Valorant’s New Map & Agent

Earlier this week, Riot Games did a full release for Valorant which just came out of closed beta. With its release came a new map called Ascent and an eleventh agent called Reyna. A new gamemode was also introduced with the ranked gamemode being taken out. There have been a few changes since the closed beta, and this week I’ll be writing about my thoughts on them.

First, the most anticipated addition of the new agent Reyna. She’s classified as a duelist agent which means that she’s meant to be played with a more aggressive playstyle, and I think it really shows with her abilities. Some people would say she’s overpowered, but I would say that she’s in a pretty good spot right now.

The first ability Reyna has is called Leer. It costs 200 credits and can hold a maximum of two charges. With Leer, Reyna can cast an orb anywhere within a certain radius that will cause players that have the orb in their vision to be nearsighted. Unless it is shot at and destroyed, it will remain in its position for a few seconds. Unlike other vision-impairing abilities, enemies that are nearsighted can still see but just not as far.

Reyna’s second ability and her signature ability are linked together, so things might get a bit complicated. Her second ability is called Devour and her passive is called Dismiss. They share a maximum of four charges that can each be bought for 100 credits although she automatically gets one charge at the start of each round due to the abilities being her signature.

The way these two abilities work is that anytime Reyna kills an enemy player they’ll have a Soul Orb floating over their dead body that lasts for a few seconds. During that time, Reyna can cast either ability on that orb. Devour is an ability that will heal Reyna as long as she remains in a line of sight with the Soul Orb of the player she killed. If Reyna’s HP is already 100 then Devour will overheal her for 50HP.

Dismiss is an ability that allows Reyna to become invulnerable and gains movement speed for a short period of time, however, you can’t use any other abilities or shoot while it is active. Additionally, she takes on an almost invisible appearance although you can still see her. This ability doesn’t require you to stay in the line of sight of the player you killed.

Reyna’s last ability is her ultimate called Empress which increases your firerate, highlights enemies in your vision, and gives you unlimited charges on Devour and Dismiss. There is a timer on the ultimate before it goes away, but any kills you get while in the Empress state will reset the timer.

I wouldn’t say that Reyna’s abilities are too strong. Some people complain that Her Dismiss ability is too strong, but I think it’s fine since you can still see her, and when she becomes visible again you’ll hear an audio cue of her laughing in the direction she is. As long as you’re paying attention I don’t think you should have a harder time countering her than you would with any other agent.

Moving on to the new map Ascent. In my opinion, I don’t think it’s really all that special. There are some spawn timings that I think should be changed, but other than that there’s not much else I’d say in terms of balancing. Supposedly the map is supposed to take place in a Venice like location where a piece of land flew up into the sky. I don’t really care too much about the game’s lore, but some people might find it interesting.

The new gamemode called Spike Rush is meant to played a lot faster than a normal game. In Spike Rush, every player spawns with the same weapons and have all their abilities on one of the normal maps. Orbs can be found around the map that provide the player that picks them up or their team buffs such as a better weapon, extra speed, or reduced HP for the enemy team. Every attacker has a spike although only one can be planted. It’s a pretty simple gamemode that’s not really meant to be taken seriously and is something you’d play if you were waiting for a friend or don’t have time for a normal match.

Overall, Valorant’s full release has been pretty successful. The gameplay at its core hasn’t changed, but there are some new things to explore with the new map Ascent. Some players have taken a liking to the new agent Reyna and others are still awaiting the return of the ranked gamemode. For now, I’ll simply continue on enjoying the game with friends.

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