The Valiant – PC Review

The Valiant – PC Review
Avorok
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Genre: Medieval action RTS
Developer: KITE Games
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Release Date: October 19th, 2022
Edited by AlexKnight2005

We were here to embark on a journey to defend those who are defenseless, those who decide to prey on the weak. We must drive out those heathens who defile the holy lands and wreak havoc across the innocent. But amongst those battles and fights, something else lurks. Some powerful evil is waiting for its chance to strike, and unfortunately, the feeling that it’s already corrupted the mighty is something we all can see. There isn’t much time left; let us see if we’re already not too late.

The Valiant is RTS, where you take control of units in separate squads. It takes place in the medieval Middle East and Europe during the 13th century, where you follow a brotherhood of knights that fight their way through treacherous battles for a greater power.

You can play three different modes: the campaign, multiplayer, and challenge. Most will likely try out the campaign to understand the game, as it also acts as a kind of tutorial. This game is a squadron-based RTS, where you manage small groups of units that have special abilities. Depending on your playstyle, you can pick several different types of units. It has a rock, paper, and scissors triangle to build against. Regular swordsmen, cavalry, spearmen, and archers. There are other special units, which are usually either main character units or enemy units. Such as knights of your company or archers of your companion. As you progress through the story, you’ll encounter other hero units that you can sometimes control. But the unit list doesn’t exceed around 5 or 6 at a time. So there aren’t many of these big battles, but in smaller fights, you’ll have to tactically figure out your situation with your units. There isn’t any base building, but more taking over a couple of types of buildings already set up on maps. Such as a barracks where you can heal your units or create more if you lost 1 of your five slots or a small builders’ hut to build towers or defenses. There are some resources, but it seems dependent on progression on whether you get them or not. Such as small bundles of wood you have to pick up and get automatically or gold for defeating certain enemies.

Each unit type gets some kind of special ability, like the swordsmen, who get a knockdown, or archers getting a volley. Now for your hero unit groups, they can get special abilities depending on their level, the armor, and the weapon they’re holding. Equipment can be found by traveling to the ends of the map of the level you’re on and potentially finding something you can equip. Weapons add more damage and potentially have other abilities like replenishing armor or taking reduced damage for a time. Armors give stat bonuses depending on the unit type, like archers being able to move faster if enemies attack them. This brings cool customization to the game that allows for builds that you might be interested in.

The combat is a bit lacking, though. With such a limited amount of units you get that are just as powerful as the dozens of enemy units it throws at you, it feels like you are either too powerful or too weak, and it gets boring. Along with the small number of units you get to use and no resource or base building, it felt like it was catered toward the story, which makes the multiplayer and challenge mode hard to enjoy, which would be fine if the story itself wasn’t too dull. Even with the nice customization, there isn’t enough with that mechanic to keep the gameplay enticing enough. Other than that, there isn’t much more to the game.

For the story, it’s not too bad, but it’s what you’d expect from something based in the medieval period. You’re playing as a crusader of God, taking out heathens for the holy land. Where the twist is that evil takes over and corrupts friends turning them into foes and the other righteous religious one holds steadfast.

Something that does shine through is the storytelling itself, though. Not only is everything voice acted, which is a big plus, especially for an RTS, but the cutscenes are beautifully done and drawn. The sound effects are okay, but since little happens in the game combat-wise, it isn’t as prevalent. But how they tell the story almost makes it feel like a great visual novel more than an RTS at times, with the nice voice acting paired. I wish that the gameplay could match the level of detail in the art.

Something that I think plagues the newer types of RTS games is taking out the resourcefulness and building aspect. You’re left with something that feels barebones, and it could be due to the design of people not having enough time or wanting to get into the action quicker. Which ultimately makes everything feel like there isn’t much content in it anymore. Especially when you’re very limited in the types of units, you can make and how many you can use at a time. Almost too simplistic. You essentially are moving five units around for the entirety of the campaign with maybe some additional units that help you during some battles that you don’t get a say in what they do.

Overall, the experience wasn’t too bad, and it lost traction way too soon. The fights and boss battles felt tedious, but some of the beginning levels were good enough to keep me interested, but then with the lack of things I could do or find, it started to go downhill. It was at a point where my hands were idle for most fights while waiting for an ability or two to come off cooldown to use again while everything auto-fought for long periods. Some moments are thrown in where you need to position units better, such as to dodge a cavalry charge or volley. But it wasn’t enough to keep the fighting engaging enough. Though there are aspects, I can see the appeal of this specific type of RTS; even at that, it doesn’t feel like it has enough. Along with this, the multiplayer was unable to find any games and the challenges were a grind of the same campaign that you just did.

Pros:

  • Easy to get into.
  • Amazing art style and voice acting.

Cons:

  • Content feels lacking.
  • Mechanics feel lacking.
  • The story is a bit dull.

Avorok gives The Valiant a Drastik Measure of 6.3 out of 10.0 (63)

It was more of a meh feeling than anything. You can pick it up on steam for $29.99, but I highly suggest getting it on sale as I feel that those who are looking for online play or something of a new medieval RTS wouldn’t be happy with little to do in the game in general. Or if someone is looking for something a little bit more laid back, they would probably enjoy this style of RTS a bit more.