For Honor Closed Beta Impressions

For Honor has been marred with just about as much pre-launch controversy as you could imagine. It's one "no early review copies" announcement away from a boiling over into a full-blown catastrophe. That being said, the closed beta period happening until tomorrow has given us a great opportunity to actually experience a taste of what For Honor has to offer.

The closed beta for For Honor gives you an opening cinematic for the multiplayer and a brief tutorial against an A.I. opponent before you can choose a faction and get online. But once you do, here's what you should look out for.
 


The Graphics have improved. No, it's not just you. If you played For Honor earlier in the year at any of the previous alpha testing periods, you'll notice that the graphics have shown a marked improvement since then. Whether this will actually stick around for launch is another question entirely (we all remember Watch Dogs), but we can probably give them the benefit of the doubt.

Combat is still very fun. If For Honor should truly turn out as bad as its pre-launch controversy would imply, it would be a damn shame, because they really have something special with their combat system. Anticipating and reacting to your opponents' moves in a real time combat situation is virtually unheard of, and For Honor pulls it off so crisply that it's hard to put down.

Peer-to-peer might truly be its demise. Probably the chief complaint right now on any forum about the Beta is connection issues - either being unable to connect or being dropped once they do connect. Right now, just on the front page of the For Honor subreddit, there are five separate posts bemoaning the state of Peer-to-Peer and asking for dedicated servers. Those posts have more than 1500 upvotes between them. In fact, the second most popular post on the subreddit is one of those threads.

Ubisoft needs to penalize leavers. I'm sure this is something they don't want to do because it's impossible to distinguish between someone who left out of frustration for the game and someone who left because their connection was dropped. Games like Overwatch deal with this same issue, but they err on the side of punishing those who do wrong. If leaving a game was penalized somehow, it would be discourage people form cord-stomping or simply dropping.

It feels authentic. All these different factions - Knights, Samurai, Vikings - they all feel as though they've been designed with real care, with more than just a passing understanding of what each of these very real cultures embodied. Sure, For Honor is pitting them all against each other in a way that clearly didn't happen, but it's nice to see game designers not take people for granted or build them up as monoliths.

Balance is surprisingly solid. As it was in the alpha test back in 2016, I've never felt as though my preferred faction was automatically outclassed by any other and vice versa. Winning or losing a match seems to be determined by how well I play (or if my connection stays). And, it's apparently not just me. Of the myriad complaints you can find about the game, certain factions being OP is scarcely a topic of any validity.