Valorant officially launches with new map, new agent, and a beta of the new Spike Rush mode

    
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Today is the day for another team-based multiplayer FPS to arrive on the scene. This time it’s Riot Games’ turn on the sub-genre with the official worldwide launch of Valorant, which has arrived with some new features and a bevy of adjustments.

The headline features are, of course, the newly arrived Agent Reyna, who was unveiled yesterday, along with the new Ascent map, which is described as “an open playground for small wars of position and attrition.” There’s also a beta of the promised new game mode known as Spike Rush; details on this mode aren’t outlined, nor is the length of this mode’s beta, but the patch notes describe it as “a fresh and more hectic flavor of Valorant.”

The launch update notes also detail a number of changes to several Agents, a restructuring of the mid chokepoint for the Split map, and a wide variety of bug fixes and other changes. The notes also point out that there is no competitive mode at launch; the devs want to ensure the game is stable and to act on some player feedback before competitive play goes live.

You can take in the full patch notes on the game’s website, look through a beginner’s guide, and check out a gameplay video after the cut.

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Matthäus Wey

The game looks visually just incredibly bland :/
I understand why they want to keep the contrast as low as possible, but that doesn’t mean that the animations have to look that bad.

Reader

Eh? I’ve seen IT professionals with certificates in MS Paint and Notepad complaining how the anticheat making their lives so hard and how the Chinese government contacts them on a daily basis just to mock them how much of their data they have, even though they have never installed the game or have no intention in doing so, but it’s the first time I see complaints about the animations of the game.

I’ve played this game since the first day of CBT since I managed to get access on the very first day, but I’m yet to see how animations are bad.

What exactly is bad about them? The effects of abilities? Character movement? Weapon reloading?

I’ve seen people complain that overall the graphics feel outdated and I’ve seen this and I agree – yesterday I was looking at a wall and the textures were so blurry despite I play the game maxed out and I can agree that at lest texture resolution CAN be better, but this in no way affects the game for me at least.

It’s not my main game since there are many game modes that I miss, like TDM or FFA, or Payload or some other modes with fast respawns, but at least there is hope that they might come up.

I don’t want to accuse anyone for not enjoying the game because of the visuals, because I too find it to be too cartoony for my taste, but when you’re interested in the gameplay on a larger scale, you tend to forget the visuals and just enjoy the game. I really like CS:GO, but for me that game feels rather stale due to its visuals – I keep seeing the same old, same old maps and weapons from when I first started playing CS in 1999 and the lack of additional game modes or ways for the game to undergo an evolution really makes it boring to me, I have around 200 hours on CS:GO simply because I wanted to grind to level 21 and get Prime for free, but as soon as I did that, I just didn’t find any incentive to play the game any longer.

In a nutshell, Valorant is almost what I wanted from CS all along – a game that has solid and grounded gunplay mechanics, but spices things up with hero abilities, and the best part is if even your agent of choice gets picked by somebody else, you can still pick an agent you’re not familiar with at all and just focus on the gunplay and still do just fine.

I think that it’s a common trait for people who just enjoy any game for what it is, they just play it and enjoy it. For many years I had a very old and slow outdated PC and being able to run GTA 5 on lowest was like a fucking achievement to me. Now I have a relatively beefy PC and the irony is that I don’t really play any of the new games that would put my hardware to the test, I still play oldies like Heroes of Might and Magic III, Age of Empires II (not the 30 GB Definitive version), The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind, Worms Armageddon and much more, even the MMOs that I play can be played on a kitchen utensil.

I don’t want to sound condescending, but for me people that are complaining about visuals of a game, fail to see what the gameplay has to offer and they are really missing out on a lot of oldie games that are amazing and fun. In Valorant’s case, the reason for the outdated looking graphics is kinda like Vanilla WoW – it was made to look outdated on a purpose – so even old PCs can run the game just fine. I remember when in 2015 I wanted to play some Ukraininan Online FPS called Survarium, my PC would barely handle it and I had to force my game to run is 784×441… the game literally looked like an NES game that is somehow in 3D. That was the level of my determination to play the game at the time.

I’m sure RIOT can, if they see a demand, can increase the resolutions of texture to be more sharp and crisp…

But still, what exactly do you not like about animations? I’ve honestly not been able to see anything wrong with them, they are just fine. Even for an official release, I can see many issues with the gamem, but they have enough money and manpower that in like 6 months from now, the game will feel a lot more polished and tight in all aspects.

I must also note that I’ve spent many years playing cheap Asian Online F2P FPS games over the years and they have issues all over the place – inconsistent graphics quality all across the board, janky animations, janky gunplay mechanics, one weapon released in 2007 looks like it was taken straight from Counter-Strike 1.0 and the weapon released in 2016 looks like it’s ripped straight from Battlefield 3 or whatever, but despite those shortcoming, I loved the games, because the gameplay itself was JUST FUN and ENJOYABLE.

Therefore I can genuinely NOT UNDERSTAND your gripes. I may sound like a douchebag, but I feel that people focusing on visuals and animations for that matter are just shallow people who fail to appreciate a game for its gameplay. And yeah, Valorant personally lacks in game modes for me, but I have hope that they will add them in the future… if they don’t then oh well, tough luck I guess, I may even drop the game forever since there are no game modes that I like, but I feel that is a more valid reason that animations being “not good enough”.

All respect for your opinion, but I just fail to wrap my head around it.

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Matthäus Wey

As someone who works in visual departments, I may see things differently and therefore they are more important to me. The argument with the overall poor graphics to make the game run well doesn’t really work anymore, because if you bake your lights and do everything like Blizzard does with Overwatch, even incredibly weak hardware can run visually appealing games. The graphics aren’t as important as the gameplay in this case, but I find it incredibly unpleasant to see how little effort has been put into this aspect of the game, especially by a huge company with basically unlimited resources.

As for the animations (not VFX), I just find them a bit clunky, and they just seem to be there because they have to be there and not because an animator has put his heart and soul into them to give them a personality. Once again, it doesn’t really matter to a game like Velorant, but once again they could have done so much more. In my opinion, the game just looks cheap and plays cheap, which is a pity because I enjoy the gameplay overall.

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I have a friend who has an old laptop that the best came it can run is Mass Effect Andromeda on lowest.

He bought Overwatch on launch and spent a decent amount of time playing it, but as time went on and the game got more content, now the can’t play the game anymore because the FPS is probably below 30 and it’s straight up unplayable.

There is also a game on Steam called Black Squad, which on my old PC ran fine, but as more updates were released, the performance worsened. I bought a new PC in 2019 and the game runs with 300 FPS maxed out, but the problem is that it constantly gets FPS drops, hitches and freezes.

Blizzard has the means to perfect their product, yet my friend can’t play and this UE3 game Black Squad which on paper should run so flawlessly that I could probably run 50 instances of it at the same time is choking.

So your argument with lighting and other optimization is not valid by my book.

Valorant still has room for improvement, they can include better graphics for high end PCs as they go along, but again for animations, I still don’t see what is wrong with them – they look pretty fine. I’ve spent about 50+ hours on the game, the animations look fine to me.

Seems to me like people just trying very hard to find to find something to pick on.

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Matthäus Wey

Well, that’s fair and all, but the game runs pretty well on a Nintendo switch. Probably the weakest hardware out there that the game can run on right now. I also happen to have a 2015 laptop that I still play with when I’m travelling and the game runs more than well on low settings. So it’s argument against argument.