Developed and published by NEXON Games, VEILED EXPERTS is a brand-new upcoming tactical shooter currently under development. VEILED EXPERTS follows the classic formula of search-and-destroy however it builds upon the formula and expands on it. Combining a lot of mechanics from most modern shooters and bringing them into one game, VEILED EXPERTS is surely shaping up to be a promising tactical shooter for the future. Being lucky enough to participate in an early access preview playtest, and I got to experience a small slice of the full game. This is our preview of VEILED EXPERTS in which we experience this brilliant third-person shooter and see how it differs itself apart from all of the crowd.
In nearly all modes, VEILED EXPERTS has an in-game store at the start of the game where you can purchase weapons and tactical equipment for yourself. The in-game store can be accessed at the start of every game before the match begins using coins. At the start, you are given a small number of coins which are only good for basic pistols but as the game progresses, you get access to better weapons as well as you get more coins randomly and from performing better in matches as well. You get two primary weapon slots and one side weapon slot so you can carry three weapons at the same time. Apart from this, you can purchase and keep tactical items such as grenades, drones, healing items, and even a fully equipped Juggernaut suit with you if you can afford it using coins.
In certain modes, the store also allows you to invest your hard-earned coins for upgrading team tacticals. These upgrades are unlocked for your entire team when you invest a certain amount of coins in them and it is beneficial since it allows you to gain a competitive edge over your enemies. This encourages team-based gameplay because the team that quickly upgrades its tacticals will have a big advantage over the other team. If you need coins from your teammates, you can also request additional coins and your teammates can drop coins or other items for you as well for use. The initial purchases are not locked and you can change them later as well and even drop items from your inventory if you do not like them.
VEILED EXPERTS features a large collection of weapons, side arms, and tactical equipment for you to use. You have assault rifles, submachine guns, pistols, revolvers, machine guns, LMGs shotguns, and sniper rifles to choose from. In each category, there are multiple options to choose from which allow you to create a build that really suits your playstyle. The tactical gear ranges from grenades which include smoke grenades, scan grenades, melee weapons, and more. The Juggernaut suit is the most powerful tactical option in the game and it allows you to wear a fully-armored suit that comes equipped with a huge chainsaw. It is extremely fun to use but it comes with a drawback which is limited mobility. While normally, VEILED EXPERTS offers great mobility but inside a Juggernaut, you are severely limited in terms of movements and I was unlucky enough to figure this out the hard way as I equipped the Juggernaut inside a room and I was unable to climb myself out of it.
During the playtest, we got to try out two of the in-game modes, Team Deathmatch and Bomb Defusal. Team Deathmatch is a classic 5v5 mode where five players on one team try to annihilate 5 players on the other team on different maps by using everything they have at their disposal. The target score was 100 and the time limit was 10 minutes where every kill granted two points. This mode was fine as far as Team Deathmatch modes go however I really enjoyed the Bomb Defusal Mode where another unique aspect of VEILED EXPERTS came into play. In this mode, one team of five players has to detonate the SEED or bomb while the other team has to defend it. Killing all players of the other team also makes you the victor in this mode.
However, this mode has one sweet trick up its sleeve. If the bomb explodes, it will change the area where it was detonated to open up more paths and areas for the next level. The destruction is visible until some additional rounds and then it is reversed back to normal. This is a pretty cool mechanic because if detonated, it makes both attackers and defenders rethink their game strategy. For example, it might open up additional routes to the bomb so the defenders might need to cover even more ground than before in order to defend the bomb. This is unique for each level and this was a cool mechanic to experience in the game. Another aspect is the weather, which might take a turn for the worst and your visibility might get affected. I saw the sandstorm in action during the test and it massively reduced visibility making sniping extremely difficult.
The level designs are pretty good as the three maps we played offered plenty of paths for engagement including different levels as well. Stairs, pathways, hidden alleys, and more litter every map giving you the perfect opportunity to stay hidden for ambushing the attackers or simply taking out a troublesome Juggernaut. In certain game modes, a magnetic field also keeps moving around which is similar to exclusion zones in battle royale games as they mark the playable area. All players need to be inside this playable area or else they are damaged. This comes in handy to keep players on the move and not encourage camping as players do in certain shooters. This magnetic field is not present in all games but as far as I can remember, it was present in both of the Team Deathmatch games that I played during the preview playtest.
Coming to the main stars of VEILED EXPERTS, there are 9 Agents in the game however, during the playtest, I was able to try only 3 Agents. Each of these Agents comes with its own unique abilities and gear. The game calls skills Lepton so each Agent has three Lepton slots and one Signature Lepton that cannot be changed. For normal Lepton, you have three slots and a huge table to choose different skills from however there is a cost limit and each of the skills comes with a cost depending on how advanced this skill is. Your equipped Lepton has to be within this cost limit so depending on your choices, you might be using all three of the slots or just two slots if you run out of your cost limit. The signature Lepton cannot be changed for all Agents.
