VALORANT leaves players satisfied


Jackson VolenecReporter

Riot Games, the developing team responsible for one of the most popular competitive video games internationally, released their brand new game, VALORANT, which has generated a lot of buzz and attention online.

VALORANT is a team-based first person shooter, where two teams of five compete in a match of fast-paced shooting gameplay to try and win control over the map. It has already been the source of a lot of attention and hype on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of people actively watching streams of the game online at all times.

The company that created this game, Riot, is also responsible for another gigantic competitive video game called League of Legends, which earns hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from their tournaments held for the game. In 2018, the LoL World Championship had surpassed the Super Bowl in viewership. I think it is clear they intend to turn VALORANT into another huge competitive game, but the question is, will it?

In a game like this, the long-lasting re-playability is going to be the deciding factor on whether or not the game will have a shelf life in the world of eSports, and VALORANT’s gameplay has plenty of it. The core elements of this game are extremely polished and simple to learn, yet clearly difficult to master, allowing for a potentially long lasting competitive community.

The gunplay is very gratifying to learn and improve on as you play the game. The mechanics reward for accuracy when you are shooting opponents, making headshots the primary target when fighting. This makes the skill ceiling for the game incredibly high, and rewards the most practiced players greatly.

There is also a buying system in the game, where you receive in-game credits for winning rounds that lets you buy better guns and equipment in future rounds. This adds a layer of strategy to the game, forcing players to choose what they value most when buying at the start of each round. Players who manage their money best will struggle less when they aren’t getting the win bonus.

There are currently ten characters the player can choose in game, with more to be added in future updates. Each character has four different distinct abilities from one another, between healing moves, grenades, surveillance cameras, and tripwires. These abilities add a unique layer of depth to the game that its rival competing games such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive do not have. Teams will need to strategically choose which characters complement one another, and build the best composition around their personal strengths.

Visually, the game is very appealing for a multitude of reasons. The cartoonish aesthetic of the entire game is consistent and immersive. Between the maps, the character design, and the guns, it all feels like it exists only within the context of the game’s world. The colors are crisp, and there is a lot of visual clarity between the player’s and the background, something that is very important in a competitive game.

The game’s beta was just recently released, and the development team has plans for years of future updates to come. VALORANT has the financial support from Riot, backed up with waves of hype from mainstream streaming platforms like Twitch. If the trend continues in its favor would say the game has a great potential to become one of the largest competitive eSports scenes.

All of the competitive fairness is great, but it is important to not overlook the most basic question: Is the game fun? At its most basic and casual level, is it enjoyable to play? I would say yes, most definitely. Even if you are not a hardcore gamer who wants to compete, I think that it’s easy to find yourself playing with a group of friends and having fun, as the gameplay is something that anyone can enjoy.

I would highly recommend that anyone who is a fan of first person shooters on PC to definitely try out VALORANT, as it is a fresh and exciting game with a very bright future ahead of it.

Photo Credit: Jackson Volenec

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