|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Relic Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: THQ||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Apr. 7, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-10||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
A few new handy functions are also worked into the expansion. Chief among them, a new direct fire mode, accessible when controlling most tanks and some other troop types, lets you manually take over firing the cannons by manually clicking where and when you want a round to fire. This is a cool arcade-like feature, even if it's not particularly useful.
A more helpful ability, Field Dressing, crops up when a member of your soldier units goes down. This lets you send your soldiers charging to the aid of a fallen comrade and patch up some of their wounds amidst the chaos of flying bullets and explosions. You'll use this frequently to try to preserve the limited units you're given in each scenario. Additionally, new units are unlocked for use in the multiplayer modes as you complete the main campaigns.
In contrast, the online multiplayer component of Tales of Valor is more robust. While you can always jump into a classic mode or pick from tons of skirmish maps (the latter of which can be played against computer A.I.), three new modes round out the multiplayer offerings. Perhaps a nod to the Atari classic Combat, Panzerkreig gives each player a single, unique tank that can be upgraded with various perks and sends them onto the battlefield to grind one another into dust. In Assault, both sides start out with a pre-deployed base. You're given direct control of a hero unit and tasked with fighting alongside A.I.-controlled comrades against other players, providing assistance to win the tide of battle. Stonewall is a new co-operative mode where you and other players are holed up in a fortified base and must manage resources and defend against increasingly tougher A.I. forces thrown at you.
There's a significant different between the feel and gameplay of the single and multiplayer aspects of the expansion. While the solo campaign eases newer players into the fold and prepares them for the more management-intensive multiplayer games, not everyone is going to necessarily partake of both equally. Even when combined as a whole, Tales of Valor falls short in terms of the volume of new content most players will expect in a standalone expansion priced at $30. What's there is great, but it's just not enough.
CCC Staff Contributor