TL;DR: Riot’s Project A is now Valorant. It will feature 5v5 race-to-13 matchplay with eight playable Agents on four maps. The gameplay is twitchy and fast. Riot has it positioned well for esports competitions. It will be free-to-play when it releases this summer only on PC.
Riot Games has named its upcoming tactical first-person shooter Valorant. The studio first announced the game under the codename “Project A” last October, along with a slew of other titles in development. Last week, some details of the game leaked, including the name.
Polygon, which got an early preview of the shooter, notes there are eight playable characters called agents — Phoenix, Jett, Viper, Sova, Cypher, Brimstone, Sage, and Omen. Each hero has unique abilities to help them in combat. For example, Phoenix can cast fireballs, summon a wall of flame, or perform other feats associated with his namesake. Currently, there are only four maps, but Riot plans to add more Agents and maps over time.
Valorant will be a 5v5 FPS with matchplay being a race to 13 wins. Matches will last about half an hour or so. It plays a bit like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive but stylistically resembles Overwatch. While it is heavy on the gunplay, the abilities add a tactical element that rewards players who use them creatively. Riot is positioning Valorant to be a competitive esports contender with both Casual and Ranked modes.
According to the official Valorant website, developers focused on making the shooter available to the largest number of players possible.
“Here’s what we think it takes for you to trust a game enough to invest: 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.”
Valorant still does not have a precise release date set, but it’s not far off. Riot says the game will be out this summer on PC and will be free-to-play. There are no plans for console variants at this time, but with a focus creating a new esport, that’s not really surprising.