For Honor could have learnt from looking at other games that do things well, and not reinventing the wheel for the sake of it. Except Ubisoft clearly thought they knew better
We don't take the mantle of prophets of doom lightly - but sometimes that's what you have to do. Ubisoft's For Honor was a game, like many of you, we were looking forward to. And that is exactly why we're so disappointed. To be as blunt as the swords in the game are sharp, Ubisoft have gone gone out of their way to ruin what should have been a truly great AAA title - and we think it will fail because of it. Let's explain why:
I mean, what the actual f? So, here is a game, which in multiplayer mode, with 150,000 players online, is creating a game of 4 v 4, with 3 bots. In addition to that, it often will pair up 3 high level people on one side, against 2 noobs on the other. You can't bail at that point, and you basically sit and pray that the game doesn't run away from you before you get a chance to PERHAPS get lucky and have someone half decent replace one of the bots on your team. In addition to this lunacy, there is no easy way of creating a group (Hey Ubisoft, take a look at Overwatch!), and there no penalties for quitting the game half way through (Hey Ubisoft, take a look at Dota2!).
There are, wait for it, 600 levels per class (30 x 20). There are 12 classes. That is 7,200 levels to get every character maxed out. You may think that is great value for money dear people at Ubisoft, but actually no. That is the sort of levelling grind, that takes one of those heavy weapons, and smacks you right between the eyes 7,200 times, followed by same treatment to your nether region, before making you listen to the warbliest Celine Dion song on repeat for 7,200 hours. It does beg the question Ubisoft - who supplies your medication? As that is about the only explanation for this "value for money" decision. If I see something that is not a target, but a ridiculously unachievable goal, there is a good chance I will not buy your season pass, and will tell my friends not to bother.
Even the word itself is dull. Re-pe-ti-ti-ve-ness. Bloody hell. Tedious. Bit like your levelling idea. Except, that is not the most boring part of the game, tedious as it is. It's the actual game itself. I am about to hit level 20 (or 1 as you call it), and I am already feeling there is no other dimension to the game.
It doesn't change, there is no end game, there is little variety and the overriding feeling is - is this it now? Progression seems to be based on completing games rather than winning, performance related bonuses don't make big enough difference, and anyway, how can my performance be good when I am being steamrollered by 3 humans and a bot, against myself and 3 valiant, but ultimately limited bots. Whilst bots are decent in terms of combat, their decision making is as you would expect. And more to the point, I don't want to play against AI - if I did, I'd choose AI mode. The strategic part of the game, with factions deploying resources to gain supremacy, which seemed really cool and interesting to begin with, and gave a sense of greater good, very quickly goes into the "ah, whatever, so what" pile.
There you have it. From one of the hottest games of the year, to a steaming pile of manure in 3 points. And this is without questioning as to why there are no bigger battles, in what is a pretty game otherwise, why are there so many disconnects without the ability to resume the game, and general time wasting. There is a lot that could be learnt from looking at other games that do it well, and not reinventing the wheel for the sake of it.
I am sure Ubisoft will look to improve it, but as they should have learnt from The Division, you ought to get these things right before people move to the next game. When the focus is on you, you have to stand and deliver, the way GTA V has done for example, and the way The Division has failed.