Riot Games’ free-to-play tactical shooter Valorant has enjoyed huge success during its closed beta, but now the company are gearing up for a full release, dated for 2nd June. The game is currently only available on PC.
The current beta phase will run until 28th May, at which point Riot wil be shutting the game down in order to get everything in ship shape for launch. Once the game is live, progression for all players will be reset, but you won’t have to faff with acquiring a code anymore to play.
Here’s Riot’s Anna Donlon, Executive Producer, and Joe Ziegler, Game Director, chatting about the bit 1.0.
The game broke records on Twitch when it entered into closed beta back in April, with 1.7 million concurrent viewers, however, a lot of this will have been down to Riot Games using Twitch as a direct marketing tactic. The only way to gain access to the beta was to watch a stream of someone else playing the game and get a code, something that will be going away with the full release.
Riot announced that Valorant will be boosted with a new game mode, a new agent and a new map for the full release, while also prioritising the rollout of new servers in Atlanta, Dallas, London, Madrid, and Warsaw to help ensure all games are hosted with low latency.
Riot are clearly targeting a competitive esports scene with this, just as they have done with League of Legends. The game is designed with 144fps support from the off, with a stylised art direction helping many machines to achieve that, and data centres dotted around the world to help with low latency and a 128Hz server tick rate, ensuring that the game is translating player actions as accurately as possible and hoping to cut out lagging gameplay.
However, while the game has been successful, its released has been bogged down by a controversially invasive anti-cheat system, Vanguard, which takes exceedingly low level access to the operating system in order to try and prevent cheaters. This proved to be very unpopular with tech savvy people, aware of the risks that this can provide to a system’s security. In response, Riot updated the driver to allow it to be more easily deactivated or uninstalled, but still require that it is running at system boot in order to play the game.
Still, the game’s blend of tactical shooter and hero characters has proven rather popular, with hints of Overwatch and GS:GO in its tense 5v5 action.
Source: press release