Valorant Impressions: It has everything to be great
From March 27 to 29 we have been able to test for a good hour, Valorant, the FPS that Riot Games is developing, in its beta version. It is a game that may not arrive to revolutionize its genre, but it has few cracks, doing almost everything well. Accurate, reliable, with a great level design, balanced and with interesting game mechanics. The latest from Riot Games takes from here and there and brings it all together in a unique game of which we only have good things to say.
Valorant hits the mark
Valorant is fully correct. Riot Games FPS is already a good game, even in this unfinished version. The influencers and players who have been able to prove it have said that it was already playable. And if that wasn’t enough, Riot has spent time solving problems and working on details ever since, and it shows. Valorant is simple, effective, and enjoyable.
I will leave you with this bombshell: #ProjectA is the best game I have played since CS: GO.
HenryG (@HenryGcsgo) February 11, 2020
In this shooting game, the graphics are cartoon style, and we embody an agent – choosing from the 10 available at launch – who can use the same weapons as his allies and enemies, but has 4 abilities of his own. These capabilities are different in each case and give the game an extra level of depth, assumed as a greater variety.
We found the classic achetypes, with abilities to try to block the vision with smoke bombs, smoke clouds, or shadow covers. Then there are skills that block access without obstructing vision, such as a Molotov, a slowdown zone, or a pool of poison. To finish with the ‘classic effects’ we can also find abilities to blind the enemy or eliminate the vision from the opponent’s map. There are also less common abilities in classic FPS like teleportation, walls, jumps, heals, attacks on inmates … There are tons of possibilities and variations.
Armed with your skill kit and weapons, you must – when attacking – color a spike a type of explosive charge and prevent the opposing team from deactivating it, in games that can last up to 24 rounds. Halfway through the game, sides are changed and roles are reversed. The first team that gets 13 points wins.
A round is divided into two or three phases. The first lasts 45 seconds and during this period the teams cannot exchange shots, since they are separated. It is a preparation phase in which the two teams place their ‘half’ of the map to their liking, limited by temporary walls. These 45 seconds allow you to spend your money on weapons and abilities, establish a strategy and use the first abilities of certain agents, such as Cypher, for example, who can place a camera and traps to detect the passage of an enemy.
At the end of these 45 seconds the walls that separate the two teams disappear.
Thereafter, teams can take that middle zone, using each corner to protect themselves from possible rival assault, whether they are attacking or defending. This will be the area in which the first duels take place.
The maps, poor in terms of decoration that serves as a parapet, forces attackers to progress carefully, in addition to synchronizing before beginning their final offensive. The maps, very well done, offer many reference points where the player can be vulnerable from various points. This makes it impossible to be aware of what awaits us in each and every one of the angles, being necessary to block or hide some of them, or to advance as a team and distribute the ‘cleanliness’ of the area.
But before cleaning an area to place the spike it may be necessary, depending on the composition of the allied or rival team, to weaken the enemy positions. We talk about ‘control of the map’, literally what its name says, that the players will want to control, contesting it in a duel in which the skill prevails. If attackers win, they weaken less-defended enemy planted positions, and make taking one of those positions less risky. If these duels are lost, the assault on enemy positions should be even more effective. Attackers must quickly eliminate defenders and place the spike before reinforcements arrive.
All this takes place in a very short time, 1 minute and 40 seconds, which is the time that attackers have to start the spike. If they are unable to do so, or if they do not eliminate the defending team in the allotted time, these last few win the round. Once the spike is planted, the defenders have 45 seconds to deactivate it before it explodes and the attackers will temporarily become defenders of the point they are trying to detonate.
Valorant has many points in communication with other FPS from the last few years, and even from the last few days. It turns out that these similarities don’t stop at that, and Valorant borrows a lot from his gender peers.
Do you get inspiration from the best to be the best?
The duration of the rounds, the preparation time before combat, the bombs to be placed and deactivated, the ping system, the economic model, the style of the maps, the graphic aspect, the skills of the agents … Valorant has many sources of inspiration. Some are obvious, others not so much. In number one, we can mention CS: GO. Rainbow Six Siege, Apex Legends, Overwatch, Team Fortress 2, Destiny or Call of duty are also worth noting. All of this serves as a clear inspiration for Valorant.
With this FPS Riot has managed to form a melting pot of good ideas and things that work, all compressed into a single game. We all agree that the influence of Counter-Strike is clear. It feels and is even evident in the handling of weapons and the confrontations, but it is especially notable in the construction of the maps. The design of each level is very reminiscent of CS with closed maps, bottlenecks, key shooting lines, engagement zones, points to cover and a graphic section of the most refined.
Valorant does not want to be distracted by decorative elements. Aquu00ed the objective of eliminating the ‘visual contamination’ is even more remarkable than in Counter-Strike, and the maps are very clean, with even less elements than in CS, and where the confrontations are carried out to take the firing lines. While in many maps, both in the Valve game, as in Rainbow 6 or Call of Duty, they allow defenders to hide 90%, with only heads sticking out, in Valorant it is not something usual. Defenders often stay close to walls or obstacles to back out, with the opponent entering the line having as much coverage as the defender.
