Just as a little heads up before I go into the review of the expansion, Marching Fire, I will not be going too detailed into the systems and workings of For Honor, since a lot of that was all covered in our original review. Instead I will give a little overview of what players can expect from the new expansion, what I liked and what frustrated me.
For Honor: Marching Fire is not a brief downloadable content, but instead an expansion that features new heroes, some new modes, especially Breach which takes centre stage in the new offering. It can be bought separately and is included in some new For Honor: Bundles as well. It is quite a pricey expansion on it’s own, retailing at around £25.99 without any discounts, which can be the cost of quite a few indie or some AA games. Let’s break down what you get with the expansion part by part.
First up are the new champions or heroes from the Wu Lin faction that actually fit well within the structure of the pre-established For Honor classes, making them easy to utilise against vanilla characters. Some of the things I noted when playing some characters:
- Tiandi is a counterpart to Warden/Vanguard, whose controls are very responsive and quick, which gives you a bit of a reliance on dodging.
- Nuxia, the assassin is similar to the Peacekeeper or Orochi, and fights best one on one and is a good counter for shielded enemies as once you master the character, breaking blocks becomes second nature.
- Shaolin is similar to nobushi with fast attacks and sweeps that have range to them.
- Jiang Jun is a heavy character with long windup in his attacks, which balance out by doing a lot of damage. In a sense you could say the character is most similar to Shigoki.
Arcade mode was really quite an interesting addition in my opinion, one that actually works out as a way to get currency and loot. Think of it as a ladder mode in fighting games but with the twist that you get to face multiple enemies at once now and then.
Each round has some modifiers as well, which can see you at times fighting against buffed characters with bonus damage or bleed. These modifiers can be drawbacks as well, giving you low health handicap in the beginning of a round or making you more susceptible to knock backs.
The modifier I found the most interesting however was Respawn. As you can imagine, this has to do with a fallen character coming back. The twist here is that, in order to ensure that your enemies stay down, you have to execute them with heavy attacks or else they will respawn.
In a close quarter combat game such as For Honor, it is imperative that you give advanced AI options during training modes so that players can, you know, actually train. The original when reviewed didn’t have a substantial training mode, and was only added down the line. But I would like to take this opportunity to commend Ubisoft for this.
I used to always have issues with centurions crushing me over and over with an overhead charge, so much so that it was one of the reasons I stopped playing the game so much. However now after training against that move set again and again, I still get crushed by them, but at least I can feel like I have a chance during the training mode.
This is the one mode that Ubisoft has perhaps used a lot to promote this expansion. Unfortunately a lot with it is lacking and it isn’t something I would personally call fun, as in my opinion it basically inherits the flaws of Dominion and other 4v4 modes.
I was never a huge fan of the 4v4 modes as I believe the game works best against one or to an extent, two opponents, even which has a revenge feature that gives you a fighting chance against multiple players. The problem with 4v4 is that it gets too hectic, and basically because you don’t get to lock on much, you don’t get to use the full potential of characters. This in turn allows you to get easily flanked by multiple opponents, which gets frustrating.
Breach mode features fights against multiple opponents as well and splits players into defence and attackers. The attackers have to escort a ram which breaks through doors that serve as checkpoints. It does take some time to break through each door where the defence can use a cauldron hanging above these doors to do massive damage to the unit. Attackers have a limited number of tickets which run out after each death. Tickets are added after each checkpoint has been successfully broken through.
The main goal of the attackers is to breach the fortress of the opposing side and take out the commander, whilst the defenders have to hold back the attack. The commander, although an AI NPC, is not to be underestimated as he is very powerful with a vast amount of health. Think of him like a final boss that you have to fight.
Some of the things I noted and learned from the mode:
- The npc hordes are much tougher to kill and can easily swarm and overwhelm you compared to other modes, giving you a bigger challenge.
- Because each death counts, and it is very easy to lose as an Attacker, its best to revive characters rather than let them respawn which can help you save tickets.
- Does feel a bit unfair playing as attackers, as defenders never run out of respawns as easily and the ram is quite slow.
- Controlling objectives is extremely crucial for attackers as the areas are then locked and permanently belongs to the attackers, allowing troops like archers to fortify that position and even the ram.
- Whoever controls the Cauldron area will have the edge, so use it as an attacker and defend it as the defenders.
Lastly as a few ending notes, nothing has been added to the story mode and it remains the same, and you don’t get to use the Wu Lin additions as a faction, as the game is still divided among the original three. So, if you want to take part in the meta faction wars, you will have to use one of the original factions.
All in all, although the game does come with a handful of new modes and characters, I am not sure if it is fully worth the £25 asking price since the main part that stands out are the brand new characters rather than the much hyped Breach mode, which gets boring and frustrating quite fast due to its repetitive nature. I would say perhaps wait for a re-balancing or sale, the base game however is completely a must play!
+ Arcade Mode is Interesting
+ Training Mode Has Been Improved
+ Breach Mode Commander Feels Powerful
- Breach Mode Feels Unorganised
- Defenders Seem To Have More Edge
- Could Have Had Story Mode For The Wu Lin For The Steep Price
- Wu Lin Not There Own Faction in the Meta Game