Medieval warfare with the For Honor Alpha
When Ubisoft first announced For Honor at E3 2015, I was in complete awe of how awesome the game looked. After seeing the trailer of For Honor, I was excited for the game but I was on the fence about its gameplay. I feared that the hacking and slashing in For Honor might get repetitive and boring quickly.
This past weekend I had the chance to get some solid hands-on time with For Honor in Ubisoft’s For Honor Alpha. This was an Alpha in its truest sense. Not all features in the final game were present, and the overall framerate and graphics engine were not yet full optimized. The Alpha was intended to help the developers tweak and refine the For Honor as we move closer to big release date of February 14th, 2017.
After spending several days playing the For Honor Alpha, I can confidently say that even at this early stage, For Honor is shaping up to be one heck of a game. The diversity of the characters and the strategy involved when playing against the various different kinds of opponents is simple awesome.
Three epic factions
The Alpha contained two warriors from each faction that you could play as. The Samurai Kensei and Orochi, the Viking Raider and Berserker, and finally the Knights Warden and Conqueror. Each of these three factions’ warriors are suited for various types of fighting.
The Samurai have a wide range on their weapons and I was able to quickly pickoff the slower enemies. On the other hand, I found that the Viking Raider was best suited for hitting multiple enemies at once, while the Berserker was designed to beat down their opponents with attack after attack. Finally, I discovered that the Knights were a combination of both the Samurai and Vikings—they have high defense with good speed and a devastating attack.
Full control of your warrior with the Art of Battle combat system
Initially, I was expecting that For Honor would play like Dynasty Warriors or Ryse: Son of Rome—boy was I wrong. I can honestly say that I have not played a game with the speed and pace of blocking and attacking to use your special abilities that For Honorrequires. A brief tutorial showed me the basics of the Art of Battle combat system, which allowed me to prepare for the upcoming battles.
To fight, you use the right analog stick to choose your guard position, which must mirror your opponent’s to perform a block or differ from it to successfully attack. Once I got into combat, I discovered combos, throws, stuns, guard breaks, and more. For the most part, it was easy to get the hang of pulling of these moves and the end result of inflicting damage on my opponents was very satisfying.
Multiplayer medieval mayhem
Included in the For Honor Alpha were three multiplayer game-modes: Dominion, Brawl, and Duel. Each of these modes had three maps to play on, and I had fun with all three modes over the several days I played the game.
The first mode I played was Dominion, a 4v4 objective-based mode where two teams of four players fought for control of the battlefield. In Dominion, there are three capture points that your team must control throughout the match. When your team reaches 1000 points, the enemy team goes into ‘breaking’. This means they can no longer respawn, and when you take out all of your opponents its game over. This was quite possibly my favourite mode in the Alpha, as there were lots of people playing it, making it easy to get up and playing in a match with very little effort.
Next, I played Brawl, a 2v2 mode where each team of two players had to take out two enemy warriors to win a round. This mode relies on skill, awareness, cooperation and your ability to use key components in your surrounding environment to your advantage. I had fun with this mode, but quickly learned that the Samurai and Knight factions were best suited for Brawl. When I played as either of two warriors from the Viking faction, I was easily taken out by my enemies with ease.
The last mode available in the For Honor Alpha was the Duel. It’s a toss-up between Dominion and Duel as my favourite modes in the For Honor Alpha. As you might have guessed, Duel pits you one on one against your opponent in a fight to the death. Just like Brawl, you can use the surrounding environment to your advantage. As a competitive player, I enjoyed this mode, determined to prove to my enemy I was the better combatant.
Don’t miss out—pre-order now
After playing the For Honor Alpha, I am quite impressed with the game. I was shocked at how beautiful For Honor is, despite it being an Alpha. I absolutely loved For Honor’s battle mechanics—it’s not just a hack-and-slash game. Sure, you can go into battle haphazardly and have some success, but those who use strategic combat will always come out on top.
With less than five months until its February 14th release, I am looking forward to what is already shaping up to be one of 2017’s must have games. See you on the battlefield come Valentine’s Day 2017!
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