Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last month you’ve heard about Ubisoft’s creation For Honor. I’ve heard many attempts to describe what this game’s all about but here goes nothing…A medieval, 3-dimensional Street Fighter with a twist. It’s delivered in so many ways but still falls short of reasonable expectations that come with AAA titles.
Let’s start with the good stuff…
For Honor has some of the most satisfying combat I’ve ever played in a game. You’re juggling a few different mechanics that come together to give birth to a fresh feeling that other games don’t deliver. It feels ah-mazing. You’re choosing the direction of your attacks, trying to position your character strategically to avoid or gain advantage from environmental threats, trying to find a gap to ‘guard break’ (grab) all the while thinking about what direction to block the enemies attacks, *takes breath* then timing the parry if you’re going to go for it and the right timing to counter their guard break.
All this while taking in to consideration that if the enemy blocks too many attacks he gets a boost to his stats called ‘Revenge Mode’, that depending on the game mode you could have up to 4 people trying to kill you and that each of the 12 currently available classes has a different set of combos, passive perks and animations that make fighting them a completely different experience. Particularly when there is a person behind it that can decide how he wants to play the class in the first place. The controls for fighting more than 1 person at a time are perfect. You stand a chance in those situations and sometimes you come out feeling like a total badass. Nothing comes close to finishing off a fight with a brutal execution to make sure that the enemy can’t get revived and for props/glory from your team mates.
Ohhhhh those executions…
You get it, the combats good…BUT don’t be caught off guard, the dark cloud that is a combination of poor design choices looms. Take notes Ubisoft because it’s not too late to save this gem.
Everyone who has played this game knows that it is plagued by connection issues. It is rare to play five games in a row without at least three of them disconnecting. On top of that the matchmaking is so poor that in some cases it can take 5mins to get a game and when your in your most likely put up against a team of unevenly skilled players. This is a major issue as when people leave games (because of the peer-to- peer servers), the game gets disrupted and has to re-sync. Then there is a 50-50 chance the game shuts down with a server error.
Firstly, this wouldn’t be as much of an issue if people would stay in a game. The nature of For Honor is as rewarding as it is, it can also be so punishing when you’re not going well…Enter: rage quiters.
Secondly, for some reason there is no consequence for leaving a game. Ubisoft says this is because the consequence is not getting the endgame points, but 50% of the time neither does anyone else because the game crashes. How about some dedicated servers? I’d sacrifice host advantages (that they are trying to avoid with P2P) for my game never getting cut short ever again. How about a consecutive game bonus that encourages people to stick with the server?
These issues are destroying the reputation of a game that has so much potential to be one of the greatest game series of Next-Gen gaming (think e-Sports big). The game is losing players every week and what’s concerning is that the only patches have addressed balance issues in classes and added more emotes that are a tease for micro-transaction fiends.
I still -happily- devote too much time to this game.
The combat is too great to ignore it and if you stick with some of the less populated game modes (like 1v1 or 2v2), your chances of coming across people who are passionate about the game increases. This leads to less quitting and more sword fighting a la why we bought the game in the first place.
I still have faith that Ubisoft will
honour honor the expectations of the online gaming community and address these issues allowing For Honor to become the game it was meant to be.
This game, warts and all, is definitely worth devoting time to.