Over the past year, Riot Games seem to be determined to prove that they’re no one-trick pony, with multiple games seeing release. Although none of these games are MOBAs, until recently, most of them have been tie-in products to their main breadwinner, League of Legends.
Now, for the first time in over a decade, Riot Games are releasing a brand-new intellectual property. It’s safe to say that the internet is going absolutely crazy. Formerly known as Project A, Valorant is a character shooter which combines the character class system of Overwatch and Team Fortress with the skill-based shooting mechanics of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The game isn’t yet available to the public at large, but early impressions from the closed beta have already got people proclaiming it to be the next big first person shooter and the game to dethrone Overwatch and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Of course, we won’t know everything until Valorant finally goes gold and we can all get our hands on the game, but here we’ve compiled a list of everything we know so far.
How the Main Gameplay Works
The primary game mode works like your classic “Bomb Mission” from Counter-Strike. One team is designated the Attackers and the other is the Defenders The Attackers place the Spike (Valorant’s equivalent to the Bomb in Counter-Strike) somewhere on the map and the Defenders are tasked with locating and defusing the Spike before its timer runs out. If the Spike goes off, the Attackers win the round. Matches consist of up to 25 rounds with the teams switching roles after 12 rounds. The first team to win 13 rounds is the victor. Boosting in Valorant is also available from different providers.
Agents are what Valorant calls its different classes. The primary shooting mechanics are identical for all Agents, but every Agent has their own unique set of 4 abilities that offer specialized utility for different situations. Each Agent’s role is determined by their skillset, and players will have to adjust their play style to match their function in the team.
One important thing to note is that a team cannot have two of the same Agent in their lineup. Players are also not allowed to change their selection after the match begins, so the Agent you’ve picked before the game starts is the one that you’re going to have to stick with until the match is over.
Players Buy Weapons and Skills at the Start of Each Round
Just like in Counter-Strike, players are given some time at the start of each round to purchase their weapons. The credits you earn in the previous rounds carry over to the next, and you can use these credits to purchase weapons in preparation for the upcoming firefight.
Each player starts the match with 800 credits and items cost anywhere from 200 to 4,500 credits to purchase. Planting or defusing the Spike earns you 300 credits, each kill nets you 200 credits, and a round win gives you a whopping 3,000 credits. You can purchase weapons for teammates during the Buy Phase and it goes directly into their inventory.
You begin each game with one of your abilities unlocked but two of your Agent’s abilities must be purchased from the Buy Menu, much like you’d purchase grenades in Counter-Strike. Your ultimate is unlocked by collecting Ultimate Points.
There are various ways to earn Ultimate Points: you get 1 Ultimate Point for every kill you get, defusing or planting the Spike, or collecting Ult Spheres. There are 2 Ult Spheres that spawn at certain locations on the map at the start of each round; using the Use button on an Ult Sphere allows you to pick it up. Crucially, Ult Spheres require you hold down the Use button which causes your player to become immobile for a short period of time, making you vulnerable to attacks.
You can press Tab during a round to see how much money each player has, including members of the opposition team, giving you vital information to plan future purchases around.
Rounds are 90 Seconds Long
After the Buy Phase, the round begins. You have 1 minute and 30 seconds to kill other players and complete your objective. It might not sound like much, but that 90 seconds is guaranteed to be an intense bloodbath full of explosions, high-flying acrobatics, and heart-pounding gunfights. Dying means you lose your weapon and it’s dropped to the ground and other players can pick it up. A round ends after a team has completed its objective, all members of a team have been eliminated, or the timer runs out.
Once a round is over, any surviving players have exactly 6 seconds to pick up any dropped weapons before the preparation phase for the next round begins.
It’s vital to understand that, although the main mechanics in Valorant should be very familiar to fans of Overwatch and Counter-Strike, in practice, it’s an entirely different beast. Each weapon has its own specific recoil pattern that players must learn and the movement is brisk and very vertical, with most Agents being able to hop, teleport, and fly through the map at breakneck speeds.
Luckily, Valorant comes with one of the best in-game training modes we’ve seen. The excellent Practice Mode offers several training options to help new players become accustomed to the game’s shooting and navigation mechanics. Veterans can also jump into Practice Mode to warm up before a match or complete various challenges to prove their mastery.
Not all Agents are available from the get-go. You unlock new Agents by gaining experience points earned by playing matches. Experience points don’t accumulate; you must select the Agent you want to unlock in the main menu and any future experience points you earn are automatically put into unlocking that Agent.
As you gain experience points, you gain access to up to 10 tiers of unlockable items relating to the chosen Agent. The first 4 tiers contain Calling Cards (avatars) and Titles that you can equip onto your profile. The Agent only becomes usable once you’ve unlocked the 5th and final tier. Tiers 6-10 contain sprays, Gun Buddies (charms that hang from your weapon), and unique gun skins.
As of now, Tier 6 and up are locked away in a section titled “Chapter 2”, implying that Valorant will implement some sort of Season system in the future.
Valorant is still in beta so none of the things we’ve seen in gameplay videos or streams is set in stone. What we do know is that Valorant is shaping up to be a very promising new contender in what is a crowded pool of competitive shooters. Whether it can stand toe-to-toe with Overwatch and Counter-Strike Global Offensive remains to be seen, but Riot are on track to have yet another major hit on their hands.
Are you liking what you’ve seen so far from Valorant? What features do you hope will make it into the final release? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
If you enjoy games and gaming and want more NEWS from the Gaming World Click Here