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Apex Legends Season 9: Valkyrie Impressions

A New Legend Swoops into Battle

by Tess Smith

valkyrie-land

As a part of Apex Legends Season 9: Legacy, Respawn Entertainment will be adding a new legend: Valkyrie. Last week, we were given the opportunity to play the game for a number of hours to test out the new character and arena mode, which you can check out the impressions for here. In addition to the arena mode and champion, Olympus will also be getting an overhaul. This new season is all topped off with a new battle pass and legacy ranked.

Valkyrie, revealed to be the daughter of Titanfall 2’s Viper, is the newest champion coming to Apex Legends. As her trailer suggests, she has access to some of the mech abilities from Titanfall 2 in the form of her modified body armor and jetpack. Valkyrie’s passive ability is her jetpack, which the player can activate by pressing the jump button again while in the air. The jetpack allows her to move around freely in the air, controlling not dissimilarly to Crypto’s drone. While moving, her special ability is the only attack she has access to. She can pull her weapon out once she begins to fall but not while flying. Her jetpack also has limited fuel, and her movement speed in the air is limited, meaning that it must be used tactically. From our time with the game, the balancing for her jetpack seems to be spot on. She is fairly easy to shoot down if she moves predictably, and the jetpack is loud and hard to miss, but if she is not dealt with quickly, Valkyrie can switch positions on the battlefield with great ease. I found the risk and reward of the mechanic to be a lot of fun to work into the strategy of the game.

Valkyrie’s special ability is that she can unleash a missile barrage from in the air. The attack instills a slight stun on opponents who are struck by it and a reasonable amount of damage. It is not a super lethal maneuver, often feeling like a weaker version of Bangalore’s ultimate, but is effective for trying to move enemies out of cover or in trying to weaken them for flanking teammates. In a lot of short to medium range encounters, it was easy to use her jetpack quickly and launch the attack without much elevation, making the low damage nature of the attack make more sense from a balancing perspective. Her ultimate is that she can, by herself or with the rest of her squad, relaunch into the air, allowing for the team to skydive onto the battlefield again. During an instance of skydiving, whether it be her ultimate, from a balloon, or at the start of the match, enemies that are in a direct line of sight and unobscured are highlighted for Valkyrie and her squad. This gives her squad a leg up at the start of the match if they are trying to seek out or avoid conflict but also in scouting during her ultimate.

My overall impression of Valkyrie is that she felt well balanced and introduced some interesting nuance to the way players can approach the game. Her added mobility, much like Horizon, allows the player to approach verticality with a different mindset. While her ability and ultimate have limited offensive capability, they were really useful in controlling space and outmaneuvering opponents. Using Valkyrie’s Jetpack was always a thrilling risk, as was trying to gun down enemies whilst free-falling from the heights it can bring you too. While only time will tell how she is played and received by the community, I suspect Valkyrie will be a welcomed addition to the cast upon Season 9’s release on May 4th. Until then, players can enjoy the War Games event. For another look at the new season, you can check out the launch trailer here.

Apex Legends is available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

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