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Valorant: First Impressions

Illustration for article titled iValorant/i: First Impressions

Riot’s new hero shooter dropped today, and if anyone’s interested, I have a few thoughts I’d like to share about my initial experience with the game.

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First up, I must point out that I live in a country where there isn’t a dedicated server nearby, so latency is going to be an issue when it comes to playing Valorant as a competitive game, at least where I live.

I was worried that the abilities would make the game feel unbalanced, but at least initially it doesn’t seem that way but probably I will have to play a bit more to really get a feel for the game.

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Visually, the game is very clean and a little cartoony in a way that reminds me a little of Fortnite, but it definitely feels like a Riot game. I love the aesthetics, and the game is entertaining to watch with all the different characters having unique and pleasing animations. The game is colorful, but not in a way that is hard on the eyes. I can’t say that in any of the games I have played, that I died because I struggled to see an enemy. Usually, it was either that he was not in my field of vision, or plain and simple, he out-aimed me. Either that, or, I was being a noob and got shot in the process of learning how to use my abilities.

It feels a little slower than CS:GO, especially in the buy stage of the game. Weirdly, for the first 30 seconds I think, there are barriers preventing you from accessing the other half of the map and engaging the enemy which is interesting as this is clearly intended to give players a little time to strategise. At a professional level, I can see this pre-empting the need for tactical timeouts, and while it makes for an overall slower-paced game, I quite like being able to, instead of defaulting to the usual strategies, look around and try to experiment playing in different positions. Valorant gives you plenty of time to do just that.

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At the same time, you only need 13 rounds to win which makes the game feel much shorter, even though it probably isn’t with the 30 second buy window.

As a CS:GO player, one of the main differences I feel is the gunplay. It’s still, mechanically at least, similar, in that you generally clear angles and corners in the same way that you would in CS, but the abilities give you some interesting options, for instance, the one agent, as they call them, that I played - I think his name was Omen, or something. He has this teleport ability, similar to the “blink” ability from Dishonored, which I found quite fun.

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This ability allowed me to get into some really interesting positions, and, while I’m still at the stage where I’m fumbling with the controls, I have to say it’s a pretty fun game and I’m glad that Riot has made this as I feel it has a much wider appeal than CS:GO.

The characters are well designed, but it remains to be seen how long it will take for their cheesy one-liners to wear on me. Of the ones I played, they all had unique and interesting abilities, and definitely felt very different when engaging with enemies despite having the same arsenal of weapons available.

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Have you tried Valorant? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

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