Disclosure: Marching Fire expansion and Season Pass code were provided by the publisher.
When For Honor released early in 2017, I honestly didn’t know what to expect other than a unique combat system. To my immense satisfaction, I received a game that looked great on PC, ran extremely well, and featured unquestionably the best combat/fighting system I had ever seen in the action/fighting genre.
I loved it so much, server and matchmaking issues aside. I likened the combat to a chess match, with it as much a test of mental fortitude as you feinted and outsmarted your opponent, as a test of out and out skill as you outflanked and outmaneuvered your foe. It was a brilliant game that perfected and polished so much of Chivalry before it.
I was keen to jump back into For Honor to try out the latest expansion, Marching Fire. Featuring a brand new faction, the Wu Lin, a new PvE activity (Arcade), and a slew of graphical updates, Marching Fire looked to be a decent addition to For Honor.
Fellow colleague, Joseph Bradford, who will be writing the review for MMORPG.com, and I streamed our gameplay just this past Saturday. As expected, we were ambitious, but rubbish.
Watch LIVE – Ballz Does #ForHonor Marching Fire! from MMORPGcom on www.twitch.tv
Let’s start with the graphical updates. The main aspects I immediately noticed were in the lighting and textures. The lighting has seen improvements in global illumination, and to my eye, looks more accurate and simply better. Textures also received a noticeable bump in resolution and look sharper than before. As someone who prioritizes graphics above all other features of a game, I am impressed.
It doesn’t hurt the game runs incredibly smoothly either. I’m easily achieving and maintaining a locked 60fps at 4K on an i7 8700k and GTX 1080 Ti with all graphics settings maxed.
Arcade is a new PvE activity introduced in Marching Fire featuring hand-made and procedurally generated quests. Completing these quests grants players XP, Steel, and Loot just like the PvP activity. Arcade is meant for single-player, however, you can play in online co-op where your buddy does not need to own Marching Fire in order to play with you. Nice.
The new Wu Lin faction is perhaps the addition which will most interest players. Featuring four classes, the Wu Lin brings with it a totally new design philosophy and moveset while keeping with the broader class archetypes of For Honor.
Of course, I tried all of them, eager to see how they played. And, as expected, I utterly failed. I first tried playing as the Nuxia, a female assassin. She is built for speed, something utterly beyond my capabilities. I panicked hard. Wielding dual hook swords, she’s meant to outflank her opponents and land quick strikes. I did none of these things.
I next moved onto the Shaolin, a male hybrid. I fared slightly better, but still utterly failed. As with other hybrid classes, like the Valkyrie, I found the Shaolin to be highly technical. I feel like if you really know what you’re doing with him, you’ll absolutely own. I, however, did not. He’s another fast character, wielding his staff which, in more capable hands, would no doubt deal quick damage. In my hands, all that was accomplished was ineptitude.
The next class I tried was the Jiang Jin, a male heavy. Here, finally, was a class more my playstyle. You see, my main in For Honor is a Shugoki, the Samurai heavy. He’s fat, slow, and wields a cudgel used to deal devastatingly heavy damage. He’s right in my strike zone. In this sense, the Jiang Jin is quite similar. I found him to be slightly faster than the Shugoki, but with greater range. I was able to land blows with my weapon, a guandao, while maintaining some distance from my opponents. I really enjoyed the Jiang Jin, and he was much more akin to my preferred playstyle.
The final class is the Tiandi, a male or female vanguard. Of all the new classes in the Wu Lin, I found the Tiandi to be the “everyman” class. The Tiandi not too fast, not too slow, not too technical, but not too simple. The Tiandi the Goldilocks of the Wu Lin, by no means a complaint. The Tiandi has lesser range compared to the Jiang Jin, and is slightly slower than the Nuxia. However, unlike the Nuxia or Shaolin, the Tiandi packs a bit more punch. I found success with this class as well. This the class I’d recommend most newcomers to try out before moving on to the more difficult classes like the Nuxia and Shaolin.
Overall, I’m having fun in Marching Fire. It took me a couple matches to remember the controls again, but once I did, the fun heightened panic of old came back. The Wu Lin faction is a good solid addition to For Honor with each new class bringing something new to the table. More technical players will have a lot to like in the Nuxia and Shaolin. But for people like me, I’ll take my Jiang Jin and slowly trundle along behind you, reaching the objective eventually. I had a lot of fun in Marching Fire and look forward to diving back in and checking out the Arcade mode further.