In the recent years Ubisoft has accustomed us to the fact that their conferences at E3 wrap up with a presentation of a yet unannounced game, but it seems that no-one expected that there would be so many of them this time. In addition to Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands and South Park: The Fractured but Whole, the French company also showcased a game called For Honor. This production came to E3 in a playable form, so we seized the opportunity to see what kind of potential lies in the brutal fighting game from the studio that brought us Assassin's Creed. It should be noted at this point that this work is rather unusual for the Montreal-based studio. It's not a complex sandbox but rather a sword-fighting "simulator" set on small maps.
For Honor will appeal not only to the enthusiasts of Tomasz Baginski and his team from Platige Image, the authors of the amazing trailer presented at Ubisoft's conference. The game should also be of interest to the fans of Ryse: Son of Rome because of its high dose of violence and the specific style of gameplay, and Mount & Blade as it features quite similar combat mechanics. Above all, one has to be a multiplayer mode maniac, because it's the online rivalry that is the driving force behind this production.
The bloody struggle involves two teams composed of four knights, though we could see other types of warriors in the aformentioned trailer. Apart from them, the battlefield will be filled with ordinary, AI-controlled soldiers, but it is not them we should worry about in the heat of the battle. The key to winning the Dominion mode (which is the only one that we could try out at E3; the rest will be revealed later) is the effective elimination of the heroes, as they are far more poweful than the cannon fodder running around.
The game has quite interesting combat mechanics, reminiscent in some respects of what we saw earlier in Mount & Blade. It's not enough to hold down the block button to feel safe; we also have to set the sword in a correct position. Each knight has three types of blocks used to counter enemy's blows, as well as some additional skills such as jumping away (far less effective than in the third Witcher, though helpful in certain situations) and hitting the opponent with one’s shoulder, which throws him off balance and makes him vulnerable to potential counterattack. Mastering the defensive posture is absolutely necessary to survive any clash with even a mediocre enemy so as not to reduce the forces of our team. Correct control over the right analog stick requires a bit of training, but I'm living proof that in a fairly short period of time one can figure out how it all works without breaking a sweat.