For Honor comes out today on PS4, Xbox One and PC today, and if you’re the sort of person that reads video game blogs, that means you’ll probably be out there looking for some reviews. So here’s a word of advice: reviewers did not get access to this game until normal players today, and so any early reviews are likely to be incomplete or unreliable. We’ll probably start seeing reviews pop up tonight or tomorrow, but those won’t be based on enough playtime to render a real opinion. Don’t trust For Honor reviews until the end of the week at least, and even then might be pushing it.
There’s a reviews arms race that happens whenever new games come out, but it’s especially extreme for games where reviewers can’t play until actual release. Inevitably the people who rush to get a scored impression up as quickly as possible are also the ones who are doing the least thorough job, and are more likely to trend either extremely negative or extremely positive. Neither position holds that much water. You need time with a game to see how much you like it, and at this point, nobody has had that time. People have indeed played betas for a while at this point, but reviews should always reflect the finished product and not the lead-up.
As always, the only way to make any sort of effective use of reviews is to find some voices that you trust and follow them. It’s a muddy world of video game writing out there, after all, and relying too much on Google or aggregators can make things pretty confusing.
The good news is that I’m pretty optimistic about this game so far: it’s a new concept that, so far, seems like it works. It’s a fighting game crammed into a third-person hack-and-slash with the overarching structure of a PvP shooter, and I had a ball playing the recent open beta. I had my doubts about whether a deep system of PvP melee combat could ever work as well in reality as it does on paper, but early signs are looking good. Look for first impressions later on today, but I’m excited to see how the final game stacks up.