A day with Valorant: an FPS game from the creators of League of Legends - the first impressions, the biggest pros and cons

Today was Valorant: the online shooter of Riot Games. This is the first FPS of the creators of League of Legends, but their plans are ambitious: sweep the CS: GO and Overwatch market, preferably in one go. Feel that the title has enormous potential.

After playing dozens of rounds in Valorant I have no doubt: Riot Games goes for the cash, which is currently in the pockets of CS: GO and Overwatch publishers. League of Legends creators mix tactical bomb planting with special skills and powerful ultimate abilities. A game with a strange identity comes out of it, which is difficult to tear off at first. What did I like the most? What didn't you like? Here are my first impressions:

[+] You can feel like e-sport stars. CS: GO style binding is the foundation of Valorant.

Each session with Valorant is a 5v5 game with a change of attacking and defending side. There are a minimum of 13 rounds to be played. In practice, much more. The first team with 13 wins on their account goes away in glory, and results in the style of 13 to 12 are on the agenda here. I've always been out of my way with CS: GO, so Valorant introduced me to such tournaments. After all, playing Battlefield, Apex or Call of Duty there are no rounds.

I have to admit that I like the longer games divided into rounds. As a tournament format rookie, I am delighted with how much emotion and twists this system can offer. Here is the team losing 5 to 12 returns like a phoenix from the ashes, reaching the match 12 to 12. But the tension is then in the final round! How much adrenaline! When traveling across large, beautiful and open fields from Battlefield V, you can't feel anything like that.

[-] You need time for Valorant. A lot of time.

A side effect of the tournament system is the length of one session in front of the screen. Assuming a balanced fight between both teams, one game (until the winners are selected) lasts on average 40 - 50 minutes. This is a diametrical difference for someone used to network FPS operating on the principle of hop-on hop-off. The gameplay in Valorant is very different from a typical round in Modern Warfare or Overwatch.

Valorant voraciously absorbs your time and your attention. Production has a lot of requirements for the player. Your comrades-in-arms too. This is definitely not a title to sit down for a quarter or a half hour. You have to remember that. Parents should also be aware of this. A real free time eater is coming.

[+] Special skills are mainly defensive, reconnaissance and support.

I wondered if Riot Games would fly away in fantasy, designing unique skills. Reality turned out to be much less showy than in Overwatch or Paladins. At Valorant, we don't see flying dragons or exploding robots. Sure, special skills significantly stand out from the ordinary giwery, but the producers clearly toned their drive. Skills are very important, but the result of the classic fire exchange is even more important.

Most of the skills of unique heroes are indirect tactical skills, not direct tools of destruction. Here we have sonars that reveal the location of enemies, reconnaissance drones, slowing puddles, gas clouds deteriorating visibility, energy walls blocking passages, healing ampoules or teleporters for a short distance. Sure, from time to time there will also be an air raid or an energy arrow penetrating the walls, but the vast majority of skills are tactical.

[+] Valorant is an absolute tactical shooter.

Thanks to the abovementioned shift of the skill slider towards reconnaissance, support and defense, Valorant does not lose the spirit of the tactical shooter. After several dozen rounds played, I have the impression that Riot Games production is still closer to CS: GO than to Overwatch. Skills are important, but the key to victory is the gigantic precision of firing, reaction time, cooperation, teamwork and knowledge of the map.

Death in Valorant eagerly extends his bony paws to the players. The time to kill value - the time it takes to kill the enemy with accurate arrows - is shockingly low. Two - three automatic rifle bullets finish the job. Even one if you hit the head. That is why playing at the heart of the game is angles. Gaining the advantage of terrain. Framing the frames with crosshairs. This is a game for the pros. There is no doubt about that.

[-] Heroes I don't like and colorful setting.

The hero / champion / legend project is very important in the hero shooter sub-genre. Giving them a distinct character and a unique personality. Players have to kill for unique skins or dialogue lines. This is perfectly understood, for example, by Blizzard with his Overwatch. In turn, the heroes in Valorant ... uhh, no. Simply do not. They are clichéd. Trite. Type. Painfully promoted. It's boring. They are not flesh and blood characters. They are archetypes. Templates drawn from drawers of tired writers and designers.

It is also a pity that we are dealing with another very visually simple, without details, slightly colored graphics. It is a common practice to reduce the minimum hardware requirements. I understand that Riot Games does not want to turn their backs on their fans playing League of Legends on communion laptops, but it's a shame that Valorant doesn't look a little bit more favorable. Rainbow Six Siege has proven that a tactical shooter doesn't have to be ugly or visually simple.

Will it be a hit? There will be no hit?

At the moment I am very positively surprised. Although I am not in the obvious target group of a game like Valorant, I am having fun with it. Although I would happily exchange childish and annoying heroes for tough guys in uniforms of real special services, but I understand the laws of the market and the strategy of Riot Games. There are supposed to be seasons, there should be skins, there will be key rings for weapons and varnish for knives.

The creators of League of Legends are holding something that can turn into a gigantic box office hit. In the next next big thing Free2Play scene. However, the competition is not sleeping. The gaming industry is tighter than ever before, and players have plenty of great free FPS at their disposal. Valorant must be more than just a CS: GO and Overwatch remix. A long and difficult road before the game. However, I have no illusions that Riot Games is already trying to fight for the largest part of the cake lying on the table. Many powerful publishers will not like it very much.

A day with Valorant: an FPS game from the creators of League of Legends - first impressions, biggest pros and cons


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