After several overt hints surfaced last week about Riot Games’ Project A, the League of Legends developer has officially unveiled the game as Valorant.
Earlier today, the dormant @PlayVALORANT Twitter handle sprung to life with new promotional assets and a teaser trailer announcing that Valorant releases this Summer.
The official Valorant website followed suit, offering further details about the 5v5 character-based tactical shooter. In parallel, major gaming publications authored previews after a brief stint at Riot’s Los Angeles HQ testing out the game.
Although we are a few months out from release, Valorant already looks promising. From early impressions from a former professional lauding it as the best game since Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to Riot’s lofty ambitions, the scene is set for Valorant to make quite a splash.
While PR-vetted platitudes are all well and good, today’s information dump hints at what lengths Riot is going to in its quest to secure Valorant a spot among competitive FPS royalty.
Riot is promising;
128-tick servers, at least 30 frames per second on most min-spec computers (even dating back a decade), 60 to 144 FPS on modern gaming rigs, a global spread of datacenters aimed at <35ms for players in major cities around the world, a netcode we’ve been obsessing over for years, and a commitment to anti-cheat from day one.
The high-tick servers themselves are an expensive undertaking, but this is an investment Riot is willing to make to ensure the game is ultra responsive. Alongside, Riot has announced a deal with major ISPs across the globe to implement a service dubbed Riot Direct that secures a more direct route between the player and servers.
Then there are Riot’s accessibility efforts. As it stands, a large swathe of PCs will be able to run Valorant. It’s an ethos instilled in Riot’s flagship League of Legends and one that ensures the popular MOBA retains millions of monthly players nearly a decade after launch.
These may be yawn-inducing features, but they show that Riot is eager to get the basics right.
Riot also released a gameplay preview that offers a few select moments from a full 24-round game.
While it’s difficult to form an opinion based on a video, Valorant seems a tense, but fun affair. The preview hints at a sophisticated balance of precise, lethal shooting and character abilities that encourage creativity.
We won’t beat around the bush – it’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with Overwatch’s character abilities thrown in. But, it’s done with enough reverence for both titles that Valorant is its own thing entirely.
Few would argue that Valorant doesn’t look promising. The only real criticism that we can level at the game is that it currently sports a bland aesthetic and lacks character. But this may not be a bad thing.
Riot Games appear to be favoring gameplay quality and balance over anything else. As players pour countless hours into a competitive multiplayer game, the visuals become an accepted norm of little concern. Take Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – by no means is it a looker, but it remains a staple of the eSports scene despite approaching its eighth anniversary.
Then again, Overwatch can attribute much of its success to expansive lore building and a vibrant cast of characters. If Riot Games nails Valorant’s gameplay and then imports its League of Legends-know-how to flesh out the world, we’ll soon forget this perceived blandness.
This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth for CCN.com. If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or Rights and Duties of the Editor, or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us and we will look at it as soon as possible.