For Honor was one of the biggest surprises at Ubisoft’s press conference in 2015, one that serves as a medieval combat simulator where players can fight as three distinct factions — vikings, samurai, and knights — and an array of classes. Although the game’s multiplayer component seems like the main draw, the game will also feature a single-player campaign. At E3 2016, Ubisoft showed off some new footage, including a story trailer and stage demo for one of the viking missions. The trailer for the game hinted that the three factions are warring due to a global environmental crisis that has left resources scarce.
Combat is deliberately paced; players must read their opponent’s stance, react to attacks, and strike at the right opportunity. The demo shows a player playing as a raider, a massive warrior who wields a two-handed battle axe. For some stretches, the player must hack their way through hordes of enemies a la Dynasty Warriors. When it comes to fighting stronger enemies and bosses, players must focus and pay attention to their opponent’s stance. Players can parry enemy swings and try to break their guard, and in addition to clashing swords, they can use the environment to their advantage. In the demo, the raider was able to charge into enemies, pushing them off ledges or into conveniently placed spikes.
The crux of the mission shown is that the vikings are trying to breach a Samurai castle. After storming the beachhead, the player scales the walls, opening the gate for his allies and then fighting the samurai commander in a duel. For Honor’s slower pace and read-and-react gameplay seem like a welcome change from the typical hack-and-slash formula. The game is set for release on February 14, 2017.