Hype: Operation Valor
By: L. Sahara McGirt (DarthSagaSwag)
Last week, the developers over at Operation Valor held a pretty cool special as part of their fundraiser for Stack Up going into their Beta held on February 19th. For every 1 wishlist of their game, they would be donating $1 to us to end on February 20. While it was not a requirement for us to check out their game or for folks who wishlisted to buy it, I wanted to check out whether Operation Valor might be worth moving from my Steam wishlist when it comes out later this year.
This is by no means a review as Operation Valor is not yet completed, but more of my first impressions of the game as I played it during the Beta. If you couldn't check out the Beta, you can find the recorded stream of gameplay on the Operation Valor Twitch channel.
To start with, Operation Valor is not the kind of game I typically play. While I have played RTS-mechanics style games, I tend to avoid top-down games in the same way I avoid platformers. I'm not great at them, and I am entirely one of those gamers who have no problem admitting which genres I'm generally bad at.
However, I am a fan of games like Battlefield, and sometimes I want to try different games from my usual. So why not give Operation Valor a try?
Well, give it a try. I did. And a few things about that try:
I am still awful at games with top-down mechanics.
I am a bad driver in all games, especially games with top-down mechanics.
I still had fun playing Operation Valor.
First up, Operation Valor takes a while to get the hang of if you've never played games with top-down mechanics. Once you do, it's all about moving into position to take over control points and fight the game out with the other players on the map. For the most part, Operation Valor handles the top-down mechanics well, with the maps looking pretty decent.
Entering buildings comes with the risk of not knowing if the enemy team is right behind the wall, which is a fun mechanic if you want to spring a trap on your enemies and forces you to be strategic in entering and taking over locations. Respawn points are plentiful as long as you're taking over parts of the map.
Overall, the game played well as I traversed the maps to reach a destination and point and clicked to shoot at other players. I made some pretty great kills once I got the hang of it. However, there were points as I played when I was less focused on action and more on getting from point A to point B, which made the game a little less fun to play as player spread was focused mainly on taking 1 point at a time throughout much of the game. I'm curious to see if anything gets done to incentivize players to spread their teams and squads across the map rather than concentrating in huge firefights as each team moves to take over 1 control point at a time.
Regardless, I still had fun playing the game, and I look forward to seeing how Operation Valor turns out. One of the bigger plus points in Operation Valor's favor was the accessibility options, particularly the ability to change the size, color, and overall visibility of my crosshairs. This doesn't seem like a big deal to many, but it can make a difference when you have any kind of visual impairment.
While their fundraiser for Stack Up has ended, I plan to keep up with any future Betas, but if development continues up until launch and after, I think it's a game worth further checking out if not adding to one's game library eventually.