Riot Games’ fighting game League of Legends, still known only as Project L, was shown in much greater detail during Undercity Nights this weekend, cementing its genre, some characters, and even its plans for online infrastructure.
The video shows executive producer Tom Cannon and technical director Tony Cannon unveiling a vertical section of what Project L will eventually offer. The title will remain a 2D fighting game set in the world of Runeterra as it was originally hinted at when the game was released, but now we know it will include 2v2 battles and character assists in that Gameplay will flow into it. “We believe this is the right foundation for creating a game that rewards strategic team building and spontaneous decision-making in addition to strong combat foundations,” says the executive producer. Hints from games like Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite, Project L will seemingly allow players to switch characters at will, making for quick, fluid combinations between fighters and exciting moments to play or even watch as a fan . Commenting on the performance, Tom Cannon says, “Like many of you out there, we are inspired by insane outplays, hard reading, and 200 IQ games that were behind some of the most iconic moments in fighting game history.”
The full control scheme isn’t entirely clear just yet, but the reintroduction video showed some movements and the buttons associated with them to perform them. Moving away from the complex directional movements that many fighters use, Project L tries to simplify inputs, such as: While this approach makes attack and combo executions a bit easier for players, the developers still seem to leave a lot of complexity when it comes to each character’s abilities.
A new character that was featured was Ekko, who plays in the battle against time. Ekko’s attacks can create an afterimage that shows where he has been in the past few seconds. He can instantly return to the point of this picture and continue his attack or flee to safer area. Ekko seems to have many exciting options available to the player and is sure to be a tricky character to both learn and fight.
Tony Cannon unveiled the current plan for Project L’s online game, which includes the server technology Riot is already using. Project L will use “rollback networking at its core” which provides “consistently low input delay over a wide range of pings”. This is enhanced by Riot Direct, a network solution used by the company for League of Legends and Valorant that uses multiple servers between two players to manage the connection and “ensure a consistent, fair gaming experience” when a player is having problems the network speed or reliability. According to the technical director, this means that someone with a good connection will have no or no problems caused by an opponent’s possibly poorer connection. Riot also takes action to determine who will win a match if a contestant’s anger stops before the bout ends.
Other characters shown were Jinx, Darius, and Ahri, all in a new art style similar to what’s present in the new Netflix animated series. Arcane. Project L is still in its infancy (it doesn’t even have a name!) But the Cannons promise we’ll see more of it next year. In a blog post, Tom Cannon stated that we shouldn’t expect Project L to be released in 2021 or 2022.
What does Project L look like for you? Are you looking forward to the tag team battles or were you hoping for a different fighter genre? Let us know in the comments!