During the last Project L update in August, executive producer Tom Cannon said there would be one more update for Riot Games’ upcoming fighter before the end of 2022. This update arrived in a six-minute dev diary highlighting the core game mechanics, tag options, and brand-new gameplay.
Out of Riot’s recent announcements, the new Project L developer update far exceeds the hype of the news of Valorant adding back Split. Although, it’s still great that we’ve gotten a fresh look at the company’s upcoming fighting game.
Game Director Shaun “Unconkable” Rivera walked fans through some of the team’s core gameplay principles, several of which have been in place since the game was first revealed. The team showed that their central design philosophy focuses on ensuring players can pick up the game and have fun immediately by getting meaningful abilities while rewarding everyone who works to master its systems.
The video also provides our first in-game look at the newest character announced for Project L, Illaoi. She’s a brawler character who can summon tentacles that allow her to extend combos longer thanpossible. When attacking, Illaoi spins a giant totem capable of dealing heavy damage. Her attacks take up a ton of space on the stage.
According to Tom Cannon, the version of Illaoi shown in the video is said to be only 30% complete. Despite this, the character is now in a playable state as part of the developers’ internal test build, although much work is needed.
Rivera stated that a game with fast, fluid movement at its core is essential to the team, and he believes there are plenty of opportunities for players to express themselves through how they move. He also demonstrated how players could dash, chain, long jump, and super jump in addition to the usual running and jumping. This is specifically tailored to ensure that players are rewarded for going on offense and that the buttons are worth pushing while providing the tools to defend against these actions properly.
The developer update video also revealed that Project L switched from a one-on-one fighter to a two-on-two tag-based system to add more depth to its gameplay and give players more ways to express themselves. The two-champion system implemented for Project L centers around three core mechanics for tagging, although Riot may also add more tag mechanics. These three are Assist Actions, Handshake Tag, and Dynamic Save; each should be familiar to players who have been around FGC for a while.
- Assist Actions work just like assists from previous fighters like Marvel vs. Capcom. Each character will have two assist options, and holding the button will turn the assist into an attack.
- The Handshake Tag will allow players to switch between characters when both are on screen simultaneously, such as right after a successful assist attack.
- The Dynamic Save is the game’s combo breaker and consists of a hit counter where a partner comes in and helps their teammate on screen. However, Dynamic Saves can be countered, so they must be used wisely.
The video did confirm that Riot still has no release window for Project L, meaning it will take quite a while for the game to launch. However, the studio has confirmed that more information will be revealed in 2023.