Valve Announces Deadlock: A New Hero Shooter Blending Elements from Overwatch, Valorant, DOTA, and More

Rumor mill: Valve, known for its infrequent game releases, is amidst rumors of launching a new competitive title by the creators of Half-Life and DOTA 2. Leaks, including images and a brief overview, suggest Valve is crafting a blend of the hero shooter and MOBA genres.

A reputable source on Valve’s activities recently revealed screenshots of what’s rumored to be Valve’s next online game venture, dubbed Deadlock. This competitive shooter is said to draw parallels with renowned games such as Overwatch, Valorant, and Valve’s DOTA 2.

Gabe Follower characterizes Deadlock as a dynamic, hero-centric PvP shooter promoting the strategic use of items and abilities. Previewed screenshots introduce two characters: Grey Talon, a long-range archer, and Deadlock, who embodies both offensive and defensive capabilities.

Deadlock is played across a vast map featuring four lanes and integrates tower defense elements, positioning the game as a hybrid of competitive shooter and MOBA. Gabe Follower notes its resemblance to Overwatch, Valorant, Smite, Orcs Must Die, alongside Valve’s classics: Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2.

The game’s backdrop blends steampunk with fantasy, showcasing elevated rails for quick map navigation similar to BioShock Infinite. Initially, Valve considered a sci-fi theme akin to Half-Life and Portal but shifted gears following internal feedback.

Deadlock might be the project leaker Tyler McVicker alluded to in 2022, previously named Neon Prime. McVicker also indicated its DOTA-inspired elements and mentioned development by IceFrog, the enigmatic lead designer for DOTA and DOTA 2.

As Valve’s leaked project emerges, it might draw comparisons to extinct MOBA shooters like Epic’s Paragon or Gearbox’s Battleborn, with Overwatch and Valorant as its foremost rivals.

A significant innovation in Deadlock could be Valve’s promotion of custom game modes and player-generated content via its in-game interface and the Steam Workshop. This commitment to creative community engagement remains a central aspect of DOTA 2, Counter-Strike, and Valve’s broader multiplayer catalogue. The ongoing influx of community content has sustained the popularity of Team Fortress 2, setting a precedent for future hero shooters.

If Deadlock officially launches, it would mark Valve’s inaugural original multiplayer game since the introduction of Artifact in 2018, which notably did not meet expectations. Since that time, Valve has focused on enhancing its existing series, releasing updates for games like the auto-battler Dota Underlords, the VR-exclusive Half-Life: Alyx, and a significant overhaul for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, evolving it into Counter-Strike 2.

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