Now playing: Valorant

You lucky things are probably getting more than one blog post this week, don’t say I don’t spoil you. In any case, I’m back from a lovely trip to Scotland and I’ve had one game on my mind for this latest “Now Playing” – Valorant.

My relationship with Riot Games’ shooter is.. complicated. I touched on it a little in this week’s Glitch Slap podcast, but the long version is that I started work at Gfinity when the hype for Valorant, codenamed Project A at the time, was starting to build.

It had a cool art style, and I liked the characters, but it was PC only (boo!). Still, I’d be lying if I said the curiosity of it wasn’t part of the reason why I ended up getting a gaming PC. The game finally launched in June 2020, and I jumped in ready to fall in love.

Valorant screenshot showing combat

I didn’t.

Between my complete inexperience of playing games with a mouse and keyboard, my history with the likes of Call of Duty, and the game’s less than welcoming community, it was a trial by fire that I failed. I uninstalled, and figured I’d never come back.

And yet, when my friends dipped back in, I found myself reinstalling. I played deathmatch, wrote an op-ed about it, and then uninstalled again when I realised for some reason the game had grown to take over 500GB on my hard drive through some kind of glitch.

0 for 2, then – so why have I spent the last week thinking about the game again? In truth, it’s because of Twitter. The new season saw a lot more tweets about the game, and I was able to find a wonderful group of games journalists to play with.

That’s meant that while I’m still not great, I’m at least learning without being abused my strangers. In fact, the last match I played went surprisingly well.

There’s just something about how Riot makes games that have me just intrigued regardless of how good or bad I am. Valorant oozes style and swagger, and while the short time-to-kill means it’s not for the faint of heart, working out how best to use abilities and experimenting with different Agents has been great fun.

Will I still uninstall it in a huff at some point soon? It’s hard to say, but for now, I’m sat here on a Saturday night watching VCT so the obsession shows no signs of slowing.

Oh, and team, if you’re reading this – I’m not buying that f**king knife, no matter how cool is looks.