By Georgia Stroud
New agent Astra arrived in videogame Valorant on 2 March, the same day as Act 2 Episode 2.
For some time, fans had been anticipating the release of a new agent, following numerous content teasers and leaks; now, the wait is over. Videogame Valorant from Riot Games received a Ghanaian space queen as the newest addition to the group of characters.
Joining the likes of fireball fiend Phoenix and healer/sentinel Sage, Astra is among 15 other agents in the game. Astra’s abilities differentiate from the game’s current norm; her abilities revolve around placing stars all over the map where she can use a different ability to interact with them.
There had been much excitement in the Valorant community on Twitter, with many players looking forward to playing with the Agent as soon as possible. A trailer posted by the game’s official Twitter account @PlayVALORANT revealed all her abilities including gameplay footage from which players could learn how to use them.
Astra’s intergalactic powers give new potential to the game experience, with vibrant colours and sparkling stars which enhance the overall feel of the space realm. Astra also comes with a new skin for her ghost gun available at Tier 10 – something fans consider well worth the wait.
The majority of fan reactions have been positive, with one player saying: “She is instantly my new main [character].” Another gamer joked: “I don’t mean to be dramatic but I am in love with Astra and we are getting married.”
With many developers striving for more diversity in their games and inclusivity becoming increasingly important, many fans are delighted at the new addition. One fan tweeted: “I love seeing black characters in video games my heart is so happy.” Developers Riot Games have a track record of diversity; foreign representation within the game includes Brazilian, Moroccan, Chinese and Russian characters. Character producer John Goscicki wanted to create a character based upon based upon notions of “African Futurism”. Working with a consultant from Ghana, Goscicki wrote that he wanted to make sure that the grounded elements were represented properly.
Episode 2 Act 2 also saw the release of a new Battle Pass, which includes a variety of brand-new skins for guns which players can work their way towards getting with XP collected from matches played.
Players are now enjoying the full cosmic abilities of the Ghanian queen, largely satisfied with Riot Games’ delivery of the exciting, powerful character of colour.
A more detailed explanation of Astra’s full abilities and features was published prior to her release here.