For Honor open beta

For Honor Open Beta Preview

I’m not usually one for deathmatch style games, which is what the For Honor Open Beta was all about. We didn’t get a taste of the single player game, unfortunately, but from what I saw of the multiplayer we’re in for one hell of a ride.

The first thing you need to know is that it’s not a straight-up multiplayer deathmatch type game. For Honor incorporates a map control game split up into seasons, and the placement of war assets earned through combat with other players is vital if you want your faction to win. I won’t go into the long, boring details of it, but I will say that you’re not just playing for yourself, you’re playing for your entire faction and your actions in each match will affect the overall outcome. To make it even more interesting, the outcome of each season will affect every single season to come. Now, as for the combat itself, well, I have to say I had a lot of fun, and I don’t usually have fun in deathmatch games. The game features a few different modes which include:

  • 4×4 Dominion
  • 2v2 Brawls
  • 1v1 Duels
  • 4v4 Team Death Match
  • 4v4 Elimination

You’ve played multiplayer games before, so you can probably get a handle on what each mode does without me explaining it to you, so let’s talk about what makes it different from other deathmatch games. The first thing I’d like to talk about is the hero customization which definitely serves to set it apart.

Customize Your Hero in For Honor

When you first start up the game there are three heroes to choose from nine total, six of which aren’t unlocked at the outset. The unlocked heroes are as follows:

  • Vanguard – Easy, Straightforward
  • Raider – Easy, Straightforward
  • Kensei – Good Range

Each one has their own attributes but most importantly, they all have their own independent leveling. The more you play with one hero, the more it is going to level up, so if you spend all of your time on the Vanguard, for example, you might be sorely disappointed when you jump over to the Raider and find that it’s nowhere near as good. I spent some time with each of them, trying to level them up equally, but I still wasn’t terribly good at the game.

Customizing your hero is a pretty straightforward task. You start by scavenging the battlefield and you have three tiers to choose from. Using gold earned from each match you can scavenge armor, weapons, or miscellaneous items, with one higher level piece of equipment guaranteed every time you pay to scavenge. You’re going to want to do this every time you can afford it because rest assured, your opponents are doing the same thing.

Taking Orders

Before you enter each match you can choose orders, of which you can equip three at once. Completing orders gives you rewards, and some of the examples I saw during my brief foray into the open beta were Triumphant Brawler and Elimination Duty. Once you equip these orders you have a certain time period in which you will be able to complete them, so make sure you only equip them if you plan to be in the game for a while.

Fighting the Good Fight

Before I talk about a few of the different modes, I want to have a word about the combat system. For Honor isn’t quite Mount and Blade, so you have quite a few different styles of combat to choose from. Each hero has their own attributes, but essentially, you’re going to find yourself going into ‘guard’ mode which is comprised of pressing the left Control button on the keyboard. At this point, the game goes into a widescreen view and you’re able to control your stance using your mouse. You have up, left, and

Each hero has their own attributes, but essentially, you’re going to find yourself going into ‘guard’ mode, which is comprised of pressing the left Control button on the keyboard. At this point, the game goes into a widescreen view and you’re able to control your stance using your mouse. You have up, left, and right, and the stance determines which direction your sword will block from. When you are in this mode with another player, you will need to watch their stance to make sure that yours matches, so that when they swing, you simply block their hit with your weapon. Unfortunately, they can switch as fast as you can, so you’ll have to pay close attention and make sure you’re deflecting the blows as they come in. It’s not as easy as it sounds, trust me.

For Honor Screenshot Big Battle

While you’re in guard mode you also have the opportunity to break their attack and knock them off balance for a moment, guaranteeing that you’ll be able to land a blow each time you swing. Something to keep in mind while you’re fighting is that your enemy will be able to go into guard mode even if you don’t, so you might find yourself striking blows that are easily deflected, which is an outstanding way to find yourself decapitated.

Battle Modes and Complaints

There are several different battle modes for you to try out but there are two I would like to touch on specifically. The first one is the 1v1 Duel mode, and if you’ve ever imagined having an epic sword duel with an armored knight, then this is probably the way you want to go.

You’re dropped into an arena with another player and it gives you a ‘Best out of 5’ match set. There are a few benefits, one being that you don’t have any other players to distract you. The downside is that if the other player is good at the game, you’re kind of screwed unless you seriously know how to block. The cool thing is that this mode can make for some epic battles that you’re going to remember long after you turn the game off. The biggest downside I found to this mode is that there’s a LONG load time between matches. Seriously, you spend so much time fighting on pure adrenaline, by the time it ends and starts loading you’re sitting there like “Load the damn match you incompetent swine!” Okay, maybe that was just me, I don’t know.

To top it all off, some of the matches are fought on bridges or at higher elevations, so you can actually knock your opponent over the side and watch them fall to their death. Even if you’re a novice player, this fluke can occur, embarrassing your higher level opponent to no end.

The other mode I really want to touch on is Dominion, which sees you fighting four on four against opposing players and their own personal army in order to control points on the map – your typical node control mission.

There are some pretty cool features, for example, if you kill enemy bots in the controlled zone you’ll regain health, making it a lot easier to face your human opponents when they finally find you in the mess. Or you find them. Now, on the map that was available during the beta, I would like to note that the mid-point was the only spot where the enemy bots converged, so I’m hoping that in the full version there is a way to redirect them to the enemy stronghold, or even back to your stronghold, because one of the capture points is practically inside your own base.

All in all, the game is pretty awesome and I have to say, I’m looking forward to a full release, even if there were a few kinks to iron out in the beta version.

 

Gameplay

I’m really only giving this an 8 because there are a few issues. First of all, the player movement isn’t incredibly fluid, it’s more like driving a tank, but it’s something that you get used to after a while. Second, I found that the guard mode had some sensitivity issues, meaning that I couldn’t seem to switch fast enough. That might have just been me, or it might have been an issue with the game itself.

Innovation

I have to say the game is pretty cool and it introduced some ways to make sword fighting fun again. That’s all we can ask for, right?

Community

It’s really hard to judge the community because there wasn’t much talking going on in any of the matches. I mean when you’re swinging swords and chopping people’s heads off, there really isn’t that much to say, is there?

Graphics/Sound

This game is just plain pretty and it runs really, really well. There’s not much else to say.

Value for Money

It’s really hard to judge this one because, at the time of playing, the game hadn’t actually been released yet, but if this is any indication of what it’s going to be like, then I’d definitely sink some money into it.

Overall

The game is pretty cool overall, aside from the few issues that I mentioned. The character leveling and customization makes it easier to stay engrossed in the game, always giving you a new goal to reach. It’s definitely something you’ll be spending a lot of time in, especially if you enjoyed games like Mount and Blade, War of the Roses, and Chivalry.

 

Pros:

+Fun Combat

+The Graphics are Freaking Amazing

+Lots of fun Murder Stuff

Cons:

-Difficult Learning Curve for ‘Guard’ Mode

-Slow Load Times Between Fights

 

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About Rissa Trent

Rissa grew up on a farm, playing shareware games like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Operation Comat, Solar Winds, and Kingdom of Kroz. Later she would dabble in Real Time Strategy games, and eventually left home to go on a cross country adventure of self discovery where she found out absolutely nothing. Today she works as a copywriter and games journalist.