For Honor's Campaign Gives Its Multiplayer Modes Depth and Urgency

by Matthew Hayes

The earth turned against humanity. As an archer looses arrows upon his enemies, so did the earth loose its wrath upon her inhabitants. Earthquakes, storms, famine, eruptions... In the wake of our world's betrayal survival is not a guarantee, it is a hard-earned privilege. It is in this hostile world that we enter into a war waged over mutually occupied land.

This land, which the Vikings used to call Valkenheim, has been spoken for by not only the vikings, but by a faction of fierce knights and cold-blooded samurai as well. The vikings, though they abandoned this territory long ago, believe that it belongs to them. It is an inheritance; a birthright. It is their ancestors who established the monuments and buildings that we see scattered in ruins. It is their faces that we see reflected in the broken statues, and it is they who have returned to claim this land as their own.

The knights of the Iron Legion, however, had established themselves there in the vikings' absence. It is now their home, and they have been faithful stewards of that land for a long time. Why should they retreat from their new home and concede it to those whom they deem to be invaders?

The samurai of the Dawn Empire, on the other hand, we find with their backs against the wall. Sent by their emperor to find a new home, these brave warriors - the most skilled and deadly of their kind - never heard back from the messengers they back to their emperor for instruction. They believe themselves to be the very last of their kind, and they will do anything in their power to ward off the imposing threats that seem to be approaching from all sides.

Birthright; stewardship; dependence and progeny... Which of these is the greatest entitlement to this broken but precious stretch of earth? This is the question For Honor asks as you pledge allegiance to one of these three factions. But why should we have to pledge allegiance at all? Who says that the knights, vikings, and samurai can't come together and reach some kind of mutually beneficial agreement? Apollyon, that's who.

(Photo: Ubisoft)

Apollyon is a merciless and manipulative warlord who believes that the world needs a conqueror, not a leader. She has sewn seeds of violence and discord between these factions, and recruited fearsome warriors from all three in order to advance her schemes. She believes that the world is divided into wolves and sheep, and it is her cause to initiate the age of the wolves. Power won by victory in war is the only answer - anything less than that is meaningless.

For Honor's campaign is the story of Apollyon's campaign, and it's one that will not end peacefully, as we're told that For Honor's multiplayer takes place 50 years after the events that transpire in the single-player mode. You can see now that this is not a simple boy's fantasy carelessly brought to fruition for the hell of it. The campaign in For Honor enriches the multiplayer experience by giving us meaningful context to the war that rages between the vikings, knights, and samurai.

For those of you who love to invest emotionally in your avatar and really use your imagination while playing, For Honor's campaign offers up some great backstory and lore - some added fabric into which your warriors are woven. That fabric feeds into a tapestry which makes the whole seem greater than the sum of its parts. The multiplayer modes in For Honor absolutely can, in my opinion, stand on their own and justify a $60 price tag, so I'm glad that Ubisoft made a point to construct such an elaborate war story to inform our experience and make the ongoing Faction War (which I'll cover in greater detail soon) more imminently compelling.

But for those of you who aren't interested in multiplayer at all, can For Honor's campaign stand on its own and still justify that price tag? Stay tuned to WWG to find out, we have early campaign impressions and multiplayer previews still to come!

For Honor is coming to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on February 14. To sign up for the closed beta taking place in January, click here.

By Matthew Hayes

Matthew loves artistic games, RPG loot, all things Nintendo, and esoteric philosophy - if you want to buy him something for his birthday, that's all you need to know. In person, a meek dog-lover. Online, an overly competitive villain. Favorite games include Persona 4 Golden, Rainbow Six Siege, Dark Souls, Rhythm Heaven Megamix, and Jet Set Radio.