FOR HONOR
The multiplayer has depth, but will it last?

HANDS ON PREVIEW
By JAY TEE
13/02/17

THE BASICS

Third person brawler featuring Knights, Vikings, and Samurai. A brand new IP from Ubisoft.

PLATFORMS

Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC,

PLAYERS

Offline - 1, Online - 8

CO-OP / MULTIPLAYER

Multiplayer deathmatches ranging from 1v1, 2v2, and 4v4 brawls, to a zone capture ‘Dominion’ mode for up to 8 players. Also features online matches against bots, and private matches.

DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT

Free map, game mode, and customisation DLC for a year, along with premium characters (which are also unlockable with ingame currency).

TAKEAWAYS

- The controls took a bit of getting used to, but once I found my rhythm, combat and movement felt really good. Using the right stick to alter your stance is unusual, but it works. I always knew that if I got hit, it was down to misreading my opponent or general incompetence. At no point did I feel like I was fighting the mechanics.

- You can generally expect a level of graphical polish to a Ubisoft title, so long as you discount any perceived Watch Dogs visual downgrades and funky looking NPC’s in Assassins Creed. Running the For Honor beta on the PS4 Pro was a joy. The frame rate was excellent, and the texture quality in 4K was superb.

- When you hold down L2 and enter block mode, the camera falls in tighter and really immerses you in the action. Things can get a little scrappy when more than one other player gets involved, but the fact that the animations remained convincing throughout is a real plus. Also, the executions are brutal!

- I realise I’ve said this already, but it bears repeating: For Honor desperately needs new game modes. Dominon is fun, and the simplicity of duels allows you to set a slower pace in combat, but I found myself longing for new objectives pretty quickly. Hopefully this will be addressed in future updates.

- Despite being a pleasingly lag free experience, the beta repeatedly suffered from atrocious host migration. Rage quitting was commonplace, and the number of times I lost a fight due to a hick up in the net code was very frustrating.

The open beta weekend has drawn abruptly to a close, courtesy of a mid game server shut down, and now For Honor finds itself in a curious position. Ubisoft opened up their latest stab (pun intended) at a new IP with a comprehensive trial that didn’t skimp on content. But with launch day just around the corner, we can’t help but wonder: is the serving still too light? Is there going to be enough here to justify a full price release and a day 1 purchase?

The depth of character customisation and impressive roster of unique classes are definite positives. But at the same time, there’s only really two types of multiplayer matches: killing either human or A.I. players (across solo brawls, 2v2 duels, and 4v4 skirmishes), and Dominion, a conquest style alternative. The confusing, persistent, war between factions does little to alleviate my worry that there might not be enough modes at launch to sustain the player base.

Thankfully, although the multiplayer remains the central focus (as the requirement of an always online connection seems to suggest), the final game will indeed feature a single player campaign. Ubisoft have also promised a Rainbow Six: Siege style stream of DLC, that includes new maps, modes, and cosmetic upgrades for free, alongside premium early access and additional progression buffs via the season pass. Here are our thoughts from our time with the beta, both playing solo and with friends.

I started off playing as a Samurai (which was also my chosen faction in the meta game), but found myself falling for the Viking ‘Warlord’ class.

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CONCLUSION

For Honor feels different enough to justify its place in amongst the big hitters arriving between now and the end of March 2017. Facing off against a well coordinated team with some slick squad manoeuvres of your own is satisfying and memorable. Concerns over longevity still stand, but this is a solid foundation for Ubisoft to build upon.

For more information, check out: https://www.ubisoft.com/en-GB/game/for-honor/
Or follow @ForHonorGame on Twitter.


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