The latest from Ubisoft gives players the opportunity to pick up a weapon, equip a set of armor, and fight for one of three ancient factions caught in an eternal struggle for resources. Set in a fictional world steeped in war, For Honor is a game built for melee combat and tactical opportunity. There’s a lot to learn.

Unlike other fighting games, For Honor is focused on more than just combo; environmental hazards and traps scattered about the map can mean death provided players don’t constantly keep an eye on their surroundings. But with a world of medieval melee combat and a set of factions offering distinct styles of play, there are a few things you should know before you declare your allegiance and jump into the battlefields of For Honor.

There’s a Single-Player Campaign

Even though it may seem like For Honor is a game that revolves around multiplayer, Ubisoft Montreal has also built a series of single-player campaign missions which help flesh out the conflict at the core of For Honor’s universe. During each campaign, players take up arms as a member of the Knights, the Vikings, or the Samurai following the emergence of a new threat: Apollyon.

Known by her legion as war itself, her only goal is to manipulate each faction against each other, disrupting the fragile peace which has allowed civilizations to rebuild following the great cataclysm that shook the world. In For Honor, it’s your job to uncover her true intentions and figure out how to stop her while attempting to save your faction’s people in the process.

The Art of Battle

Medieval combat isn’t a common focus in multiplayer video games, namely because of the usual hack-and-slash mechanics which prevent players from really honing their skills. With For Honor, Ubisoft Montreal avoids the common pitfalls with the game’s unique combat system, “The Art of Battle.”

The Art of Battle revolves around active attacking and blocking combined with a set of combos unique to each of For Honor’s 12 warrior classes. Whenever you engage in combat against another player, you’ll enter Guard mode, pulling up a dial behind your character with three directions: left, right, and top. By moving your analog stick or mouse, you’ll actively block attacks and be able to attack your opponent from that specific direction. It takes practice to master, but one that feels great given time.

War of the Factions

When you first boot up dive into the multiplayer experience, you’ll be prompted with which faction you would like to pledge your allegiance to for the current in-game season. Whether you pick the Knights, the Vikings, or the Samurai, know that each offers no specific bonuses to you as a player and gives you access to all of For Honor’s warrior classes. By picking a faction, you’ll just lock yourself in for the War of the Factions during that specific season. The season itself is a global, cross-platform event.

Whenever you complete a multiplayer match in For Honor after aligning yourself with a faction, you’ll earn War Assets that you can distribute across the in-game map for your faction. By participating in this event, you’ll earn rewards like emblem borders, special armor sets, and other items provided you faction wins the current season. While we don’t know everything about these seasons yet, they’re set to last for a few weeks at a time, so just remember to pick the faction you want to stick with. Changing mid-season means you’ll forfeit your rewards.

Photos via Ubisoft

Nicholas is a writer and content creator in Knoxville. He frequently covers video games and other consumer electronics. When he's not writing for Inverse, you can usually find him tweeting about Star Wars or streaming on Twitch.

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