The Lepton are passive skills and they remain in the background and provide you with different buffs during matches. These range from health boosts, ammo boosts, and melee damage bonuses to other buffs that affect the overall stats of your chosen Agent. These standard skills are not tied to any Agent however, by default, each Agent comes with a default setup that is built from using the same skills found in the table. You can switch them around for custom builds and save up to three presets of each Agent. Apart from this, you can also customize the visual look of your Agents with different skins as well. The preview build that I played featured the same generic, gender-neutral skins for all Agents however this could change in the full release of the game and we might get some skins exclusive to one Agent.
I actually played with Kyle Miller who is a field medic and excels at supporting the team by quickly healing them and granting them more health after a revive. Yes, you can be revived if you are downed by your teammates and you can shoot at enemies using your pistol as well if you are downed. Apart from Kyle, I also tried Luna who has a cool signature ability to eat a corn dog that grants her a health boost. The final character that I tried was Soy Cha who is a recon player and she excels at finding out where the enemies are. Each of the characters felt unique with their signature skills but you can equip their standard Lepton to any other character as well. Apart from the Signature Lepton, the characters do not have any unique attributes like smaller Agents gaining faster movement but taking more damage and heavier Agents having slow movement while being bullet sponges. I have mostly played support characters in shooters so naturally, I felt at home with Kyle Miller since he is a supporting character as well and can easily heal teammates.
VEILED EXPERTS excels at movement because it gives you the freedom that very few tactical shooters out there give you. You can parkour over obstacles and climb over tall structures and objects to gain a tactical advantage over the opposing team. There are also zip lines placed in Overall, the movement of all of the Heroes feels alike and there is no difference as of now between their speed and agility. This is the same for all Agents and the only difference that comes after this is your own skill level with shooters. Holding down the space bar also allows you to jump gaps and perform long jumps while running. You can also roll around with shift as it allows you to quickly roll behind cover or just randomly allow you to dodge incoming fire.
The UI of VEILED EXPERTS is pretty neat with all of the basics that you would normally expect to see in an online tactical shooter. On the lower right side of the screen, you have your personal information such as your equipped weapons in all slots including your tactical gear and items that you may have purchased from the in-game shop. In the middle-bottom of the screen, you will find your health and armor plates if you have any equipped. The colors are not too vibrant and distracting and do not hinder your view too much as well. The lower-left side has chat while the rotating mini-map is found on the top-left corner of the UI. The mini-map shows your location, your teammates, scanned enemies, and other important points on the map as well.
The top of the screen shows your squad, the enemy squad, total scores, or timers depending on the game mode you are currently playing. While playing the game, different other helping icons appear as needed in their respective places as well such as blood appearing in the direction from where you are getting attacked and if you are down, you will start seeing icons to self-heal yourself. In location-based missions, the key points will be shown on the screen as well. When you shoot and the damage of your bullets on the enemies, it will show the damage done along with the enemy’s health as well. Overall, the UI is really neat and tucks to the edges of the screen to give you a clear screen to see all of the action and kill the opposition without anything hindering your view.
One of the best features that we were introduced to during our preview playtest was that you can actually draw a path on the mini-map to coordinate movement with your team members. While the game comes with a ping system where you can ping your teammates about enemy locations, and movement plans but drawing an actual path on the mini-map takes this coordination to the next level. There is full voice chat in the game however if you lack a mic and cannot communicate with your team members, you can use the in-game ping system and mini-map drawings to inform the others of your strategy or any other important commands. All of this is incorporated in the UI of the game, and you can expand the mini-map by just pressing a button and then drawing the path.
The preview playtest of VEILED EXPERTS surely felt short because it seems to be a solid tactical shooter and I wanted to play more of it. I cannot wait to jump into the full game when it launches later this year, and I am curious to see how the developer leads the final development of the title and what features are further added to the game. So far, VEILED EXPERTS felt like a complete game with limited access. There were no network issues or technical problems that I faced on my end during the playtest. The game ran on steady frames on a decent 1080P system and I am sure that more powerful machines will have no problems running it on maximum visual settings.
If you are looking forward to playing VEILED EXPERTS, NEXON is aiming for a final beta test sometime in March 2023, so you can look forward to it since it will be open to all players around the world. I came out extremely impressed by VEILED EXPERTS preview playtest and I have been playing a lot of shooters my entire life. The magnetic field feels like a good addition to the game to prevent players from camping and allow players to explore the map properly instead of just roaming around in the same area. VEILED EXPERTS seems to be combining the tactical shooter mechanics of Rainbow Six Siege with that of open-world battle royale titles such as Apex Legends and I am really digging the end product that it is shaping up to be. VEILED EXPERTS is slated for a 2023 release and I am sure that the final release of the game will offer even more fun than it did in its current form.