We have never seen a play like that at Valorant. The Riot Games online shooter should actually be presented at events all over the world – the press from Europe should be able to shoot in Barcelona. Instead, because of the corona pandemic, we tried several days and nights in the home office, as did several hundred other editors and streamers (including ninja).
We were able to install the client on our own computer. There were also presentations and discussions with the developers about Zoom (before the security problems became known) and Discord.
At first glance, it may sound like everything has been set up and pulled through quickly. But if you make clear what all the passwords, access authorizations and code have to be sent across the globe, one thing becomes clear: Because of a medium-sized game, the effort is hardly worth it.
Valorant is very important – at least for Riot Games. The California-based studio operates League of Legends (LoL), one of the most successful and top-selling PC games. Even if none of the developers said so directly in the presentations from their home office: LoL sets the standard that also applies to Valorant in the long term.
Valorant is a tactical shooter that feels like it is located in the middle between Counter-Strike and Overwatch. Two teams of five members fight each other, one has more attacking and the other more defensive tasks.
The scenario takes up the topic of soldiers from Counter-Strike, which is noticeable in the preparation of the surroundings and the arsenal, among other things. There are also supernatural special abilities and a few other fantasy elements that are reminiscent of Overwatch. Valorant is becoming free-to-play – however, we have not yet been able to look at the items purchased and their prices.
Dedicated data lines for fast action
In their presentations, the developers told us that they are also breaking new technical ground at Valorant. One of the unique selling points of the shooter is that it should still run smoothly even with a poor online connection, that it wants to offer new standards in hit zones and shooting precision, and that cheaters get as few chances as possible right from the start.
Of these three points, the thing that caught our eye most by far was the precision of the shot. Actually you have to try it yourself: At least we were satisfied with the system in Counter-Strike so far – but we don't know it any other way. At Valorant, however, we really have the impression that our balls land exactly where we aimed, without distortions, distractions or delays.
The difference is particularly noticeable if you then play one of the currently available games again and you don't find the same precision there. The whole thing is more than just cleverly programmed software: Riot Games is building its own network of backbones with very fast servers worldwide – not only Valorant, but also League of Legends should run with unrivaled low latencies.
The precision shots were fun for us. But they also ensure that Valorant plays quickly and is aimed at advanced players. If you don't pay attention for a moment or react too slowly, catch a bullet and watch the end of the game.