Riot’s fighter Project L: 2v2 tag combat, Ekko, Rollback netcode, simple move inputs revealed
We’ve finally got our first real look at Project L in motion, with rollback netcode, simple button inputs and 2v2 tag combat emphasized.
Riot Games has lifted back the curtain just a bit on Project L, the first fighting game based on the world of Runeterra from League of Legends. While we still don't have a release date, Riot did reveal several key pieces of information that was only assumed up to this point, as well as revealing a number of exciting announcements for the game.
Here's everything you need to know about Project L so far.
Project L has rollback netcode
The biggest piece of news from the developer update is that Project L will have rollback netcode. While this alone would put it on par with fighters like Guilty Gear Strive, Riot also announced that they will be using Riot Direct to route connections better than other fighting games on the market. This is the same technology that ensures that you have a more direct connection with League of Legends or Valorant servers, rather than having to hop between multiple data centers.
This is a traditional peer-to-peer setting - the more distance, the more data centers you have to jump through for your connection.
This will be especially important in a peer-to-peer connection like a fighting game has, and they explained it very well in the video with the below graphic.
This is an optimized peer-to-peer connection made through Riot connect.
Additionally, Riot said they are emphasizing player experience, so if you have a good connection and your opponent does not, their connection is affected, not yours. Indeed, if they get frustrated and rage quit, the system will award you the win rather than calling it a draw.
Project L will be a 2v2, tag based fighter
Following in the footsteps of games like Marvel vs Capcom, Project L is aiming to be a tag-based fighting game, complete with assists and (what seemed to be) an active tag mechanic a la Marvel vs Capcom Infinite.
Additionally, it was also revealed that Riot is going with a simple button input for specials, calling the game easy to learn, hard to master. This mechanic makes sense, as the Cannon brothers did something similar with Rising Thunder, which they developed before being acquired by Riot Games.
More contemporary examples of simple button inputs can be found in games like GranBlue Fantasy Versus. Examples of this were shown off with Darius' moveset, starting at 2:06 in the developer update.
Darius is shown to be using Apprehend, a move that has several variations depending on the direction pressed with the "Special Input" button. For example, a down + SI input leads to an anti-air version, while just pressing SI leads to a grounded version.
For those worried about mechanical depth, a combo was shown off with Ahri that lasted nearly 6-7 seconds, so that clearly isn't going to be an issue, and that's something that the Cannons were quick to note in the video.
Project L's roster so far revealed in dev update
While we have hardly seen a complete roster, a few characters have been shown off. The art style seems to lean heavily on inspiration from Arcane, the Netflix series, as well as taking a few nods from League of Legends itself.
Ekko was the first character given a detailed breakdown for Project L.
So far we've seen:
The first three were shown off in the very first reveal for Project L, but we got an in-depth look at Ekko.
Ekko's kit revolves around his ability to rewind time. He's able to leave a "rewind" of himself on the field that Ekko can revert to for mixups, follow-up attacks, zoning, and more. He's also got a Timewinder projectile that can be hit by Ekko as a projectile as well as a Time Distortion Field if the Timewinder is charged up before throwing it. This leads to all sorts of combo potential for the character.
When will we hear more about Project L's next dev update?
Tom and Tony Cannon promised not to have the game in the dark after this developer update, and we should be hearing more about the game in mid-2022, likely around June or July.
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