This week’s ‘Game of the Week’ is a fun one. After spending hours every day delving into CoD Warzone, I was growing mildly bored with the repetition. That’s when I decided to try out Riot Games’ new competitive FPS, Valorant. To put it in plain speak, think Counter-Strike with hero elements. After one game, I was completely hooked.
Valorant is fun, challenging, and exciting, even if you feel like you’re losing, you’ll always have the chance to redeem yourself and your team. In epic 5×5 battles, strategy and aim is everything. Rounds start with a Buy Phase where you can choose what you want to prioritise, an expensive gun, or your abilities and shields. Choose wisely! With 11 different agents to choose from, you can also do many different strategic combinations.
My two favourites tend to be Sage and Raze, but Jett is also pretty spectacular. Sage is extremely useful in every engagement, funneling enemies, healing teammates, and protecting angles in important times. Abilities keep the gameplay unique and exciting, especially when you have no idea when one will pop off and you’ll get slayed. Yes, Brimstone’s Orbital Strike has caught me out more times than I’d like to admit.
Games will happen on thoughtful, clean and pretty maps, the best of which I feel is Haven. Breaking down the game simply, you currently have two modes to play. ‘Unrated’ is the longer version in which you will be champion by winning 13 rounds of gameplay. Usually, this can be played in 30-40 minutes but as I’ve experienced, it can go pretty back and forth so expect to budget enough time. Spike rush is the condensed version and consists of winning only 4 rounds to be on top. I’ll go more in-depth about both in the next segment.
Unrated. This mode has its perks and its downsides, especially if you’re going solo and get paired up with a bunch of noobs. Trust me, it happens a lot. If you have a team of friends to play with, even better. The good thing about 13 rounds to win, you have plenty of chances to come back from a losing streak, play your cards right and position yourself smartly, you can easily take on a 5 v 1. Unrated is the only mode in which the Buy Phase is present, and this is where you need to make your choices on what to prioritise, this can determine how your engagements go. In the first round I always try to go for armor and abilities first, as the standard pistol is still great if you land your shots.
Spike Rush. This mode is insanely fun and given that all players are spawned with the same ‘loadout’, it puts you on more of the same playing field. Though, if you’re particularly bad at shooting with a sniper (like me, because I have 0 aim) you might be in some trouble when that round comes around. It’s quite a compact version, however, if you are just looking for a quick game, this is perfect. I don’t think I’ve ever had a Spike Rush last longer than 15 minutes or so. Survive, plant the spike and wait til the team comes around to defuse it. Who will win? It’s honestly so nailbiting sometimes.
Overall, Valorant is a fantastic game filled with incredible ultimate abilities, unique heroes, intense gameplay that can be tweaked and twisted for your clipping pleasure. Yes, it’s not what you’d consider as the most realistic or visually amazing FPS, but that really isn’t the point, is it? It gets the job done and brings something unique to the gaming world, a fresh breeze in what could only be said as stagnation (no this does not include Warzone). I highly recommend ignoring the negative comments and trying to master it for yourself, you may be pleasantly surprised.