CoH: Tales of Valor (4 out of 5)
Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor is an epic real time strategy game with one of the best engines in the industry. The effects on high detail look amazing as you battle your way across expansive maps using engaging combat game play in a variety of satisfying modes that add an interesting level of fun and entertainment to this WWII RTS.
The additions to this title over earlier games in the franchise add to the experience, offering more variety in already strong game play. Bravo to the developers for taking the franchise into uncharted territory with shorter, hero-centric campaigns that were a lot of fun to play, and the perfect sandbox for RTS fanatics to enjoy a truly satisfying experience.
Improvements Needed (3 out of 5)
The single player experience is as promised by Relic. Its short on fun and entertainment, which is unfortunate, but it's not like they didn't warn us.
Relic did take a step back to previous times by requiring you to manually target some of your attacks this time around, which is odd and unwelcome. Did a unit get a bump on the head and forget how to target a certain weapon?.
Graphics (4 out of 5)
The visual presentation included with Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor is top-shelf. The amazing battle effects as tanks fire, explosions rain down, and shrapnel flies is amazingly bright and colorful to witness during the heat of battle. It combines wonderfully with visual details and textures to create a sensual tapestry that immerses and entertains through out the entire experience. Fans of WWII-era games will enjoy how realistically the weapons and vehicles of the period are depicted in this game.
Sounds in the Game (4 out of 5)
The voice acting was excellent; the actors really nailed the emotions and motivations of their parts in their voice-overs, which along with the excellently written and thought-out dialogue gets you involved in the action.
Punchy, but not over-the-top, explosions and gun fire don't assault your senses, but put you in the action occurring on screen and keep your adrenalin flowing.
CoH: Tales of Valor features a truly cinematic score with orchestrated pieces that add to the on screen action. There is a mix of fast tempos with explosive sound and slower paced tunes that help create an atmosphere and feeling of drama.
Story Line (3 out of 5)
The single player experience is pretty limited. Nine missions are the total of the off line offerings included with Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor. All are heavily scripted missions that concentrate of many of WWII's heroic exploits where you're given command of a handful of units and sent out to complete daunting tasks.
Playability (5 out of 5)
Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor is a multiplayer sandbox that provides endless hours of satisfying and engaging entertainment for the RTS fanatic to enjoy battling against challenging opponents. There are innovative new modes and interesting maps that will keep arm chair generals fixated.
There are three new modes: a Defense of the Ancients-type herocentric tug of war; a delightfully filling meal of ultimate tank destruction; and a nice co-op defensive style mode that will remind many of Gears of War 2's fun Horde mode. They're a deliciously fresh addition to the usually formulaic landscape of RTS game play that adds beautifully to the already solid options of Company of Heroes. They only provided one map with each mode when I tried it, however, and the experience lacks progression options for hero units.
The Last Word (4 out of 5)
Lone gamers who prefer to spend their game time in a virtual universe by themselves should stay away from Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor, it won't provide them with the experience they enjoy. Gamers who focus primarily on multiplayer online RTS combat, however, should definitely spend some time in the field with this game. Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor is one of the best multiplayer WWII experiences available, perfect for strategy fans and fps gamers who need a break from Battlefield, Call of Duty, Band of Brothers and other WWII shooters, but want to stay in the period.