For Honor: Inside the Closed Beta

The Closed Beta Weekend is over. We Wreaked Havok!

Between 27 – 30 January 2017, Vikings, Samurai and Knights clashed for Territorial Dominion in the For Honor Closed Beta. We were there!

I was fortunate enough to receive a Closed Beta invitation after Applying for it via the Ubisoft Website. I opted for the PC Closed Beta. I then also received 3 additional invitations that I sent out to some friends, who joined me on the battlefield, both Saturday and Sunday. How did we fair? Better than we expected.

The Closed Beta and Me

As the Beta launched, a notice popped up reminding us that the game is still in a Pre-Release State, meaning, it does not represent the final product and that it might contain various issues. Some of the highlighted areas that we could experience bugs was the Platform Features, like the Chat or even some of the the Multiplayer sections. We were then encouraged to report any faults via the forums. After the notice, a stunning intro cinematic welcomes you to a 1000 year war, long fought and sustained, with motivation faded into myth. At the end of the cinematic, you meet the main antagonist, a female Knight, bent on ruling and bringing the rest of the factions to ruin.

Orochi Samurai Pre-Loadout
I opted to represent the Samurai, and you start off with Kensei (Warrior). I worked my way up to playing with the Orochi (Assasin) who demanded a lot more agility, which sacrificed your ability to keep your guard up like with Kensei. However, I am skipping some important info here.

You start off with a Tutorial, whether you like it or not. You are introduced to all the mechanics, including Defensive Stances, Dodging, Attacking and Executions (Finishing Moves). You then run through a demo skirmish, where you put all your theory knowledge into practical execution against the AI. Exciting! Then, once complete, you are are flung straight into territorial conflict, where a map is displayed with four different modes, namely, 1v1 Battle; 2v2 Brawl; 4v4 Dominion and Events.

Each mode is represented by a section of the map, and each section is split into multiple zones, and what you are fighting for, is control of the zones for your faction. On this screen you can also access your Hero Screen, where you can Customize your Loadout, Equip Gear, Scavenge New Gear, Consult your Moveset and even watch epic “How to Fight” videos for your chosen hero. When managing your gear, you can Equip, Upgrade, Dismantle and Salvage Gear to match your Playstyle, because each modification you make, sacrifices something to enable you to gain somewhere else, so it is a very risky business.

Mode Madness

4v4 Dominion PvP
The modes are quite self-explanatory, and my favorite by far was the 4v4 Dominion Mode where you are 4 Heroes struggling to dominate the map by controlling three key zones on the battlefield, while either defending your troops and wrecking enemy heroes or by just supporting your claimed zones until your team reaches 1000 resource points first. At this point, the game enters sudden death, and you get to kill the four enemy heroes, to end the round. Once they are killed, they cannot respawn, but can however be revived by fellow team members, so reaching 1000 resource points does not necessarily mean you win the match, not if the opposing team has a seriously skilled assassin or unbreakable warrior that keeps reviving them.

For each battle fought you gain XP based on your performance, and the system searches the battlefield for loot that could benefit you and rewards you based on your performance. For each win, you gain resources which add to your War Assets, which is a system by which you can passively assign aid to a zone within a section of the map, which assists you with faction dominance over the whole map combined. You also have Daily Orders (Daily Quests) and Contract Orders (Weekly Quests) that you select as your “goals” while playing and when achieved, reward you with more resources, that can be spent on upgrades and purchasing additional Heroes, of which, there is 9 in total.

The Closed Beta had roughly 35000 players online on PC, and even so, PvP matches took very long to start through the Matchmaking System, so everyone mainly played PvA (Player vs AI) which linked you with 3 other “Real People” against the AI system in 4v4, and the same applied to the other Modes. I spent around 12 hours playing the Closed Beta. The concept is epic, and changed my viewpoint of the game. It impressed me. I would strongly recommend you Pre-Order today to benefit from the incentives. We look forward to seeing you back here after the launch, when we will have a full review available for you.

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