise the new heroes, a "sunbeam effect" on the emotes of all heroes, three emblem outlines, additional gear and a 30-day "champion status" that grants pass holders and their friends additional experience points.

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