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Arena of Valor (Switch) Hands-on Preview

by Daan Koopman - September 2, 2018, 2:24 am PDT
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A transition from mobile to console done to a tee.

Personally when I play a MOBA, I want to be able to play it over an significant stretch of time. With that in mind, I let the chance to play Arena of Valor just slip me by for the time being when it first released in 2015 That is, honestly, a big shame as this MOBA is showcasing a lot of promise on the Switch. The developer showcased a near final version in a closed session during Gamescom 2018. The results were sincerely impressive and I can't wait to dive in even more.

Representatives from the international side were very happy to show me very detail. They opened the demo by explaining what they wanted to do with the Switch port. For starters, they made it very clear that this version is made with the audience in mind. Unlike the mobile version, you will able to use buttons and have a more direct feeling of control. You will move your characters around, activate attacks with various button prompts and make purchases and upgrades just by pressing the buttons. I found this extremely well suited for the Pro Controller which I was offered for my play session.

While I had my doubts how it would translate from mobile to Switch, I found myself very happy with the results. Something I give the developers a lot of credit for is making it feel that it belongs on the console. The controls very well mapped, but there is more than just that. The resolution bump was close to 1080p on the television, not entirely there but very close. In addition, the frame rate felt steadier than the mobile game. The mobile game was at 30fps, while this version was a locked 45fps. It made for a slightly faster version too. This is something the developers have recognized, and it is why there is no crossplay with the mobile game. In fact, both versions will be continued to build up separately from each other.

The build presented had a solid selection of heroes, but not all the ones available in the mobile game. Don't get me wrong, 39 Heroes spread over six different classes is enough to keep you engaged, but I do hope it goes very parallel the weeks after launch. Naturally, this is a matter of time thing, but the Tencent representatives were very adamant on where they wanted to see this game go. They want to build up a new public from scratch, one that compete on a high level. If the version becomes successful enough, they do see the possibility of holding tournaments for the Switch game. That is a lot commitment and something that could totally work out.

The game is something a group of friends could get easily into. You will have to work together to destroy a bunch of towers and shatter the crystal at the end of it. It requires a balanced team of heroes as well as communication to inch yourself closer to victory. Don't expect, however, to do that locally. Tencent is focused on delivering a solid 3-on-3 or 5-on-5 online multiplayer experience. They wouldn't rule it, but personally they do see more strength in the online space. That is, in all sincerity, quite a fair assessment. Personally, I feel it could be done but you do give something for it in the process. Locally only eight systems can connect, which makes the most played mode difficult to translate.

All in all, Arena of Valor feels as though it was made with the Switch in mind. While some questions remain, the results so far can't be underestimated. The game has seen a grand graphical overhaul, easy to use button controls and a completely reworked UI. Arena of Valor is planned to release this month, though the exact timing is unknown at the time of writing.

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Genre Action
Developer Tencent
Online1 - 8

Worldwide Releases

na: Arena of Valor
Release Sep 25, 2018
eu: Arena of Valor
Release Sep 2018
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