Why does Valorat feel so good?
The creators of Valorant cherry-pick some of the best solutions we've recently had in online shooters, and blend them together. And this works really well. Distinctive characters and their skills provide a great tactical variety; at the same time, their skills won't save you if you don't know the map, or can't shoot very well.
This mix makes Valorant extremely enjoyable and, most importantly, diverse. . Also satisfying. . Let me give you an example, though.
? Playing several rounds in a row as Raze, I used a bot that tracks opponents, and I did that in the same place every time. Funnily enough, I killed the same opponent each of those times. When my special was ready again, I decided to change the approach a little: I didn't launch the bot the same way again, instead, I decided to try and hit the same enemy with a rocket, hoping that he or she would feel safe enough to get out in the open. Imagine my surprise, when I saw not one, but three enemies running from around the corner.
I guess that player must have been so frustrated with so many deaths in a row from the same move, they decided to bring some friends. Well, as they say, don't bring a knife to a gunfight. Surprised, but unabashed, with my special ready, I fired the rocket. The effect? A triple kill to my credit and an win. As you can see, spectacular moments do happen in Valorant, but they don't happen very often. Nine times out of ten you simply die from quick insertion of a small amount of led into your body.
What deserves high praise is that the game runs like a charm (I have never encountered any FPS drops), the animations are very clear, and the principles of gameplay are easy to learn. Some may look down on the visual setting of Valorant, which looks very bland and is a "true neutral" in graphical terms, but that's a trade-off, and when you play, you will likely be glad the game looks (and hence runs) as it does. The graphics are pretty cartoonish, but not in a bad way. The colors are well-balanced, and the game is generally very legible. Which is a huge advantage in my books.
Is Valorant a CS:GO slayer?
Nah. I mean, it's far too early to say that, even if it may potentially be true in the future. Valorant, even though it feels great, isn't perfect. There's a lot of room for improvements – almost all the weapons look the same (they're virtually indistinguishable when they're lying on the ground), the balance of both maps and characters could be better, and the game's client is weak and very unintuitive. CS: GO is currently experiencing its renaissance and it doesn't look like it's going to give up without a fight. If you ask me, I'd say the games will just end up living side by side.
Valoranta's position on the e-sports scene will also be a key factor in determining the game's success. Riot Games knows exactly how to keep fans interested for many years (vide League of Legends), and the only company that can equal them in this respect is Valve. Ultimately, the success of Valorant will depend on how much effort will go into the development, and whether the design decisions remain accurate.
Valorant will not be universally appealing, and it does not hit any particular niche. People who prefer militaristic quasi-realism will wave it off and return to Battlefield, R6: Siege and Call of Duty. Those who prefer quick, dynamic clashes are largely catered to already by Apex; fans of slower, precise gunplay have, of course, Counter-Strike. On the other hand Valorant is already the second most-viewed game on Twitch, having recently attracted 1.7 million people. The game is not trying to reinvent the wheel. It simply combines some tried solutions, but does it skilfully. And though it may not seem as much, this should be reason alone for the game to stay afloat for long. There's no doubt Riot Games knows how to maintain their games, so their new shooter seems doomed to success. I enjoy network games and I enjoyed Valorant. The only thing that was missing were my friends, and I look forward for the moment we get to play together. If you've also participated in the closed beta, don't forget to share your impression in the comments below.
Paul Wozniak | Gamepressure.com