Ahead of EVO this weekend, Riot released a video to the world talking about Project L and how to play it. If you've seen the game, and how it plays compared to other fighting games, then you know that it looks pretty darn flashy and complicated. Well, the design philosophy behind Project L is that it can be easy for someone to pick up if they haven't played a fighting game before, but it will take some serious lab time to master the nuances the game has to offer. So let's break down the video and talk about how to play Project L.
How to play Project L - The Basics
To start things off, let's talk about the basics. First, let's look at the control scheme for Project L. Project L is an eight-button fighter (six if parry has a non-macro button combination, and you don't count dash as a button).
If you want some more specific inputs for the game, then here's a handy input guide. Let's look at how some of these buttons interact in the game.
Project L will have light, medium and heavy normal inputs, which can be modified with directional inputs. Think of something similar to BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle.
Additionally, each character has two special buttons, which can also be modified with different directional inputs. Supers in Project L are the same across all characters, being "Down, Down and either S1 or S2" (22S1, 22S2) for level 1 supers, and "Down, Down and S1 and S2" (22S1+S2) for your level 2 super. Level 1 supers cost 1 meter, and level 2 supers cost 2 meter.
There are a few key ways to defend in Project L. Blocking is as you'd expect, by holding back or down back.
But in addition to normal stand and crouch blocking, you have access to a few more tactics. The first of which is a push block. This will push your opponents a good distance away from you to give you a little breathing room.
The next thing you can do is a retreating guard, which is effectively a back dash while blocking. A well timed retreating guard may be able to open some whiff punish opportunities, or at the very least, open up your opponents as they try to reapproach.
The final basic defense tactic you have access to is the Parry. You can parry high or low, and a successful parry will push the opponent back and open them up for a counter. But if you whiff a parry, you'll be the one that's open for business.
Now let's talk about some slightly more advanced stuff. Every character has a unique launcher move to help you extend combos into the air.
Each champion also has a universal anti-air move, which is great for being able to ground opponents that are a little too jumpy.
The last cool thing that can help you in a pinch is the Dynamic Save. This is essentially the Burst mechanic from Guilty Gear. This calls your assist character in for a second to knock the opponent across the screen to save you. You can use
this even if your assist character is dead.
Project L is a tag team fighter, and can be played with one person controlling both characters or with two people, each controlling a character. In game, assists and tagging are handled by the "Team" button (T).
Each character has two normal assists (left or right + Team), as well as charged versions of those assists, which involves holding the Team button down, and letting it go when you want the assist to come out. If you're playing solo, you control when these assists come out. But if you're playing with a friend, they control when those assists are used.
To do a raw tag in, the on screen player simply holds down the Team button, and the off screen character will swap in. Additionally, you can perform a handshake tag, which will tag the off screen player in while they are performing an assist and they'll take over control instantly.
Tagging in can also be utilized with a launcher to set up a nasty air combo for your assist / partner.
If you or your partner dies first, you can still have an impact on the game by performing a Last Stand, which is a massive, one time attack to help you come back and even up the fight. Timing this right can turn the tides of a game.
Lastly, we'll cover the Fuse system. Fuses are picked during champ select, and can drastically change how your duo plays in the match. For example, the Fury fuse gives you additional damage and a dash cancel when you're below 40% health. The 2X assist fuse let's your assist perform their attacks twice in a row. There's only a small handful of fuses at this time, but there's sure to be more at launch.
And that's the basics of Project L! With a system that is as simple as this on the surface, but as diverse a roster as the League of Legends champions, leaves a ton of room for synergy exploration and creative fighting. Project L is shaping up to be a very interesting and fun looking game. If you're at EVO this weekend and have a chance to play, let us know in the Discord what you thought of it! If not, let us know what you think about how Project L is looking so far!