Ubisoft’s For Honor beta kicked off February 9th, allowing players to get a taste of what’s to come in the Valentine’s Day release of this competitive online multiplayer game. Thus far, most reviews have discussed the weapon-play strategy demanded of the player. Learning attacks, guard breakers, combos, and additional special moves while monitoring your stamina levels will definitely require concentration and practice.
But I want to take a step back, and look at the first cut scene that introduces the player to the universe of For Honor.
In that scene, the player is introduced to a peaceful medieval world that is suddenly ravaged by the forces of nature. The devastation causes water and other resources to be sparse, leading the vikings, samurai, and knights left behind to fight each other for what is left. Their war rages on for centuries, despite the earth replenishing itself with more than enough resources to go around. The original reason for their bloodshed becomes “lost to the ages.”
In a brief moment of quiet after battle, we see members of the three factions standing and silently contemplating the possibility of a peaceful existence with each other. The moment is short-lived as an arrow shoots from behind a tree, prompting the three to continue on in war. A female voice narrates, “I will show them… I am Apollyon. I bring War.”
The camera then focuses in on a commanding female knight, who we can safely assume is Apollyon; our main antagonist.
So- aside from this engaging cut scene, what else can we know about our striking female villain? Apparently more than we think. The For Honor Wiki describes Apollyon as,
“The undisputed Warlord of the Blackstone Legion, through her the Blackstones have come to rule Ashfeld. She admires the warriors of all three factions but is disgusted that they have begun setting aside their warring ways in favor of peace. She intends to start a new age of war by turning the three factions and leaders within each faction against each other. She wishes to usher in, as she calls it, ‘an age of wolves’, viewing the groups that are willing to go to war wolves that will fight each other for survival and the ones who favor peace to be sheep waiting to be slaughtered.”
Apollyon’s survival-of-the-fittest attitude hardly seems consistent with what we know historically of female attitudes in the middle ages. But according to the same wiki, we get to know why. As a young girl, her village was ambushed by Vikings who demolished her land after a Lawbringer deemed her village unworthy of his defense. This was the first of many horrors she would witness at a young age, resulting in a predator/prey understanding of human flourishing. Oh, and that Lawbringer? Turns out she had plans for him,
“When she was sixteen, she finally found the Lawbringer who had doomed her people. She ambushed him, dragged him into the street, and then brutally executed him. Afterwards, she brought his armor to a blacksmith, and had it re-fashioned to fit her. She wears it still. It is a warning against anyone who would dare to use the law against the strong.”
It looks like For Honor players will have their hands full with this highly-motivated warlord. And we at The Lady She Games are psyched to see where her story will take us.