Alliance of Valiant Arms
Alliance of Valiant Arms, AVA for short, is a 3D tactical MMO shooter with realistic graphics and modern-day weaponry. The game is set in a world where the European Union (EU) and the New Russian Federation (NRF) are fighting a modern infantry war.
Type: MMO Shooter
Release Date: Nov 11, 2009 (NA/EU)
Pros: +Good variety of weapons. +Excellent achievement/mission system. +Customizeable weapons. +Good stat tracking.
Cons: -Powerful cash shop weapons. -AI is awful in AI matches.
Alliance of Valiant Arms Overview
Alliance of Valiant Arms (AVA) is a realistic modern-day tactical FPS that plays a lot like other "MMOFPS" games, with the most notable exception being the much crisper graphics, as the game is built on the Unreal 3 engine. Like Combat Arms and Sudden Attack, AVA features lobby-based gameplay. Players earn Euros, the in-game currency, for completing achievements and simply playing matches. These can be used to purchase new weapons, armor, and customized weapon parts. Players also earn experience for winning matches which allow them to rank up, giving them access to more powerful and varied weapons.
Alliance of Valiant Arms Key Features:
- Variety of Weapons – over 175 weapons, many of which can be customized (Mount, Barrel, Trigger, and Grip can be customized).
- Maps and Modes Galore – play on over 30+ maps and 5+ game modes (Demolition / Escort / Annihilation / Military Drill / Suppression).
- Excellent Ranking System – ranking system that keeps track of stats. Higher ranks are required for most weapons.
- Play on a Team – join the clan system with friends or make new friends, and participate in clan matches.
Alliance of Valiant Arms Screenshots
Alliance of Valiant Arms Featured Video
Alliance of Valiant Arms Review
By Omer Altay
Alliance of Valiant Arms, or AVA for short, is a 3D first person shooter developed by Korean game studio Red Duck and published by EnMasse (previously Aeria Games and ijji). It originally launched into open beta in the US through ijji on October 15, 2009. ijji shut the service down in mid 2012 and Aeria Games picked up the license for the game. Those familiar with games like Combat Arms and Sudden Attack should be able to easily pick up and play Alliance of Valiant Arms, as these Korean lobby-based shooters are quite similar. I've actually been playing AVA on and off since it was first available on ijji back in 2009. I didn't transfer my character over to the Aeria Games service, so I had to make a new one.
Upon installing and launching Alliance of Valiant Arms, players are prompted to create a character. The only real customization option on the character creation screen is your character's face, which has zero impact on the game and is hardly even noticeable. Players have more options to customize their characters in the game's store with various cosmetic options later on. After creating a character, players are prompted to complete the game's short tutorial. If you've ever played an FPS game before, there's really no need to bother with the tutorial. Controls are straight forward – WASD movement, mouse aiming, right click for scope, and double tap W to dash. That's it. Easy enough!
New players (low ranked) can play on the game's beginner servers, which are level restricted, to get a good feel for the game. Matches in these lobbies are significantly easier than the standard PvP channel which has no restrictions. Unfortunately, finding a game in the beginner server isn't always easy, as the game's playerbase has been in decline for years.
With 5 game modes ranging from the standard Counter-Strike inspired plant-the-bomb-defuse-the-bomb “Demolition” mode to the more generic Team Deathmatch “Annihilation” mode, Alliance of Valiant Arms has a good amount of variety. “Escort” is my personal favorite game mode and is similar to Team Fortress 2's “Payload” mode, where the attacking team has to escort a tank by standing near it as it moves closer and closer to its target, while the defending team has to slow its advance by destroying the tank with RPGs. Both Demolition and Annihilation can be played with AIs, but the AI are incredibly bad and will literally just stand around firing randomly. The only reason to play against AIs is if you're looking for an ego boost, because they pose no challenge. Individual rounds typically don't take longer than 15 minutes, unless you're playing a tournament style demolition game.
Showing its Age
I've played dozens of free-to-play shooters and I do want to emphasize that while Alliance of Valiant Arms is fun, it has its flaws. When it first released back in 2009 in the US, I was incredibly impressed with it, but it hasn't aged that well. It's still one of the best looking “tactical” shooters out there, but can't compete with the older, more established titles like Combat Arms and CrossFire. It's also hard to choose AVA over more polished and better balanced games like Counter Strike: Global Offensive. With over 150 weapons available, it's impossible to create good balance. Some of the cash shop weapons/items in the store provide stat boosts that free users simply can't get.
