The lore of Titanfall and Apex Legends is starting to become even more intertwined with the addition of Valkyrie, the latest legend due for the Apex Games.
The new character has an incredibly interesting backstory for those who are familiar with Titanfall, and even if you’re not, there’s a definite air of intrigue around her.
Not only is it her backstory that’s intriguing fans though, her playstyle and how she’ll fit into the meta is too.
Thankfully, I got to go hands-on with Valkyrie for a short period of time. Here are my initial thoughts.
MORE IMPRESSIONS – Hands-on with the Bocek Bow
So, as you’ve probably already seen – Valyrie can fly. This initially makes you wonder, how on earth do you balance a character who can literally soar away from combat?
Well, Respawn has answered it pretty well and Valkyrie’s flight ability offers a major level of Risk/Reward.
Yes, of course, she can just shoot up into the air but this presents a few problems that Respawn has adapted pretty well.
Her VTOL Jets are LOUD. It’s very unlikely that you’re going to have a stealthy Valk fly up behind you and discreetly kill you. You will hear those things from a mile off, meaning you have a fair warning that you be about to engage an aerial threat.
Valkyrie also suffers from the issue that once she’s airborne, she’s pretty open. There’s no hiding behind cover, no being sneaky – she is there for all see. And shoot.
Her third issue is fuel. Obviously, a jetpack isn’t going to be particularly fuel-efficient and you’re certainly not going to get many MPG out of the thing. There’s enough to get her from Point A to Point B very effectively, but don’t expect to be hovering in the skies of Kings Canyon for too long.
This leads us onto issue 3.5 – refuelling. Now, it’s done automatically, so you don’t need to worry about finding refuelling stations around the map – however, it takes time. There is a delay between running out of fuel and it refilling again, meaning there’s a nice level of balance to this element.
The final way that Valk has been balanced is during aerial combat. The pilot can’t just take off and start strafing the field. She needs to remove her hands from the thruster buttons, allowing her to grab her weapons and shoot. Of course, this also means she’ll start falling from the sky at the same time.
What are Valk’s abilities?
Valkyrie’s passive ability is of course, as mentioned, the VTOL Jets – her jetpack that allows her to (kinda) zoom around the map.
Her Tactical Ability is called “Missile Swarm” and as the name suggests, unleashes a range of 12 missiles in a grid pattern towards her enemies. This can be used whilst in the air or on the ground.
Thankfully, these missiles aren’t overly powerful but will deal a nice chunk of damage while also stunning the enemy.
Her Ultimate Ability is an interesting one. Called “Skyward Dive”, Valkyrie grabs her teammates and jumps skyward, initiating a skydive and allowing her team to relocate to where they desire.
So, how does Valkyrie feel in Apex Legends?
From the short time I played, I’m not sure just how Valkyrie will fit into the meta.
She feels fun as hell to play, and of course, she would, there’s something just inherently fun about flying in video games but I’m not sure that’s enough to propel her into the upper echelons.
Her missile swarm is incredibly satisfying to use but just feels a little underwhelming in terms of damage. The Skyward Dive could have an interesting effect on the way games are played, however.
My initial thoughts are Valkyrie will be incredibly popular with the more casual players, but just doesn’t have enough about her to crack the meta. It’ll be interesting to see how this one shapes out.