After a decade of playing Counter Strike and almost another decade of Counter Strike: Global offensive. We can finally see a competent classic style multiplayer shooter. Valorant may have an easier learning curve and a not so punishing penalties, but it is still difficult enough to master. Its balance is questionable, but we will get to that later. Read on and find out what I think about the game in this Valorant Review
Valorant limited number of maps does not draw back from its quality. Instead, they are precisely what the game needs at this stage. After the closed beta that saw millions of fans flocking to live streams hoping to get a beta key. The current game is not different, at all. Which is not bad since almost everyone loved what they saw.
In these past years, we saw many competitive shooters rise briefly and fall. I am only referring to classic style shooters. Because, Rainbow Six: siege, is currently the dominating factor in the competitive shooters field. However, it is a tactical shooter with very complicated strategic elements which makes it hardly comparable to the likes of Valorant. The simplicity in the design and execution of Valorant makes it accessible to almost every current gamer. Its very low spec requirements and small space requirement make it even more relatable to low spec gamers. Just like League of Legends, Riot made sure that everyone can play Valorant no matter where they are and what pc do they have. Which is really a remarkable and thoughtful effort on Riot’s side.
Gameplay in valorant is classic with a touch of modern paint
Valorant follows the same style of Counter Strike in the manner of weapon acquisition. You start the round with an amount of money based on your kills and previous round wins. With that money, you can purchase weapons and character abilities. Character abilities are the replacement of grenades and utility that we see in Counter Strike.
Valorant Review: Gameplay
Weapons in Valorant are a bit similar to what we are used to seeing in real life and in other accurate shooting games. But the developers did not add any of the names of the real weapons. They named the weapons randomly such “Guardia”, “Bulldog”, “Shorty” and so on. That does serve the purpose of building up separate lore just like Apex Legends. However, I can’t see a lore where the official name of a weapon is “Shorty”. The weapons, however, strike a pretty good balance in competitiveness. None of them seem very complicated in recoil control but all of the weapons still require some common sense of shooting to take advantage and beat your opponents.
The Player movement is very straightforward. Run and make some noise, walk silently, jump, and crouch. The basic move set for any shooter and pretty much all the game needs. No need for sprinting with cooldown or sliding on the ground or any other move that needlessly complicate the controls. And obviously will not fit in the environment of Valorant.
Weapon buying each round is not as daunting as it is in Counter Strike. You collect money pretty fast. I did not find myself struggling to buy a certain expensive weapon even when I was losing continuously.
Valorant game modes review
The game currently have two modes both of them revolve around the “spike”. which is the alternative for the bomb in Counter Strike.
You simply play through 25 rounds, you play on the attackers side, the guys who plant the spike. Or the defenders side, the guys who disable the spike. Pretty much Terrorist and Counter-Terrorist in Counter Strike. After the first 12 rounds you switch sides.
The second mode, spike rush, is pretty much the same mode with shorter rounds and all of your abilities available with no need to purchase. And you get double the ultimate ability points. In addition to power up orbs found around the map that can give you a random effect such as damage boost or reload speed. Spike rush is intended to make the match shorter, usually 10 minutes. While a normal or ranked match can last up to 40 minutes.
At the current stage of the game, there are a total of 11 characters., or as the game likes to call them, Agents. Each agent has 4 abilities. Three of these abilities can be purchased from the weapon shop and used in every round. But the ultimate ability has to be earned by killing opponents or collecting ultimate orbs that can be found around the map.
The abilities, however, did not impress me at all. Almost all agents have a smoke could ability or a vision blocking wall, or both! Riot did not innovate enough on that part which feels like two of the abilities each character has should be removed and just be replaces with smoke and incendiary grenades in the shop. But I hope to see more characters with increased variety in the future.
The current roster varies from damage based characters to supporting and utility ones who can heal, slow, or construct barriers and save their allies. Some of them might have extra overpowered abilities, Like Brimstone, who can literally wipe the entire enemy team with his ultimate ability. Which fires a large laser beam anywhere on the map and quickly damages anyone caught, killing them in almost one second.
Valorant Review: Microtransactions
You start the game with 6 agents unlocked. And a free battle pass to unlock two more as you progress through the game. The rest of the agents can be unlocked by completing their contract, which is done for free. Or you can straight out buy contract levels for 2 dollars each that will help you unlock the agents faster. Each agent has a 5 level contract to complete so that makes a total of 10 dollars per agent if you choose to just pay for them. That does not give you any sort of competitive edge. Meaning, the game is not pay-to-win at all since all agents are fairly balanced and can be unlocked for free.
I even feel like the already unlocked agents are stronger than the locked ones. But it all falls down to your play style.
Other purchasable items are weapon skins, which cost at least 8 dollars per skin.
This would not be a complete Valorant Review if I did not talk about the controversial Riot Vanguard. This all-new anti-cheat software developed by riot somehow ensures that the game is cheater-free. Some websites reported that hackers found a way to breach the software’s security in its early stages. But right now, Riot Vanguard starts on kernel level and can literally see all of your activities and track your computer.
Riot claims that they do not violate the privacy of their players, But personally, I do not believe them. We saw many games in the past, especially games from Tencent, collecting data for advertising purposes. Facebook, Google, and Microsoft already make billions out of tracking you online and knowing your every click, because that helps them sell ads better. I doubt that a company would have that ability and refuse to use it. But still, I can’t accuse Riot of any misbehavior or privacy violations until we have some concrete evidence.
Riot Vanguard starts automatically when you boot your system and in a recent update they added an option where you can turn it off from the windows hidden icons section next to the clock. You can’t turn it on manually and it is needed to play Valorant. My advice, turn it off when you boot your computer. And when you are about to play just restart and play. And make sure that you turn Riot vanguard off again after you are done playing.
It is nice to see companies paying the extra effort to ensure that their game is balanced and free of cheaters. But your online privacy also matters and you must take it seriously.