ByKen McDonnell, writer at
Now Loading's sentimental Irishman. I can't stop playing Overwatch, please send help.
Ken McDonnell

On the one hand, the combat system in For Honor will make you feel like a great heaving warrior dancing hand in hand with invincibility. On the other hand, as soon as you lose your guard or incorrectly evaluate your opponent, you'll feel like a real life rag-doll made up of vulnerable fleshy parts with a sign around your neck that reads "Have mercy, pretty please?"

The system in is a complex blend of different stances, blocks, attacks and parries that has broken the melee mould. When you're neatly stacking up the bodies of your enemy faction's conscripts, it feels like a throwback to the button mashers of old. But, when you're one on one with a hero or player, it's called the Art of Battle, and this is what you need to know.

How To Parry In 'For Honor': Breaking Down The Art Of Battle

In For Honor, each player has both a health bar and a stamina bar. While both are obviously important, it is the stamina bar that I guarantee you'll spend most of your time looking at. Why? Because if you lose stamina, you'll lose your ability to block and attack—you'll essentially stand there until an axe splits your head open. This means it is absolutely critical in making the game feel more realistic. Some of us prefer a hard slog though—ain't that right, Gimli?

However, you can see your opponent's bar too, which means that stamina can be your friend as well as your enemy. Parrying in For Honor is a trick that takes the stamina bar into consideration and is essential if you are looking to slightly stun your enemy and knock the wind out of them. What you need to do to parry in For Honor is attack your opponent with a heavy attack using RT/R2 just before they land a blow on you. It's pretty hard to pull off, but when you do, your opponent will have little stamina left or they'll find themselves on the floor, and thus have little chance to retaliate.

Defending Yourself With The Block And Dodge

He's got it all wrong. 'For Honor' [Credit: Ubisoft]
He's got it all wrong. 'For Honor' [Credit: Ubisoft]

Blocking is probably the most important element of the Art of Battle, as it is essentially the foundation behind the whole system. It first involves locking on to your opponent using LT/L2, after which you'll be in the combat mode and one on one with your opposite number. To actually block an opponent's attack, you don't simply hold a single button down. In fact, you have to quickly select where you think the next attack will come from using the right stick. This changes your hero's stance, so when the attack comes raining down on you, your weapon will be in the right place to avoid the chop, or the wrong one...

However, if you think the attack is going to be a devastating one and a simple block won't work, then the last resort is to dodge using A/X. This will put a bit of distance between you and your foe, and presents you with an opportunity to gather your strength. The more experienced the enemy, the faster they will switch their stance, block, attack and force you into a dodge. So this whole process turns into a violent tango, with both players vying for control.

The Rules Of Attack In 'For Honor'

Jeffrey's got the hang of it. 'For Honor' [Credit: Ubisoft]
Jeffrey's got the hang of it. 'For Honor' [Credit: Ubisoft]

The reason why blocking is considered the foundation of the combat system in For Honor is because it is where your own attacks and subsequent maneuvers will push off from. Again, you'll have to be locked on and focused on which side your enemy's own weapon or shield is sitting before going in for a strike. After you've decided on where your enemy is the weakest, or at least where they are currently not blocking, you can initiate a light attack using RB/R1 or a heavy attack using RT/R2.

These attacks will deal plenty of damage to an opponent if delivered correctly, but, just like you, they also have other ways of avoiding contact. To really switch things up, you're going to have to get cosy with your combos!

The 'For Honor' Combat System: It's All About Patience

Maybe that's taking it too far, Jeffrey. 'For Honor' [Credit: Ubisoft]
Maybe that's taking it too far, Jeffrey. 'For Honor' [Credit: Ubisoft]

The game's combat system is unique in that it actually forces players to slow down, watch and study their opponent's moves and strike with consideration. No, not consideration for their wellbeing, just consideration for their stance, stamina and ability to fight back. If you take into account all these things, then you're on the right path to mastering the Art of Battle in For Honor!

Have you tried to parry in For Honor? Let us know how it went in the comments!


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