Ubisoft’s upcoming hack and slash fighting game held its closed alpha test over the weekend. As i was lucky enough to be able to be part of the alpha, here is all the information that you need to know.
Factions an heroes:
There are three factions within the game the Vikings, Knights and Samurai’s. In the full release each faction will have 4 playable heroes, whereas in the alpha there were only two. Below if a list of all the playable character that i was able to use.
Scroll to the bottom for some screenshots of the different customisation options.
The warden was my personal favourite hero and was one of the strongest in the alpha as it had a good balance between agility and damage. I felt that it was the best all round character in the game and one of the easiest to use.
The conqueror in my opinion was the worst hero in the alpha as he just felt heavy and his damage wasn’t brilliant meaning that his counterattacks were slow and not particular helpful in terms of harming the opposition.
The Kensei was another good choice and again well-balanced between agility and damage which allowed him to take down enemies with a few well landed blows. The Kensei was definitely one of the best heroes in the alpha.
In the right hands the Orochi was unstoppable. This hero focused on agility and counterattacking, and this meant that you could chain together 3 or 4 hits in the space of time that other heroes would only be able to land one. It was also the quickest character for getting around the map.
The Raider was a heavy build character and while the speed of attacks could become a problem against the more agile opponents. If you could land a blow with his massive axe then you would deal serious damage and therefore two or three hits was normally enough to kill.
The berserker was alright but that is about as good as it gets. Its agility was helpful on counterattacks but they didn’t really do enough damage to be significant unless you could land quite a few hits. It did however have some cool chain attacks that if executed probably could be useful in quickly taking down an enemy.
The alpha consisted of three different modes. Dual which was a straight forward 1v1 death match where the best of 5 rounds wins. While this mode could become a little boring it did offer a good chance to test your skills against another player with no distractions, which created a tense and challenging experience. The second mode was called Brawl and is a 2v2, three round battle to the death. Each player spawns at a different point on the map and there is no respawning until the next round. A team wins the round once both players are eliminated on the opposing team. This mode again could become boring quite quickly, however once again it did create good opportunities for tense battles. It also provided the opportunity to work as a pair as with good communication you could quite easily isolate one of the enemies and kill him. The final mode was by far the most fun and is called Dominion. It is a 4v4 mode in which there are also friendly and enemy soldiers (however they do not really move from the B capture zone.) The idea of the mode is to capture points which can be done from killing enemies and holding control points which like modes in other games consists of an A, B and C zone. However if the enemy take one of your control points or kills someone on your team then not only will they gain points but your team will lose some points. If your team gets to 1000 points the enemy team will start to break and at this point there is no respawning for the enemy players, therefore if your team can kill all 4 of them then your team will win the game. However if the enemy team can capture a zone or kill enough of your team that your points go back down to below 1000 then the enemy team will rally and be allowed to respawn again until either team get back over a 1000 points. This is the mode that i played the most as it was the most fun and allowed players to experience larger battles and harder challenges especially considering that if you were unlucky enough to come up against two or three enemies then the chance of you surviving becomes very slim. it is also adds more to do as not only do you need to capture the zones and hold them you need to help your teammates and kill the enemies which provides a enjoyable mixture.
There were three maps available to play in the alpha, and each one represented a different faction. For example there was Citadel-Gate which was a map based at the gates of a castle which represented the knights faction. There was also Riverfort which was a snowy mountain stronghold which represented the Vikings faction. Lastly there was Overwatch which was based in a Samurai fortress which obviously represented the faction of the samurai’s. Out of all three maps my favourite was Riverfort as i really enjoyed the setting of the map. However all three were very good and unique in their own way. Each map also has areas in which you can knock your opponents into pits with spikes or off of cliffs and ledges which will result in their instant death, which was a nice addition to the maps.
Overall the combat was fairly good, at first it could be quite hard till you got used to the different combos and chains that you could piece together. However it did still feel quite rusty at times and certain aspects like blocking definitely need improving, as sometimes the blocking just didn’t work and this could be extremely frustrating from a player point of view. Another problem is that it was very easy to be overwhelmed and if you were unlucky enough to find yourself against more than one player at a time then you will most likely die. Even though you can block against two enemies at once, that is all you can do as if you counterattack and try to kill one, then in the time it takes for you to attack the chances are the other player has already buried his weapon into you. That isn’t to say its impossible as i was able to beat two enemies at once but that may have been more of a fluke as every other time i died. In general though the combat helped to create tense showdowns in which chains and combos would help you to unlock your opponent’s guard so that you could land the crucial blows which feel so satisfying.
One of the things i really enjoyed about For Honor is that you can customise your different heroes, allowing you to give yourself some personality and distinction on the battlefield. You are able to customise you characters with different colour palates, materials, tattoos, symbols and outfits. However on top of that you can also gain different looking items for your weapons as well as armour for your hero. This can be obtained by scavenging loot which is rewarded to you after you complete a match. It can also be brought using steel which is the in-game currency, which can be earned from challenges and completing matches and can be used to purchase different executions, outfits and loot. Below is some pictures of the different items and customisation menus.