A bit of a disappointment.
When checking out For Honor at PAX Prime last year, I left pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the multiplayer portion of the game. It was hectic, fast-paced, and offered some close calls for the team as we slashed our way to victory. Not a single moment did I wonder how much longer I would have to be playing, as it offered a unique way to play with the blocking and slashing mechanics. However, upon checking out For Honor’s single player at E3 this year, it became clear that maybe that’s all reserved to the multiplayer aspect.
The interesting slashing and blocking mechanics are back in solo play, it’s just very clear that the first level does not set the game up for a fun ride. It was incredibly linear, easy, and already I can vaguely tell I won’t care about the overall story. With no way of jumping over an obstacle, I felt limited in where I could go and it’s always off-putting when there’s a tiny ledge that I cannot surmount.
But still, there’s something within For Honor that makes for an interesting experience. If you’re good at shifting quickly with your right stick through the three different sword positions, you’ll feel like a total badass. If you’re not good, you’ll still feel really cool as the game is designed well enough in its combat to make everything feel fluid, even if it’s not.
Ultimately, from the singleplayer, I was not impressed with what I saw. I’d be remiss to not note, however, that I had a very good time running around a battlefield in my multiplayer playthrough last year, though. Hacking away at the random soldiers and then choosing specifically which way I want my sword to land blows against the enemy wardens provided exactly the mayhem needed to keep the game interesting. It’s just a shame that the singleplayer isn’t on equal footing with that experience.
And that’s really where the worry is: whether or not For Honor’s singleplayer will live up to its multiplayer or if it will be tacked on. From what I played, though, it was simply “defend this point, kill this person, defend this other point” and done. Hopefully the finished game has more than just control point gameplay that will have you rinse and repeating every chapter, or this will definitely be a case of the multiplayer aspect far outshining its singleplayer.