For the past month, Valorant has been the talk of the town among multiplayer shooter fans. Some like it, some don’t. One group says the game feels refreshing, another says the game copied all other existing FPS games. Riot Games’ debut FPS game does need some improvements especially with hitboxes and ADS but it certainly brings something quite new yet very familiar to the table. I will be doing a short review of the game and share some of the pros and cons that I found during my first 30 hours.
If you want to play Valorant right now, click here. The game is free.
A Culmination of all Existing Popular FPS
Jokingly, people call the game “Call of Counter-Watch: Siege Fortress 2” because of how it strikes heavily similar to the older games. You can call it an Overwatch clone, a Siege impostor, or a CSGO copycat. Whether you played Valorant or not, you would agree that there is nothing original about the game. The rules bear the same as Counter-Strike and the Agents are inspired by Overwatch, Siege and Team Fortress 2 characters. It may not be as fast as Call of Duty or as “realistic” as Siege but you can tell Riot Games wanted to create a game that heavily competes against CSGO.
Signature Riot Games Aesthetics…Mostly
When you are just watching someone streaming the game, it does rather look dull. If anything, the game is not like Siege or CSGO but rather an improved version of CrossFire in terms of graphics. Yet, when you play the game, it feels quite different. If you are familiar with Riot Games cinematics, you can see most of their stuff put to work here: combining cartoony 3D visuals with 2D particle effects.
Although, while the models and sfx do look nice, the rest of the world feels kind of grey and bland. Sure, there are some cool environment details but what is the point if everything is overly bright and lacking in contrast? I get that they made the game more favorable for esports and competitive plays, but it does not showcase 100% of how Riot Games visual team can do. To be honest, the Summoner’s Rift and Howling Abyss maps in League of Legends still look better than any of the rotating maps in Valorant.
A Mixed Bag in Gunplay
Personally, gunfights feel like something is lacking. I can’t specifically pinpoint what it is, but there is something off-putting with the feel of the guns. Maybe I’m just more used to Siege or TF2, but I get where Riot is coming from. They want to create a game where the roster of guns matches with CSGO. However, CSGO does a better job with weight and gun handling. Every gun has its own perks and weaknesses in CSGO yet each has the right amount of damage and recoil (except the Arctic. Screw you, Arctic mains). The problem with Valorant is that the guns just feel like straight rip-offs and no “personality”.
Also, this has the worst ADS ever in an FPS. What’s the point of using iron sights when all it does is zoom in without improving the range and accuracy versus hip-firing? And, crosshairs in ADS? Get outta here. I get that they justify this with a holographic attachment but it still looks ugly. Even Rules of Survival’s PNG iron sights look and feel better.
A Collection of Characters Similar to League with a Pinch of Overwatch
I really don’t know how else I can describe the characters (aka Agents) in the game except they’re quite…mainstream. In a good way, of course. For me, the saving grace of the game lies with the agents. Unlike CSGO or CrossFire which have various character models but with same skill levels, each agent is unique. Agents are divided into 4 roles: Controller, Duelist, Sentinel, and Initiator. A Controller can manipulate the map with crowd control and diversions. A Duelist is a hard fragger that prioritizes kills. A Sentinel focuses on defensive maneuvers that can benefit the allies. The Initiator sets up contested grounds and holds key angles for the other team to take advantage of.
Also, the Agents are thoroughly diverse with some great voice-acting. For example, Viper is an American chemist and bioterrorist and a Controller. She can delay enemy advances with her chemical launcher, impair vision with her toxic screen and cloud, and intimidate enemies with her AoE ult, Viper’s Pit. Also, she is best waifu.
Some characters do feel original, while others feel like carbon copies of Sombra and Jinx. I’m looking at you, Reyna and Raze.
If there is one drawback for me here, it’s the dialogues. No, seriously, they feel so lame and generic.
Silence Isn’t Always Good
While gun shots, reloads, and voice acting are good, the environments really feel empty. Sure, there may be warped buildings and debris everywhere, but there is not an ounce of ambient noises at all. CSGO may also be silent but the environments do feel immersive and objects create noises. Siege is also mostly a silent game, but the continuous dialogues and loud bangs bring life to the map. For Valorant, nothing really clicks hard.
Decent Game, but Not Quite Addictive
Overall, Valorant is a good game if played in short successions. After all, one match can take up to 20 to 30 minutes. If gameplay felt faster along with some improved shooting mechanics, maybe I’ll have second thoughts about it. It is not quite an addictive “one more match and then I’ll sleep” type like CSGO or even LoL, but it’s a good time-killer for a while. Best of all, the game is free to play without any of the pay-to-win aspects.
I’ll continue to play this game for 40 or more hours to give a thorough review soon.