Online Multiplayer in For Honor Is Hectic and Intense

Adapt or Die.

Ever since its reveal last year, For Honor has seemed like an oddity among Ubisoft's lineup. As an original IP not tied to a pre-existing brand and focuses on hardcore combat and battles, the game is a bit hard to compare to Ubisoft's other titles. But over the last year, I've come to admire much about this title and what it seeks to do. With its focus on epic melee infantry combat across several fields of battle, this action-brawler is one you'll want to keep an eye on.

A week prior to their showing at Gamescom, the developers from Ubisoft Montreal gave us our first crack at For Honor's robust online multiplayer modes.

With the battle between the three warring factions raging on, their skirmishes will take them all over the known world. Set sometime after the single-player campaigns, the vikings, samurai, and knights will continue their never-ending war against each other to establish their own rule.

Multiplayer features a number of 4v4 gametypes set in the various battlefields across the game world. During out demo, we took part in the standard Capture the Territories style of gameplay. Each team must capture the various hotspots on the map to increase the team score, all the while taking down the enemies you come across. However, there's one key difference here in For Honor. In the center of the mob is a constantly fluctuating point that the Team's AI soldiers will fight over. Because of this, it'll rapidly ping-pong between the two team's possession without help from players.

This is a really interesting mechanic as it helps to keep the action centralized, as opposed to most of the action happening in the far corners of the map. Also, these are the most hectic areas of the map, which definitely gives off that vibe that battles are intense.

Before engaging in battle, you'll be able to choose which faction you fight for, the available classes for them, and the various sub-abilities and perks. There are six four [EDIT: correction] classes total, with each faction have their own variations upon them. The two new classes shown where the Berserker and Conqueror heroes, which are a blend of the different starter classes, focusing on offense and skill based fighting styles. I was really impressed with how each class felt unique, more so in the hands of another factions. There's a lot of variety to be had, as each faction and class has their own strengths and weaknesses against other classes.

Between matches, you'll be able to customize your character profile and status. This is a universal profile and you won't be locked to a particular faction. During online battles, you'll be on teams with mixed factions, so the plot does go by the wayside a bit for the sake of gameplay. Which is fine by me, as I appreciated the diversity on display. As you compete in skirmishes online, you'll acquire loot and other items customization, and also level up the classes you were using to unlock new abilities and new armor pieces. I was surprised to see how robust the multiplayer gameplay was. The meta-game on display with leveling your classes, in addition to daily challenges offered a lot of incentive to revisit the online battlefield.

Of course, the combat system will make a break a game like this, and I was very impressed with how precise and deep the system was. Truth be told, it kinda gives me some flashbacks to playing Bushido Blade back on the original Playstation. These aren't one-hit kills, but the constant need to change stances, and adapt to enemy play-styles made player combat intense.

I do worry how steep of a learning curve there is. Even after the tutorial mode, I was still learning some fairly basic mechanics and trying to make use of them during the combat. With that said, I appreciate how the developers have designed combat around the one-on-one mentality. Almost every victory I had over another player had me feeling I had a major win.

With its robust multiplayer 4v4 combat, in addition to the 1v1 mode (which we'll talk about later next month), I'm certainly pleased how this one is shaping up. Learning curve aside, the feeling of running into the thick of battle unleashing my fury on my enemies was exhilarating. Check back with us next month see what else For Honor's multiplayer mode has to offer. There's still more to see with this one.