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For Honor Closed Beta Impressions

Betas are becoming increasingly common in this current age of gaming. Developers allow a number of gamers to access their game to essentially test out an almost completed version of their title for the sake of general feedback, as well as a sneak peek of what’s to come in the full release. Ubisoft’s newest title, For Honor, takes a step back from the standard formula of the Assassin’s Creed developer for a more refined approach. From what has been seen in the Closed Beta of For Honor, what can we expect when it releases in a couple of weeks’ time?

For Honor appears to be lacking an actual solid story, but the game is quick to set context for the major gameplay elements. After an unexplainable and cataclysmic event, the world has gone to ruin and survivors are left to fend for themselves. Over the course of many, many years, these survivors have competed for food and resources, eventually forming the game’s three factions. The Knights, Vikings and Samurai are forever locked in a vicious war and you begin your time with the game by picking who you wish to align with. While this ultimately shows who you as a player favour, by no means does this lock your entire playtime with that particular faction alone.

It is probably worth getting stuck into the training before anything else as this teaches you the fundamentals of For Honor’s fighting system. When faced with another enemy, your fighter will have three ways in which to guard. After locking on and using the right stick, you will either guard from the left, right or in an upwards position. This also determines the direction in which you will attack your opponent. If your enemy is guarding in the same direction that your attack comes from, they will successfully block the blow. The key to success comes down to how swiftly you are changing up your guard so that attacks surprise the foe. Light and heavy attacks also determine the overall damage done so executing a mixed combo as well as aptly time rolls will end in a victory.

With your fighting skills now in check, you can engage in the faction war. This ongoing cross-platform event has all players across the globe competing for domination with their chosen faction in different multiplayer modes. The results of the overall battle are tallied up in a number of ways through turns, seasons and so on, but ultimately you will simply be gathering war assets through multiplayer matches to use on the world map either defensively or offensively, depending on your faction’s current influence on the land.

For Honor‘s Closed Beta has three game modes on offer. Duel is probably the simplest of the bunch, pitting you against another player one-on-one for a set number of rounds. Your fighting ability is put to the utmost test here as killing the opposition yourself is the only given objective. Brawl is slightly similar to duel, but instead, it is 2v2, so you get a little help from a fellow player. Whichever team is the first to fall loses, and the rules are exactly the same as Duel; fight to the death.

Dominion is the final mode available and matches take much longer than the other modes. Two 4 player teams will be placed on a larger map where the aim is to gain the most points and eventually kill all opposing players simultaneously by controlling three territories. There are also small armies of AI soldiers here that you can help out by killing the others so that your army can push forward. After your team reaches around the 1000 points mark, it’s down to sudden death and every member of the opposing team must then be killed for your victory.

It is also worth noting that there is the option for playing against the AI if you do not desire to be up against any real players. Of course, AI bots will fill the shoes of any missing player gaps if teams are of an uneven number.

As you play these modes, you will have access to all 3 factions despite your chosen alignment, with a total of 9 fighters to choose from across the factions. Each of these vary in style, ranging from slow but brutal, to quick and agile so there is a fighter to suit all player needs. Each fighter is levelled up individually the more you use them, and each has their own set of abilities and weapons. Using For Honor‘s currency or “steel” earned from matches and specific in-game challenges, any fighter can be customised for increased damage, stamina and so on. This progression system allows you to pick and choose whichever fighter you wish at any time, but six of them are locked at the start and must be bought with steel before gaining full access to them.

For Honor appears to have kept its focus purely on gameplay, re-enacting the historic battles of old for players across the globe in classic multiplayer fashion. You will be able to get your hands on the full game when it releases on February 14th, better known as Valentine’s Day. Perhaps it’s the perfect gift for your loved one?

Marc is a slightly rare combination of being both a Christian and a gamer. If he isn't raving about the Souls series or Mass Effect, he'll most likely be getting stuck into story-driven adventure games or the odd quirky title.


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