For Honour is one of the most exciting titles I have played recently this February with intense timed combat in a similar vein to Street Fighter, environmental damage similar to Mortal Kombat and customisation of items, gear and clothing that are reminiscent of the best in the Assassin Creeds Franchise. Combine all these elements and it seems Ubisoft has struck gold for perhaps the first time in recent memory. Playing the beta for four days straight with all the characters was a brutal thrill ride. I remember times that victory seemed assured but then the tables would turn and the Viking marauder would crash tackle me of the nearest cliff. Other times caught in the zone of a Noboshi spear and unable to press my advantage. The samurai’s Orochi appears almost unbeatable due to their high mobility, counter attacks and power to press an offensive. Rarely did I ever beat one of them in single combat. The heavies with a shield able to punish you for overstepping the offensive with a crippling shield bash that would deck you on the floor. Overall I would say that the classes are pretty balanced with skilled players able to counteract and use the advantages of each.
What hooked me most was the 4v4 Siege Capture battles. These games begin with catapult and arrow volleys making a mess of the defenders while your minions charge forward in a brilliant opening cut scene. The chaos of your men and the cries of defenders really get the blood pumping. Sometimes it would prove to be effective to charge the enemy front line and rush the central capture point. On other occasions, time was better spent securing other points or sniping enemy heroes. Although not very honourable, most times this resulted in two or more players attacking a single lone warrior. Often the best way was to land a heavy blow while your friend kept the enemy busy with blocking. When playing through, the mode was balanced enough that for me there was always still the sense you could win. That you could come back quickly by capturing points, killing minions or eliminating enemy heroes that would turn the game around. Never once did I feel cheated or that victory was too out of reach. Rather that If I had played better or my teammates had focussed on certain objectives, victory would have been ours.
Some of the other fun moments were in 1v1 Duel and 2v2 Brawl. The most honourable of game modes where every single player I encountered waited until the one vs one confrontation was left with a winner before engaging themselves. This was really cool to see as you could have a one vs one, balls to balls fight with a player without the risk of the enemies teammate killing you from behind. Both modes offering different elements. From the castle assaults you always dreamed about and the tense dual on a knife edge you always wanted, For Honour caters for both.
The extensive customisation For Honor offered was one of my favourite parts of the game. Everything from your headgear; to shoulder pads to inscriptions, colours, emblems and sword designs, it was all here. From reports, this is only apparently only 25 percent of all customisation in For Honour and I am excited to see what the full game brings.
Speaking about the positives for there is many, there is also a few negatives that cannot be ignored. One was the poor internet connection in matches, with players dropping out continuously especially in capture battles. More annoying at the end of a match, where you would lose connection just as you were about to finish. Losing all the exp, money and items you gathered for that match in a heartbeat. Most likely because of Ubisoft’s desire to run peer to peer connection rather than dedicated servers.
The second is the really long wait time for finding a match. Sometimes taking several minutes to find a match only to disconnect halfway through was something I was not alone in experiencing. The third was the trend to match inexperienced people with those with experience. Often punishing the new player with loss after loss. Partly discouraging some players from playing For Honour for more then a few hours. Fix these things Ubisoft and you will have a perfect game.
Overall I was really impressed with the opening Beta and now that the full game is out, these connection issues have hopefully been sorted out.