If we continue talking about ideas taken from other games, it will be up to you to talk about the Apex Legends ping system, and that everyone likes it. It is present in Valorant and enables smooth communication, particularly when players do not speak to each other, or do not know the name of the positions.
It is also important to be able to buy at any point we are during the preparation phase and to be able to resell any item purchased during this phase until it is finished. It is also possible, through the purchase menu, to inform teammates if you need a weapon, buy one for someone or even advise everyone to save.
To finish giving C sar what is C sar, Riot has done a great job in the shootings, making the bullets hit where your peephole is aimed. Between announcing a tickrate of 128 for all servers and their work to reduce latency in map rendering: if you shoot and you have to hit, hit.
Valorant is simple and enjoyable to play. It is clean, simple and attractive, as well as understandable, whether you play it or watch games.
The Polity of Scarcity
Access to the beta is gradually coming from the hand of Riot Games, as already happened with the beta of Teamfight tactics and Legends of Runeterra. Most likely, a good portion of the audience will have to content themselves with watching Valorant without being able to play it for several weeks. The objective is to continue generating expectation and a certain healthy envy to those who play it.
Valorant brings together many factors that make the game interesting to follow at all levels. Its basis is easy to understand. Two sides compete. If one eliminates the other, he wins. The countdown is at the top, there is a timer and a tracker of who is alive and who is dead. You just have to turn on a sports channel and see lots of disciplines more difficult to understand than an FPS, and above all that Valorant.
Following a game of Valorant will be very easy and, unlike League of Legends, where it is impossible to understand a confrontation without experience in the game, Valorant makes it easy. Their maps are simple, the agents recognizable, and the same tools are available for each side. Agents have a logical color code for their abilities, often related to their skin, and even when all abilities are used in a narrow area, everything remains intelligible.
Brimstone has dark smoke bubbles, Viper a dark green bubble and puddle, Sage has a light green wall and floor effect, and Cyper uses the color gray. Omen plays with the purple colors … And assuming we could continue, but Riot an has many colors to play with to keep Valorant an easily understandable game, unlike Overwatch, which may be more beautiful, but also more difficult to follow.
In Valorant the abilities will not be pretty, but rather could be said to be sober and refined. The same goes for maps. This readability should make the game noticeable to the viewer, while other games require concentration to understand it. In short, Valorant wants to win the heart of the gaming community, but also of the electronic sports scene.
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From professional players to kids with their normal mouse
Valorant has obvious qualities and enough storylines to target all types of players. Whether we are talking about a casual gamer or a CSGO purist, not to mention the FPS players. Everyone can love Valorant. By collecting the best details of lots of FPS from the last few years under one emblem, Valorant has the weapons to conquer much of the world. In addition, the relationship between Riot and Tencent in Asia could also ensure that the last member of the Riot family finds a place in an unexplored market for Valve’s Counter-Strike.
Riot Games is also doing its best to keep players with older equipment at a disadvantage, as Valorant has very low requirements that can run on a really basic processor and graphics card. It is only more demanding with RAM, asking for 6 GB. With these arguments, it is placed in the range of CSGO and R6, also accessible for less powerful machines. However, there are many competitors who stay on the road, being more demanding in technical terms.
The precision of the shots, the tactical and economic dimension, the balance of the weapons and the way of building the maps should be a delight for professional players and great amateurs around the world. In a game as refined as Valorant, the difference will be game knowledge, intelligence on the battlefield, instinct, reflexes, and precision.
Valorant promises to be interesting even for professional gamers who migrate from other games, as the title offers a wide variety of alternatives and tactical depth. Valorant will have little to envy of its rivals, and may even compel the competition to go further, for example, by having Valve bet on the 128 ticks, making the FPS step forward. Riot Games has done its homework and is ready to compete in this genre.
Valorant also does everything possible to be accessible from the lowest level and for the youngest age with a system of pings, a theme away from terrorism, looking closer to cartoons and with a futuristic tone …
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is Valorant’s most lucological direct competitor, but it can discourage newbies with smurfs, cheating, their difficulty communicating with the team, plus many details of the maps and the economy, or because of the duration of some of their games. Overwatch is already on the downhill, Call of Duty doesn’t dominate as much as before, and Rainbow 6 is too complicated for a novice to follow. Riot Games FPS wants to offer a more informal approach for all its players.
All the more complex aspects of the games that have inspired the last baby of the League of Legends parents are no longer a problem in Valorant, even if you are not good at aiming or you have bad reflexes. Valorant seems to have something for you, and perhaps the best thing about this title is the ability of Riot Games to create competitive games that players want to invest in. We will see how the game evolves, but with part of the cards on the table, it seems that they have a winning move.