Two years after its first announcement, Riot Games has finally revealed gameplay for its fighting game, Project L. In the six-minute trailer, Tony and Tom Cannon, the leads for the game shared details on the type of fighting game it will be, the new netcode system in development, as well as some gameplay from Jinx, Ekko, Darius, and Ahri.
Project L will be an assist based fighter
Outside of Dragon Ball FighterZ, the fighting game landscape has lacked an assist-based fighter for some years. The premier assist-based series has been Marvel vs Capcom, which pioneered its combat system decades ago. MvC2 and MvC3 were massive hits and still have passionate fanbases to this day. However, the last MvC game, MvC: Infinite flopped hard and since then only DBFZ and BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle has been able to make a breakthrough into the mainstream.
Project L will be trying its hand at its own take on an assist-based fighter. In Project L, players will pilot teams of two characters. One character will be the main fighter, while the other will be a stand-by. The stand-by character can be called in to literally assist the player to extend combos. Players will be able to switch between the two fighters at will. The last time a prominent fighting game featured this 2v2 style assist-based gameplay was BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, which came out in 2018.
Easy to learn, hard to master
Fighting games are notorious for having hard skill floors and being difficult to pick up. However, the intent with Project L is to be easy enough for anyone to give it a try. However, that doesn’t come at the cost of a high skill ceiling. While being easy to pick up, Cannon said that top-level players will have plenty of skill expression in the game by showcasing mastery of their main characters. Cannon also said they want to set up a “steadily increasing learning curve” to separate the skill floor and skill ceiling.
New Netcode system
Before joining Riot to work on Project L, Tony Cannon was the co-founder of EVO and worked on creating the GGPO rollback netcode system. This system has been used by many other fighting games to decrease latency between players online. Some of the games using this netcode are Skullgirls, Melty Blood: Type Lumina and the soon-to-be-released The King of Fighters XV. But for Project L, Cannon is working on an even better netcode.
On top of using rollback netcode, Project L will use a new networking model exclusive to Riot Games. This system uses networking from other Riot titles to enhance rollback netcode even further. Using Riot Direct, when playing online even bad connections on your opponents’ ends won’t affect gameplay if your connection is good.
There is no hard release date or beta test announced but Cannon said to expect more frequent updates going forward.
ASU alum with a B.A in Sports Journalism, Warren is one of the premier TFT Journalists in the scene and is a decent TFT player as well who has peaked Challenger and has had multiple accounts in Master+ over all sets. Warren also specializes in other esports content including League of Legends, Valorant, Smash Bros, and more.