Although playing the beta did not change my mind about buying the game I did find a new respect and glimmer of hope for Ubisoft’s latest game, For Honor.
In a world that has known nothing but conflict for centuries you find yourself caught in this endless cycle with no choice than to do battle to survive. For Honor’s premise is that the world has been at war for centuries after peace was destroyed by an unknown/unnamed cataclysmic event. Three factions now and eternally fight for land as well as precious resources in order to live. You take arms to fight along with one of these factions and fight to survive as your ancestors have before you.
The game presents itself in a somewhat strange and undefined manner. This may be how they are trying to sell it but it may also be one of the largest detractors of the game. Ambiguity can be a useful mechanic but when you are asking a player to invest hours on end in a game you should provide a clear reason for them to be there. For Honor may not be doing this with story rather it may be keeping players around for the combat and battle mechanics.
Without getting too far into the game I realized it was something that was going to forever be beyond me. I went through the basic and advanced tutorials to try to learn the mechanics of battle but I never really got comfortable with them. I may have known how to do a block against an enemy but it was an entirely different story when I needed to do it in the heat of battle and found myself struggling mightily to do so. This is not to say that the game functions poorly, rather it is a statement that I am not good at these type of games. As soon as the game asked me to parry, counter, and block my interest quickly waned as the soul crushing torture of Dark Souls came to mind.
Not that this game is going to fall into the Souls-esqe category. The combat may remind some of those games but it is strictly and multiplayer arena. There are modes with AI components but those look basically like all the multiplayer mode just with AI for those that are risk adverse and don’t want to play against real players. One thing that caught me strangely was the need to play a duel in order to enter the multiplayer arena. Even though I never wanted to ever play a one-on-one match, I was forced to before I could even enter the other online multiplayer modes. Why this would be forced upon players is beyond me especially since moving on into the arena modes is completely locked until success is found in this duel mode. Somehow I dumbfounded my way into winning three straight encounters and quickly moved on. It may have been a deal breaker if I had not been able to get passed this duel requirement.
In the end, the game offers many good things – just not enough to garner my interest. The PS4 version was gorgeous even for a beta. I would only imagine the the retail release(available now) is even better. Having not gotten too far into the upgrade trees I can’t speak for them. What really makes me excited about this game even though I don’t want to buy it is that it appears that it has a high level of polish. There may be a few things that will need tweaked but the foundation is solid for those that want to play this hand-to-hand combat game.
Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester
A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.