For Honor “Hands On” At PAX AUS 2016

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For Honor is a tantalising prospect for fans of melee combat games. Players have the choice of three factions, The Knights, The Vikings and The Samurai with each having various elite soldiers of which to choose from. The demo on offer showed 4 v 4 multiplayer, in a capture the flag setting. I landed on a samurai team and after choosing the Kensei class was thrust into a quick introduction.

The controls are quite simple to grasp. The L2 button holds a defensive stance which can be focused on either side of the body or above your head. These three stances also determine where your attacks come from, with light and heavy attacks being available. The obvious strategy is to block the direction of an opponent’s attack and to swiftly change positions to attack on the undefended side. You can also parry attacks leaving your opponent open to a counter attack. The system works remarkably well and you shortly find yourself inflicting pain and defending with skill. The animation and flow is excellent with no real controller lag to worry you.

Only having eight combatants in a map would feel rather bland so when an area is occupied or being threatened your team is accompanied with weaker npc soldiers. It makes you feel as though you are part of an organic battlefield that shows plenty of brutality and feels extremely intense.

The map itself was well thought out and team strategy is a must in order to achieve victory, if outnumbered at any capture point, even skilled warriors will meet their demise. Graphically the demo was excellent, portraying a bleak time when life was expendable, war raged and cities fell. My anticipation for the title has been heightened.

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