Project L will put a brand new spin on many of the fighting game genre’s most beloved mechanics. But some traditional mechanics will also be making a return in the new title from Riot Games.
Executive producer Tom Cannon and technical lead Tony Cannon have already spoiled Project L fans with early previews, and fans are eager to glean as much info from them as possible. Based on the handful of early trailers, Project L seems to take a few mechanics from every fighting game subgenre. Here’s what we know about Project L’s offensive, defensive, and movement mechanics.
Overheads and crossups confirmed for Project L
Riot Games appears to be including the full suite of universal mixups for Project L, including overhead and crossup attacks.
Early previews make it clear that Project L will keep the traditional high-low structure of most fighting games. Characters will have certain moves that can only be blocked high and others that must be blocked low. There also appears to be some sort of grab system able to break through blocking. Project L would seem to use traditional direction blocking, but a guard button could be implemented prior to release.
Crossups are a classic fighting game trick where players narrowly jump over the opponent with an air attack. By suddenly reversing the opponent’s required input direction, players can trick them into blocking the wrong way. Crossups are definitely confirmed for Project L, as an early preview shows Ekko using Ahri’s assist move to set up a crossup. Darius performs a similar maneuver soon after.
That video also confirms super moves, though exactly how they are accessed or performed is still up in the air. Both Ahri and Darius show off cinematic attacks complete with a super flash at the start. The examples shown were clearly intended as combo finishers, but supers could have more utility as Project L inches towards release.
Project L movement mechanics include double jump, tech outs
One of the defining traits of any fighting game is its movement, and Project L appears to borrow movement mechanics from several existing fighters. Double jumps could be among them.
In the first Project L gameplay reveal back in 2021, the Cannon brothers showed off the character Ekko using a double jump. Ekko also showed off jump cancels, a technique where players jump during the early result of an attack to start a new combo. The end of the preview also showed interesting air movement options for Ahri, but her flight mechanics may be a unique trait.
Air dashes are a core part of many fast-paced fighting games, but they appear to be absent in Project L. None of the early previews showed an air dash accessible to all Project L characters, though Ahri has multiple air dashes tied to her attacks. Some other tag-based fighting games, such as the Marvel vs Capcom series, also eschew the air dash in favor of the more traditional double jump mechanic.
In terms of defensive options, players appear to have access to air and ground techs. It’s hard to tell from footage, but players could be able to pick which directions their tech sends them in. In the example above, Jinx is able to escape Darius’ combo with a blue flash. She’s able to use an air attack right after, showing that the player has regained control.
Tech out combo systems tend to be more complex than a standard juggle system, but access to defensive options may help struggling players get a better sense of control even when under an opponent’s assault.