For Honor: Combat Trailer Analysis

Review the combats:

Okay, from its announcement I was interested in For Honor, but also hesitant about it, because it’s hard to tell what’s going on exactly. Like there’s 3 attack stances, controlled by the right stick (what controls the camera when you’re not locked onto a human opponent? What allows you to switch your lock-on between human opponents?) that clearly do different attacks, but the animations don’t have very clear arcs to them, and the UI here clearly indicates your opponent’s block stance as well as your own as a means of compensating for the unclear animations.

The npc rabble appear to go down in one hit, much like enemies in a dynasty warrior title, but also seem to be able to damage you. There are 5 segments of health on each player character, each sword blow seems to deal 1 segment of health, some abilities can deal partial damage to a segment, and some character classes lose partial segments on successful blocks, as seen near the end of the first commentated section of footage. (which makes sense, as they said the assassin’s class doesn’t have good defense)

There appear to be guard breaking moves, and things that have combined animations between both players that move them around, and I have no idea what triggers those or what they really do.

I don’t know how the hit ranges are determined, or whether the attacks are magnetic or not, or how attack animations are determined, and regrettably, that’s what this kind of comes down to. Attacks might be randomly chosen out of a bag for all 3 block zones, they might have predetermined looping sequences for all 3 block zones (preferable). There might be additional actions possible depending on the buttons you press that trigger those extra actions. It’s honestly hard to tell right now.

The other thing that is up in the air is the relationship between the block zones. In 2d fighting games, there are 3 possible properties an attack can have, high, mid, or low. You have 2 block zones, back, which blocks mid and high attacks, and downback, which blocks mid and low attacks. Mids and Lows are allowed to be fast in 2d fighting games, so downback is the default block zone, highs must be slower to allow for reaction time. In 3d fighting games the relationship is different. There are still high mid and low attacks, but a high block in a 3d fighter will block high and mid attacks, an a low block in a 3d fighter will block low attacks, and high attacks will miss, but mids will hit. In 3d fighters, mids and highs are allowed to be fast, but lows are the slow ones.

In this game, all 3 block zones seem to be totally exclusive, so is there a relationship between attack speed and block zone that prioritizes any of them? Dunno. If there isn’t, then it’s a 3-way guessing game, which sucks, but if the attacks are animated well/consistently and you can play the range game footsie dance, then it might work.

If you can’t consistently produce attacks, it’ll suck, guaranteed. It pretty much hinges on that. Can’t tell yet.

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