Valorant Hands-On Preview: The Next Big Competitive Shooter

Actually, Valorant’s main mode of play is, essentially, just Counter-Strike. It sees two teams of five players compete to be the first team to win 13 rounds. One team serves as a map’s defenders while the others are the attackers. The attackers are trying to plant a bomb on the map while the defenders are attempting to stop them from doing so. Both sides can also win by being the first to eliminate every member of the opening team. 

Like we said, it’s basically the familiar Counter-Strike formula. You even purchase weapons, shields, and abilities at the start of each round. If you’ve spent any amount of time with Valve’s legendary shooter, you’ll instantly feel comfortable with what Valorant is asking you to do. 

The Overwatch part of the equation comes into play you start to account for the unique abilities of each of Valorant’s playable agents. As it turns out, though, even that element of the game is somewhat muted.

Abilities Matter in Valorant (But They Don’t Define the Game)

Abilities are king in Overwatch. While skilled players can easily turn the tide of a battle well-placed standard attacks, even professional Overwatch matches are typically determined by the effective use of a character’s standard and ultimate abilities. 

That’s not necessarily the case with Valorant. In fact, you don’t even have access to a character’s full abilities at the start of each round. While every agent starts with a default ability that can be used at any time, you have to purchase the rest of  them using the same credits you use to purchase guns and shields. Ultimates, meanwhile, are charged through the course of play and by picking up a limited amount of orbs scattered throughout the map. 

What this all means is that you don’t see abilities nearly as often as you do in games like Overwatch. Granted, you see some of them during most matches, but money tends to be spent on guns and shields over certain kits. Ultimates, meanwhile, are rarely seen more than a couple of times from each character over the course of a full game. 

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