For Honor

For Honor Samurai at the Frist: A Brief Analysis

The very concept of For Honor indicates a fictitious landscape. History has never offered a war between Viking, Samurai, and Knights. Ubisoft Montreal fulfills our bloody and adrenaline filled fantasy with a narrative cataclysm that left only these warrior classes to battle for survival. In the process of tapping into our combative desires, Ubisoft Montreal draws on historical realities to shape their aesthetic approach.

Unlocking the Fantasy

For Honor
*From ForHonor.Ubisoft.com

At the time of this writing, Nashville’s Frist Center for the Visual Arts holds Florence’s Museo Stibbert’s collection of Samurai equipment. The selection blends functional and decorative exhibits dating back to the 17th through mid-19th centuries. A walk through “Samurai: The Way of the Warrior” puts one in immediate proximity with the inspiration for the Samurai faction of For Honor’s glorious cast.

Frist

So how does everything compare? We took a careful look at the pictures Ubisoft has offered on their website and brought them through The Frist to analyze For Honor’s balance of authenticity, detail, and artistic liberty.

Katana: The Soul of the Warrior

Possibly the most recognizable emblem of the Samurai warrior, the Katana’s curved feature allowed for a flexibility that kept it from breaking on impact. Ubisoft Montreal focused on perfecting this important feature, and it appears they nailed it.

For Honor
*From ForHonor.Ubisoft.com

The detail of the sword models demonstrates For Honor’s dedication to precision. The dark patterns show off a technique called Hamon, which served to harden the edge of the blade while making it look even cooler.

For Honor
*From ForHonor.Ubisoft.com

The more visibly artistic aspect of the Katana is the hilt and sword guard. The long, two-handed hilts crossed leather over a quasi-concealed and important emblem. The pattern and emblem may signify the owner while adding grip.

Handle
*Picture taken at The Frist Center

The guard also utilized a practical function; protecting Samurai’s hands. You can see an artistic pattern above, as well as in the pictures below. A whole wall in the Frist was dedicated to these guards, and the one below stood out.

For Honor
*From ForHonor.Ubisoft.com and The Frist

The relatively few visible aspects of the Katana offer a tight set of artistic licenses, which Ubisoft Montreal utilizes.

Gusoku: Ready to Strike

For Honor took a little more artistic liberty with the armor while keeping to the Samurai’s stylized roots. Armor styles changed more often than the Katana throughout history; some eras utilized firearm protection and more metal. Earlier periods focused on leather and wood, which seems to indicate the style in For Honor.

For Honor
*From ForHonor.Ubisoft.com

In tandem with the two-handed style of Katana, Samurai did not use shields. Instead of relying on heavy armor, they relied on their speed and flexibility that the leather and wood offered.

For Honor
*From the Frist Center and ForHonor.Ubisoft.com

Possibly the strongest historical departure For Honor enjoys is the Shugoki. This class appears less elegant, yet does not lack in intimidation. At the Frisk, much of the decorative pieces relating to helmets relied on the intimidation that the Shugoki personifies. Especially the use of demons link Shugoki with history, as many ornate helmets displayed monsters used to frighten opponents.

For Honor
*From the Frist Center and ForHonor.Ubisoft.com

Our Bloody Valentine

For Honor blends historical inspiration and survivalist fiction perfectly in their Samurai class, which slashes its way into the world on Feb. 14, 2017. We at TLS look forward to battling it out!

Jared Randall
Video games have always been a part of my life, starting with handheld arcade-like games and moving through N64 and Gamecube, up to PS4 and 3DS. My top five video games in no order consist of: Ocarina of Time, Last of Us, Resident Evil 4, Undertale, and Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. A hobby of mine is exploring religious and theological themes in video games. Someday soon, I will be kicking your ass in Gwent over a livestream.

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