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Game Review

For Honor is one of those games that's both very simple and extremely complicated at the same time. It's simple in the sense that the gameplay itself is about little more than facing your muscular warrior off against one or more opponents and seeing which can eventually hack and slash the others down. And it's complicated because it features one of the most complex melee fighting systems you're ever likely to encounter in a video game.

Let me also bellow out the fact that this Ubisoft game is obsessed with vicious and bloody online multiplayer battling. Don't expect a whole lot more.

A Tale of Bloodletting Champions

Now that I've got those necessary disclaimers out of the way, let's talk about what this game has packed in that aforementioned melee bag.

First up, there's a six- to eight-hour single-player story mode. It's a strange tale of a world where three kingdoms—one made up completely of Knights, one of Vikings and one of Samurai—have existed side by side for eons. But each time they begin to ease into a period of peace, some evil force raises its serpent head and opens the floodgates of war once more upon the land.

We participate in this warring conflict via 18 scripted missions that allow us to jump from kingdom to kingdom and to play each of the different fighting types in the three warrior factions. These primarily battle-focused quests also offer the opportunity to do something other than just sink your blade into someone else's flesh.

You might, for example, encounter a war elephant or chase enemies on horseback; or you might besiege a fort's wall with grappling hooks, and take on enemy forces with ballista-like missile weapons.

All that said, however, single-player mode's real purpose is to serve as a deep tutorial on the game's technical melee system as potential preparation for bloodier online gambits.

Sink Your Blade Deep

For Honor is a built upon a sophisticated set of game mechanics, so much so that they're actually difficult to describe fully. Character movements involve locking onto an opponent and then nimbly changing your guard to block to the left, right and above. Then the goal becomes one of reading and blocking your opponent's blows while switching to attack in a direction where he or she might be momentarily vulnerable.

In addition to those basic dueling techniques, there's an interlocking web of light and heavy attacks, parries, dodges, guard breaks, combos, feints, recoveries, stuns, throws, environmental attacks … well, you name it. It's a lot to master. That's why it takes at least six hours of brain-training, single-player mode practice and ever-advancing tutorials to get you there. On top of all that, while every faction has its version of all-purpose, heavy, light and hybrid battlers, each of the three groups also has his own signature style and moves. And if you hope to defend against a certain dodge-and-thrust or sidestep-and-axe-sweep, then you'd better have at least a nominal understanding of that Knight, Viking or Samurai's movesets.

No matter how good you get, of course, you can expect flesh to be carved and some amount of blood to splatter. In fact, if any given battle doesn't end with a limb severed, an axe sunk into a jugular, or someone's lopped-off head bouncing on the hardened ground, well, it's a rarity.

Lastly, let me reiterate that this game is predominantly focused on various modes of online multiplayer skirmishes. Other than getting the chance to see massive male and female warriors scream with vocal-chord-rupturing fury, that's pretty much all it cares about.

Bloodlust is the name of the game here. And anyone who's not fully invested in this brutal, M-rated combat contest's intricate fighting mechanics is likely to get his or head handed to them over and over again … which ultimately doesn't feel very honorable at all.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

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Episode Reviews



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Record Label


Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC


Ubisoft Montreal


February 14, 2017

On Video

Year Published



Bob Hoose

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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