Hero Shooter Standoff

How Amazon's Crucible stacks up against Riot Games' Valorant

Multiplayer hero shooters are back in vogue, so how do these two new contenders compare to one another?

Amazon fully revealed Crucible, an online multiplayer hero shooter meant to compete with Overwatch and Valorant, on Tuesday. The sci-fi, free-to-play multiplayer game has a wide array of similarities to Valorant specifically. For those of you wondering how the two new hero-based shooters stack up against each other, here's a look at their release dates, platforms, and everything else you might need to know to pick between the two.

When are the Crucible and Valorant release dates?

Crucible release date — Amazon announced Tuesday that Crucible will be released on May 20, 2020. When the game launches, there will be no special Twitch drops or invites needed to access it, which has been the case in the ongoing Valorant beta. Crucible will be released as a free-to-play game directly on Steam.

Valorant release date — Valorant entered a closed beta back in March 2020, and players can currently only access the game by acquiring a beta code via Twitch drops. Even though Valorant is already popular and has been around for more than a month, accessing it comes with a few hurdles. Riot Games is planning to launch the fuller version of Valorant in summer 2020. That does mean, however, that for a month or two, access to Crucible will be far easier.

What platforms are Crucible and Valorant on?

Crucible platforms When Crucible comes out on May 20, it will only be available for PC via Steam. Amazon has not commented on whether or not the game will be coming to other platforms. The New York Times does report that Amazon is working on a streaming platform to rival Google Stadia, so it is possible that Crucible will end up landing on a platform like that, but who knows when it might be available to launch.

Valorant platforms Like Crucible, Valorant is only available on PC right now. Furthermore, it requires Riot's proprietary game launcher to run instead of Steam. A data-mine from May 3, however, indicates that Valorant will be ported to PS4, iOS, and Android, so expect to see Riot Games' latest hit on other platforms in the future. Especially if it's launched as a free-to-play game on those platforms and the game's hype remains strong, then that'll be a huge boon to the game.

Who developed Crucible and Valorant?

Crucible developer — Crucible is published by Amazon Games and developed by Relentless Studios, the new name for Amazon's Seattle-based game studio. Relentless is led by Louis Castle, who worked on games like Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun at Westwood Studios. This is the team's first major release.

Valorant developer — This game is developed and published by Riot Games, best known for the popular MOBA League of Legends and auto chess game Teamfight Tactics. Valorant was created by an internal team that first started working together in 2014.

How do Crucible and Valorant play?

Crucible gameplay Crucible and Valorant seem pretty similar at the surface level: They are both shooters based around heroes with special abilities. Crucible stands out as it plays from a behind-the-shoulder third-person view rather than a first-person perspective like Valorant. This makes the game look more similar to something like Paragon or Fortnite than it does Overwatch. Crucible also features some unique modes, all of which are centered around getting a valuable resource called Essence.

When collected, Essence is also used to level up heroes, making them more powerful. Heart of the Hives is a 4v4 mode that tasks players with collecting three hearts from hives scattered throughout the map. Harvester Command is an 8v8 mode where players must hold certain points across the map. Finally, Alpha Hunter pits eight teams of two against each other in order to be the last one standing.

Valorant gameplay Valorant is also a hero-based shooter, but plays out in first-person in a similar fashion to Overwatch or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. It currently only features on Search and Destroy style mode that pits two teams of five against each other over several rounds, allowing new weapons and the like to be bought between fights.

At launch, Crucible will have 10 playable characters.

Amazon Games

What are the character rosters in Crucible and Valorant?

Crucible characters — Amazon has confirmed that Crucible will launch with 10 hunters, four of whom have been detailed. Earl is described as "an inter-stellar trucker who’s built like a tank and has a gun sized to match," in the press release revealing the game."

You also have Bugg, a "robot botanist whose primary concern is protecting his plants," and Summer, who is "a champion fighter and former welder whose flame throwers keep things hot on the battlefield." The game's website also highlights Tosca, an "evil genius" that uses an "acid scattergun." Like most hero shooters, each character comes with a distinct playstyle and abilities that will make them useful in certain situations.

Valorant characters — As of May 2020, Valorant also has 10 characters. They are Breach, Brimstone, Cypher, Jett, Omen, Pheonix, Raze, Sova, Sage, and Viper. Like Crucible or Overwatch, each of these characters has memorable designs and personalities as well as helpful abilities that rewards strategy and working together with everyone on your team.

Should you play Crucible or Valorant?

When deciding between Crucible or Valorant, there are a couple of things to consider. As of this writing, Valorant is the only available option, but it will be harder to get than Crucible once Amazon's new game launches. What it ultimately comes down to is the kind of shooter that you prefer.

If you are a fan of Overwatch and other first-person shooters like Call of Duty, Valorant may be the better fit for you. Those that prefer third-person shooters like Fortnite, or are looking for a bit more creativity in the world and modes available, will like Crucible more.

Ultimately, we'll also have to see how Crucible stacks up against Valorant post-launch. Riot Games' latest has already become one of the most popular games on Twitch, which, ironically, is owned by Amazon.

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