What could've been perfect small DLC packages...
... Is unfortunatly sold as a expansion pack. Now, alot of people expect a hell of alot more from a expansion pack than say, a handful of small DLC packages. And Relic set a standard with Opposing Fronts, which was bursting with content. Tales of Valor feels like a bunch of ideas by modders, and then given three small campaigns to sort-of justify the price.
Tales of Valor comes with three campaigns, two for the German side, one for the American side. And they're all roughly three missions long. Each of these three campaigns has their own 'mode', for the lack of better word. For instance, the American campaign focuses on infanty battle and the two German campaigns each focus on either strict vehicle battle or act as a tutorial for one of the new online game modes called "Stonewall".
While they're unique, and deliver a different feeling from the other three campaigns(one if you don't have Opposing Fronts), they're so godforsaken short, they're over even before you know it. Each campaign lasts for maybe an hour and a half, perhaps more if you really mess around. So on that part, there's barely anything for players who expected another well written and quite long lasting campaign along the lines of Opposing Fronts.
Also worth mentioning is the few new gameplay mechanics, such as 'direct fire' which allows you to aim and fire the tank turret. Same goes for the infantry control, and most other vehicles. Although, it does eliminate balancing by a fair bit. Most vehicles and infantry in the game are inaccurate as hell for the sake of not killing eachother in seconds time. Now that's been replaced with direct fire, the campaign becomes this much easier... And this much shorter.
Multiplayer on the other hand, while both the stand alone game and Opposing Fronts offer bots, none of the new modes that ship with Tales of Valor can be played with bots. And only Stonewall can be played alone.
Now here's where the game truely shines, once more. Obviously, the developers made this expansion pack with multiplayer as main focus and what's been shoved in makes the campaigns look this much more as if they're simply tacked on.
There's three new modes for online play, which require more tactical team work than the basic conquest mode the game shipped with. They're called "Operations"; Panzerkrieg is an all-out tank versus tank fight that's a whole lot like Battlefield 2's conquest. Either hold control points to reduce your enemy's tickets to zero, OR kill your enemy's tanks to reduce their tickets to zero.
Stonewall is a very basic "Hold out until Wave X" mode. Best played with multiple people communicating properly, but even without it's fairly easy to work together as all there is to it is dig in and hold out as every wave increases in strength. Assault can be compared to Dawn of War II. Each player gets control over a hero unit which are incredibly tough to kill, same basic rules apply.
Only problem with the three new modes is a lack of maps.
The regular game mode of conquest got a bit more unique now that players can select new vehicles to replace others. Such as the T17 ISV that replaces the M2 light tank for Americans, or the Hotchkiss that replaces the Panzer IV IST for the Panzer Elites. They're now equally balanced, and add a bit more variety to the online game play.
Also, there's a few new maps for conquest but nothing major on that part.
All in all, the expansion pack offers new stuff here and there. And ofcourse, none of it is bad. But there is so little to justify the 25$(35$ on Steam) price. The campaigns feel tacked on, the script for that campaign is laughable and prior to a few weeks ago, the multiplayer balance was nothing short of being a disaster.
I can't say you should buy it unless you're an avid CoH player, cause there's a whole lot of money to cough up for little new stuff. Non-hardcore CoH players should stick with the Opposing Fronts expansion pack, and only buy Tales of Valor if you're in a dire need for variety.
(No graphics, sound and such scores as it's a expansion pack)