Top 5 things we learned in the For Honor alphaFrom dense maps to character upgrade strategies, Spencer details the top five things learned from the recent For Honor alpha.
[BLANK_AUDIO] Hey everyone, well as you can guess the For Honor alpha closed last weekend. However, we managed to run, fight, kill, die, and decapitate and conquer our way through a handful of hours with the alpha. And in so doing there's quite a few things we learned in Barometer's closed alpha. [MUSIC] Right off the bat [UNKNOWN] presented quite a surprising feature starting with three well crafted maps From besieged castles to relic covered strongholds. To then flooded temples from the lands of the Rising Sun. The amount of detail shown in these maps puts them center stage, right along side the heroes in visual detail. Besides that these maps worked really well given the fact that the terrain your hero had to cross. Be it the rooftop bridges or charging headfirst into enemy lines. Given this was a multiplayer only affair, I had times forgot I was playing a PvP or PV bot match, given the presentation was so well done, that I found myself drawn into the conflicts right in front of me. It would have been interesting if you could hinder your opponent's path to a capture point. Be a calling and an arrow barrage Or setting a bridge on fire. Either way for first time impressions, as these alpha's tend to be, I'm very pleased with the amount of detail these maps had to offer. And here's hoping that the remaining maps yet to be shown, offer the same amount of detail if not more in the coming months to follow for Honor's February release. [MUSIC] What For Honors maps share in their beauty and player to objective path balancing the same unfortunately can't be said with the game's hero classes balancing problem. Albeit this in and alpha after all so there is plenty of time to fix these issues. Issues. It needs to be said that some of these heroes just flat out steamroll their competition. It became no surprise once players found that the faster the agile Oichi samurai or the hit and run Viking berserker were the bees knees when it came to wracking up the kill count. These characters, even in the most novice of hands, can run circles around their heavier foes. This is the hard hitting viking raider, or the long sword wielding warden to name a few. Also, as you fight in each round you in game level up, meaning you unlock perks you can then use on your opponents later in battle. The light armored classes unlock perks make it just too damn easy to kill other players and too frustrating to counter yourself when you're not playing as a light armored character fighting another. You can still rack up kills as any character, albeit through practice. Given the certain hull of abilities that lights have over the heavies, it's just too much of a one-sided affair currently built into the game. But since this is an alpha, here's hoping the devs fix this problem soon. [MUSIC] Teamwork in any multiplayer based platform can always determine the outcome of any match, from overwhelming victory to close defeat moment. Well, over here that premise is so strong that even if you have the slightest bit of a lone wolf type, then you may not find much enjoyment here. But if you're like me and enjoy good, squad-based team tactics, then you're in for a treat. [UNKNOWN] on pairing up, from capturing objectives, including waves of henchmen to push the lines forward, to coming to the aid of outnumbered allies. Think of balancing your squad [UNKNOWN] plays a big part in the combat coordination. Have a group made entirely out of light or heavy hitters only? Then be prepared to watch your lines fall, objectives lost, and heroes cut down in minutes. The reason for a balanced team is so that you can counter any situation For Honor players will throw at you. For example, one situation could be you're playing as a heavy hero versus another. Both of you pack the punch but are just too slow to attack effectively. However if your team chose wisely then you can call in for some agile backup that can harass your opponent. Giving you the time to pick the right moment to strike a heavy blow finishing your enemy off in one of the many gruesome finishing moves each member has in the game. Seeing your team balance and coordinating on the field is easily one of the most enjoyable moments I've had so far. Here's hoping that Ubisoft continues focusing on this as the development continues down the line. [MUSIC] The [INAUDIBLE] showcased three modes for us to dive into. All of which something different in their own unique way. Dual is a one versus one mode where both players test their combat skills in a best of all series of rounds. [UNKNOWN] is a copy of duel, however, with a twist. You now have two versus two with no barrier separating you from your teammates or from your teammate's opponent. A well-crafted pair can double team another opponent leading to some close and exciting matches that you would see straight out of the movies. Speaking of living your own heroic movie moments in For Honor, the last mode is domination with its name well-deserved. A four versus four mode with AI controlled minions battle it out in a king of the hill style affair. This mode is the piece de resistance for honors offerings. Your Seventh Samurai, Braveheart, and Kingdom of Heaven moments will come alive here in hellfire combat as you and your team fight for supremacy against the other players pushing your skills to the breaking point. For me domination and brawl fit perfectly. However duel got old really quick, mostly because one versus one gets old fast. [SOUND] Your special abilities that you unlock in dominations with combat that give your fights their own unique feel are nowhere to be found here. Leading to a rock paper scissors fight in a non active environment. Sure it will give your own last man standing feel down your spine for a while but given the ferocity of domination and the nail biting close moments of brawl with a friend, duel just feels stale in comparison. But plenty of time to fix this issue, for armor could very well turn this mode around, which in my opinion, it desperately needs. [MUSIC] One of the biggest surprises I got from this game is how fun it is that you can customize your hero from their clothes to their combat stats. Want your hero to be decked out in tattoos and war-torn armor? You can do that here in surprising detail. It's not mind-blowing by any means, but it's really a neat feature. The best part is you can power up your player to fit your play style. Want a hero with high tech damage but can move like the wind? Or do you want a hero that carves up your enemies but can take the damage too? How you play can be directed to your hero's stats. Each upgrade, however, does come with a downgrade to another ability, meaning you'll have to build wisely, but also leads to fair hero encounter without any loadouts dominating another. I really hope they push further into this field, because this easily can make the difference in the longevity of this game, as more and more titles are launched later next year. At the end of the day, For Honor surprised the hell out of me. I went through the alpha with an open mind and got blown away. For now, for the issues I had, can and hopefully will be addressed in the coming months. But as a whole right now, For Honor has a very bright future for those looking to live up their warrior dreams of conquest with friends. What would you like to see more of from For Honor in the near future? Do you agree or disagree with what was said here about For Honor? Please share your thoughts below and until next time keep it here on Gamespot for more of your favorite games. [MUSIC]