Valorant – Game Review
In case you are living under a rock for the last couple of months, Valorant is the newest release from Riot Games. It is the second big release from the Riot Games after the League of Legends. But unlike LoL, Valorant is an FPS. Let’s review and talk about Valorant and some of its basics. But I am sure the majority of you will find plenty of similarities when compared to other FPS games.
The game consists of two teams with five players each. One team has to plant a spike/bomb at certain sites of the map which vary from two to three in number. And the other team has to defend them. The attacking team can win by killing the entire defending team or detonating their spike. On the contrary, the defending team wins by killing the attacking team or by ensuring that spike is never planted or disarming a planted spike. After 12 rounds the teams switch sides and the first team to win 13 rounds wins the game.
Everyone starts with a pistol and a knife but don’t worry, you will gain money at the end of every round. You will get $200 for a kill, for winning a round $3000 and for planting a spike $300 for the entire team. For defusing a spike you’ll get $300, for losing a round it depends on the losing streak, you can say up to $2900. The cash that you have earned can be spent between rounds on armor, guns, and ability. And lastly, if you manage to stay alive in the last round, your inventory will be carried forward to the next round.
After playing the game, I find out that you are most accurate in Valorant when you are standing still, running in and blazing guns at the same time will get you a one-way ticket. Reflex plays a vital role in this game, and you also ought to remain quiet, or else your enemies will find your location easily. Another important thing is the coordination with your team when you are choosing a character, spending money in between rounds, and choosing guns. My go-to gun is the Guardian; a single-shot rifle that kills with a one-shot to the head but it depends on one’s skills. But when you are choosing your go-to gun, do consider the ins and outs of each gun; range accuracy, how it behaves in close range, how many shots to kill, body shot or headshot, cost, etc.
In Valorant, characters you choose to play with makes a huge difference. For example, as a utility character that heals teammates, creates walls of ice, forms patches of ices that slow enemy movements, and resurrect fallen teammates. While Jett is more combat-focused, it can create clouds, obscure vision, shoot herself up in the air, dash forward, and do a series of knives that do high damage. Rays focus on explosives and much more. Viper is a character that specializes in controlling areas via poisonous gas. Others like Cypher and Sova help their teammates locate enemies.
Each of them plays different and can turn tides in a game when played intelligently. But overall, I think that your choice of character isn’t as important as your ability to coordinate with your teammates, land headshots, and play smart. And that is a good thing as there is limited character choice means that you won’t always get to use your favorite. Learning other characters is a must that will get you in a better position to know your opponents well.
For me learning Valorant step by step felt like rising levels on the galaxy brain meme. I figured out the character I like, the guns I like, the abilities of other characters, and what they can do, learned about how the economy works. And finally, when I calibrated all of these with team coordination, viola, I felt like a cutting edge pro. Thankfully, Valorant is pretty good at helping you learn to play. The tutorial will walk you through the basics and unfortunately, it can’t be replayed. But you can always go to the range and practice manually. Here, you can play with every character even if you haven’t unlocked them. You can also test every gun, work on your accuracy, and even more. Besides the practice mode, there is an unranked version of the core mode, spike rush, a lower-stakes four rounds to win mode with randomize load-outs, and more ultimate pickups and custom games.
Well, as good as Valorant feels, it does have its issues. I like the way most of the cast looks, but they lack the flare of characters of Overwatch or even LoL. Speaking of which, you only start with 5 of them the rest are free to unlock but it takes a lot of time and energy. You are left with the choice to choose with available characters initially, either you like it or not. Likewise, there are only four maps and none of them are particularly visually exciting. Furthermore, there are micro-transactions but they are limited to weapon skins and fairly reasonably priced. Well, it’s a bit disappointing that there is no option to buy characters especially given the limited numbers to start with.
And last but not the least, let’s talk about cheating in Valorant. Cheaters in Valorant have been involved in the game since the first week. To counter this problem, Valorant uses Vanguard. Long story short, Vanguard is always on; it starts with your computer and stays on even if you are not playing. You can’t disable it but you have to restart your computer if you want to play Valorant. The worst part is yet to come, the Vanguard operates in the kernel or ring zero of your PC. That is the most privileged level of access means that Vanguard will have access to everything on your computer. It also encourages cheater to target kernel-level access. That level access to Vanguard concerns me. The question is how much you trust Valorant or Vanguard? A question that everyone has to answer for themselves.
It is unfortunate that we have to talk about that because Valorant is a great game; easy to understand and difficult to master. The learning curve may put some gamers off but it’s tough not to recommend this game even with its flaws. Well, that is it form my side today. Till next time.