Unbiased Review: Valorant Initial Thoughts


If you haven’t heard, Riot has moved their first FPS game into closed beta. Many have deemed it the love child between Counter-Strike and Overwatch, which is kind of accurate.

The game is setup exactly like counter strike, just to name a few aspects:

  • 5 versus 5 with one team planting a bomb
  • Weapons are bought at the beginning of rounds
  • You run faster with the knife
  • The operator sniper rifle is essentially the CS AWP
  • The Phantom and Vandal Rifles resemble the M4 Silenced and AK-47, respectively in recoil and damage

There are some quality of life upgrades in the game compared to counter-strike, such as directly buying guns for teammates that they request in the menu and moving around to setup at beginning of rounds.

Now for the Overwatch aspect, each person gets to pick an agent that has unique spells or abilities. For example Sage can heal herself or teammates once every 35 seconds, she can also purchase extra abilities in the shop at the beginning of rounds, which are a slow orb (essentially a grenade that slows an area for a short period of time) and a wall she can put up to block enemies or even boost herself higher by standing under it. Lastly, her ultimate allows her to revive a teammate. Ultimate abilities are charged by kills or picking up orbs off the ground.

So how does this all mesh together…

So far, I am enjoying the game, but it does need some improvements. The dev team has stated that they aren’t focused on graphics as it was meant to be a competitive e-sports game that focuses on mechanics, I think this is a double-edged sword. It makes the game already look a bit dated, it reminds me of Half-Life 2 mods. The animations and models are very clunky. When people die its almost comical, it looks like how characters died in Counter Strike 1.6 (not CSGO), with almost no physics, just a couple repetitive animations. The blood splatter from headshots looks like they made 1 sprite for it because the splatter looks the same every time. The most laughable things are the smokescreen abilities which are basically smoke grenades, except they look like static circular images….take a look…

Blue Circle?
Purple Circle?

Overall the game is definitely worth a try, especially since it is F2P, once you’re in the beta. I’m happy its here, the gaming scene has been taken over by Battle Royales, over and over and over. Not everyone likes them, its time for some new refreshing games. I applaud Riot for trying to blend elements of 2 games together and I can’t wait to see what’s to come in future updates.

Stay tuned for a follow up review as the game matures a little more.

If you haven’t gotten into the Valorant closed beta, here’s how:

  1. Create a riot account if you don’t already have one
  2. Create a Twitch account
  3. Link your riot to your twitch account here
  4. Watch any drop enabled streamer on twitch playing Valorant here

Riot has stated that watching multiple streams does not increase your chances. We recommend that you leave one stream running all day, you can also lower the resolution in the video player to reduce the network usage.

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