The “For Honor” Beta ended this weekend, and I have to admit it’s a lot of fun. This is the full review. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.
After choosing your side, whether that was the Vikings, Knights, or Samurai, you were presented with the main menu. Only choices here were Multiplayer, Quick Match, Custom Match, and How To Play. There were also tabs for customizing your Heroes, Game Settings, and the Ubisoft Store to buy the game. Lets start with Multiplayer, when you choose this it shows you a map with territories and which side is currently dominating, sides being the Vikings, Knights and Samurai. This is why you chose a side in the beginning like I explained in my preview of the Beta. You truly are picking a side to fight for.
The Multiplayer map has something called “Orders.” “Orders” are daily, contract, and special events that you can do to gain XP and resources to buy new Heroes and upgrade their gear. I didn’t get much of a chance to mess around with the “Orders”, but it reminded me a lot of Rainbow Six Siege challenges. After looking through your “Orders”, you can then choose which mode of play you want. On the map, it shows territories that are split up into three parts. Each part represents each of the three modes in the game, such as; 1v1, 2v2, and 4v4. 1v1 is basically duelling against another human player, 2v2 is the same but you have a team-mate to help you, and 4v4 is where you have to dominate a map Battlefield style (but on a much smaller scale).
Next is the “Quick Match”, and the name pretty much says it all. If you select this you will be put directly into a queue to play a game. When I choose this, I was placed into a 4v4 mode game. I don’t know if the game will load you into 1v1 or 2v2 as I only chose this option once. “Quick Match” is great if you just want to get into the action and not worry about choosing any other options.
“Custom Match” is where I spent most of my time. I was able to pick the game mode, whether that be 1v1, 2v2, or 4v4, the map I wanted to play on (which during the Beta there were only three to choose from), and setup the rules of the game. After you pick these options, you can then load up the Match. I noticed that “Custom Match” only had AI Bots, I didn’t see an option to open the game to human players. This could have been a limitation on the Beta or maybe I just didn’t see it.
The AI bots were pretty tough to fight, but I found them to be not so smart on defending nodes in the 4v4 mode. They just kept running all over the place from each node, sometimes they would revive you, but only if you died at node A and C because node B was where the cannon fodder bots were. I guess the constant back and forth action at B might have been too much for the AI Hero Bots, so they just didn’t care to revive you if you died at node B. After discovering this I then spent most of my time at nodes A and C. Because at these nodes only Heroes come up here, the cannon fodder bots never do. Nodes A and C is where you can heal, and if you keep it captured for your team, the points go up faster for your team. The 4v4 mode was the most fun and challenging, and I pretty much stuck with that mode during most of the Beta.
Lastly is the “How To Play”. This is where you learn how to play the game. As for the game play, “For Honor” is unique. There were only three types of Heroes to choose from, even if you picked Heroes from each side, there were still only three types. Those types are a Two-handed weapon, Shield and a weapon, and duel-wield weapon types. Each one has its own style of melee combat, for example; the two-handed weapon Heroes are slower but deal more damage, the shield and weapon Heroes can block better and also knock their opponents back some when they block, and the duel-wielding Heroes are faster but do less damage.
As for fighting, you have to lock on to your target, which puts you into block mode. While locked on an enemy Hero, you see a symbol on the screen which shows you what direction you will be swinging your weapon. This symbol has three sides, top left, and right. As you attack your opponent can see which direction you are attacking and has to block that same direction or get hit. It is an interesting system for melee combat, but I found it kind of odd to use with the mouse. This is a personal opinion, but I think this system would be better played with a controller. I might be wrong because the Beta didn’t support my Nvidia controller only a limited few from Xbox and PlayStation. Ubisoft may support more when the game comes out.
As far as performance goes, “For Honor” ran very well and I didn’t come across any game crashing bugs or any bugs for that matter. The graphics look really good too. I was able to get 100+ frames per second on average with my GTX 1080 set at 1080p resolution. This is good news for PC gamers, “For Honor” ran very smooth and with no issues. Let’s hope that stays true when playing the game at release.
After playing this limited closed Beta for “For Honor”. It has convinced me in buying the game. I really enjoyed playing it, even though it was just the Multiplayer. From what I played, I really want to check out what they have done with the single-player. Ubisoft has stated that the single-player for “For Honor” will be enough to justify the price tag of the game alone. Let’s hope that is true.
“For Honor” releases on February 14th, 2017 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.