No hyperbole needed: For Honor is simply one of the best-looking games we’ve seen so far on current generation.

I started playing the Xbox One version last night and was blown away. That’s the Xbox One version – you know, the format generally considered to be the worst performing. None of the extra ‘oomph’ that a PS4 Pro or PC might have, and yet, I was in awe of what I was seeing.

Just look at this opening cinematic. Just look at it.

That might be one of the best examples of CGI I’ve ever seen. The YouTube video’s quality doesn’t quite do it justice, but on a 1080p TV it’s breathtaking. At one point, just as the battle between the three warriors commenced, I almost genuinely questioned, “Is this real or CGI?”. That’s how good it looks. It could have easily been some weird alternate timeline of Game of Thrones or something.

Once the game started up, I expected a massive graphical downgrade; obviously gameplay is never going to look as beautiful and crisp at that opening scene, but I was still pleasantly surprised. The character models are well-designed and brilliantly animated, but it’s the locations and the scenery that are the star of the show here.

I’ve only just got started in the campaign, choosing to play as the Knight first. I’ve seen a handful of different areas, each as gorgeously detailed and intricately created as the last.  Every single brick stands out in the castles and fortresses; nooks and crannies beg you to explore, but the call of war keeps you from truly losing yourself in your surroundings.

But oh, the call of war. Even as you’re slicing through twenty or thirty enemy soldiers at once, the game remains silky smooth, the animations as you pound your way through the crowds with your trusty sword are simply sublime. It’s brutal, but it’s beautiful.

I’ll be spending most of my weekend with these warriors, ogling their beauty and exploring their world. Come back early next week to see our full review.