A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that For Honor is a violent and bloody hack-and-slash action game. Using axes, swords, and spears, players kill other players and computer-controlled characters, resulting in a lot of spilled blood. Some kills are shown close up, and some locations you visit use blood and severed heads on spikes as decoration. Online communication among players in the game's competitive multiplayer modes isn't moderated. Players can spend cash to purchase character enhancements and outfits for their side.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
In FOR HONOR, a warlord named Apollyon believes that knights, Vikings, and samurai have grown weak, so she manipulates things so these three factions end up fighting each other -- and sometimes among themselves -- for dominance. As a result, you'll spend multiple hours whacking people with swords, spears, and axes. Along with the story-driven campaign, the game includes multiple online modes that include the all-out skirmish "Team Deathmatch," a capture-point variation called "Dominion," and one-on-one fisticuffs in "Duel & Brawl."
Is it any good?
Because of its repetitive gameplay, this medieval, third-person hack-and-slash action game quickly becomes redundant and tiresome. This does manage to take longer to get dull if you play against other people. In For Honor, knights, Vikings, and samurai have to use swords, axes, and spears to prove who's the deadliest warrior. Sometimes, this means taking on waves of enemies. Other times, when battling someone tough, you have to use your controller's left thumbstick to place your weapon in just the right spot to block an incoming attack, while using the same mechanic to avoid having your swings blocked. You also can try to break their blocking position through a hockey-like body shot or do a broad sweeping swing.
The problem is that when you fight computer-controlled enemies in the game's story-driven campaign, they often telegraph their attacks. As a result, combat in the game's story mode is less like fighting to the death and more like playing a simple game of "Rock, Paper, Scissors." Thankfully, it's a bit less predictable when you play against other people, especially if they're impulsive. But even then, the only online mode worth doing is "Team Deathmatch," since you and your human-controlled opponents are augmented by waves of those easily dispatched grunts, which makes this mode rather frantic. By comparison, going mano-a-mano in the mode Duel & Brawl is like playing a low-rent fighting game, while the capture point variation Dominion is like playing a slightly less predictable version of the campaign. Also, just getting online to play these modes was problematic during this review. Either way, though, you're better off spending your money on something with a bit more variety than For Honor.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Does it make you feel different that this game has you killing other humans? What about the fact that you're hitting them with swords, axes, and spears instead of shooting them from afar?
Discuss pattern recognition. To survive this game, you have to recognize when someone is going to swing a certain way, but how can you apply this kind of pattern recognition to your everyday life?
Talk about such ancient cultures as the samurai, the Vikings, and medieval knights. Would you like to know more about these societies? Does the game make you more interested in finding out about them?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: UbiSoft
- Release date: February 17, 2017
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, History
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence
- Last updated: June 22, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.