VALORANT
Today is a good day to die.      


REVIEW
By JAY TEE
23/06/20

The character design is absolutely fantastic.

Controls are extremely intuitive, and server stability is absolutely superb. Death animations are silly.

The voice cast does a good job with minimal dialogue opportunities, whilst footstep audio is well defined.

Blazing fast load / matchmaking times, and satisfying combat, ensures there will be a healthy community.

Character designs are striking and stylish, and the UI in particular is informative and clear. A visual treat.

THE LAST WORD

Valorant is a superb tactical shooter that remains challenging and fresh throughout.     

THE FINAL SCORE

4/5

REVIEW POLICY

We use a simple “out of 5” rating criteria for all reviews.

4 out of 5 is GREAT.

A positive, varied experience, with plenty of reasons to invest. Even if it’s just shy of perfection.

*Review copy provided by Riot Games. Reviewed on PC.*

The BREACH ON ZULU badge is awarded for a game that consistently demands intelligent strategy / tactics.



The BOND THEME badge is for a game that makes you feel like a badass.

The DIGITAL FOUNDRAJON badge is for a game that pushes technical boundaries with cutting edge presentation.



The SLIM PICKINGS badge is for a game that is lacking in content.


The ON ME! JONESY! badge is earned when getting into a multiplayer game takes hardly any time.

 


The PAMELA badge is for a game that requires good communication in multiplayer to be consistently successful.


The LEDGE BUCKET badge is for a game where the U.I and / or menus have been really well designed.


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THE BASICS - Free to play first person shooter, mixing CS:GO intensity with character specific abilities.

PLATFORMS - PC.

PLAYERS - Offline - 1, Online - 10

CO-OP? MULTIPLAYER? - No single player campaign. Competitive multiplayer only.

DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT - Microtransaction purchases for cosmetics only.

TARPS? - At the bottom of some of our articles, you’ll see a series of absurd looking images (with equally stupid, in joke laden names). These are the TARP badges, which represent our ‘Totally Accurate Rating Platform’. They allow us to identify specific things, recognise positive or negative aspects of a games design, and generally indulge our consistent silliness with some visual tomfoolery.  

Valorant is razor sharp and frequently humbling, placing player skill at the forefront of a deliberately intense and incredibly satisfying combat loop. Finding your sea legs requires patience and a quick trigger finger; you’ll want to experiment with the numerous characters on offer since their playstyle's vary considerably. It’s a game of seconds, forcing you to bring your best to every encounter, and find new ways to flank and finish your foes.

Throughout our hands on time with the Closed Beta and this final free to play release, we never found ourselves fighting against mechanics or server instability. Riot have gone to exceptional lengths to ensure a responsive and consistent environment, and the efforts made have paid dividends. It might feel like a press release bullet point, but the high tick rate servers, attempts to address varying connection speeds, and snappy matchmaking / load times coalesce into a polished and thoughtful final product.

It’s not without flaws. Some animation (particularly character deaths) are laughably rudimentary, and often make for an unintentionally hilarious end to a firefight. Consistency of hit response is also something that could do with a slight tweak, given the not inconsiderable power / recoil gap between different weapon tiers. Once in a blue moon, it feels like you should have registered a shot that apparently didn’t land, but this is extremely rare.

The melding of character abilities and CS:GO sharpness makes sense both in theory and practice; they typically don’t dominate an encounter, and frequently create new tactical possibilities worth exploring. There is an over reliance on view / path obscuring powers, which can occasionally frustrate, but at the same time, it always feels like there’s an appropriate counter.

At just four maps, and two game modes that are essentially variants of the same idea, the launch offering is a tad slight. However, the quality of the map design, with multiple flanking routes, and crisp visuals, is laudable. That same degree of meticulous design extends to the UI, one of the best we’ve navigated in a game of this type.

Valorant is a superb example of a clear creative vision executed with ruthless precision.


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