A Look into Valorant – a Free-To-Play Offense and Defense Game

Written by Lucas Hede (Features Writer)

Valorant is a free-to-play first-person shooter created by Riot Games. The initial release of this game in beta was huge. Twitch (a live streaming website) hosted drops for a code to unlock a game through watching people play. Valorant was getting several hundred thousand viewers on Twitch as well as many new streamers growing to huge sizes. With the release of the beta on April 7th last year and the full release of the game on June 2nd, 2020. The full release of the game came with four maps and several cool and interesting characters. 

The game is a 5v5 tactical shooter where there is an attacking team and a defending team. The attacking team goes to plant the Spike (a bomb) onto a site, while the defending team tries to eliminate the other team or disable the spike. It is a best of 25 games (first to 13) rounds with each round taking between 30 seconds to 3 minutes. 

Since the release of the original game two more maps have been added, one being ice-themed and the latest tropical-themed. The newest update, this past Tuesday, introduced a new act with the new map, weapon skins, and much more. The game has several weapon skin bundles that can make guns look like dragons or even swords. They also offer a paid battle pass which includes a bunch of cool skins, weapon buddies (little keychains for the guns), player banners, and more. This new update was a really fun and engaging one for the community. 

I have been playing this game since beta and have really enjoyed my experience. Since it is a free game there is no cost for trying it, which made me want to download it. This game is really fun if you have a few friends to queue with, which helps the team communicate as well as the experience you will have. I personally really enjoy the gunplay with it being extremely similar to CS: GO (another tactical shooter). Most of the maps create a cool environment to play around with many tactical positions to hold or push. The weapon skins look really cool and are extremely interactive, and the characters come from a variety of cool places and have a bunch of cool abilities. With it being a combination of two of my favorite games CS: GO and Overwatch I have found my experience in the game highly enjoyable.

This game does have some cons that come with a large number of pros though. Since this game has a very high skill cap it may be a bit difficult to get into due to opponents being really good. Also, matchmaking is not the best due to a large number of people playing and smurfs (high-level players playing on low-level accounts). Smurfing is one of the bigger problems I personally have had in this game because the game is free. Since it is free, there’s no downside to making a low-level account to play against low-level players. It has been difficult for me to get friends who haven’t played before into it because of that. The other two big downsides I personally have had are the low amount of maps and some of the community. A decent bit of Valorant players is a bit toxic which can make the game less enjoyable. The lack of new maps has been a bit of an issue, as we just got the second new map in about a year. With only five maps to play on, the game can become a bit dull with a lack of variety due to that. Also personally I find one of the maps (Icebox) to be extremely boring and find that my games become very drawn out and lackluster on that map. 

Overall, I find this game very interesting and engaging to play as well as extremely fun to play with several friends. I think I’d rate this game a solid 8/10 since it is a bit hard to get into but I would definitely recommend it to anyone interesting in computer gaming.

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