Alliance of Valiant Arms Hands-On - The Basics

We get our hands on this free-to-play alternate-reality online shooter at E3 2009.

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One of the many games on display at E3 2009 is Alliance of Valiant Arms, also known as AVA. The game will be a free-to-play online shooter that takes place in a modern-day setting during a fictitious conflict.

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Who's Making This Game: The game is being developed by Asian studio Redduck and is being brought to North America by way of NHN USA's Ijji.com online games service.

What The Game Looks Like: A modern-day shooter in city-based environments, not dissimilar to Counter-Strike: Source. It's powered by Unreal Engine 3.

What There Is To Do: Choose one of three different character roles--rifleman, which is an assault class; pointman, which is a light weapon class; or sniper--and compete in team-based competitive missions for up to 16 players (eight versus eight). You can change class each time you respawn after getting fragged.

How The Game Is Played: The game has four different modes currently in beta: Escort, Convoy, Annihilation, and Demolition. A fifth mode is planned for launch. We had a chance to play an escort mission in what appeared to be a ruined Russian city as the opposing team attempted to escort a tank across the map while our team attempted to prevent it from getting there. The gameplay seemed very similar to Counter-Strike or the earlier Call of Duty games, in that there were a lot of winding roads with dipping hills on the ground and buildings with open-air second-floor balconies and windows up top.

What They Say: This will be a graphically high-end modern-day shooter with a "cash-op" microtransaction store that sells convenience items.

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What We Say: There's definitely a Counter-Strike-like quality to this one--the fast pace, the modern-day weapons, and the getting-instantly-killed-by-someone-you-barely-sighted. The game is scheduled to launch later this year.

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