And you thought the talk about “League of Legends” was bad?
Riot Games is back for its first new game offering since the release of “LoL” 11 years ago. “Valorant” is set to hit the market at some point this summer, and it’s already setting records.
The objective-based first-person shooter is giving PC gamers an alternative to the frenetic and energetic play of “Overwatch” while still offering a fair amount of strategy, teamwork and coordination.
With the beta going live on Tuesday, there has been a fair amount of buzz about the game. Here’s what you need to know about, what could be, a game changer in esports:
What is ‘Valorant’?
“Valorant” is a 5-on-5 online multiplayer first-person shooter developed by the makers of “League of Legends.” It’s the company’s first foray into the FPS arena.
The concept is simple: Using one of several “Agents” to play as, one team attacks and the other defends. The attacking team must plant a bomb (known as the “Spike”) in one of two points in the defending team’s territory.
Each round ends one of three ways:
- The spike is planted/detonated.
- One team kills all five members of the other team.
- The spike is defused.
The games are best of 25. Each round lasts 100 seconds, but can end before should all the members of a team be eliminated.
Before the start of each round, there’s a 30-second prep phase during which you can purchase weapons and arrange your loadout accordingly. Some of the things you can buy include weapons, armor and abilities.
The art style appears similar to “Overwatch,” the absurdly popular 2016 game from Activision-Blizzard. Though, the game doesn’t seem to play as frantically as “Overwatch” does, at least from early streams and indications. The game appears to play a little bit slower and a little more twitchy than “Overwatch” as well.
The twitchy nature of the game is going to also draw similarities to the “Counterstrike” games, a PC series known for its immense popularity through the early part of the 2000s.
Some similarities can also be drawn to “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege,” though the tactical realism of that game isn’t overtly apparent through early videos (though it appears that some agents share similar abilities to characters from “Rainbow Six”).
Is ‘Valorant’ coming to PS4 and Xbox?
As of now, “Valorant” is strictly set to launch on Windows, which stinks for console gamers. (We like good games, too, folks).
For those not part of the PC gaming cult, there’s good news: Riot Games hasn’t ruled out an eventual port to console, which is only smart business, after all.
“Our focus right now is on PC,” lead game designer Trevor Romleski said via Twitch streamer TimTheTatman. “We’re open to exploring new opportunities for other platforms, but for the time being what our current focus is on the PC platform.”
There are currently 10 known agents in the game, though the field will certainly expand both as the game is released and in the years or seasons that follow.
Each Agent has one ability which can be used at any point during the round. Each Agent also has two more abilities that you can choose to purchase during the buy prep period, as you would weapons or armor.
Each character also has an ultimate (a la “Overwatch”), which charges as you get kills in a game. You can also pick up orbs to charge your ultimate.
As with most FPS games, there are also four classes to choose from: Duelists, Sentinels, Initiators and Controllers.
To view a comprehensive list of known agents, abilities and classes, click here.
The “Valorant” beta went live on Tuesday, April 7. In order to play it, there are a few steps to take — and a lot of luck to break your way.
To learn more about the beta, click here.
‘Valorant’ release date
“Valorant” doesn’t have a specific release date at the moment, but should be hitting PC this summer. The likely window is between July and September.