Valorant First Impressions

My impressions of Riot Games new FPS Valorant

Zach Kehoe, Staff Writer

On April 7 the highly anticipated First Person Shooter game Valorant entered its closed beta. Valorant was developed by the creators of League of Legends, Riot Games. Valorant is the first game that Riot has produced that does not take place in the League of Legends universe, but Valorant is instead a brand new Intellectual Property.

The Valorant closed beta limits the number of players that are allowed to play the game to a rumored 25,000, according to CSGO professional, Nothing. Fortunately, I was able to get a Valorant closed beta key and my impressions of the game are overwhelmingly positive.

First, to comment on the method of acquiring the beta key I believe it was an outrageous marketing stunt. To have a chance at getting a key, you have to watch twitch streamers, that are streaming Valorant. I had to watch streams for three days straight before getting my key drop. I was lucky as over 1.73 million people were trying their luck at getting a key as well.

This marketing ploy was used to generate hype around the game and inflate twitch viewership numbers. Because of the feeling of exclusivity more people are tuning in and are fostering a fear of missing out. However, many other closed betas choose members by users inputting their emails, and picking at random users to participate. This method is preferable to the agony of hoping to get a key, while watching other people play the game you desperately want to play.

While I despise the method keys were distributed, I can not deny how much fun this game is. As someone that has over 300 hours in CSGO, this game felt right at home. As sort of a hybrid between Overwatch hero abilities, and CSGO gunplay this game combines two of my favorite games.

Valorant games consist of 5 defenders facing off against 5 attackers in a first to win 13 rounds. Instead of purchasable grenades and utility, the characters in the game come equipped with abilities that have similar effects. For example, the agent Phoenix has a flashbang and a Molotov grenade that he can deploy. While I realize that the concept of having characters with differing abilities is no new concept, for example, Rainbow Six Siege has the same format. This take is refreshing and intrudes a new method of implementing hero’s into an FPS.

In an FPS game getting the gunplay right is the most important step to a fun and enjoyable experience. Fortunately, Riot Games nailed the performance and feel of its weaponry. The guns available to players range from an extensive list of pistols and assault rifles to snipers and shotguns. Each weapon has a unique spray pattern extending the skill season, and for a CSGO player, I easily slipped into controlling my recoil. With a very low time to kill, meaning people die very fast, having responsive weapons and consistent hitboxes is vital. Both of these requirements are met and exceeded my expectations.

Valorant oozes quality, and I can not stop praising it for what it does very well. However, this game is not for everyone, it is very competitive, and not forgiving to casual players. So if you enjoy twitch shooters like CSGO and Rainbow as I do, you will most likely enjoy this game.

Riot Games have stated that this game will not be coming to consoles or Mac, meaning it is PC exclusive. Riot has also pledged to support an Esports scene for Valorant. Valorant being a free game means cheaters are frequent. Riot has claimed they will implement strong anti-cheat and hardware bans for cheaters.

Valorant is definitely a game worth checking out if you enjoy First Person Shooter games like Rainbow and CSGO.