The new Valorant Agent, Neon, bares some similarities to Overwatch’s poster child, Tracer, and Riot Games’ Ryan ‘rycou’ Cousart has explained why.
Some have compared her to the likes of Apex Legends’ Octane because of her ability to zip across the map, while others have juxtaposed her with Overwatch’s spunky English DPS, Tracer. Valorant’s Game Designer, rycou, has opened up on these similarities, giving us some insight into the design process.
Valorant dev “totally understands” Neon/Tracer comparison
During our time on Riot Games’ Episode 4 test server, we asked rycou if there was any substance behind the Neon/Tracer or Neon/Octane comparison.
“Though Neon’s abilities didn’t draw direct inspiration from these characters, we always find similar mechanics to analyze what lessons we could learn from other types of implementations as part of our design process,” he told Dexerto, going on to highlight “Tracer is one of my all-time favorite FPS characters, and I can totally understand the similarities.”
“I think the iterations and lessons you learn when designing for ‘fast’ often find themselves in similar lanes; mainly for what feels cohesive, but also for what feels intuitive from a feels perspective.”
This rings true of thousands of classic characters, going all the way back to SEGA’s iconic Sonic the Hedgehog. That feisty (and borderline reckless) personality, the uncontrollable speed, and the association with inherent innocence have all become tropes of speedster-style characters.
So, while Neon isn’t just a Valorant-style Tracer or Octane (after all, she can’t jump through time or use trampoline-esque launch pads,) she certainly borrows elements from both iconic characters.
As the game progresses, it’ll be interesting to see if similar mechanics start popping up with other Agents – after all, who wouldn’t want a Sombra-inspired Future Earth hacker?