NetEase releases Hyper Front, a game that looks like a mobile VALORANT

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NetEase released Hyper Front, a 5v5 FPS similar to Riot's VALORANT. (Photo: Riot Games; NetEase Games)
NetEase released Hyper Front, a 5v5 FPS similar to Riot's VALORANT. (Photo: Riot Games; NetEase Games)

Chinese developer NetEase has released a mobile game, similar to the Riot Games' popular PC 5v5 FPS game VALORANT, in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Riot Games already announced in June 2021 that it was making a mobile version of VALORANT, but NetEase released a trailer for Project M soon after.

From the get-go, the trailer featured a lot of elements similar to Riot’s VALORANT (which was notably named as Project A while in development) from the setting, art style, and even the abilities of the characters.

Players have been quick to point out the many parallels in gameplay and mechanics between the two first-person shooters.

Both games are 5v5, consisting of agents with different abilities. One of the main differences, though, is that contrary to VALORANT, which only requires teams to win 13 rounds, Hyper Front demands teams to win 14 rounds in order to win the game.

Sage and Elixir's abilities are similar. (Photo: Riot Games; NetEase Games)
Sage and Elixir's abilities are similar. (Photo: Riot Games; NetEase Games)

Character abilities also have similarities. One of Hyper Front’s most similar characters to a VALORANT Agent is Elixir, whose abilities are much like Sage.

Elixir has a Slowing Vortex that looks almost exactly like Sage’s Slow Orb, both of which create a lingering field that slows players inside of it. Elixir’s ultimate, Revitalize, is also exactly like Sage’s Resurrection, both of which revive teammates.

Coldcast, on the other hand, looks similar to Sage’s Barrier Orb. Like Sage’s ability, Ice Barrier also creates a barrier to block a path for a limited period of time.

Storm, on the other hand, took inspiration from both Killjoy and Brimstone. Storm’s Cycloneburst looks almost exactly like Killjoy’s Nanoswarm, but its effects are different. While both are grenades that generate a cyclone-like effect to their enemies, we’re missing Killjoy’s destructive Nanobots in Cyloneburst. Storm’s cyclone also inflicts vulnerability into enemy units.

Additionally, Brimstone’s Sky Smoke looks similar to Storm’s Tornadoburst. From its effects into the target area, down to the animation, everything feels the same between Sky Smoke and Tornadoburst.

Reyna’s Leer, Phoenix’s Hot Hands, Curveball, and more abilities from VALORANT’s agents have also been mixed and matched into different Hyper Front agent kits.

Hyper Front boasts a lineup of 23 different guns, which is much more than 17 of VALORANT’s weapons. However, more than five of Hyper Front’s weapons feel like almost direct copies from VALORANT.

NetEase has previously been known to release games that are heavily similar to popular titles like Fortnite, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). The Chinese gaming company has also previously faced a lawsuit from PUBG Corp.

Before PUBG Mobile was released, NetEase Games allegedly released two mobile games with striking visual, audio, and gameplay similarities. The case was eventually settled privately.

In 2018, Tencent Holdings (Riot’s parent company) won US$2.9 million in a lawsuit against Xu Zhenhua, the CEO of Moonton, the developer of Mobile Legends.

This came after Riot had taken Moonton to court in the US in 2017, alleging copyright infringement of League of Legends, only for the case to be dismissed forum non conviens, a legal term that meant that the case would be better heard in another jurisdiction.

Riot also recently sued Vietnamese-based company Imba Games for allegedly copying from League of Legends spinoff Team Fight Tactics.

Riot has yet to comment on the issue.

In a separate case, PUBG Mobile maker Krafton filed a suit last week against Singapore-based Garena, as well as Google and Apple, over a similar mobile game, Free Fire.

Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.

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