Riot Games’ new tactical shooter, Valorant looks like one to watch out for this year.
Previously known only as Project A, Valorant will see Riot Games draw on the likes of Ghost Recon, Counter-Strike and Overwatch to create something fun, new and captivating.
Here’s everything we know so far about the new game.
What is Valorant?
Valorant is a five-on-five, free-to-play online FPS which aims to blend the fast-paced, trigger-happy style of your typical online shooter with the ability-driven combat of games like Overwatch.
Like most tactical shooters, Valorant comes with a cast of characters that each have a different set of abilities, strengths and weaknesses – matching your style of player to your chosen ‘Agent’ is the key to victory.
However, it balances them in a slightly different way. Each Agent has four abilities - one Signature
Ability, which they get for free each round; two others that they have to buy but which endure through the rounds; and one Ultimate Ability which must be earned through kills.
Once you’ve picked a character, you have to stay with them for the duration – using the money you’ve earned to buy abilities, weapons and armour between rounds.
While the action may be frantic, it’s a shooter that rewards a long-term perspective – your Ultimate ability can take whole rounds to cool down once you’ve used it, so thinking in terms of whole games rather than individual skirmishes is key.
The aim is to encourage skilful, strategic play rather than superpower-spamming.
Who are the characters?
Phoenix throws fireballs, and can rise back from the flames with full health. Jett is all about using wind and fog to evade her enemies. Viper utilises toxic clouds and deadly acids. Sovva and Cypher are teched-up hunters, while Brimstone relies on air support.
Finally, Sage is able to heal and protect her allies, while Omen darts through the shadows. It is possible that more will be added in due course, but these are the faces you should expect to see on release day.
Who made the game?
Riot Games are mostly known for their highly successful online battle arena series, League of Legends. With over 100 million players logging in each month, LoL is one of the most popular online games of all time.
Riot has announced its intention to tackle two of the biggest problems in online gaming – cheating and lag. Supposedly, the new game will be immune to pretty much all common forms of hacking, and has a host of other little defences built-in to prevent players from gaining an unfair advantage.
The creators will also be using the server technology which they developed for League of Legends, and which can run far hotter than many of its rivals without experiencing any difficulties.
The Riot Direct system was developed specifically to ensure that every player is directed towards the best connection possible.
Which platforms will it be available on?
To the disappointment of console gamers around the world, at the moment Valorant is only scheduled to arrive on PC.
When will it be released?
Riot Games hasn’t officially confirmed a release date for Valorant, but it looks likely to arrive some time in the summer of 2020.
The company has announced that there will be a Beta version released some time in the future, although no fixed date has been established for this either. The exact release of the full game will likely depend on the feedback they receive from the Beta.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, The i.