Riot’s first-person tactical shooter Valorant gets closed beta next week

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Valorant, the new free-to-play first-person tactical shooter from League of Legends developer Riot Games, will be entering closed beta next week, ahead of its launch on PC this summer.

Originally announced under the name Project A as part of Riot's tenth anniversary celebrations last year, Valorant is a character-based shooter, with a focus on tactical play, inspired by the likes of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Crossfire, and, yes, Overwatch.

It's a five-versus-five affair – each playable Agent having their own distinct abilities – in which the attacking team attempts to plant a bomb (the "Spike") behind enemy lines. The defending team, meanwhile, must attempt defuse it or simply last the course of a round in order to win.

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Eurogamer's Chris Tapsell took an extensive look at Valorant earlier this year, finding its gunplay extremely promising, even if the overall package lacked a distinctive character.

"If you do get a good team, or just a good group of pals to play it with, I found there was a remarkable thrill to most of the rounds I played," he wrote, "Games frequently built to a natural climax of tension, and some higher-level plays…can be incredibly satisfying."

Those eager to take Riot's shooter for a spin themselves will have an opportunity to do so starting Tuesday, 7th April, when Valorant's closed beta gets underway. Be aware, though, that getting involved is a little more of a faff than your usual registration sign-up; you'll first need to create Riot and Twitch accounts, if you don't have them already, then link the two together.

After that, once the closed beta has activated in your region, you'll need to watch specific Valorant streams highlighted on Twitch in order to qualify for Closed Beta access.

Riot says Closed Beta access will be open to players in Europe, the United States, Canada, Russia, and Turkey initially, and that more regions may be added at a later date, "pending developments with the current COVID-19 pandemic."

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