BY Jesse de Anda
With a combination of “Counter Strike” and “Overwatch” style gameplay “Valorant,”while in beta, brings a breath of fresh air to a dominated market.
“Valorant” is a character based, five-versus-five first-person-shooter developed by Riot Games.
The game’s website states that it focuses on two main aspects, precise gunplay and creativity.
“Valorant” includes 10 agents and 17 guns to choose from.
The game currently only has three maps Bind, Haven and Split.
The gameplay is simple. Every game has two teams with five players on each side.
Both teams will either be assigned as attackers or defenders at the start.
Attackers have to plant a bomb and prevent the opposite team from defusing.
Defenders have to prevent the bomb plant and defuse it. Teams will switch roles every 12 rounds.
The first team to win 13 rounds wins the game.
Gunplay is the core to success in “Valorant.”
In “Valorant” there is a gun store that provides 17 guns to buy, with the player having to use in game credits to purchase.
There are six categories of guns to buy from. Sidearms, sub machine guns, shotguns, rifles, snipers and heavies.
\Each category of gun varies in utility and price.
Each gun provides a unique style of play. Sidearms consist of pistols and other small weapons, they are used mainly during early rounds or when really pressed for cash.
Sub machine guns are a good medium to save money and have a better weapon.
Shotguns are cheap and good for holding tight angles.
Rifles consist of long range automatic and semi-automatic guns, which are one of the main weapons of choice for later rounds, but cost more.
Snipers, long ranged lever loaded or semi automatic guns, are good for holding angles at a long range.
“Heavies” consist of large machine guns with a heavy fire rate and are good for the classic run-and-gun style.
Where things start to get complicated is in the shooting mechanics. Understanding how every gun shoots is essential to getting frags, enemy kills and all guns shoot differently.
Luckily “Valorant” has its own shooting range to practice aim outside of a match.
Another thing to keep in mind is money. Like “Counter Strike” every gun costs a set amount of money.
Along with buying a gun, the player must also to purchase armor and abilities which forces the player to make compromises when choosing what gun to buy.
When low on credits it would be smart to save and buy lower-grade weapons.
While the guns themselves feel hollow, they function well. The shooting mechanics of the game are complicated, but can be understood with practice.
Along with the mechanics, the scarcity of ingame credits also forces the player to improvise and adapt their gunplay. These two factors coupled together makes a diverse game.
In “Valorant” abilities vary amongst the different agents but can be very useful for the team.
Every agent has an assigned role; controller, duelist, initiator or sentinel.
Typically controller’s abilities help their team get control of a site. Duelists abilities are best for getting frags.
Initiators retrieve info on enemy locations.
Sentinels use their abilities to support their teammates and deny the enemy access to certain areas on the map.
Each role plays a crucial role in assisting their team.
Agents in the game are given four abilities to use.
Their standard ability can be used right at the start of the round and have a 30 second cooldown after being used. These abilities are often a core part of their role.
The agents’ other two abilities are buyable in the gun shop at the beginning of the round.
The two buyable abilities provide utility for the agent.
Ultimates are intended to be the most powerful of an agent’s abilities.
Every agent has an ultimate, but they are not usable until fully charged.
The inclusion of abilities in the game seemed suspicious at first, but nicely compliments the other aspects of the game.
The standard abilities are far from overpowered and in fact encourages the player to get creative with its use.
The two buyable abilities force the player to limit how they spend their credits and to use abilities efficiently.
Ultimate abilities add a new incentive to stack up on frags, further encouraging gunplay. But, if a player is still not comfortable with shooting mechanics they can always stop and pick up an orb or defuse the bomb.
While ultimate abilities are intended to be the most powerful ability they all have a downside.
At first glance “Valorant” may appear to be a corporate cut-out to challenge Counter Strike.
However, the deeper into the game the more it grows. The combination of “Overwatch” style abilities and “Counter Strike” tactics creates a lot of soul crushing defeats and satisfying wins. Gunplay much like “Counter Strike,” can be frustrating at first, but becomes easier with practice.
Abilities in the game vary with every character, but never feel game breaking.
All in all for a game that is in beta, it strikes a nice balance in gameplay and looks promising when fully released.