With the final release happening within less than a day, we’ve just finished the For Honor’s open beta.
We should rather call it the final stress test as three million players joined the beta. And after playing it on both PC and PlayStation 4 I’m not entirely convinced that it’s a game that I would like to spend my cash on, but it will be very interesting to watch its performance.
There’s a single player campaign that wasn’t a part of closed or open beta, but even without its trial it’s easy to notice that For Honor will shine in its multiplayer component. It’s the best when you face real players, but I should also praise the AI. Unlike Ghost Recon Wildlands, where NPCs are plainly dumb, it’s a different case here. I quickly learned that when facing AI opponents, I should be as vigilant as ever.
Fight with me!
And it’s as clear as day that PvP is the main focus here. There’s Deathmatch mode, where two groups of four clash. Even though each match starts with one player facing one enemy, very often those fights went into full chaos when teams gathered. Maybe the reason was that many new players joined the open beta and not everyone managed to train their character, but it was during the Deathmatch where I faced the most ridiculous situations.
I hope that after the release, with future updates, Ubisoft will manage to punish players that intentionally leave a match. I understand that it was “only” the beta, but leaving your team is anything but honorable.
On the other hand, I loved Brawls when we are teamed up with another player and together we fight with two enemies. Maybe I was lucky with random users, but most of my gameplay here resulted in nice team-ups with people, who knew what to do, how to behave and that friendly fire does exist in this game.
More and more
The 4vs4 mode has another variant in the form of Dominion, where two teams capture objectives. I like the idea, which imposes teamplay, but due to long waits I didn’t have the chance to play it for longer time. There’s also Duel mode, a 1vs1 PvP, which appears to be the most interesting piece for players well trained in available classes.
I like the artstyle of For Honor, especially when it comes to character design. A lot of work has been done to create armors with specific physics for individual elements. Unfortunately, there just aren’t enough chances to stand there and appreciate the looks. But the amount of work here is incredible and well suited for all those customization lovers, who’ll spend three hours on choosing just the correct leather color.
Hack and slash
For some combat in For Honor looks like Age of Conan-inspired, but I treat it as a fighting game. Maybe it takes place in full 3D, but many actions are similar to titles like Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat. You have to learn how to dodge, parry and break guard. It might look like a Medieval slasher, but it’s the opposite.
You can guess which attack comes next thanks to indicators, but it’s a tricky thing. I’ve already met players proficient in deceiving, who changed their moves in the last possible moment to deal extreme damage to my character. And don’t think it’s a rock-paper-scissors ruleset. The game is greatly balanced and each hero stands on their own and are able to defeat any enemy if used properly. It’s all about deliberate strikes and your knowledge about the battlefield – including how to use the surroundings like fire or broken guard rails. Or when to execute an enemy to block revive. Or how to make them lose their stamina.
Unfortunately, the first tutorial isn’t as exhaustive as it should be. It leads players from objective to objective, but it should take its time to expand the parts about 1vs1 confrontations. I highly recommend some advance training and starting some Duels and Brawls with AI enemies just to prepare yourself for the inevitable mayhem.
And one more thing: playing on keyboard and mouse feels like a suicide due to the fact that it’s much easier to change and keep stances with the gamepad. If you are playing on PC, do yourself a favor and buy an Xbox One controller or any other type.
As I said in the beginning, I’m not convinced For Honor is a game for me – mainly because it’s best in PvP and we’ll learn soon how strongly it will be expanded. After the release it will be known what’s the full size of content available there in-game.
P.S. I believe For Honor should debut as a free-to-play game. It’s planned model with seasons, content passes etc. is very similar to the one from Rainbow Siege Six. But both games are totally different and it’s not that hard to notice why the shooter is receiving Year 2 of expansions.