For Honor has captivated audiences since its first appearance, when at E3 two years ago it stood out as one of the most interesting news of the LA show. Fierce, violent and spectacular, the Ubisoft action bayonets reiterated its qualities during the main events of 2016, before presenting a single player segment that wants to follow the footsteps of Ryse but fortunately decided to focus on a more tactical gameplay and layered; then thanks to brutal multiplayer mode, which they stage tumultuous carnage or more intimate confrontations and tense.
Whichever way you look at it even with regard to the technical sector - For Honor seems really nice center for French publishers: a different title, original, and yet able to speak in his own way to the general public; relying on the iconography of medieval warfare, the Viking raids, the code of honor of the samurai.
Convinced of the quality of its proposal, already at this height of time shows a glance from jaw open, Ubisoft has prepared even an Alpha version, which allows the most avid fans to join the fray. It seems therefore appropriate to return to share our thoughts on the product, making the point even on one of the most interesting modes of multiplayer: one on one duels.
We have repeatedly stated the pillar that holds up all of the structure For Honor beta is its combat system, designed to replicate the sensations of a bayonet fight, remaining at the same time, immediate and affordable. For Honor does not have the claim to meticulously simulate the performance of medieval battles, as they try to do, for example the famous Mount & Blade now also arrived on PS4, remaining most technical of the competitors but also very accessible.
The control system, at first, it seems that of a classic action: There are two connections, one fast and one powerful, and a key to enter the block position. And it is when you put on the defensive as we discover the watch system, the cornerstone of the combat system. In practice you can choose between three different position, and move the weapon to the right, left or above the head.
Supported by credible and realistic animations, our warrior prepares to defend the flanks or to hedge the vertical swipes, and discover that even the direction of the shots that sferreremo will depend on the positioning of the weapon. The goal, to get the better of the enemy, is to predict his moves and his fighting style, wait until you try to strike, parry and try to argue. Its also possible to work on the distance, trying to empty send the opponent's attack by a few centimeters: just enough to bring us closer to our turn and launch a blow to sign.
The thrill of performing a powerful blow while he flinches, seeing the sword of our rivals slipping on the verge of our head, and experience the thrill of victory and the already loaded attack breaks through his armor, it is truly priceless. For the most skilled there is also the opportunity to make a stroke that breaks the enemy's guard, followed by a shove that pushes him back. He admitted that the opponent does not know how to fight back, so you can groped to direct it towards a cliff and see him fall without appeal.
The Dance of Death For Honor short offers pure indulgence and warlike exaltation and the beauty is that the control system is based on using only two buttons. Simulation and simplicity, in short, can go hand in hand. Until now the only multiplayer mode presented has seen us engaged in a sort of pitched battle. Two teams of five players undertake to achieve and maintain control of three positions scattered on (contained) game maps.
In the central part of the map we are also clashing armies of foot soldiers controlled by the CPU: and players in the flesh can give strong hand to their deployment, mowing down the enemy soldiers and leveraging active skills to boost the morale and the statistics of its own. In this mode, which seems in fact to recover some parts of MOBA, it is also important to the choice of "traits", skill with which you can equip your warrior. There are passive skills (such as the ability to recover life when you kill an opponent), active (a kind of poisoned blade) and even some gadgets (like the Kunai to throw at an enemy).
Equip them in the pre-game menu does not mean being able to use immediately: for use are in fact awakened during the fight, scoring points thanks to effective action and well-conducted duels. A very clever solution, which is not too invasive and let them decide the trend are always the player's skills. As we wrote earlier, the Domain mode has convinced us across the board, and is fun and sufficiently tactic.
But to make us go crazy were the Duels. It is, as the name suggests, the one on one skirmishes, you play the best of five assaults. Each battle is played in very small sections (and very dangerous) of game maps: suspension bridges thesis over dizzying precipices, rocky cliffs, wrapped rooms of the flames. There is no way to escape, or to back away too: you have to be brave and face the opponent in the chest.
In this case, in short, the tactic soul of production emerges of arrogance. You must know by heart the characteristics of its class: special attacks, skills, timing of lunges. In the final version there will be no less than 12 classes, four for each of the factions involved (Vikings, Samurai and Knights). Each will have a gun and a specific move set and there will be balanced classes, other marked on the defense, and still others think rather to maximize the attack, in addition to a special class with attacks and skills "outside the norm".
The samurai, just as an example, can count on the blade of the Orochi. These rapid warriors are fragile and do not inflict too much damage, but they can be very deadly if used carefully. Their particularity is to not get stuck in one of three stances as happens in all other classes; instead hold the sword in a neutral position, and move only for a few moments in the direction indicated by the right analog stick. Managing to perform this move at the moment when the opponent is attacking us, we automatically deflect the blow, as if we were running one of the Guard Impact Soul Calibur.
This is enough to have a window of attack in which thread the enemy. If you prefer more traditional classes, we can steer ourselves Viking Raiders, capable of performing a predictable loaded shot but impossible to parry, or to charge the enemy's head down to lift and throw him in something. The classic samurai may instead perform combinations that end in an unstoppable shot, while the medieval Guardians have access to an enhanced version of the shoulder, which alienates the enemy a few meters. The variety of approaches, in fact, is guaranteed, and the fighting styles that we use are heterogeneous and well-diversified.
It is precisely this variety, put into practice in 1-on-1, which makes the battles of Honor For very tense and addictive. No assault is the same as above: there are those who immediately throws his head down at the opponent, and who try to base their tactics on dodges, waiting for the slightest carelessness with the enemy rank patience. In a mesmerizing ballet of moves and countermoves, severed heads and pierced bodies without care, For Honor succeeds in replicating the tension and ferocity of ancient battles in which honor mattered, reflexes and timing.
To some extent, the duels reaffirm the extreme originality of Ubisoft proposal that online works great even without teams and teammates, being able to conquer even the lone wolves. The only doubt concerns the extreme weight that the lag will have on the quality of the games. While in most boisterous contexts, where you fight alongside other players and warriors controlled by the CPU, a bit of delay in response to commands might not be too critical, the Duels will be crucial that the Netcode functions without any hitch, to avoid making some frustrating defeats.
We'll see how he would manage the title on this front: the Alpha Test, we hope, we will also serve to gather statistics and feedback, and to best prepare for the launch, scheduled for February 14. Before closing, a few words on the technical side: the game is still incredibly clean, at least for the stage of development in which it is located. The models of the fighters are beautiful to see, well characterized and brimming with details.
The small size of the game maps enabled the team to push the texture resolution, on the post-processing effects and the quality of the special effects, for a title flowing fluid and spectacular without too much trouble. A few days ago, when we saw it on 4K PlayStation 4 PRO, we were literally fascinated by the image quality, sharp and detailed. All quarters, then, are more than positive. For Honor is a game to watch very carefully.