Riot Games, the studio behind games like League of Legends and Legends of Runeterra, has decided it was time to move away from MOBA and card games to dip their feet in the first-person shooter genre. They decided first-person team-based shooters like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Overwatch were monopolizing that side of eSports too long. However, instead of coming up with its own original game, Riot decided to take the best of both CS: GO and Overwatch and marry both concepts into an almost-excellent love child to the genre.
Valorant hooks players the moment they start with many plays putting hundreds of hours in the beta before the game was officially released. They were enamored by the ultra-familiar gunplay of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and objective-based rounds of taking turns to attack and defend while having unique powers and abilities.
Don’t let the fact that players have almost-superpowered combat abilities make gamers think they can take a beating. It’s not like Overwatch, where players can risk taking a couple of direct shots to the head; one bullet in Valorant can end an entire career, as they say. Fortunately, players earn points by dying (which shouldn’t encourage players to do so) to spend between rounds to use on resources.
The game’s graphics may put some people off at first, but that’s what a lot of people thought about Overwatch when they first saw it. It’s not a hyper photorealistic game, but its art style takes a backseat to the immersive gameplay. The particle effects themselves fall a bit flat, but players will be too distracted by the on-the-fly gameplay that the minimalist graphics will eventually grow on them.
Unfortunately, in order to keep the servers relatively low-latency, the servers are region-locked. That means players in the UK won’t be able to play with those in North America unless they find some workaround someday.Also, the word “free-to-play” brings a certain sweat down a player’s neck, wondering how a game’s microtransaction plays out. Fortunately, players won’t have access to anything that will improve their gameplay. Everything on Valorant’s cash shop are cosmetic items. Players can also unlock the other Agents (the characters) in Valorant by purchasing Valorant points to have immediate access to them. However, those who don’t want to drop a dime on the game can unlock the Agents themselves through gameplay alone.
However, players can drip themselves in cosmetics all they want, but if they’re not good at shooting, then they’ll be a beautiful liability to their team. There are almost twenty weapons in the game, and each one has different levels of recoil. This makes it difficult for players to score a headshot when they’re panicking and unloading an entire clip into an enemy only to hit everything around them instead of the enemy player themselves.
Valorant is a first-person team-based shooter players will have to try for themselves to see if this fast-paced marriage of concepts is something worth trying. However, Valorant has more than earned its place in the ranks of the team-based shooters.
Release Date: June 2, 2020
Developer: Riot Games
Credit: B. Michael Logan
“B. Michael Logan is a medical professional who moonlights as a freelance writer. When he’s not helping save lives he’s taking them in video games.”