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Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor Review

Company of Heroes Continues Its Multiplayer Domination
by Adam Biessener on Sep 22, 2009 at 02:01 PM
Reviewed on PC
Publisher THQ
Developer Relic Entertainment
Rating Mature

It's not that rare to see a real-time strategy title focus on multiplayer as much as Tales of Valor. It is unusual, however, to come across an expansion that deviates so dramatically from the base game. This is an easy game to classify -- it's a definite pickup if you're into online RTS, but single-player gamers won't find much value here.

Nine total missions are the extent of the offline offering. These heavily scripted operations focus on some of the war's heroic exploits, giving players control of only a handful of units to complete daunting tasks. Instead of taxing your tactical acumen, you get massively overpowered troops. It's not that hard to hold off an armored division when your infantry can shrug off a 40mm shell to the face.

Tales of Valor shines in multiplayer, though. There are three new modes:  a Defense of the Ancients-style hero-driven tug-of-war, an uber-tank destruction derby, and a co-op defensive style reminiscent of Gears of War 2's Horde mode. These unusual match types are fresh and exciting additions to the often-formulaic landscape of online RTS play. Company of Heroes' strong gameplay foundation provides a fantastic sandbox in which to mess around with these new ideas. It would be nice to have more than a single map per mode, however, and the scarcity of progression options for hero units is a bummer.

Gamers who spend the majority of their time in single-player modes should pass this one by. If you're an online-focused player, though, Tales of Valor provides hours of amusement, especially if the community takes advantage of the excellent mod tools to flesh out the map selection.

Take this WWII RTS into unfamiliar territory: short hero-centric campaigns and unusual online modes
Relic sure knows how to build an engine. This still looks amazing with the effects cranked
Solid voiceovers, cinematic score, punchy explosions -- what else did you expect?
Requiring players to manually target certain attacks is an odd and unwelcome addition
Buy this for the multiplayer, or don't buy it at all

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Company of Heroes: Tales of Valorcover

Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor

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