For Honor Closed Beta Impressions

Well, I promised you all some impressions on For Honor and today is the day I finally deliver. With an open beta arriving this coming weekend, hopefully I can better paint the picture of what you’ll be getting yourself into. I know I’ve been talking a lot about this game lately, and I swear this is it for a little while.

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At first glance, For Honor looks like a typical third person hack and slash title pitting Samurai, Knights, and Vikings against once another. It’s easy to believe that based on the trailers and gameplay out there already. Once you pick up a controller though, the game quickly teaches you that way of thinking is completely wrong.

Check out my detailed thoughts after the jump…

The best way I can put it is that For Honor better compares to modern fighting games, where it demands players have a level of understanding of the character they’re using first. Players who go in expecting to be able to button mash and win will quickly be cut down because this game demands more from you than that. The combat system is therefore easy to understand in concept, but hard to master without practice.

At it’s core, players can select from three different stances, up, left, and right. When engaging enemy players, matching the direction of the attack will block it. Timing is critical as players have access to parries, grabs, light attacks, heavy attacks, along with special moves based on the hero selected. Lighter characters like the Peacekeeper are more agile and have less health while hulking defensive types like the Warlord or Conqueror can take a punch while dishing out slower but powerful attacks.

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In my experience with the game, fights are wildly chaotic at first where entering into a combat state typically results in panic and button mashing. I found that sticking to one character and really learning them helped me to not panic as much during a duel and remember to use the class specific moves more efficiently, which eventually resulted in finding more success. Most players will probably follow a similar path as being successful at For Honor takes time and likely won’t come after a handful of matches. Continuing to stick with it, utilizing the training and going through advanced practice modes goes a long, long way.

Even though you pick a faction to support at the very beginning, you’re not locked in to only using the heroes of that particular group. In fact, teams can be made up of any number of heroes, you’re not limited at all. Customization is also a major part of the experience as players are encouraged to create their own emblem, change patterns, colors, and gear for each character, and earn loot after matches to further customize each hero. As characters level up, new abilities will unlock as well meaning no two heroes will be exactly the same.

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Honestly, I felt the closed beta from late last year was already polished. Even still, I could still see improvements this past weekend, as the team added in cool loading screens where both sides posed and then jumped in at each other as the game finished loading. Not a huge thing, but a nice touch none the less.

Honestly, there wasn’t much I disliked about the experience. It’s pretty polished at this point, though there were a few server side issues now and again, but I’m going to chalk that up more due to the fact that this was a beta rather than a potential sign of things to come. I hope anyway…

Overall, For Honor delivered another solid experience. After really settling in with the Warden, I started to find my groove and really enjoy what I was doing. Combat feels really unique in this game, and with the promise of more heroes not seen in the beta and a lengthy single player campaign, I can’t wait to jump in on launch day.

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3 Responses to For Honor Closed Beta Impressions

  1. I totally agree about panic setting in and button mashing at first! That’s what happened to me during the beta too. Like you say, it is so immensely helpful (and rewarding) to pick a character and practice moves!

    • I really don’t think I’ve experienced a game with combat this rewarding before. Taking down an opponent through actually countering and doing moves that you mean to do instead of mashing your way to victory is just so satisfying.

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