Riot Games has announced Valorant, a brand-new, free-to-play competitive shooter separate from anything it’s ever made before. Poised to take on the likes of Overwatch and Counter Strike: Global Offensive, it’s a fast-paced, tactical experience coming our way later this year.
Valorant is set to take on some juggernauts, and is cherry-picking from some of the genre’s greatest hits to create a wholly unique experience, Boasting tight gunplay, varied heroes and a novel approach to teamplay, it could be a major player in the space one it emerges.
We have compiled everything you need to know about Valorant including all the latest news, release date, gameplay, trailers, and more.
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Valorant – What is it?
Formerly known as “Project A”, Valorant is the latest project from Riots, the creators behind League of Legends and Legends of Runeterra, both of which have proved hugely successful in their respective spaces. As a first-person shooter, Valorant hopes to do the same against the likes of Overwatch, Counter Strike and Rainbow Six Siege.
Valorant release date – When is it coming out?
Riot Games hasn’t dedicated itself to a specific release date, but has said it hopes to release Valorant in Summer 2020. An exact release date will depend on how it’s received during an extensive beta. In terms of platforms, we imagine it will begin on PC before branching out to consoles, but time will tell how this develops.
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Valorant gameplay – How does it compare to other shooters?
Valorant pits two teams of five players against one another across matches which last 25 rounds. While this seems incredibly long at first glance, the pace is incredibly snappy which most rounds lasting a few minutes at most. An entire match normally tops out at 60 minutes or so, rivalling League of Legends in terms of length, although the first team to take 13 rounds is the automatic victor.
Your team’s goal is to plant or disarm a Spike (Valorant’s terminology for bomb) or simply eliminate the opposing team to take the round. Much like Counter Strike and Rainbow Six Siege, there are no respawns to be found. Once you’re down, you’re out. This adds a lot of tactical precision to Valorant, since players are unlikely to survive a single barrage of gunfire.
All weapons are bought at the beginning of each round, meaning loadouts are constantly shifting, dynamic in a way that means players will need to think on their feet and adapt to changing scenarios. It’s yet another idea pulled from Counter Strike, with firearms ranging from traditional military fare to more outlandish equipment themed to Valorant’s universe.
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However, you aren’t generic military grunts running into the field like cannon fodder. In Valorant, you play as distinct characters known as Agents. Each of these heroes come with their own distinct skills and abilities which can be used on the battlefield, many of which are capable of completely flipping the trajectory of a round if executed perfectly.
It adds a unique twist to the formula, landing squarely between the arcade like action of Overwatch and sharp, tactical nature of Siege or Counter Strike. Class distinctions like Tank, Support and Attack are nowhere to be seen though, you’re all just as vulnerable regardless of what agent you’re playing as. This is a nice change, and should redefine the dynamics we’ve come to expect from hero shooters.
Each hero has a single signature ability alongside an ultimate which is earned by killing foes across multiple rounds. Otherwise, your remaining two abilities can be purchased at the beginning of each round. This should negate needless spamming, and really amplify the importance of each skill when used.
Brimstone, your resident military man, can whip out a map and select designated spots to deploy smoke grenades, disorientating the opposing team in the process. Sova is armed with a bow that can be fired, acting as a radar to ping the location of enemies in a specific area. In the grand scheme of things these sound like minor killstreaks you’d find in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, but in the context of Valorant they can be genuine game changers.
Valorant trailer – How does it look?
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Valorant heroes – How many will there be?
We’ve compiled a complete list of Valorant’s complete roster below, although we imagine more will be announced as we draw closer to the anticipated launch: