Valorant Game Review: Patch 1.0

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Valorant Game Review: Patch 1.0

After four months of a successful closed beta, Riot pushed patch 1.0 for Valorant signifying the game’s full launch. The patch also brings a new map, a new agent, a new game mode, and a host of balance changes. There are a few underlying issues with the game, making the launch feel underwhelming.

A new map

The first feature of patch 1.0 is quite notably the most significant in a subtle way. This is the addition of Ascent, the latest, and possibly the best map yet. Instead of making another three capture point map, Riot opted to expand the practice range into their own take on Dust 2. The long and open middle section offers numerous sightlines on both sides. Controlling the mid of Ascent is crucial to success, as it allows transitions across the map freely.

One of the many skepticisms of Valorant in the early days was that of map design and how Riot evolve the small pool. If the maps to come are as thoroughly designed as Ascent, then Valorant has a bright future. In a small note, the patch brought a change to the map Split, opening up the middle section by removing a large wall. This change shows a clear focus on two capture point maps that have an open middle for cautious sightlines.

a new agent

The topic of much hype with the launch of Valorant was the addition of Reyna into the game. It is pretty hard to not hear about how overpowered the agent is, but she comes with a unique catch. Two out of her three abilities rely on getting kills to even be used. Reyna is a dualist, and her two abilities Devour and Dismiss use Soul Orbs which appear after Reyna kills an enemy. Her ultimate increases her equip rate, fire rate, and reload speed, with kills resetting the ultimate timer. When using her ultimate, she can use an ability charge to turn completely invisible for a short time and relocate.

balancing the old

The old agents were not forgotten in the substantial update with a few receiving balance changes. Sage had the cooldown on her healing ability extended from 30 seconds to 45 seconds. Additionally, her Barrier Orb lasts 10 seconds longer, but each segment takes 200 less damage. Jett's Cloudbursts now last 7 seconds instead of 4 seconds, and Tailwind will break Cypher's Trapwire if she is detected by it. Phoenix's Blaze got a buff doing more damage over time and a little more healing over time. Hot Hands got an adjustment to stay his primary source of healing. Omen got more control over where he places his Dark Cover smokes, and Cypher has a handful of camera locations removed.

a new game mode

In an attempt to fill an itch for those who don't care to sit through an entire match of Unranked, Spike Rush is here. My first exposure to the arcade-style game mode was a nightmare and one that makes me hesitant to play the mode even now. Spike Rush is a first-to-four mode, where every character starts with the same random gun each round, and every attacker has a bomb. Instead of ultimate orbs, there are various powerups scattered around the map adding to the insanity. Many would rather have had a first-to-seven version of Unranked or even Death Match as the new mode. However, it is better than nothing considering the ugly side of Valorant's full launch.

valorant's shortcomings

In what was hot news for the first few days of release, Valorant does not have Ranked mode available for play. It is disappointing for sure, but most players would rather have the mode work as intended rather than remain in the game broken as it was. In closed beta, Riot struggled with Valorant's queue system, sometimes facing solo players against a full five-stack. The feature came late to the beta and required players to have completed 20 games to queue up for the mode. Ranked is where the heart of competitive Valorant lies, making the title feel less than complete. Despite this, the few bugs and glitches that appeared during TwitchRivals showed that the title still requires some fine-tuning.

The new battle pass and shiny coat of paint to Valorant  with patch 1.0 can't hide an ugly festering issue. The community within Valorant is insanely toxic, to the point of disbelief. In any given week you can expect to have been in at least one game where immature children ruin the experience or racists flood the global chat. Community toxicity is something that can kill a game because no matter how good the shooting feels, no one wants to take 40 minutes of verbal abuse and queue up for another match. Overall Riot made some major additions to Valorant, but the game still feels incomplete without ranked play.