For Honor is about to release in a couple weeks, but if you didn’t get a chance to play in either the closed alpha or beta, you’ll be able to download and play the open beta on Feb. 9-12, next week. To help players prepare for the battle, I’m dropping some tips to get started with, along with an overview of the game. For tips, you can scroll down the page a little further.
Overview: A millenia ago, the world suffered a great cataclysm that reshaped the earth. In its wake, civilization was nearly destroyed and entire nations were exiled. So far, the Knights, Vikings and Samurais have emerged from the settled dust and struggle as they attempt to rebuild and move forward, all while holding onto the golden days of their ancestors. While it would seem that these three factions begin to think of peace over war, a mysterious fourth faction seems to want nothing more than to see the other factions eliminate one another.
For Honor will feature a single player and two player co-op mode that delves deep into the details, which will help us all understand why it is the factions continue to battle in all out war. For Honor also features incredibly competitive multiplayer. In both the campaign and MP, you will choose a hero from one of the three factions and go from there. Please note that you will see three heroes available for free and the others you will need to recruit through the game's currency system. You do not need to buy the other heroes to play them, you only need to purchase them if you plan to upgrade and customize the hero, so be sure to try before you buy. More on that below in the tips section.
Perhaps the most popular mode so far is Dominion. A 4v4 match where players (or bots) must capture and hold areas. In the mix, the center area to hold is flooded with ally and enemy foot soldiers, which makes thing more hectic and more fun. The first team to rack up 1000 points in the game will break the opposing team's morale and will need to eliminate all 4 players. When players go down after the 1000 point mark, respawns are unavailable, but they can be revived by teammates as long as they were not executed. Opposing teams can come back from broken morale and rally to flip the tables. If they eliminate all players in that case, they will win the match. It really is a tug of war in this game mode.
You can choose to play this mode with a random player or with a single friend in your party. You will be facing 2 others players as team, but anything can happen. The map is smaller and there is no distraction of soldiers on the ground, so you’ll be able to focus a little more. If you and your teammate manage to topple your opponents, you will win that round and compete until one of the teams has reached the best out of three. If you are killed and not executed, you can be revived, but cannot respawn.
If you really want no distractions, you can dual with opponents in a 1v1. This will likely be that mode that where trash talkers say they want you to play them. Gotta love sore losers. Anyway, Duel is pretty bare bones, no special feats (abilities) and no radar to help you pinpoint your enemies location, though the maps are small for these battles , so the radar isn’t a big loss. Same as Brawl, it is a best out of 5 rounds match. There is a Team Death Match mode on the way and will be available to play in the open beta, but I don't have specifics on the mode as I have not played it yet. I do know that during the closed beta, TDM popped up and I tried to play, but couldn’t find a match as it was not meant to be there. I was offered two possible modes in TDM, Skirmish and Elimination. That's all I can really tell you at this time, but I’ll cover it in the full game review.
Now that we have the overview out of the way (keep in mind, more will be revealed upon release), let's move onto some tips and hopefully it will help you move along with a little more ease than struggle.
Tips to get started
As mentioned earlier, I find this to be an extremely valuable tip that will come in handy during the beat and full game release. You do not need to spend 500 steel (in-game currency) to recruit heroes in order to play them. When you select a hero to play as before a match begins, you will see three heroes (one from each faction) available and the rest will say to recruit them for 500 steel. You will see the same option of heroes in the customization screen, incase you go there first. You only need to spend that steel, if you want to customize them. Feel free to try any hero without paying and then make the recruitment, once you find the hero or heroes you prefer.
Speaking of steel, you can earn more after each match. Either by completing special orders or completing the match win or lose. Completing orders will give a big payoff in steel, and winning a match will offer slightly more than losing, but steel is steel. My best advice for you in regards to the in-game currency, is to think before you spend. While spending coin on scavenger crates for upgraded weapons, armor or heroes sounds great early on, it can be spent quickly, and the real rewards in those crates begin after leveling a hero to 20.
Pay attention to the stats of your loadout! It isn't necessarily easy to calculate exactly how much a stat can affect you in game, but weapon and armor upgrades give a significant boost to one attribute and greatly hinder another. I received a new blade for my weapon and it looked to be quite superior. It doubled my weapon damage, but hindered the cost of stamina usage. I found that after just two heavy swings, I was exhausted and out of stamina. While the damage was great, it was useless if it was blocked and my hits weren’t properly executed. Each weapon and armor piece will come with three stats that can be altered, so choose wisely.
After you play the mandatory tutorial, you should move onto the advanced tutorial option, which will not only teach a few extra moves, but net you a nice bankroll of steel. While the tutorials are useful, they only take you so far. Be sure to play against AI bots, before you take on human players. This will give you a better chance to learn how to control your hero and survive. The bots are fairly easy to fight after you’ve gotten used to your combat controls and abilities, so once you feel confident, go ahead and move onto Player vs. Player and begin to compete for your faction and better rewards.
The most honor you will find among most players is that they did not rage quit the game. I can understand being frustrated with this game, there is a lot of ragers in this game. You will find yourself at the wrong end of a 4v1 beat down at times and it really sucks. You will also see others steal your kills after an intense 1v1 battle or being hit by your own teammates weapons which will not harm your health, but can stop you from attacking or reviving a teammate. These issues mainly come from playing with randoms. I highly suggest you find some people to party up with when you can. Sometimes you find a great team of randoms and other times it’s just terrible. Communication is a major key here and parties are anyone's best bet.
I will also say that learning to block and attack can be a curve and timing becomes essential, but if you can, always execute your opponent. If you execute the enemy, they will not be eligible for revive and that makes a big difference. Also, revive your teammates when you can, but don’t sacrifice yourself in doing so. If you are both dead, it wasn’t worth it. If you are playing dominion, you can run to certain areas your team holds to refill your health. You also boost your team's score while standing on captured areas, so it's important to all these things in mind.
For Honor has huge potential to be great. A lot of bugs were worked out from the alpha and I expect to see more changes in the open beta. While I won’t know much more until the full release, I have hopes for this new franchise. Hopefully as the balancing and bug removal continues through the open beta, the release will have a smooth launch.
If you have played the alpha and or beta, please share some combat tips for players that haven’t had a chance to play. Or any other tip that may be helpful! Be sure to check back for the full review of For Honor after initial release! Thanks for reading and I’ll see you on the virtual battlefield!