By HALO KWOK
“Here comes the party!”
The 5v5 free-to-play first-person shooter game, Valorant, was first released to the public by Riot Games on June 2. With the recent installment of Act III on Oct. 13, there have been many changes that drastically improved the overall gaming experience. New skin bundles are up for purchase, and the mode Deathmatch has been adjusted to better fit the players. To top it off, a brand new Sentinel agent is set to be released on Oct. 27.
Brought to you by the same creators of the staple of the gaming industry, League of Legends, this is certainly not a game in which to be disappointed. Act III, in literal terms, changed the game, and fans will forever be grateful for how much the game mechanics have improved.
To start the new season, a new map is added to the game. “Icebox,” set in a secret base in the Arctic, has an elegant feel that displays the remarkable views of a snowy winter, bringing variety to the maps available in the game. Previously, all maps relatively shared the same feel, with sunny skies and rustic sites. However, with the addition of “Icebox,” the introduction of a “cooler” environment to the scene keeps the gamers’ interests piqued. The new map spiced things up and kept things riveting as players were starting to become tired of playing the same maps over and over again.
Furthermore, a new skin bundle is available for purchase in the in-game shop. Labeled as the “Singularity” skin collection, each gun in the pack features stunning graphics that are pleasing to the eyes. With purple and black as the color scheme, the bundle offers gamers a sleek look in addition to stylistic flairs. Crystals are located at the core of each gun, mesmerizing the players as they gaze at its beauty. The surrounding charcoal stone that encapsulates the crystals reflect all wavelengths of light, giving off a glossy sheen. This pack features the first Valorant skins with its own exclusive animations. The Riot Game developers never seem to miss with each skin collection release, as each one is characteristically different but also alluring in their own ways.
In addition to the staggering visuals of the new pack, Act III also brought some crucial tweaks to one of Valorant’s game modes—Deathmatch. Now, the player count for each match has increased from 10 to 14. By increasing the number of players in Deathmatch, the new mode allows players to have more targets and faster games. However, the biggest change of all was the removal of the pinging of the minimap. The new update has caused the minimap to now only display the positions of players for a few seconds after spawning, as opposed to the original pings that occur during the match. As a result, camping is widely discouraged. Camping, a term used by gamers, is when players only hold one angle without moving. This makes the game lame and uneventful, which upsets a lot of people. Players all over the world are ecstatic with this new change, as less camping means that players are less likely to get “insta-killed” as they spawn onto sites. Gamers that hold angles stagnantly are at a disadvantage with this recent installment as they now have to look around to find their enemies without relying on the minimap. Overall, this makes the mode actually playable for its intended purpose— to warm up aim before hopping into a game of Unrated or Spike Rush.
Yet, even though Valorant is free-to-play, the prices of skins and in-game perks are extremely high. Each skin bundle sells for $100, which only includes about five guns and some sprays. With the amount of content provided, many argue that the price is unfair and should be lowered. While there are indeed some issues with the justification of the cost, the skin price is reasonable because the game is free-to-play. Because designers of the game need to be paid for their work, charging more money for in-game purchases is expected. In addition, since Valorant does not generate steady revenue for Riot, the developers still need to make a living, and they do so by selling skin collections.
All in all, Valorant is an entertaining game that is destined to stay rooted in the gaming industry. Although the skin bundles might be pricey, with spectacular visuals, fun agents and an amiable fanbase, there is nothing not to love about Valorant.