Review: Valorant Beta
For years there was one big meme around the name and game developer Riot Games. Shouldn't Riot Games have been called Riot Game with only League of Legends as a game? Last year it was time to live up to the S in Riot Games. In the meantime, a number of games have been released from Riot Games. Most of it has to do with League of Legends lore like, Legends of Runterra and Team Fight Tactics. But Riot Games also comes with a new competitive shooter called: Valorant. What is Valorant and does this game have anything to do with League of Legends?
We can provide an answer to the latter fairly quickly and directly. Valorant has nothing to do with League of Legends. Fortunately, it was about time Riot Games stepped outside the comfort of their extremely popular MOBA. If CS:GO and Overwatch had a baby together, you would get a game like Valorant. The new game from Riot Games is a straight up shooter made for competition just like CS:GO. There is no story mode attached to it, no extensive or deep lore, just plain and simple shooter. The vast DNA of the game is more like CS:GO with a speck of DNA from Overwatch. How do you see this reflected in the game?
Valorant has the same economy style as CS:GO. Kills, assists, planting the bomb, disarming the bomb, staying alive and winning the round all add up to the money you can spend in the game. With the money you collect you can buy better weapons and armor for more damage and protection. But there is still something that can be bought with the money. You can buy utility to help yourself and your team. But now you think, yes that is also possible in CS:GO with smokes, grenades and such. In Valorant you can buy a similar utility but slightly different. The utility is different for every player and for every team depending on the composed team of playable Agents.
Choice and even more choice, but not too much in Valorant
Valorant is characterized by choosing Agents in their game. You can compare this with the Heroes in Overwatch. Just like in Overwatch, Valorant's Agents have their own unique skill set to choose from. Each Agent has their own way of playing and providing utility for themselves and the team. There are four different skills that each Agent has. Three of the four skills, like your weapon, must be purchased during the purchase phase. However, this does not apply to every Agent. Some Agents have a skill that they can use at least once each round. You can buy the rest and add to the purchase screen. Because of this you have to make a choice every round between your skills or weapons and armor.
In addition to the skills you can buy in Valorant, each Agent also has an ultimate that they can use. This ultimate is a powerful area damage or a one shot damage skill. However, this ultimate requires six charges to use. You can obtain these in different ways. You get one for each round played and one per kill. In addition, black orbs can be found in fixed locations that spawn every round. You can pick this up to get an extra charge in your ultimate. Once you have collected six charges, you can bet your ultimate to experience game winning plays.
Due to the versatility of Agents and skills, it is just as important as in Overwatch to make a balanced team of Agents. Some combinations of Agents work very well together and others work less well together. With this, Riot Games offers an extra layer of strategy to its shooter. In addition, there are also cosmetics to buy for the weapons in the game. These can be bought for 'real' money in the Valorant store, just like you can buy skins in CS:GO or League of Legends. The game is free to play, but if you want to look good, you'll have to put down some euros to give your weapon a nice skin.
Strong beta release for Valorant
Valorant's closed beta couldn't have wished for a better release. Since the closed beta started, you can access the beta by watching streams on Twitch. Alpha testers of the game were allowed to stream their first gameplay. If you, as a viewer, had linked your Riot Games account to Twitch, you could win access to the beta. This allowed Riot Games to slowly expand the servers of their new shooter and admit more and more players into the beta every day. There were very few problems with this approach. Hardly any problems with the servers and the ping you had in game. It seems that Riot Games has taken everything into account to release a solid and stable online shooter.
Valorant has been at the top of the most-watched game for weeks on Twitch. Apart from the fact that a lot of people are at home because of the Coronavirus, the strategy to give access via Twitch streams is a smart move by Riot Games. The game already has a stable player base that plays the game daily. In addition, the tournaments are slowly increasing, which means that there is even more interest in the game. While the game is still in beta, Riot Games has announced that it will not do anything about Esports yet. However, Riot Games is temporarily outsourcing the Esports part to third parties to make a start. As the game grows as an esports, the more Riot Games will guide it and possibly set the mainline themselves just like they did with League of Legends.
In fact, in terms of Esports, we can expect the same as how they have done with League of Legends. And this has worked wonders for League of Legends. Valorant can become a great Esports shooter that can compete with CS:GO. Hopefully we don't get any real big competition with both games, but we get two big entertaining esports for us to watch. Just like League of Legends goes hand in hand with Dota 2.
Valorant is a fast online competitive shooter that is very similar to CS:GO with some elements of Overwatch. The game's economy system works well and is clear and well-arranged. The diversity with which you can make teams of Agents, with their own utility, provides depth in strategy. Although the game is still in beta, we can safely say that this is going to be a game that is here to stay. The potential to become a major esports title alongside CS:GO is definitely there. With the experience of Riot Games, this should certainly work and be possible. While playing the beta, we hardly notice that the game is in the test phase and play the game without any problems. All in all, Valorant is a shooter that is fun to play and to watch. The S in Riot Games is now completely in place.
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