Project L Development Coming Along Nicely, First Gameplay Footage Shows Immense Promise

by in Fighting Game News | Nov, 22nd 2021

Riot has just shown off a bit of Project L gameplay and, needless to say, our minds have been blown! It’s also been a while since the last time we’ve gotten an update on this oh-so-exciting fighting game. Fortunately, radio silence meant the dev team was hard at work, and is now finally prepared to give us a foretaste of what’s to come!

Judging a book by its cover is never advisable, but we simply have to get the following thing off our chest: Project L looks downright phenomenal! Every single element that was on display — the sprites, animations, moves, VFX, etc. — is far more beautiful and mesmerizing than we had expected. It’s still too early to make any kind of prediction, but it sure does look like Riot has another winner on its hands!

Tons of Potential

Project L is a 2v2 assist-based fighter that’ll pit the champions we all know and love against each other on a wide range of stages, all set in the Runeterran universe. It’ll reward strategic teambuilding and on-the-fly decision-making, while also retaining “strong fighting fundamentals.”

In other words: Riot is trying to upend the genre and build on its conventions similarly to what it did with VALORANT — nail the core gameplay down to a tee, and then add a series of unique twists on top. And, well, making it free to play is also a mighty important part of the equation, too!

“For Project L, we’re embracing the easy-to-learn, hard-to-master mentality. So yes, we are making it easier to jump in with a new character and learn their basic kit. That said, we absolutely believe in rewarding the time you spend going deep on a character by providing opportunities for you to showcase your high-end mastery,” said Tony Cannon, Technical Lead at Project L.

Let’s Talk Multiplayer

The dev team is fortunately well aware that netcode is of the utmost importance for any fighting game hoping to have a thriving esports scene. Tony Cannon is not only the co-founder of EVO, but also one of the creators of the GGPO rollback system. Having such a veteran on board will surely yield spectacular results.

Fortunately, they’re also working on a bespoke solution for Project L based on Riot’s existing tech, and it sounds mighty exciting!

“One of our top priorities for the game is to build the absolute best in netcode that you can get in a fighter. Of course we’re starting with rollback as a foundation, and we’re adding in existing tech from Riot like RiotDirect, which does a great job at minimizing ping for League of Legends and VALORANT,” said Tom Cannon, Senior Director and Executive Producer for Project L.

Still A Ways to Go

If you’re a fan of Dragon Ball FighterZ, Marvel vs Capcom, or BlazBlue, you’ll definitely love what Project L has to offer! Unfortunately, we’ll all have to wait a while before getting our hands on it.

“Before we get into the details, a quick clarification: the gameplay clip that we aired at Undercity Nights is still what the gaming industry calls a ‘vertical slice.’ We built this to hammer out the final look of the game, in advance of actually going in and building all of our content like characters and stages. Our vertical slice might give you the sense that the game is ready, but we actually still have a lot of work ahead of us. So, although we’ve made a great deal of progress, we will not be shipping in 2021 or 2022,” Tom concluded.

All things considered, we’re okay with waiting. If the first gameplay footage is anything to go by, Project L has a very bright future ahead of it, and we wouldn’t want its development to be rushed. The dev team will be back with another update sometime early in the second half of 2022.


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