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‘Valorant’ is an entertaining tactical shooter for competitive and casual players alike

‘Valorant’ is an entertaining tactical shooter for competitive and casual players alike

‘Valorant’ is an entertaining tactical shooter for competitive and casual players alike
June 21
19:10 2020

“League of Legends” developer Riot Games takes a shot at their first foray into the FPS scene with “Valorant,” a free-to-play tactical shooter that takes inspiration from past installments in the genre while successfully carving out its own identity within the medium.

In “Valorant,” 5v5 games take place where one team attempts to plant and protect a bomb, referred to as the spike, while the other tries to protect their points by either preventing the spike from being planted in the first place or defusing it once planted. The first team to win 13 rounds comes out on top. Matches last 30-40 minutes and can become more and more intense once the number of players begins to drop, but despite the long games, which can prove draining at times, I’ve yet to get sick of it.

Spike Rush is an additional game mode tailored towards players looking for quick, casual games where the first team to win four rounds is victorious, and the in-match currency system is replaced by guns decided at random. Players with a modicum of skill at “Valorant” will quickly toss this mode aside thanks to the lower skilled enemies and allies. Despite its inferiority to the normal game mode, I found it to still be plenty entertaining, and a fun way to pass the time when waiting for friends to finish up their games.

“Valorant” shares many characteristics with another game of its ilk “Counter-Strike,” from its heavy emphasis on quick reflexes to take out opponents, an in-match currency system, to bomb based objectives. These traits are exactly the same, but where the game seriously begins to set itself apart from its predecessor is with the implementation of selectable agents, each with their own special set of abilities to use on the battlefield.

Each agent has three abilities and one ‘ultimate’ that can benefit the team in their respective ways, but experienced players will coordinate hero picks with fellow players to make well-rounded teams better prepared for whatever the enemy throws at them. I usually find myself playing Sage, the game’s resident healer who can wall off map sections and create icy floors to slow pushes onto your team’s position, and an ultimate that revives downed teammates.

With the exception of team-killer Reyna, agents are fairly balanced, so when I want to play a specific agent I’ve never gotten yelled at my by teammates. Abilities combined with the extremely satisfying, yet demanding, gunplay lends itself to the steep learning curve the game offers which can be unfamiliar to players who haven’t played “Counter-Strike” or Blizzard’s “Overwatch.”

Life and death hinges on your ability to shoot accurately, and with help from the wide array of guns the game offers — which after some gun-searching I found in the hard-hitting Vandal — players should eventually find a gun that handles well, from the grossly overpowered Operator to the fast firing Ares. Sometimes I’ll encounter players that are unnaturally skilled and can shut down my entire team with almost no effort. It’s not common enough for it to be a persisting issue, but there are players out there who’ve put hundreds of hours into the game already and take every opportunity to flex on people like me.

So far, there’s four maps in the game that are all laid out well enough, although my friends and I would play the same map three times in a row causing the game to get boring real quick. The limited maps are remedied by the fact that the game is free, and that the developers have promised additional content in future updates which is where my main worries lie. It’s still up in the air on whether this game will fall out of favor with players, but Riot seems dedicated to make this game last for the foreseeable future.

Overall, “Valorant” stands out from other games of its caliber while offering an experience with only minor faults that can easily be patched. Stellar gameplay and Future updates of the game will determine how long “Valorant” remains relevant, but if Riot Games’ past installments give any indication there shouldn’t be much to worry about, and more to look forward to instead.

My rating: 4.5/5

Featured image: Courtesy Riot Games

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Connor Elliott

Connor Elliott

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