FOR HONOR: Closed Beta Thoughts

The closed beta of FOR HONOR closed yesterday, and now that I’ve let it all sink in I thought I would share my experience and thoughts.

For Honor was announced at E3 in 2016 and will be releasing on February 14, 2017. I’ve come to understand there was a closed alpha for the game as well and since then there have been a lot of improvements to the game which is encouraging. I got into the Closed Beta by invite from my Boyfriend who got into the Closed Beta and was able to invite three friends. He got into the closed beta by signing up for it off the For Honor website. I signed up as well, but didn’t get in from it.

In the Closed Beta we could only experience the multiplayer portion of the game, but there is also a single player campaign which was teased in the trailer at the start of the closed beta. What I gathered from the trailer is that some catastrophe happened which caused all of humanity to collapse. From those ashes the Vikings, Knights, and Samurai rose anew-now locked in combat over resources and land. But there is a dark force that threatens them (-and probably all mankind knowing how these things go). The dark character that was shown in the trailer sounded to be female, so I think it will be really interesting to see how that unfolds.

I’ve always had a problem with using guns in video games. I don’t mind guns, no problems with them. It’s more of I didn’t grow up playing Call of Duty or Halo, and I don’t have the hand eye coordination from years of practice down so I always feel like I have a huge disadvantage when playing shooting type games. I started to amend my weirdness with Destiny, then The Division,  and most recently Watchdogs 2, and I am getting better but it does not come naturally to me. I mainly play games with swords, such as The Witcher 3, The Dragon Age series, etc. For Honor is up my ally because of it’s lack of guns. The more I found out about the games multiplayer mode the more it sounded like it could be compared to the Battlefield series. Specifically;  there’s a battle field, you are armed, and the purpose is to defeat the other team.

There are a few different modes to participate in, four vs four, duo duels, and solo duels. In addition to being able to PVP, you can also go up against AI (bots) to complete orders and get loot. The Order system was pretty interesting. There are three main categories for orders; Daily, Contract, and Event. You can pick which contracts you would like to complete but you don’t get to pick dailies. I think my Event Order got bugged because I was able to complete it but never got a reward from it.

The combat controls took a bit of getting use to, weather it was keyboard and mouse, or controller. In the end I preferred controller. I found that keyboard and mouse was just to unnatural for my hands, and would take far to long to form some muscle memory. I had more luck with the controller, resulting in my top boarding by level 9 (with Peace Keepers at least, need to practice more with the other classes).  During the beta my favorite class was the Peace Keeper who weld a sword and dagger. It’s an assassin, that belongs to the Knights. It’s very fun once you get the hang of it (speaking generally about the game controls).

One of the biggest glitches for me during the beta was dodging and being able to roll away. Additionally AI bots that would populate the battle field in four vs four that were on my team would sometimes let me by them and other times not. It was very annoying because, I wouldn’t be able to run through my bots to escape being killed, and I would die and be annoyed. When it came to rolling away, more often than not the command wouldn’t happen in the game and I would die. And dogging seemed to work only the first time (this also happened with blocking). I assume they are going to work on these glitches and hopefully (fingers crossed) get them resolved by the time the game is released.

Another huge area for glitches was match making, especially when you queued up with friends. I would be in a full group and we would get errors, or the game would freeze. Control+F4 became our best friend real fast. I had more luck queuing by myself. Less errors, less freezing, not to say that there wasn’t any, but there was a noticeable difference.

There is the option to play as earthier male or female for most of the classes. Some classes are gender-locked. In all honesty I’m not sure it makes that big of a difference. All of the character models where a helm, so you can’t see their face, for women character models there is sometimes a longer hair that sticks out of the helm. The women are slightly smaller, but the armor is all basically the same. It’s not like you can make the character “sexy” and have them be half clothed. It’s not that kind of a game. Which suits me just fine.

What I would like to see added to the game would defiantly be the single player campaign mode. I’m definitely interested in that. I hope it’s good, since there isn’t much out about, I’ll just have to wait for launch. The other thing I would like to see added to the game is more than one piece of loot per match. Maybe a max of three pieces and a minimum of one, which a randomizer giving more or less loot depending on how well you did and if you won or lost.

There is still about two weeks before the release of the game, and I haven’t pre-ordered, which begs the question: Am I going to pre-order this game? Which leaves me a bit torn to be honest. On one hand yes I would like to pre-order because Green Man Gaming has a pretty good deal on it, but I also don’t want to because I don’t have a lot of confidence in the developers of the game to fix what I would like to see actually being fixed. For a long time now developers think they can get away with releasing half games- or games that need a huge patch on the first day. It’s ridiculous that this has become ok. And we the consumers have made it ok because we all keep pre-ordering the games. When is enough, enough? I might hold off until last minute so I can get the good deal and still feel like I’m sticking to my principles. But in all honesty its not a the top of my to do list.

I am very excited to have this game and to play it, but it’s a $60 price point for the basic game, and I feel like maybe $30-$40 is more appropriate. I might also just wait until it goes on sale next fall or winter. Like I said I really don’t know what I’m going to be doing yet. I was hoping this beta would help me make up my mind, and in some ways it did, but in others it didn’t.

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