I'm breaking up with Valiant to start my new love with Hellbound. Best DOOM mapset that has been made. I have replayed it more than once with Brutal DOOM Platinum and Final Doomer(Hellboundguy class) and I still can't get tired of it. Cities, hellish maps, tech bases, I just love it. I also really like the combination of E2M1, E2M2 and E2M3 in Map19. Amazing stuff right there, I strongly recommend this
I forgot to review it when I first finished it, but I played it again with final doomer so I think it's time.
Ancient aliens is beautiful, and it plays as well as it looks. SkillSaw gives some of his best maps in his career, only matched by his heartland performance. But the heavy lifting is really done by the presentation, stewboys midis always fit, and the fact the soundtrack is bespoke is incredible. I personally enjoy all of the maps, only the secret maps have any issues fitting in, and secret maps are allowed to not be great. My only issue with the wad are the inconsistent 3rd episode, and ironically it's skillsaw's work in that episode that is probably the worst (So good, but not as good as the earlier work in the wad) as the rest of the team turns in great work.
Valiant was hyped up in my mind as a future favorite megawad, Often proclaimed as the best megawad by many.
But it is imperfect.
1. The Super chaingun is lame, not a fan, it want's to be the ultimate weapon, but it is never set up to be powerful, most enemies are too tough too be taken down by it without justifying use of a better weapon, and moments where cannonfodder are plentiful enough to justify it are too rare. Most importantly chaingun sniping is limited, I almost wish for a regular chaingun because its ability to pick off enemies from a distance was that valuable for me. The pistol isn't a good replacement for it, so a gap is left to pursue an overlap in the arsenal. The custom enemies are fun all of them are great.
2. The maps are divided into episodes
Ep1 - Earth tech base that is fun
Ep2 - Waste episode that is ok I think for 2 or 3 maps but starts to suck later
Ep3 - The Darkwave episode
Ep4 - Hell that is hell to play
Ep5 - Lunatic reloaded (I liked lunatic so it's fun)
The aggressive red and orange maps just unfortunately suck sometimes. The maps aren't bad but annoying and it feels like they suck out the fun. The other 3 episodes are fun most of the time but are imperfect. I love custom monsters and weapons so I had that to look forward too every map, but the wad just isn't fun sometimes.
3. Maps are detailed, but I personally enjoy vanilla maps so it doesn't appeal to me in that regard. But In theory you wouldn't notice it because of the speed of play, the best valiant maps would be hard to recreate from memory because they would force the player to go fast. But that also clashes with Skillsaws love of map 24 the Chasm, I wanted to idclip so many times because I fell off a thin ledge or didn't do the platforming section as well, I didn't but the restraint required was immeasurable.
4. The aracnorb, cool in theory but combined with high ceilings made me want to hang myself, thankfully Skillsaw made the ceiling so high I can't hang myself from it because there isn't a ladder long enough.
5. I don't have a 5th point but I like the number 5 so I felt disgusting not having a 5th point.
To conclude, Valiant is fine and most of the enemies are cool but it has issues, play at your own risk.