I jumped into the For Honor beta this weekend not entirely sure what to expect. All I knew is that it involved an endless war between three factions and it was going to take a hell of a lot more than that to get me hooked. It ended up grabbing me from the opening cinematic.
Those opening moments set the stage for this war that has been raging for over a millennium. At the end it introduces an antagonist that I never did truly learn what her motivation was for ripping these different factions into this conflict. Regardless I set that curiosity aside and jumped into the tutorial. You can use the mouse and keyboard or a gamepad to play For Honor on the PC. An XBox controller is plug and play and really makes for a nice fallback. I tried both and I ended up feeling more comfortable with the controller for blocking, but the M+KB for attacking. I don’t know what I’m going to do when the game goes live.
The tutorial did a great job of teaching you the abilities of you character. In my case it was a knight. It also got you familiar with the gameplay present in the 4v4 Dominion play mode. Dominion is one of three different PvP options. There is also 1v1 Duel and 2v2 Skirmishes. 1v1, and 2v2 are pretty down and dirty and the objective is pretty clear. Kill the other person or persons. Dominion has a capture point mechanic as well as waves of support characters. These support characters give the feel of a single lane MOBA. Once you reach 1000 points for killing the other team or holding capture points you will break their morale. At that point you have to kill all four of them. Accomplish that and you win. If they kill you they will rally and it will go back and forth until one team breaks the other’s morale and kills them all. This turns out to be quite hectic and a lot of fun.
One top of the PvP modes you are also rewarded items to improve your character's looks and skills at the end of a match. You’ll also be rewarded steel with which you can unlock other characters and item packs. You receive experience too to improve your character’s level as well as your account level. Your account level is an amalgamation of all of your character’s levels lumped together. Finally you’ll be rewarded war resources that you can place on the map to participate in a territory control meta game.
I wasn’t able to take part in a PvE campaign although the website hints that there will be one. This beta I believe was more of a stress test for the PvP. Without a good campaign I have a hard time accepting this game is worth $60 USD on top of microtransactions built in. The game is gorgeous and I had a lot of fun playing it. The strength of the campaign and how the metagame plays out through the territorial control mechanic will determine whether I can recommend this to people to buy and unfortunately we didn’t get enough time to figure all that out just yet. I did however find out that breaking someone’s guard and kicking them off a castle rampart to their death is about as much fan as you can have with a mouse and keyboard in your hand.