For Honor has been gaining traction in the hype department and is barrelling full force into its February 14th release date. For those that can’t wait, are undecided, or just intrigued, here’s a lowdown of what to expect in the Open Beta the weekend before launch.
Note: While James had a lot of trouble with the servers, they were fine for me 95% of the time. Hopefully Ubisoft will have addressed the inconsistencies in time for the Open Beta which, due to its timing, seems more of a marketing ploy than a genuine server stress test.
From today until the 12th February, players will be able to play as nine of the twelve different heroes: 3 Knights, 3 Vikings and 3 Samurai. Anyone who played the closed beta a couple of weeks ago will be familiar with these heroes, but here’s what we know about them so far.
Heroes, Factions and Classes
Each faction contains four heroes on release: Vanguards, Assassins, Heavies and Hybrids.
For those who favour the Knights, the Open Beta will give you access to a Vanguard (Warden), a Heavy (Conqueror) and an Assassin (Peacekeeper).
The Vikings will have a Vanguard (Raider), a Heavy (Warlord) and an Assassin (Berserker).
Samurai will have a Vanguard (Kensei), a Hybrid (Nobushi) and an Assassin (Orochi).
Each class type demands a different playstyle and I would suggest starting with any of the Vanguards (the Raider, if I had to choose) if this is your first sampling of For Honor, before branching out to the more complex choices, such as the Orochi. I had a lot of success with Nobushi (Hybrid) while one of my teammates preferred the Warlord, a Heavy. There really is enough depth and variety that if you’re not finding much success with one character, just switch it up and see what happens. I would, however, recommend going deeper into a hero’s move-set before hard quitting. The Nobushi has some interesting moves which could give you an upper hand in most battles given the correct application.
Recommended Heroes: Nobushi, Warlord
Maps and Game Modes
The Open Beta will have 6 playable maps and 4 game modes, with map variants for some more specialised game modes (smaller maps for 1v1 Duels for instance).
Sanctuary Bridge is the only map so far to have any form of interactive environment. It consists of three lanes, and has gate switches at the tail ends of the outer lanes, forcing the battle inside and temporarily eliminating the potential for flanking.
River Fort is a more compact affair. If you imagine a compass, Spawn points would North and South, while the objectives (in 4v4 Dominion) would be East, West and Central. The 1v1 and 2v2 Variant offer more verticality than other maps, which is a welcome change.
Citadel Bridge is the widest map in 4v4 and offers the most variety in tactical positioning. A few nooks and crannies give this map a sprinkling of espionage in what is otherwise a wide open expanse.
Forest is reserved for smaller battles and provides little variety that would have an effect on playstyle. Canyon and Cathedral follow suit from Forest, providing different backdrops without adding too much to change the battle, with the exception of the Geysers in one of the Cathedral variants.
The Game modes
1v1 Duel and 2v2 Brawl are self-explanatory. Best of 5 hand-to-hand combat.
4v4 Dominion is where the magic happens. I played this mode far more than the others in the Closed Beta for good reason. Yes, 1v1 Duels and 2v2 Brawls have their positives, and there are few things like beating down on a guy/gal mano a mano, 4v4 Dominion showcases for me why For Honor has the perfect blend of strategy and onslaught.
The maps are large enough that you often get caught in 1v1s and 2v2s, and it rarely gets more hectic because each team is on the hunt for the objectives. Points A, C are standard zones where you take it if uncontested in the area, with the added bonus that defending a point actually yields double points. Point B is determined by whose bots can move the battle lines in their favour. There are few more enjoyable feelings in gaming than running into a horde of pitiful bots and blasting them all to oblivion. Don’t get carried away though, as you’ll find yourself set upon by your opponents or worse, find that they have taken the other points while you were distracted. The ebb and flow of 4v4 Dominion is both unique and intuitive: A recipe most delicious.
4v4 Elimination has been added since the Closed Beta, as they continue to rollout features and modes throughout the testing process. I am yet to play this mode but I assume, like 1v1 and 2v2, it’s another Ronseal mode: Does exactly what it says on the tin.
So don’t forget to deploy your War Assets boys and girls and dive into the For Honor Open Beta which runs from Feb 9th through Feb 12th.
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