PAX Prime 2015 Best in Show. For Honor
Typically when I attend PAX Prime I stray away from a lot of the large AAA booths, the appointments are hard to get, most of the time they’re only showing a non playable demo, and the release of their game is imminent in the coming months so playing it two months early isn’t worth my time. PAX Prime 2015 was a little different, AAA brought their “A” game, Ubisoft in particular.
Ubisoft brought four of their biggest upcoming titles: Rainbow Six Siege, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, the long awaited MMO The Division, and the brutal brawler For Honor. This was only one publisher, 2K brought a giant Battleborn statue with a few of their heroes towering over attendees, even Capcom got in the action having an impressive showing I haven’t seen from them in years. The disappointment came from Bethesda unfortunately, three beautiful booths from Doom, Dishonored 2, and Fallout 4 with nothing but the booth and photo opportunities, nothing playable.
I haven’t been blown away from a AAA title at PAX since Far Cry 3, and I certainly wasn’t expecting one to be our Best in Show, but Ubisoft’s For Honor destroyed the competition to grab top…honors.
For Honor was first introduced at this years E3, boasting 4v4 brutal combat of knights, samurai, and vikings, immediately grabbing my attention. I’ve been begging for a game where I can play as a knight that isn’t Dark Souls, and For Honor has filled that void.
The PAX Prime 2015 demo of For Honor started with a light tutorial, learning the basics of combat and strategies of the upcoming game mode. For Honor‘s combat is a game of twitch responses and reflexes. You’re hero has three stances, ochs (up), pflug (right), and long pflug (left), while holding L2 you stand in your guard, picking one of the three stances, if your stance matches your enemies you automatically block, if you miss, well, you get a sword to the gut, face, or whatever body part you didn’t guard. There’s also guard breaks, combos, and heavy strikes, making combat strategic but also hectic.
The thing about the combat is that it’s fluid, and as far as I can tell, historically accurate. I absolutely love knights, I’ve studied them since I was a kid, watching and reading everything I could get my hands on. So seeing the knights sprint while holding the sword by the blade, holding both the hilt and blade during quick strikes, and sometimes swinging the sword like a bat made me giddy. It’s brutal, unforgiving, and rewarding.
The game mode was a basic three base domination like mode, capture and hold three strongholds to gain points, first team over 1k points and is able to finish off all four of the enemy team finally wins. I say finally because the tides of each game can shift dramatically when points are captured and lost. Depending on how many points you accrue during each life, you can choose perks like rallying troops, or catapulting enemies.
For Honor was so impressive I had to play it twice, even as media, with PAX crowds being as large as they are, talking your way into a second game isn’t easy, but I just had to get my hands on it again, and my second time was even better. Ubisoft was only showing the knight side of For Honor, but somehow I missed the customization stage. A CUSTOMIZATION STAGE!!! You can choose between male or female warriors, and slightly change their helmet and armor. I obviously chose the knight with the badass silver lion mask, I will strike fear in thine enemies.
Although I lost both games, you couldn’t smack the smile from my face, and you couldn’t get me to stop talking about For Honor either. I kept coming back to the For Honor booth to watch so much gameplay wife even commented, “you and your knights”. She knows the love.
Everyone who reads the site regularly knows I don’t pre-order games anymore, but For Honor is mercilessly beating on that door, and for that For Honor is our PAX Prime 2015 Best in Show.