You may have already heard about Valorant as Project A, a title that Riot Games has been teasing work on for a few years. Recent leaks (opens in new tab) gave us a better look at the game's approach to the online shooting formula, and it looks like that early info was legit. Valorant is a fast-paced, tactical shooter that will be immediately familiar to Counter-Strike fans with the addition of special abilities that feel more like Overwatch. Check out the first official gameplay trailer to see what I mean.
The match starts with players purchasing their loadout in a Counter-Strike style selection screen, then positioning themselves around a map to defend points in the usual Bomb Defusal mode style.
If the player characters didn't throw out glowing magic orbs and summon colorful rifts of toxic gas every now and then a casual observer might not be able to tell it apart from Counter-Strike GO. It looks like Riot Games wants gunplay to be the deciding factor of Valorant battles, with special powers mostly being used to get the upper hand on opponents.
Before it even mentions the cool powers and guns, Valorant's official site (opens in new tab) talks about how Riot Games is trying to make Valorant a smooth, responsive experience for all players: "128-tick servers, at least 30 frames per second on most min-spec computers (even dating back a decade), 60 to 144 FPS on modern gaming rigs, a global spread of datacenters aimed at <35ms for players in major cities around the world, a netcode we’ve been obsessing over for years, and a commitment to anti-cheat from day one."
Riot says Valorant will debut in Summer 2020, though we don't yet know if that will come in the form of a limited beta or a full-scale release. We'll keep an eye on Valorant's progress and let you know when we hear more.
See what else is on the way with our big rundown of video game release dates (opens in new tab).