Here is our Operation Valor Review.
**Review Copy was provided by the Publisher**
Operation Valor is a tactical-top-down competitive shooter that tries to combine the tactical gameplay of Squad with the general gameplay of Foxhole. And while it definitely works to some degree its current state and lack of players make it very difficult to judge the game fairly.
Currently, there are maybe 20 people playing this game at peak hours with matches being usually filled up by bots which turns it into a shooting gallery. There is lots of potential here and I think that once the kinks are ironed out this game will find an audience.
Operation Valor Review/Impressions
On paper, the idea of Operation Valor is a noble one. Turn your top-down shooter into a tactical masterpiece borrowing elements from Battlefield and its popular Squad mod. But it feels like the game has a lot of elements that look nice together on paper but it wasn't really considered how these elements interact with each other.
For example, you can place a bunker at almost every spot on the gigantic map to act as a spawn point. Cool on paper but you can place it right next to one of the bases to capture and unleash a neverending flood of bots to conquer the base.
Sure you could simply destroy that bunker, but for the enemy, it is much easier to just stand next to it and shoot down all the bots spawning in to widdle down those tickets. You can also place barricades and cover but battle lines shift so fast that it's barely worth the effort.
I see the vision here, I truly do. Combined arms, sandbox elements, and small-scale battles across a massive map. But it just doesn't work, the sandbox elements don't really work on a map that large, and battles will usually move from hotspot to hotspot with long runs in between.
This could be remedied by scaling down the maps and limiting the field of operations to a small zone around the current two hot objectives. That would also force smaller encounters in a more dense battlefield and decrease downtime.
The vaulting and movement are also a little clunky. Especially in a game like this where micromovement and positioning count, getting stuck in geometry while under fire never feels right.
If anything I hope this gives you an idea of the current state of Operation Valor. The idea is great but I believe the team at One Dawn Studios should reconsider their approach, at least with the current state of their game. It's made for 27 vs. 27-player battles but bots that act like League of Legends minions and 2-3 players farming kills won't get you those battles.
There is so much potential being wasted on the game's current scale. Gunplay feels stiff and the dominant strategy is following all the bots to trap the enemy in crossfire, which is a smart way to play but rarely fun.
I really hate writing this because nothing about Operation Valor is inherently bad, it's just clunky and seems like it's far from a full release. And at this price point, I just can't give a recommendation. But I hope that once the problems are addressed it can shine as a cool, unique take on a squad-based large-scale top-down shooter.
For more game reviews check out our first impressions of the upcoming Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, our take on the Tekken 8 Closed Beta Test, and our review of Three Minutes to Eight. And for the latest in esports and gaming head on over to ESTNN