Valor is an action role-playing game in which the player controls a gladiator to overcome certain types of challenges in the arena. The game brings back the old Hack-and-Slash vibes from games like Diablo. It features a handful of fighters for the player to choose and level up at their own discretion. Valor is a well made game in itself for the following reasons.
This game is focused on Hack-and-Slash combat, so expect it to feel similar to the Diablo games. There are five characters to play with their own abilities. In a nutshell, you can play as an archer, warrior, pyromancer, blood mage, or a gunner. Each character has their own leveling tree that you can upgrade to make their skills stronger.
Valor places extra emphasis on grinding to level up your characters and earn gold to buy weapons or arena buffs. As for the levels where you grind on, they can be either eliminating a certain number of enemies; surviving for a set time; reaching a certain amount of points; or fighting a boss. Each level will have difficulty levels to make the grind more interesting. Depending on the difficulty, the levels randomly give affixes which make the game harder by buffing enemies or creating environment hazards.
As for making builds, it’s quite dependent on the runes and weapons that you obtain but honestly builds aren’t as diverse as you’d think. Yes you will eventually be able to get all of the upgrades from the leveling tree but that alone won’t help you win the harder levels. I believe runes can be obtained by completing the difficulty levels of the boss fights while weapons need to be bought from the shop. Runes can offer powerful effects such as increasing ability damage or spawning small health pick-ups. Weapons can offer benefits while balanced by downsides that can change one’s playstyle such as a certain Pyromancer weapon that reduces afterburn damage but allows you to heal from using a skill.
I’ll be honest when I say that the graphics leave a lot to be desired but they are still decent. Sometimes I feel like I’m fighting clay-mation figures and I don’t mean it as an insult. The UI is basic as well since it’s mainly huge text boxes. I will say that the game really nails the theme of each region. I love the classic gladiator arena appearance along with the drums that play in the starting area. Then the neon city contrasts this by having futuristic neon-style props and a catchy electronic beat to it.
I even love the ability to customize your character’s skins. These are simple color changes but it’s nice to have a reward for clearing stages as well as all of the levels on the highest difficulty. I’ve been maining Ember who is obviously the Pyromancer and I’m happy that you can even change the color of the particle effects. So now she looks like a warlock using Fel magic from World of Warcraft. I’m just glad that I can earn my skins instead of needing to buy it from some microtransaction store.
As much as I love the gameplay feel of Valor, there are some things that could have been done better. One such problem is the weird motion blur that happens at the edge of the screen which makes things a bit disorientating. It woudln’t be so bad if there weren’t moments in which the game becomes a bullet hell and you need to be on the lookout. Speaking of things on the edge, the arrow that points to a concerning off-screen item is easily missable to see. It’s mostly white with another hint of a darker color but it’s also incredibly skinny. Also these items can end your run such as the Gift one that ends your run if you fail to get it on time. One last issue I have is how hard it is to aim attacks on enemies since there is aiming reticle other than your mouse and it doesn’t help that the hud takes up a huge portion of the bottom screen.
I highly recommend Valor for players who love the Diablo Hack-and-Slash combat, love grinding to level up characters, love high replayability. You may not like the graphics but I highly appreciate games that focus on the gameplay first then the graphics. It is satisfactory and fun from my own experience and I hope you get to experience it too.
You can purchase Valor on the Steam store page HERE!