The roster for Respawn Entertainment’s highly successful battle royale game is steadily growing, and at the moment of writing this article, we are just a few days away from the release of Kairi Imahara, aka Valkyrie, at the start of Season 9. Before that happens, let’s take a look at what we know so far about the new aerial heroine. Please note, as the character has not been released yet, some of her abilities may still change.
Take to the skies
The moment you look at Valkyrie, you know she will have some flying-related abilities. Interestingly, the girl’s gear has been salvaged from the parts of a Titan that belonged to her father – Viper – who was one of the bosses in Titanfall 2. Her wingsuit brings memories of an old animated television series called Centurions, and the iconic character Max Ray. Similarly to the other Legends, she has a rich backstory, which you can become familiar with by watching the Northstar Cinematic Trailer. The lore surrounding Valkyrie is probably the biggest link to the Titanfall series so far.
Right now, there is no official information on her skills, but thanks to trailers, data miners and an analysis made by Gamesradar, we can speculate with a high degree of probability what can be expected from the new Legend. By using her passive ability, when holding jump, Valkyrie seems to be able to hover above ground, which is in line with what we saw in the trailers. It is rumored she consumes fuel while doing so, and that she has a scanning ability that will mark enemies within her uninterrupted line of sight. The marking is visible to her allies. Her tactical ability launches a volley of missiles, damaging and disorienting enemies. In one of the trailers, we can see her sending 12 rockets to cover a large square-shaped area. Her Ultimate, presumably called Skyward, allows her to fly up with her allies and redeploy. Looking at some of the video footage it seems possible to use hovering and cluster missiles simultaneously, but most likely she will not be able to move horizontally while flying. She has a perk called Recon that allows her to access the 12 beacons on the map to determine the next circle location, but accessing the beacon makes her vulnerable for several seconds.
With the bits of information we got, it seems Valkyrie will be the ultimate scout and a very mobile character. At the same time, flying leaves you exposed and being visible is the last thing you want in such a strongly competitive game. Skyward requires good synchronization and some time to execute, which can also leave you vulnerable for a few precious seconds.
Release date and Season 9 goodies
Valkyrie is scheduled for release together with Season 9, which begins on May 4th, 2021. Apart from the new character we can expect some map changes, as was hinted in one of the trailers. There is also a new weapon in the armory, called the Bocek Bow, supposedly effective at medium range. One of the trailers shows the arrows have an optional firing mode, similar to a shotgun, as well as a high-speed shooting variant. However, the biggest novelty is probably the new Arena mode in which 2 teams fight in 3v3 matches with weapon and gear purchases at the beginning of each round.
There is a lot of good stuff coming to Apex Legends, and it seems Respawn wants to keep the game fresh once the battle royale craze fades away. With the new competitive mode, the game might challenge Overwatch and its upcoming sequel, and it will be interesting to see whether this new way of playing Apex Legends wins the hearts of its dedicated community.