For Honor’s duel mode made me a scheming lady Samurai and I loved it

We were mighty impressed by For Honor — Ubisoft’s upcoming sword combat game. Not only can you play as a wide variety of styles of sword dadding (and sword momming — you can play as a woman character and the devs will salute you): choose from a Viking brawler, a Samurai, or a European medieval knight, and get cracking.

Combat is deep — you need to always mind the stance of your opponent, helpfully indicated by the UI — and strike where they are weak. Preferable quickly, and with your next move in mind as well. It feels like real fighting — the push and pull of stances, feints and footwork interrupted by flurries of activity, blocks and eventually, nasty cuts.

I have no experience with swords, but I spend a lot of time training in combat sports, and I was very impressed, particularly with the pacing and sense of lateral movement inherent to the combat system. It feels like real fighting, even though the setting is kind of a fun, fantasy-tinged affair. It all fits, and it works beautifully thus far.

For Honor is coming out on February 14th of next year, a perfect Valentine’s gift to anyone who ever dreamed of, say, gutting a viking with a Samurai sword. Or vice versa.