In-depth look at For Honor’s “Marching Fire” expansion

For Honor's Marching Fire gameplay

As we talked about last week, For Honor had a rough go last year. After having fared much better in 2018 so far, the Montreal team proved at E3 that they’ve really hit their stride. Hosted by creative director Roman Campos-Oriola, the For Honor team wasted no time in getting right to the point. Ubisoft has been teasing about a big announcement at E3 for weeks on social media, and they meant it. For Honor is getting its first expansion called “Marching Fire” this October. Featuring a new four-hero faction and two new game modes, Marching Fire is a breath of fresh air. The expansion also promises significant graphical changes and a new interface. Ubisoft has stated that this will be the game’s biggest update in history.

For Honor’s biggest content update ever

For Honor traditionally breaks down into “seasons” which all offer their own content updates. 2017’s four seasons consisted of new game mode features, events, and additions to the cast. Historically, each new season brings several new heroes as well as a new event (an existing game mode with special conditions). Marching Fire offers an entirely new faction of warriors hailing from ancient China. Four all-new heroes are included in addition to a fourth faction, the Wu Lin, being added to the faction war.

The other significant release is arguably the medieval fighter’s most ambitious game mode yet — Breach. This 4v4 mode, unlike the other modes which have only a single objective, requires multiple conditions for victory. The expansion also promises new single-player and cooperative missions. On top of the gameplay additions, For Honor is also getting treated to a graphics overhaul. Marching Fire looks to be a major a game-changer, and there’s quite a bit to cover.

The new cast of For Honor's Marching Fire.

Meet the Cast

The Wu Lin is described as a faction of warriors from China who travel west seeking vengeance. While more lore isn’t available at this time, Ubisoft has released the descriptions and names of the heroes. which draw influence from ancient Chinese culture. Here is what is known so far and what could be possible for the new fighters.

The first featured hero, the Shaolin, is a warrior monk who wields a staff in a two-handed manner. Once a man of peace until witnessing the arson of his monastery, he now spreads the gospel. He is described as a more technical hero, perhaps suggestive of a steeper learning curve. Based on gameplay and the mention of ‘written prayers’ it’s possible that Shaolin will serve as more of a support/utility class. The For Honor community has discussed in length the idea of focusing more on support-type hero classes in the game.

Next up is Tiandi. Wielding a Dao blade, this hero is described as a protector of royalty who went mad and slew his brothers. He now atones by fighting in the west for glory. Described as a vanguard who’s a mix of Kensei and Shinobi, he offers plenty of mixups to the table. He appears to be the most versatile new hero of the bunch.

The third entry in the hero list is Jiang Jun. He is described as a fierce general who wields a gundao. Jiang Jun will possibly be a heavy (durable, tank-like heroes) with a similar playstyle to Warlord or Conqueror. His moveset is apparently more like Nobushi’s in the sense that he can fight very well at range, but with stronger, slower and more draining attacks.

Finally, there’s Nuxia. Described as a trained assassin who disguises her talents through dance, there’s no mystery here. The newest assassin entry is all but confirmed in this hooked sword-wielding (technically called a Shuang Gou) Acrobat. She also appears to be a ‘disabler’ type of character, meaning crowd control will be likely. More will be revealed as the year draws closer to the fall.

Breach: Your new favorite For Honor game mode

Perhaps the most exciting feature of For Honor’s E3 segment this year was Breach. During the segment, Roman stated that Breach was “answering a huge request from our community.” Likening the mode to a classic medieval castle siege, Breach is a new eight-man game mode. The objective is for one team to attack the enemy’s castle while the other team defends. This mode has multiple phases, which are split into attackers overcoming a first and second gate during the siege. The third mode, reminiscent of World of Warcraft’s “Alterac Valley,” is a showdown with the defender’s king. The king is a high-level AI hero with considerable hit points and damage. The attacking team must kill this NPC to win the game.

Players must defeat the King to obtain a victory in the new Breach battle mode

This new mode will be far more strategic than previous ones, with attackers having a limited number of respawns. If the attacking team dies too many times, they run out of respawns and lose the game. This means that players must be proactive with reviving teammates and work effectively together. The defending team, on the other hand, can also destroy the attacking team’s ram, which the attackers must escort to the gates to progress. In addition, both teams can make use of ballistae, a heavy artillery unit. The defending team also has access to a cauldron of boiling oil, which they can unleash on their assailants at the second gate. This mode also packs soldiers on both sides, from archers and grunts, to captains.

But wait, there’s more!

In addition to this welcome content, Roman also teased a new “Endless PVE Mode” that is in early stages of development. Players will be able to either play this mode solo or with a friend online. As we mentioned earlier, Marching Fire also offers significant graphical changes to the game. These will include texture updates, new sky/cloud technology, and better lighting. As a final icing on the digital cake, the For Honor starter edition will be completely free until June 18th. If there was ever a time in For Honor’s history to start playing, it’s right now.

Programmer. Writer. Digital media specialist. Competitive gamer in the sense that I’m competing with the constant urge to throw the controller across the room.