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Games: For Honor a brutal, rewarding take on grand-scale combat

For Honor offers more depth than any videogame swordplay to date
Neil McGreevy

For Honor (Multi)

By: Ubisoft

LIKE the Black Knight scene from Monty Python turned into a massively multiplayer slice of muscular doommongery, Ubisoft's latest Battle Royale is Golden Axe for millenials, and a far cry from the simple sword swinging of Sega's arcade classic.

With disbelief suspension in overdrive, historical accuracy is chucked to the wind in favour of a multiplayer roustabout as players choose one of the most feared warrior cultures of the middle ages and slash warriors to bits with a rusty blade.

Vikings vs Samurai vs Knights is the mouth-watering premise in a game that captures the gory essence of medieval combat where players choose their faction and duel for control of the battlefield, with wins and losses contributing to how well your team gains territory. Knight classes range from honourable shiny types to medieval Judge Dredds, Vikings are your bare-chested bearded pillagers while the samurai are exotic throat-slitting assassins.

Experience levels up your character while steel won can be splurged on unlocking perks and customisation options for your steel-swinging hero. Much more than simply hammering a control pad, For Honor's innovative combat system, 'The Art of Battle', offers the best melee yet committed to a game. Button mashing is thoroughly averted with a range of three guard positions while thoughtless attacks will end duels in an instant.

An on-screen arrow warns players of which side opponents are attacking from, allowing time to switch guard and intercept with a range of blocks, parries and dodges. It's comparable to the hoary old PS One game Bushido Blade, where one misstep meant instadeath.

While offering more depth than any videogame swordplay to date, tickling the cerebral matter doesn't dilute the fun, and there's still a satisfyingly arcade feel to battles. While a multiplayer at heart, For Honor's serviceable solo campaign offers six hours of sword-swinging tutorial, where players fight from one objective to the next and take on some formidable bosses. But it's online where the most claret will be spilled across five modes: Dominion, Skirmish, Elimination, Brawl, and Duel.

A brutal, rewarding take on grand-scale combat, For Honor adds a surprising lick of strategy to the business of lopping off heads with a rock-solid core online experience destined to grow as more recruits enter the fray.

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