Every year, just like kids wait for Santa to bring in their favourite toys, gamers all around the world wait for E3 to come around with a bag full of surprises. And E3 2015 didn’t disappoint.
This year’s E3 had a lot of surprises and For Honor was definitely one of the biggest. Even more surprising was that Ubisoft managed to keep this game a secret given its history of slippery press releases. There were a lot of rumours going around pre-E3 that Ubisoft might announce a new Prince of Persia or a new Splinter Cell but no one expected to see a hack and slash game, which made the announcement even more exciting.
Disclaimer: The following section might be a little uncomfortable for certain readers as I have praised Ubisoft a little bit; something that has suddenly become a complete ‘no go’ in the gaming community.
Ubisoft has always tried to do something different with the multiplayer aspects of their games. They have always tried to stay away from the ‘knee jerk’ philosophy that most competitive multiplayer games seem to follow. Let it be with game modes like ‘Wanted’ in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood or online contracts in Watch Dogs where you have to sneakily hack another player or the legendary ‘Spies vs Mercs’ mode in Splinter Cell, they have always made a point to involve more of your grey matter. They proved that a multiplayer game can be a battle of the minds rather than the battle of thumbs. And they don’t intend to do any different with For Honor.
For Honor, as defined by its Wikipedia page, is a hack and slash game which is kind of an understatement. No, For Honor is much more than that, it is a ‘strategic battle of the minds’ if you ask me. It is a game where you can choose to play as one of three medieval warrior factions; Vikings, Knights and Samurai. It is a melee combat game where you have direct control over your weapon; you control the stance of your weapon all the while watching the stance of your opponent, to strike at the right time in the right place. The combat mechanism is deep yet has simple controls and is aptly named “The art of battle.” It is further discussed and explained by the dev team in the video below.
The multiplayer 4v4 mode was showcased at E3 and it was available for players to try out as well. The game looked gorgeous and the team confirmed that the game would have many more multiplayer modes and will also include a single player campaign. Each faction will be customizable, with different warrior types, perks, skills etc.
However, I am not here to tell you that this game is gonna be awesome for its gameplay mechanics neither am I here to tell you that this game is gonna be awesome for its graphics. I am here to tell you that this game is gonna be awesome because of the man who is behind it.
When he first walked on to the stage at E3, with a cane in his hand and a spark in eyes, people knew he had something cool up his sleeve. And when he began talking, I didn’t want him to stop. You could see his confidence and his pride in presenting his dream to the world. He never missed a beat and also beat the cool factor of Todd Howard’s Fallout 4 presentation. And the best thing was that this wasn’t just for show. In every interview that followed the E3 presentation, he had the same excitement, the same enthusiasm he had when he was on stage. In all the interviews he did, he wasn’t trying to sell you his game; he was trying to make you see his dream. This man first had this idea to make this game twelve years ago but no was willing to listen. Until he met with the team at Ubisoft Montreal. And then things clicked into place and we had one of the most exciting announcements at E3.
So who exactly is Jason Vandenberghe? He is a highly passionate and a highly experienced game developer who has been in the gaming industry for about 20 years now. He has worked on various AAA titles like Far Cry 3, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, the James Bond games etc and has now taken up the role of Creative Director at Ubisoft for For Honor. He is also pretty darn cool.
The game is far from finished and is hopefully scheduled for a 2016 release but I already know it is going to be awesome. And why wouldn’t it be? I mean, you know your game is in good hands when the creative director of the game goes by the name ‘the_darklorde’.
I have written this neither for Ubisoft nor for Mr. Vandenberghe. I have written this……………………..For Honor.
No seriously. This is not a sponsored article. The industry needs a little bit of subjectivity now.