As we all know, Ubisoft was nice enough to grant the world access to an open beta for their new game, For Honor, allowing everyone the opportunity to try it out before investing the – now normal – colossal $60 price tag. For some of us, convincing ourselves to shell out that kind of dough can be quite the challenge, especially if you missed out on the chance to test out the game yourself. This guide will give you a complete rundown, including a basic game overview, details on the brutal faction war, an introduction to each hero, and finally a brief personal opinion, arming you, the consumer, with everything required to make a fruitful purchase.
For Honor is a game featuring ferocious action combat developed by Ubisoft, available on Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC. The combat system, very much like that of Mount and Blade, is an exceptionally skill based system. This creates an environment where a player who has played the game for an eternity has no true power advantage over a newcomer, just a skill advantage. There is loot which slightly customizes each hero’s playstyle, but none that offers any sort of notable advantage. The one way to gain an advantage is to play the game, hone your skills, and eventually master your hero’s combat style in one or all of For Honor’s game modes.
There are four separate game modes in For Honor. At first glance these game modes seem somewhat generic, that’s because they are. Duel mode offers %100 skill based 1v1 combat, no excuses, only one will survive. The matches are best of five, so you have the opportunity to figure out your opponent’s style in order to beat them in later rounds. The Brawl game mode has all of the same rules as Duel, the only difference is that the matches are 2v2. The last two game modes currently available are both 4v4 modes, which unlock the ability for heroes to use “Feats.” Feats are special abilities that offer a range of effects, from self-healing to a medium range bow shot, and even the ability to call down a catapult barrage. Feats are unlocked by killing enemy heroes.
Elimination is the 4v4 version of Duel and Brawl, the only difference being the addition of Feats. Remember, this mode is all about team play, so revive your friends for the best chance of victory. The last currently available game mode is the Domination mode. This mode is the only one that allows heroes to respawn without the assistance of a teammate. It is a 4v4 mode, with three capturable points. The two outer points are captured by simply defeating any nearby enemies around the marked area, then controlling the point for a few seconds. The middle point is a bit different. Waves of incredibly inept soldiers fight over the middle of the map and the hero who leads their horde of weaklings further than the enemy’s wimpy army ends up controlling this location, which earns points. It takes 1,000 points in order to trigger sudden death, which disables enemy respawns. Kill them all one last time to win!
The Faction War is the focal point of For Honor and will keep players engaged for hours, weeks, or even months. When you begin in For Honor, before you do anything else, you are forced to choose between one of the three factions – Knights, Vikings, and Samurai. Choose your personal favorite (don’t worry about picking the same faction as your friends) as team play and hero selection are not impacted by faction choice. Cross faction war is affected by all multiplayer and Vs. AI play across all three game platforms. The multiplayer menu serves not only as the place to choose the game mode but also as the main hub, depicting the current war status and allowing the player to either attack or defend strategic territories.
Territories are fought over by using a simple War Asset system. War Assets are awarded to players for exceptional personal performance in multiplayer game modes. The more face you beat, the more War Assets you get. When the match ends, choose to either attack or defend a territory. War Assets are tallied up at each update, and the faction with the most assets on a warring territory takes control. Updates, Rounds, and Seasons globally organize the faction war to decide a victor. Every six hours an update will occur, calculating the winners of contesting territories. The Faction with the most territories at the end of a two-week period wins the Round and rewards will be granted. The end of the fifth Round marks the Season’s end, and the faction with the most Round victories is declared the ultimate conqueror, forever changing the world.
There are nine total classes in For Honor. No matter what combat style fits your personality, there is a hero just for you. Each faction’s heroes will be available for play regardless of which faction is pledged to. There are highly recommended “how to” videos available for each hero in the game. It is important to watch the video for every class. Not only will this give you a head start in mastering your own hero, but will also grant you a working knowledge of all heroes to better counter their fighting style.
Knight classes are typically very well-rounded combatants and offer a solid variety of playstyles. The Warden is the most adaptable knight. He balances blocks, dodges, mobility, and powerful two-handed sword attacks, making him very effective in most situations. If your playstyle is more defensive, the Conquerer is the knight for you. His shield is as much of a weapon as a defensive tool, bashing enemies before finishing them with mighty flail attacks. The last hero of the Knights is the dodgy, quick-footed Peacekeeper. Wearing light armor and dual wielding, the Peacekeeper shreds opponents with unpredictable attacks, avoiding danger with lightning fast movement.
The Vikings are a savage people, typically relying on brute force and unyielding pressure to decimate enemies. Wielding a massive axe, the Raider is the most straight forward Viking. With vicious swings and freakish strength, a Raider can power through most situations. The most defensively minded Viking, the Warlord, controls the battle with a sword and shield. Relying on shield blocks, precise counter attacks, and the occasional headbutt, the Warlord makes enemies pay for misplaced attacks. Personifying the savage nature of the Vikings, the Berzerker mows through foes with two hand-axes. Unleashing wild strings of attacks at close range, the Berzerker can be nearly impossible to predict, making them a terrifying force in combat.
Samurai are noble warriors focusing on precision and control, which makes them incredibly dangerous on the battlefield. The well-rounded Kensei uses long sweeping katana attacks, which if used properly, wreak large scale havoc on the battlefield. One of the more unique heroes in the game is the Nobushi. Wielding a naginata, the Nobushi is the longest range hero, which shows its value most in teamplay. Controlling distance and punishing enemies from a safe range is the Nobushi’s specialty. The Samurai’s most agile warrior, the Orochi, commands lightning fast dodges and parries, ahead of skillful counters. Incredible movement ability makes the Orochi a very tricky opponent, being able to strike from many different angles, and swiftly flank foes.
All and all, For Honor is a very entertaining game. The combat system is very engaging, which barely makes up for the generic game modes. There is a pretty steep learning curve to combat, but with time, the fights become an incredible sight. At first, players who are more familiar with the game, or even the AI will completely destroy you. Take the time to watch the how-to videos for the various heroes and practice your combos to find some early success. Combat is by far the selling point of the game, but there are some concerning areas that could impact For Honor’s long term success.
The lack of innovative game modes is a pretty major flaw. The combat will hook you, but is the faction war interesting enough to keep you? Without a variety of more original modes and incentives, it seems unrealistic to keep the player base engaged for multiple long seasons, but even just ten weeks (1 season) of gameplay is a major achievement. The game plays exceptionally well, looks great, and will satisfy anyone’s bloodlust. Everything said, For Honor is a very well made game, and is a very solid pickup for any action combat fan.
For Honor is scheduled to officially release on February 14. For more information check out the official For Honor website. See you on the battlefield!
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