Back when Riot Games first teased its upcoming tactical first person shooter in October, its influences were pretty clear. The character abilities would seem at-home in Overwatch, while the gunplay and maps appeared to be heavily inspired by Counter-Strike. Now officially titled as Valorant, it seems Riot's shooter will be angling more towards capturing the latter's crowd when it goes public this summer-like CS:GO, Valorant is being designed to run on very low-spec PCs.
Riot launched an official website and social media accounts for Valorant today, simultaneous with the publication of several hands-on impressions pieces from various outlets. At our sister site Eurogamer, Chris Tapsell says Valorant "feels like a surgical piecing together" of the best bits from games like CS:GO, Crossfire, and Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (speaking to press, Riot referenced 12 games in total without naming Overwatch) or, more succinctly, Valorant is like "Counter-Strike in a just slightly more colorful world."
A new gameplay video further illustrates how similar Valorant's core gameplay is to Counter-Strike's: teams of five take turns attacking and defending bombsites, and players amass currency over the course of a game that they can spend on better weapons and armor.
Valorant is really looking to compete with and out-do CS:GO in terms of its performance and latency. On the Valorant website, Riot says that Valorant will run on decade-old computers ("at least 30 frames per second on most min-spec computers") and that by guaranteeing 128-tick servers using datacenters across the globe, it hopes for an average ping of less than 35 milliseconds for most players at launch. This, Tapsell writes, is thanks to a service called Riot Direct which will route your Valorant inputs straight to Riot's servers.
For CS:GO, by contrast, Valve offers a mix of 64 and 128 tick dedicated servers, and having been built on Source, the game can easily run on low-end hardware. Riot engineer David Strailey tells Eurogamer that a $120 laptop with a i3-370M processor can handle Valorant at 30 FPS.
Last month, former Counter-Strike pro Henry "HenryG" Greer shared some thoughts from a playtest of what was then called Project A, praising its map design in particular. "They have been beautifully created and follow Counter-strikesque [sic] familiar lanes and choke points," wrote Greer. From the new footage and screenshots of Valorant several Counter-Strike aficionados have noticed similarities between one of its maps and CS:GO's Mirage.
Mirage pic.twitter.com/eUJ8W6bptO— ValorantTheGame - #Valorant News & Leaks (@ValorantTheGame) March 1, 2020
More folks will have a chance to get their hands on Valorant soon and form their own opinions on how it stacks up against Counter-Strike, Overwatch, and the likes of Rainbow Six: Vegas. Riot will run a closed beta for Valorant ahead of its summer 2020 launch. For right now, Valorant is only planned to launch on PC.