Melee-focused action games have spent years enacting the fantasy of engaging in armed combat fortunately sparing us the hours of rigorous training and resolve it takes to actually do so in real life. But For Honor Ubisoft’s third-person weapon-based arena combat game is different from other melee-focused action games like Dark Souls or Dynasty Warriors. Its combat system is simple on the surface but executing its more advanced tactics requires a patient mind as well as an understanding of its deliberate pacing. There are not many games quite like For Honor. It’s an incredibly entertaining fighter that’s satisfying both in single and multiplayer even despite the narrative flaws of its story mode.

For Honor is an entertaining game on the PlayStation 4 and after the 4GB initial patch which addresses a few issues you’re ready to be transported back to the violent time of Knights Vikings and Samurai. Sure the story in the single-player campaign is a little contrived at times but it’s a great introduction to the game and more importantly the controls. Given that the combat mechanics of For Honor is quite sturdy and can be very brutal at times particularly in multiplayer but the amount of grinding and use of both in-game and real-world currency may deter some people.

For Honor’s Marching Fire release is the best thing to happen to the history-remixing melee brawl ever since it first released back in February of last year. The release is split into two similarly named (and a bit confusing) pieces of content: the Marching Fire Update and the Marching Fire Expansion. While the actual expansion itself only contains the new AI enemy-focused Arcade mode and Early Access to the new Wu Lin clan of heroes the free update for all players adds in a bevy of graphical improvements a brand new gear/perk system and the wonderfully chaotic Breach mode.

Every successful attack produces a large spurt of blood. There are dozens of unique kill animations players can activate to finish off foes which usually leave the enemy in more than one piece. Limbs are severed and heads are loosed from their shoulders. throats are slit and in rare cases bitten out. During the actual cutscenes in the game’s campaign we see a man desperately trying to escape before his head is bashed in with a flail. Although you don’t actually see the weapon make contact. A woman is stabbed in the chest and pulls the blade out causing blood to spurt out of the wound.

A flaming arrow is shot into a man’s eye. beyond that there are some grim moments of violence outside of battle. For Honor focuses primarily on one-on-one duels though fights against multiple foes are common. There are 12 heroes to choose from each brandishing their own unique weapon and fighting style.