Veiled Experts is a new 5v5 shooter in the vein of Rogue Company. It’s a fast-paced team game where you’ll need to work together to complete objectives and defeat the opposing team. I was recently invited to take part in a hands-on multiplayer session with developer Nexon, and came away mostly impressed with what I saw.
There are 10 playable agents in Veiled Experts, each with a unique signature move. McQueen, for example, is a DJ when she’s not killing people for money, and can use her playlist to temporarily buff various stats. Soy, on the other hand, gets a boost from eating a Korean chilli dog. I mean, I don’t get it either, but it works.
Once you’ve picked an Agent (by entering into a “contract”) you’re deployed into a dynamic map and set against the other team in games of deathmatch, survival, bomb disposal, and retrieval. Certain conditions can change the map in extreme ways, such as harsh weather, sandstorms, or explosions that open up new areas. Most of the environments have destructible elements, too, so cover is never guaranteed. The successful team will need to use the ping system and call-outs to navigate the battlefield.
Similar to Rogue Company, you’ll earn money each round to spend on new weapons, mods, and upgrades. Extra money can be poured into a team bank that increases your overall effectiveness by raising your team’s level, which encourages you to work together. While you can revive yourself in a deathmatch if you’re quick enough to crawl to cover, in other modes you’re depending on your teammates to get you back on your feet, or cover you. During certain modes you’ll be up against a moving Magnetic Field. This is like the Fortnite storm in a way, only instead of being a shrinking safe zone it instead moves around forcing you to stay within it to survive. It’s a cool twist on a genre staple, and adds some dynamism to each engagement.
Veiled Experts is not without a sense of style, from the colourful character designs to the brutal takedown kills, but there’s something about it that feels like we’ve been here before. The characters – at least in the preview build – all unlock the same outfits, and aside from the signature moves don’t feel or control any differently. There’s no big heavy unit, for example, and everyone can get any weapon either from the store or by looting the dead.
This isn’t to say that Veiled Experts doesn’t have a few tricks up its sleeve. It feels fast and fluid, the maps are interesting and just the right size to allow a little tactical freedom while still keeping everyone in fairly close quarters. There’s also a verticality to it all as everyone can parkour up and over obstacles to reach vantage points or zip lines. Again though, every Agent can do this and so you get the sense that every character is the same only with a different skin.
Objectives are clearly marked and the map layouts that I saw were pretty intuitive in terms of funneling you where you need to be. One set on a city street allows you to enter buildings for cover, and explode parked vehicles for high damage. Another on a farm has working machinery, such as a tractor. You can’t drive it, but you can turn it on and use it as moving cover, which is quite cool. Guns feel decent for the most part. I didn’t try them all, but rifles seemed to be the most effective. SMGs and assault rifles suffer some pretty extreme recoil until you upgrade them and accuracy suffers heavily over distance.
These days, the online squad shooter genre is a densely saturated arena. Standing out among the crowd is tough, but Veiled Experts had plenty going for it where the gunplay and level design is concerned. I haven’t played as every agent for long enough to really pick a favourite, but the quirkiness of McQueen’s iPad playlist is enough to lodge her in my memory above the others. Time will tell if it can do enough to stick the landing, but Veiled Experts is starting off with the right boxes ticked.
Veiled Experts is developed and published by Nexon Games. It is set to release into early access on PC in 2023.