Swordfighting is in. With The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, fantasy games are hot. And Ubisoft is ready to oblige gamers with For Honor, a brutal sword combat game where you can play as a samurai, a viking, or a medieval knight.
The game looks like a historical title, but it is pure fantasy because, as you know, samurai, vikings, and knights never teamed up or fought each other in battles.
“We want to put you in a battlefield, put a sword in a your hand, to make you feel how you would if you were fighting on that battlefield,” said Jason Vandenberghe, creative director for the game from Ubisoft Montreal.
Yves Guillemot, chief executive of Ubisoft, said in a press gathering that the company’s line-up is based on talent, new intellectual property, and innovations in technology, business, and gameplay. This kind of game fits those principles. Ubisoft unveiled the game at its press briefing at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) gaming trade show in Los Angeles today. It’s not clear when the game will debut.
During the press event, Ubisoft showed lived gameplay for swordfighting. It was measured blow for blow fighting, akin to Ryse: Son of Rome. When someone struck a good blow, it could slice a warrior almost in half. The game is available for demo play at E3.
Yannis Mallat, head of Ubisoft Montreal, said that the company also loves to take creative risks, and it has high hopes for this title.
Vandenberghe said he had been thinking about the game for more than six years. One of the prime innovations in the game is the way that you control your weapon, swinging it left, right, or blocking, Vandenberghe said. A trailer showing the fighting doesn’t really convey that, but it has spectacular graphics and it has a lot of yelling and clanging metal in it.
Players can fight a single-player campaign or engage in a four-versus-four multiplayer battle.
“It has the potential to be a completely new way to fight in video games,” Vandenberghe said. “It is built around a new organization of the controller. We have put your control of the weapon on the right stick, that allows you to control your guard — left, right, and top.”
Vandenberghe thought about the control scheme a long time ago. Then he pitched it multiple times and was always turned down. Then he pitched Mallat, who said that he knew of a technical group that had already figured out such a control scheme. He put them together.
The vikings are know as Warborn, full of passion and fire, fighting for freedom. The samurai are the Chosen, who desire technical mastery, skill, and focus. And the knights are Legions, standing for what is right.
“This is about the art of battle,” Vandenberghe said. “You can find out what kind of warrior you could be or are.”
I haven’t played the game with its special controls yet. But Vandenberghe urged everybody to do so as soon as they could to understand how it is different.