Video Games

What is For Honor like?

A buddy asked me that question, and while I’m still an utter noob, I think I can answer in very general terms.

For Honor is an intense, intimate, over the shoulder, medieval, online, PvP, melee, battle arena. K? Let us work through that mouthful back to front, Pulp Fiction style.

Battle Arena

Gameplay takes place on small, relatively confined maps. By confined, I mean they don’t have a lot of separate, enclosed buildings or areas. Everyone is confined to the same general play space. There is no hiding or pew pewing from range. You are combatants in a ring, duke it out.


For Honor is all melee all the time, and it uses a novel system dubbed the “Art of Battle”. You know how some things are easy to do but difficult to master? Yeah well that doesn’t apply here. The mechanics are difficult to start with and nigh impossible to master. Make no mistake, this is a skill based game where a deep understanding of the mechanics is paramount. Twitch skill will help you a great deal, but by itself, it’s not going to get you very far.

Online PvP

There is a ‘Story Mode’ that is basically a glorified tutorial. You should not buy For Honor for the campaign, and if you never play it, you’re not missing much. It’s all about one on one player versus player battles. Though the second player in that equation can be either a bot or human—your choice. There are offline practice modes, but you will not earn any XP. This game requires you to be online for it to have any real value.


Sort of. There are medieval, viking, and samurai elements to represent the three factions. The main point though is that the technology level is such that you fight with swords, axes, shields etc. The setting would be considered low fantasy maybe?

Over the Shoulder

This should be fairly self-explanatory. In free roam the view is third-person, as you can swing the camera around 360°. As soon as you lock on for combat though, it’s strictly over the shoulder.

Intense and Intimate

For Honor has a handful of game modes that feature 1v1, 2v2, and 4v4 configurations. That said, the vast majority of encounters are 1v1, which is why I say it’s intimate. Furthermore, each and every encounter feels significant. They aren’t fleeting as in shooters; you don’t suddenly die to a killstreak or stray grenade. Each match is a series of meaningful duels where several blows are exchanged before the result is decided—hence, intense.

That’s For Honor in a nutshell. You fight as a knight, viking, or samurai using an innovative melee combat system. You do this to rank up, unlock more options, and earn better gear. Each faction has a variety of warriors to choose from  with unique skills, moves, and customization options. There is no shortage of things to unlock or purchase with ‘Steel’, a currency you earn by simply playing. The depth of the game is in its mechanics and customization options; if you’re looking for story or lore, look elsewhere.

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