First Impressions in Valorant
So, the wait is finally over. Valorant is finally in the hands of those lucky few to receive a beta code, and all the big wigs of the twitch and competitive gaming world are already chipping in with their two cents on the position of the game.
The anticipation around the game has been building for a little while now, with many streamers eagerly awaiting the game's launch so that they can move on from the BRs, namely Warzone, which is full of hackers, and Fortnite, which has gotten stale. Surprisingly, though, the Overwatch competitive scene has been hit hard by the development of Valorant.
While Blizzard didn't do itself any favors, Valorant seems to be the nail in the coffin, with many pro Overwatch players announcing their departure from the game on the day the beta codes were sent out.
So, with so much riding on its shoulders, how does Valorant stack up to these lofty expectations? Pretty damn well actually.
The primary takeaway seems to be that Valorant is nothing like Overwatch, despite the effect it has had on the Overwatch scene, being a tactical five versus five FPS, and having characters with abilities. The same could be said for R6S, which is also nothing like Overwatch.
Valorant plays more like a Rainbow meets CS, with a tactical focus on the use of abilities, and interestingly, an in-game economy system similar to CS. It's through this system that you buy these abilities, meaning you're going to have to use them sparingly. This is a welcome breathe of fresh air with a trope that was running the risk of becoming stale in the FPS hero genre.
The abilities are also very well balanced, at least for now, with much more focus on your knowledge and gun skill, taking a step away from Rainbow, and more towards traditional FPS titles.
The game is reportedly incredibly polished, with the graphics proving to be visually stunning, a distinct lack of major bugs, at the time of writing, and fantastic feeling gameplay and weapons. Some have even suggested that the game is fit for launch and giving how Riot is expanding the beta, which may not be too far off the mark.
The game plays a lot like Counter-Strike, with slow based, methodical, and gun focused gameplay, and an incredibly high skill ceiling. This is great news, as it is going to give the game some much-needed longevity in the, hopefully, years, going forward.
It provides a natural baseline for a competitive scene, both amateur, and pro, to be established immediately, and given Riot's past track record with League of Legends; it's likely that Valorant is going to be receiving some serious support.
Is this game going to be the CS killer? Probably not. Even though the CS pros are unhappy at the state of the game at the minute, it's a safe bet to stay that Counter-Strike is here to say. However, the game may very well be an Overwatch killer, at least until Overwatch 2 comes out.