During Riot Games’ 10th Anniversary Event, the developer announced “Project A” as one of its next projects. Until now, all we knew about the game was that it was a first-person shooter that appeared to be a unique blend of Valve’s Counter-Strike and Blizzard’s Overwatch.
We now have reports from playtests coming in. On Wednesday, former CS:GO pro player Henry “HenryG” Greer took to Twitter to share his experience with the game so far.
HenryG begins by saying that it is most similar to CS:GO. Project A is a 5 vs. 5, tactical shooter, but with class elements and abilities, similar to Overwatch and Apex Legends.
Hello! Strap yourself in. I had the chance to spend a day playing #ProjectA at Riot EU. Today, I'm allowed to share some of my initial thoughts and impressions. Please bear with me, I can't go into too much detail about the specifics of a lot of the gameplay until a later date.
— HenryG (@HenryGcsgo) February 11, 2020
Abilities and weapons
Even though the abilities can be seen as a big part of the game, and its blend with a standard shooter will help make the game unique, it seems that these abilities are more for utility rather than the basis of the game. We have seen smoke walls, resurrections, and the ability to fly around throwing daggers.
But they are not the core elements of Project A gameplay. In Overwatch, abilities are a significant part of the game, and it is generally a case of who has their Ultimate abilities and when. “Project A” seems to be taking another approach; rather than abilities winning the game for you, they will instead be helping you to play the game. You can even decide not to use abilities at all.
You can have a great time playing without having to rely *too* much on the abilities to assist you in your game.
— HenryG (@HenryGcsgo) February 11, 2020
Similar to CS:GO, you can make purchases at the start of each round, so you can choose not to spend anything and save it for the following round. The big difference here is that players can purchase abilities and weapons.
Players can, therefore, choose never to purchase an ability; so the game has been designed to function as a ‘normal’ tactical shooter. Demonstrating that the abilities are not a core part of the gameplay.
On the other hand, you can choose to buy abilities in the place of weapons. This is likely where roles come in, with a player choosing to forfeit weapons in favor of getting an ability. In the first round, a player can start with no weapons and just the Ressurection ability, basically playing a support role. HenryG has said all classes have access to the same generic weaponry. So it seems that classes define abilities rather than weapons. “A 1 bullet headshot from a primary rifle […] will do enough damage to take down an opponent,” regardless of the class or hero.
The reaction has raised some questions
Others have also taken to Twitter, commenting on HenryG’s thread or others. While many are excited about the game, and others comparing it to the Counter-Strike series, one of the big things that has stood out, however, is if the weapons are generic and similar, surely the difference in teams will either be skill difference or the abilities. So although Riot is trying to downplay the impact of abilities, it seems they could still be important in deciding games.
While a meta is inevitable, there is a worry that certain abilities will stand out more than others. A resurrection ability sounds strong, but the cost and use limit haven’t been announced. It could be relatively expensive with only one use per round, which would make it seem less strong. Players are eager to get their hands on the game, but there still seems to be some reserved feelings on some points of the gameplay.
HenryG has claimed the map design is one of the most exciting parts of the game, with the maps designed for gameplay, rather than aesthetics. The locations should still be beautiful, but filled with lanes and choke points to help the gameplay.
Those who have played CS:GO will likely find this game familiar as it seems there are so many similarities. Likewise, Overwatch players have compared it to Blizzard’s game too. It seems Riot have drawn inspiration from other games, but will make sure it stays unique. This will likely help the player base, as being similar to other games makes it more accessible.
The game will be free-to-play, with cosmetic items being the monetization method. We should be seeing a name released over the next few weeks and hopefully a look at the maps soon too. As of yet, it is just Search and Destroy maps with two bomb sites, although there are some with three.
And finally, it’s not too early to get excited about Project A, considering HenryG has stated: “Project A is the best game I have played since CS:GO.”
Alistar is an English and Linguistics graduate, and he's been playing video games for as long as he can remember. He started playing League of Legends in 2011, and has been obsessed since. Hopefully that passion turns into knowledge, which can fuel his writing.