Sometimes I am surprised.
Armor Valley, the first game from Singapore based Protege Production, is available on Xbox Live Indie Games for the minimal price of 400 MS points. For that price, I was expecting a simple game with simple graphics, basic production values and maybe a few hours of entertainment. Boy, was I wrong?
The player is given control over a Hovercopter, complete with missiles, machine guns and other weapon based goodness. Flying the Hovercopter is reasonably simple, with intuitive controls that can be picked up easily by even the most inept pilot.
The objective is fairly straight forward. Beginning at one end of a winding canyon, the player must simply reach the other end of the canyon and destroy the enemy base. Ok, perhaps it is not that straight forward. The enemy base also has a Hovercopter, with the mission of destroying your base. They also have turrets, missile launchers, tanks and a huge shield over their base.
Don’t panic though, you get all of that stuff too. You begin with a certain amount of money and then can have vehicles or infantry produced from your base to aid your efforts. Once produced, they will trundle along the canyon, engaging any enemy units that they come across. Each enemy vehicle that you destroy will reward you with more credits, to create more units of your own.
Most important of these support vehicles is the Disruptor. This unit is needed to win the game, as it is the only way to overcome the enemies shields. The player will also need to take into account that they only have a limited amount of ammunition and fuel. Restocking means heading back to the base and leaving the action.
The game features a reasonably seized campaign, along with the option to play quick missions. These can be played against the AI or another player locally. Sadly there is no online mode available at this time.
Armor Valley has an incredibly high production value. Using the 3D engine developed by Envisage Reality, the look of the game exceeds what one would expect. That, combined with decent sound effects and a very competent menu and tutorial system, leave an incredibly well finished product.This is the debut title from Protege Productions and I can only look forward to their next project.
I didn’t expect much when downloading this game, but I was pleasantly surprised. I have enjoyed a fair few hours of the game thus far, and fully expect to enjoy a fair few more.