For Honor, the upcoming competitive, team based hack-n-slash game from Ubisoft, will require an always online internet connection, despite previous statements to the contrary.
A NeoGAF user recently posted a response from a Ubisoft community representative to a forum post asking about For Honor’s internet requirements, saying players will need to be connected “at all times” in order to play the game, even in the singleplayer campaign mode.
“We can confirm that For Honor is an always online experience,” Ubisoft’s UbiJurassic wrote. “Some elements of progression, which is hosted online, are shared across story and multiplayer modes. Players will need to be connected to the internet at all times to play For Honor.” Destructoid reports further confirmation from Ubisoft, dispelling the notion of UbiJurassic being misinformed.
This news comes as quite a surprise because previous reports have said the singleplayer portion of For Honor would be an offline experience. In September, For Honor creative director Jason VandenBerghe was quoted as saying the story mode would satisfy players who didn’t want to go online and play multiplayer.
“We built the campaign so that if you bought the game just for that, that you would be satisfied even if you never went online and played multiplayer,” VandenBerghe said, speaking to Gamespot. “It’s intended to be a full experience.”
Granted, he didn’t explicitly say the singleplayer was offline, but the notion it would satisfy people who “never went online” certainly implies it.
Constant internet connection requirements for video games has been a topic of much derision in previous years, despite internet access being more widespread than ever before. When the Xbox One was first announced as an always online machine, the backlash was so immense that Microsoft ditched the idea entirely. The main complaints were that people wanting to play singleplayer games in locations with poor internet access wouldn’t be able to do so, or that internet outages would mean even those with regular access couldn’t play offline.
With For Honor having a large focus on the multiplayer element, one would expect a majority of players would have their consoles connected online anyway so lacking internet won’t be an issue. What could be an issue though is the other problematic side of always-on internet requirements: reliance on connecting to servers in order to play. Server problems during launch period goes hand-in-hand with onlineonly games these days, like say how Ubisoft’s The Division earlier this year was a nightmare to get started, and the dreaded error 37 for Diablo 3 in 2012. Not being able to play a singleplayer experience because you can’t connect online is a very special kind of frustration.
However, Ubisoft’s recent snow sports game Steep requires constant internet and has released without a raging shit-storm, so there’s hope for always-online launches yet. We’ll have to wait until February 14, 2017 to find out.