8 Things We Learned At Fan Expo’s For Honor Panel

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For Honor, if you still haven’t heard of it, is Ubisoft’s ambitious new IP that that pits knights, Vikings, and samurai against each other in a massive and chaotic global war. It’s hard to describe what kind of game For Honor is. It’s not really a fighting game, but it’s not quite an action adventure game either. Inspired by martial arts, For Honor strives to bring a realistic (though not too realistic) fighting experience that hasn’t really existed in games before. A ton of time has been spent researching, consulting experts, and making sure the motion capture and moves are as accurate as possible. Fan Expo 2016 invited Ubisoft and the game to the convention this year, where Luke and Roman from the dev team revealed more information about the game.

There will be a story mode
While For Honor of course has a multiplayer mode, and in fact it’s the one part of the game that is completed, there will also be a single player and co-op story mode. It doesn’t change for whichever faction you pick, and unfortunately at this time there aren’t that much more details than that. Since the team is still working on hammering down the story, they can’t even say how long the story mode will be.

There are 12 playable characters, all with unique skills, battle styles, and weapons
Of these 12 characters, there are four per faction, and four different classes they fall under: vanguards, heavies, assassins and hybrids.

There is a 50/50 gender split on all the characters
Three characters are female only, three are male only, and the other six can be played as either male or female fighters. It looks like Ubisoft figured out how to animate women after all! (Sorry guys, you do not get to live that one down.) The villain, Appolion, is also a woman.

All characters are customizable
Customizable armour is a huge part of For Honor. You will be able to customize your helmet, arms, and lower body, as well as being able to customize various parts of your weapons, like the blade and the hilt. There is also lots of other cosmetic customization for the armour like being able to change the colour and even designing your own ornaments to add to your armour and weapons. Someone definitely asked if you could make a pink samurai and the answer is yes.
But armour isn’t the only thing players can customize. You can also customize your character’s execution animation, and apparently Ubisoft asked the guys in motion capture (who are all experts in the martial art style of the character they were mocapping, or at least as close to it as they could get) to get a little wild with it.

It’s not just melee
Most of the For Honor gameplay we’ve seen so far shows close combat melee fighting, but those are not the characters’ only skill. Characters each have their own unique Feats (which are special attacks, essentially), and some have long range attacks. The Valkyrie, who is part of the Viking faction, can throw a spear, though she only has a very limited number of them.

This isn’t a counter attack based, one click fighting system
The For Honor battle system has been designed to be as complex and realistic as the developers can make it. Each character’s moves are unique to their style of fighting, and moves change based on what position your character is. They consulted martial arts experts directly to ask them exactly what moves they would use given a specific combat situation. To accomplish that kind of specificity in the game itself, they had to use a new animation system that can make those decisions the most accurately.
And button mashing isn’t going to serve you well here, especially in the more difficult fights – positioning is everything, because enemies will not wait for you to start attacking. Timing is critical so you can actually hit enemies. Stamina is a big part of fighting in For Honor, and you want to preserve it as much as possible so that when you do land a hit it’s actually effective. Both player and enemy will have access to Revenge mode, which is activated after a certain number of hits, and lets fighters unless much more powerful hits. Strategic and measured thinking is pretty much a necessity if you want to win a fight in For Honor.

The environment can give you an edge in a fight
The developers promised that while they can’t release all the multiplayer maps or story mode locations yet, they can say that they feature a variety of different types of locations (mountains, beaches, things like that), terrains, and environments. And using the environment can give players a bit of an edge in a fight, with things like spiked walls dotting locations. We watched a Viking heavy fling his samurai opponent into some wall spikes during the live demo, and it was pretty gnarly.

There are five multiplayer game modes
Duel, elimination, skirmish (4×4), and castle capture, where the goal is to capture points.

For Honor is scheduled for release on February 14, 2017, for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. You can also get an early look at the game by signing up for Alpha and Beta access to the game here.

Writer, editor, and founding member of Paper Droids. RPG-lover, baby game maker, owned by corgi. Spends way too much time on Twitter @mk_patter. To reach by email: sciandtech@paperdroids.com