Riot Games has spent a long time staying in its lane.
The huge and rich company rarely concerned itself with the outside world, creating League of Legends with such dabbling in Teamfight Tactics — that is, until last year.
Riot dipped its toe into the realm of CCGs via Legends of Runeterra and touted Project A – a working title for the game we now recognize as Valorant – as a planned catapult into the pool of competitive FPS.
Valorant is best characterized by games that came before it.
Valorant is stealing from two of the most successful games in this sector by combining the competitive concept of Counter-Strike with the avatars of Overwatch.
There was little question in my opinion that the game would be at least terrific – if not amazing.
Valorant is an FPS hero shooter, where each hero you play commands various powers, has different personalities and has a distinct visual style — in other words, they’re genuine characters. Each ‘agent’ has the same weapons selection as the others — a key differentiator from Overwatch – but with additional smokes, grenades, or other tactical gear that is specific to them.
These skills are considerably easier to learn than in CS GO. Omen, Jett, Brimstone, Cypher, and Viper all have smoked, such as spheres of wisps.
Their colours, distribution techniques, and indirect impacts may change slightly, but their fundamental goal is the same: obscuring opponent vision so you may manoeuvre more freely, possibly opening up a flank or gaining dominance over an area.
Other skills shared by Phoenix and Viper include the ability to release smoke in a line, and Phoenix, Brimstone, and Viper all command comparable powers to distribute damage across an area, akin to CS: molotovs.
Although each agent has some genuinely distinct skills – ultimates being the greatest example — it will take you far less time to gain a sense of the overall playing field in Valorant than it will in Rainbow Six: Siege, Overwatch, or Crucible.
Having said that, it’s clear that these characters look a lot like Overwatch in terms of design.
You’ll Need Much Less Time To Get Used To Valorant
If you’re acquainted with CS: GO, I’ve heard that Valorant is a fantastic extension on mechanics you’re already familiar with.
Player abilities, in particular, distinguish Valorant sufficiently to allow you to appreciate it and CS: GO as unique things.
Valorant presently has four maps in play, and the creators revealed to me that with each, they hope to raise a question or provide a distinct feature.
Split has vertical ropes, Haven has an additional bomb site, Bind has teleporters, and Ascent has windows and doors.
These components vary the field of play sufficiently to provide a unique experience with each location, and Riot deserves credit for their accomplishment.
Riot deserves another one on the shoulder for including two different modes in the complete game.
The beta only included the basic CS: GO-inspired game, in which teams compete to plant or defuse a ‘spike’ or remove the opponents, with the first team reaching 13 victories winning the match.
That’s a significant time commitment — I’d estimate that matches last about 40 minutes on average.
Riot has introduced Spike Rush to the complete release, which means that everyone on the assaulting team has a spike, everybody has the same weapon and all their abilities, and the battlefield is studded with orbs that provide benefits like as a stronger gun, a damage multiplier, and more. It’s short, enjoyable, and a wonderful way to either build up for the main event or simply enjoy Valorant without feeling rushed.
Skins In Valorant Can Cost You A Lot
However, if you want to appear cool in Valorant, you will have to spend a lot of money.
To earn a profit, free-to-play games often offer cosmetics, as is the case with Valorant.
There are no surprise mechanisms in Valorant – no gambling on opening the box to receive the skin you desire as in Overwatch – but it does mean that skins in Valorant are expensive.
A full set of one skin type, such as the Sovereign pack, costs 7100 Valorant points and includes four gun skins, a knife skin, and a few bonuses.
Furthermore, after you get skin, you may spend Radianite points to gain VFX effects and skin variants.
Maybe you want your weapon to reload in a cool fashion, maybe you want your enemies to perish in a swirl of flashing lights every time you take them out.
Valorant points may be used to purchase Radianite points, with the top-tier pack valuing 80 Radianite points to 4,800 Valorant points.
Valorant Is A Great Game
Riot oddly promoted Valorant, if you recall.
Whereas most games’ advertising campaigns focus on individual personalities, beautiful locations, or action-packed gameplay, Riot adopted a different strategy.
Much of its marketing positioned it as the answer to very specific problems in the competitive FPS niche, such as eliminating the peeker’s edge, increasing hit registration, providing dedicated servers, and comprehensive anti-cheat.
Not to mention that the game is deliberately built to be playable on low-end or outdated PCs.
However, the expense of Riot’s greatest anti-cheat efforts is that when you play Valorant, you must download and utilize Riot Vanguard.
If you listen carefully, you can hear the internet booing: screams about it being intrusive, and moaning about it being terrible in general.
Vanguard is intrusive, not just in the sense that it digs deep into personal data, but also in the sense that it wreaks havoc on your computer as a whole.
People complaining a lot about PCs freezing & crashing after installing Valorant.
But if you desire Valorant, you should be aware that Vanguard is a disadvantage.
Riot, on the other hand, is working on these technical difficulties and has recognized and sought to address any significant complaints, bugs, and issues identified by the fandom.
Map modifications, visual tweaks, and balancing all happened at a breakneck rate, even throughout the beta.
Riot is truly taking the time to listen to and act on player feedback, which has enhanced the game day by day, and it appears that Riot will continue to do so until everyone is satisfied with where the game is.
Although the modifications might be perplexing at times, they are welcome and set a good example for other developers in terms of reacting to player feedback.
Overall, Valorant has been a huge success.
Riot has done an excellent job of integrating features from previous games to create what will most certainly be one of the most popular esports titles shortly.
Many will remember it fondly as the game that got people into multiplayer games, the platform that they recall during the shutdown era, or their go-to competitive shooter for generations to follow — after all, Counter-Strike is still holding strong after more than 20 years.
Valorant isn’t the most innovative game of 2020, but it does have a lot of styles and the ability to last a long time.