Alliance of Valiant Arms has over 150 different weapons available for the game's three classes – the Pointman, Rifleman, and Sniper. Pointmen use SMGs for close- to mid-range combat, Rifleman are adept at mid- to long-range combat, while Sniper excel at picking off enemies from a distance. Players can purchase new weapons with Euros, the in-game currency earned for free simply by playing, or Aeria Points (the premium currency). Players can earn Euros by simply playing matches or by completing daily quests or unlocking achievements. Players can also earn Euros by filling up their “Supply” meter which rewards them with in-game currency.
One aspect of Alliance of Valiant Arms that really shines is its huge variety of weapons – each of which can be customized with different mounts, barrels, triggers, and grips. When Aeria Games first picked up the service for Alliance of Valiant Arms, the game had no permanent weapons, but after the May, 2015 update, permanent weapons are back and cost anywhere from 15K-70K Euros. Weapons can be rented on the cheap for a limited time or purchased permanently. In addition, weapons require a certain rank before they can be equipped, with the exception being gear purchased with Aeria Points. Anything bought with Aeria Points can be equipped right away, regardless of rank. I remember back when ijji published Alliance of Valiant Arms, it was a lot easier to get weapons since prices were a lot lower. It's gotten more difficult since Aeria took over the service, but it's still fairly easy to earn enough Euros to stay well equipped.
There are items in the store which can be purchased for Aeria Points which are just more powerful than the gear free-to-play users can get, which creates a bit of a pay-to-win environment. These weapons aren't THAT much more powerful and can always be beaten with skill, but it still creates an unfair environment. For example, armor purchased with Aeria Points is just superior to the armor available for purchase with Euros. The only way for non-paying players to get their hands on those OP cash shop weapons is to pick them up from dead players during a match, but alas, it isn't permanent.
Achievements, Skills, and Stats
Alliance of Valiant Arms does a solid job of creating incremental goals for players to target. Players are rewarded for unlocking simple achievements, like “Kill 50 enemies as Pointman” and “Play AVA for 180 minutes.” Achievements reward players with either new weapons or Euros which can be spent in the shop. Advancing to higher ranks and completing achievements are also prerequisites for unlocking passive player skills which enhance minor aspects of gameplay. For example, SMG Training allows players to reload quicker and have extra ammo when using an SMG. The Adv. Maneuvers skill decreases fall damage and increases movement speed. These are minor enhancements, but adds some extra depth to the game.
Alliance of Valiant Arms has an excellent record keeping system that keeps track of kills, deaths, accuracy, and more. These stats are recorded both on an overall basis, on a map basis, and on a class basis.
Final Verdict – Great
Alliance of Valiant Arms is a fun and polished free-to-play shooter. With its fluid gameplay, huge variety of weapons, game modes, and maps, there's a lot to like. The game's biggest drawback is its pay-to-win elements, but they aren't necessarily game breaking.
Alliance of Valiant Arms Videos
Alliance of Valiant Arms Links
Alliance of Valiant Arms System Requirements
Operating System: XP / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2.4 GHz (Dual core recommended)
Video Card: GeForce 7600 GT / AMD Equivalent
RAM: 1 GB
Hard Disk Space: 5 GB
Operating System: XP / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 3 GHz (Dual core recommended)
Video Card: GeForce 8600 GT or better
RAM: 1 GB
Hard Disk Space: 5 GB
Alliance of Valiant Arms Music & Soundtrack
Alliance of Valiant Arms Additional Information
Developer: Red Duck Inc
Game Engine: Unreal Engine 3
Steam Release Date: June 14, 2011
Closed Beta: September 24, 2009 (Original ijji Closed Beta)
Open Beta: October 15, 2009 (Original ijji Open Beta)
Aeria Games Launch (after ijji service closed): August 24, 2012
EnMasse Launch (After Aeria lost the license): August 25, 2016
South Korea: October, 2007 (PMANG)
Japan: December 1, 2008 (GameOn)
China: January, 2010 (Tencent)
Taiwan: December 23, 2013 (Garena)
South America: January, 29, 2015 (RockHippo)
Development History / Background:
Alliance of Valiant Arms, AVA for short, was developed by South Korean game developer Red Duck and built on the Unreal 3 engine. Alliance of Valiant Arms is Red Duck's first ever title. The game won 3 awards at the 2007 Korea Game Awards and also the Game of the Year Award in Korea in December, 2007. Development for AVA began in 2006, but it launched commercially in South Korea through Neowiz Games in late 2007. Since its initial launch, the game has been licensed in China, Japan, Taiwan, South America, and the US. Alliance of Valiant Arms was originally available in the West through ijji, but after they shut down, Aeria Games picked up the license. AVA launched on Steam in the US on June 14, 2011. Aeria lost the license to the game and Tera publisher EnMasse picked it up and launched it on August 25, 2016.