Our Weekend With For Honor (Alpha Impressions)

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We got to play the For Honor alpha build over the weekend and these are our impressions from several hours within the game. The Alpha includes 3 maps and 3 modes. The modes include a 1-on-1 duel, 2-on-2 brawl, and a 4-v-4 battle. The 4-V-4 variation includes additional smaller warriors, and objective points you must hold to win the battle.

Dustin – For Honor is an addicting, thrilling, experience that was a refreshing taste of video gaming. The game honestly felt like a more in-depth Dynasty Warriors to me. You have the initial sprint to battle with comrades, but then you break away into something glorious. The battles between “heroes” was a simple, yet challenging experience. The game has really easy to learn mechanics, but these mechanics take a standard button smasher into a world of strategy.

Stand off’s with enemies was amazing and waiting for an opponent to slip was truly an experience worth having. Then when you get tired of it you can just run to the battle in the middle of the map and smash your sword into a bunch of enemies. My problem with the game is that there is no “build up.” When showing off the game the presenters do a really nice job of building up the battles with things like “and then you rush to the top of the castle and battle the warrior.” You don’t need to do that at all, in fact most matches I was in included my entire team sprinting off to the objective points.

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While I found the combat to be amazing, I also think it had some flaws. For example, if you ever got double teamed you were basically dead. I don’t think I witnessed a single person get out of that situation. Another slight issue I had was there are still some balancing issues. I have been utilizing the Raider most of the time because he is so strong. It’s really easy to throw people off bridges or into holes, but the move can be countered easily when in a 1-V-1 scenario (although I found the Samurai and Berserker extremely hard to counter).

The berserker is simply too fast which allows you to interrupt long winded moves with a quick jab easily, and once you land a blow you land 5 or 6 more without an issue. The Samurai was the only one fast enough to really counter it, but also has issues with his extremely long reach and OP hard hits. I rarely ever lost a battle with The Samurai. With that being said I felt the game was slowly pushing you into these characters since the slower fighters didn’t provide much to the battle if the opposing team had selected Samurai’s and Berserker’s.

It is an Alpha build after all, so there are tweaks to be made, but I felt it was a strong game and I will for sure be keeping tabs on it as I had a lot of fun.

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Matt – I couldn’t agree more, Dustin.  I absolutely loved the battle mechanics.  For Honor is not a game where you can just go in like a soldier of fortune.  It’s not a hack-and-slash game as was evident by the beatdown I took when I played in 1-V-1 Duel or 2-V-2 Brawl.  In Duel, my opponent played as Berserker the entire time, and like Dustin said, it was too hard to stop. I ended up losing all 6 matches I was in.  Berserker is just so fast and strong, it makes it harder to play as anyone else.  

In fact, For Honor tends to push players to play with either the Viking or Samurai class because they have so many valuable perks.  The only advantage I found with the Knight class were that I lived longer, due to their superior defense.  Outside of that, I mostly played with Onoichi, an assassin in the Samurai class, because it was faster.  4-V-4 Dominion was really where the meat of the game is.  Those are the games that really give you that Dynasty Warriors feel.  In it, you team up with four other heroes to either defend or attack an enemy stronghold.  You take it by defeating the rival Heroes and capturing zones.  It makes Control games tougher because you can’t just camp in a zone.  You have to actually do combat with Heroes that are extremely tough.

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Something that I marveled at, while playing, was just how beautiful For Honor is, despite it being an Alpha.  The environment that surrounds you, the castles, even the chaotic brutality is beautifully featured in For Honor.  It really makes you wonder how good it’ll look when it comes out next year.  Hopefully, it’ll come with a lot more variety and a storyline that makes sense.  All indications are that it will with a strong couple of trailers shown at E3.  I just would’ve liked to have had some sort of motivation going into each fight.  Then again, an Alpha is just to show off fighting mechanics and give a taste about what the game is about. 

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With everything we experienced with For Honor’s gameplay, we’re in for something that has the potential to be special.  For Honor is slated to hit the Xbox One, PS4, and PCs on February 17, 2017