Reviews - Updated on April 6, 2022

On October 5-7, Riot Games organized a closed online event where streamers, esportsmen and journalists tried out the map and the hero from the third act of Valorant. Looking ahead, I will say that both the location and the character will cause a lot of nervous sighs from beginners and experienced players – Valorant still combines contrasts.

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Riot Games rolled out online shooter Valorant on PC in June. He borrowed shooting, by all accounts, from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and agents with skills are made with an eye on Overwatch. In the main mode, teams face off five by five. One puts a bomb (Spike), the other tries to disable it. And so – up to 13 victories. The rounds are short, in between you are free to charge abilities, buy weapons and armor. The thickness of the wallet depends on how briskly you act.

Like I said, Valorant remains a game of contrasts. Skirmishes are short, no warm-up, at the same time everyone moves slowly (with Shift held) so that the enemy does not detect. They kill quickly here, so debutants mostly act as observers. Although the characters take a long time to learn, their skills do not provide a super advantage. Just think, someone created a double, resurrected a partner, got the enemy through the wall … A sharp shooter will be able to deal with three or four opponents (which I have seen more than once), and no skills will save.

The third act of Valorant: how the new map and agent will cheer up the game

On the new map – Icebox.

The graphics in Valorant are both bright and modest, the ability animations are practical, but not at all pretty, there are no complaints about the simple interface. As a result, the shooter runs on any hardware and serves as a springboard for eSports. In addition to the primitive picture, the sports essence is also indicated by servers with a tick rate of 128, the importance of voice interaction (in the Russian Federation so far through Discord), the arrogant anti-cheat Riot Vanguard and, of course, the development model.

Riot intends to bring Valorant to mind through episodes and acts. The episode is designed for six months, the act – for two months (season with a battle pass). Accordingly, in each episode – three acts. The final act of the first episode was what I was eyeing at the Riot event.

From the Arctic to Australia

Director Joe Ziegler and Lead Competitive Designer David Cole spoke at a short pre-event briefing, among others. They talked about the fifth map, the 13th agent and the adjustment of the rating game. Following the novelty could be tested in “custom” matches.

The Icebox location was originally planned for episode II, but Riot rushed to include it in the shooter ahead of schedule. This is an abandoned Kingdom science complex in the middle of the tundra. There are two points for Spike, cargo containers are piled up, cranes are installed, snow and ice are all around. There are open spaces, but in general we have a very cramped map – with small rooms and frighteningly long corridors, a lot of turns and opportunities to sit down and wait for the opponent. Icebox’s “chip” is cables that allow you to climb up and fly over the heads of enemies. The map will appeal to those who shoot accurately.

Moving on to operative Skye, an Australian conservationist with a distinctive accent. Riot calls her an instigator (a special class in Valorant – its representatives unleash a shootout) and a support agent, they say, Skye’s abilities “will light up Sage and Breach.”The third act of Valorant: how the new map and agent will cheer up the game

I will say a few words about the updated rating system (wait for changes on October 14). To ensure fairer matchmaking, Riot will reduce the rank gap from 6 to 3. Plus, you can choose your preferred server to reduce ping.

Skye’s skills are related to the animal world. For reconnaissance, she unchains the Tasmanian wolf – if you find a target in his skin, rush and deal damage. The alternative is to launch a hawk around the corner and blind those who stare at the green bird. Another Australian heals surrounding associates, but, alas, not herself. As for the “ult”, Sky summons three “jellyfish bloodhounds” – they move towards opponents and, like a hawk, blind them. You don’t even need to press the button – you know, follow the “hound”.

Sounds menacing, right? In fact, Skye is not as self-sufficient as the duelists. She performs well in conjunction with allies, successfully acts in defense. But Skye is unable to push back the enemy alone, because her “totem animals” are easy to dispel with one shot. The light show put on by the eco-activist is slightly annoying. It’s good that in Valorant it’s forbidden for the whole team to take one agent, otherwise the battles would turn into a circus.The third act of Valorant: how the new map and agent will cheer up the game

To the left of Skye is a fresh Singularity skin pack.

***

Riot will be adding the Icebox zone to Valorant on October 14th with patch 1.10. It will become available for rating battles on the 28th. Then Sky will join the ranks of agents. The two-week delay is due to the fact that the developers will patch up holes – for sure, after the bombardment with skills on the fifth map, a lot of bugs will pop up. If you didn’t like Valorant before, then Act III won’t be a revelation. Of course, there are no fundamental changes here. Well, the “old-timers” will have to feel the zigzags of Icebox with pain and infuriate the enemy with Skye’s abilities.

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