I love a good gimmick in my Valorant maps. Icebox and its many ziplines, Bind and its teleporters, and now Breeze and its daft trap door. Riot Games announced Breeze earlier today: it's a new seaside map coming to the tactical FPS next week. It's big, it's pretty and I had a chance to try it out early and capture some footage for you to feast your eyes on. Breeze also features a trap door that I don't full understand the function of, but that just makes me love it all the more.
It's hard to get a good sense of what a new map will really be like when you've only had the chance to play a couple of matches on it, so my first note is a warning: Breeze is a little overwhelming. For starters, the map is huge. The plant sites seem really far away from each other, and in between them is a mixture of windy corridors mixed with extremely wide open spaces where it's tough to pre-empt where your enemies might approach from.
Here's some video I recorded during the Breeze preview event for a little taster of what to expect.
What I've said so far sounds pretty negative, though I don't totally mean it that way. This new map is a nice change of pace from Icebox and Split, with all their tight corridors and choke points. The middle of Breeze, as well as both plant sites, are incredibly open, making it more difficult for defenders to dominate one angle with a sniper without being flanked. There's a long corridor, named A Hall next to A Site that directly connects both spawns too, which is a pretty vital place for defenders to cover.
It's in this corridor that my favourite part of the map exists. It's a small trap door that plops you down from the corridor into mid. The door stays open for a few seconds after you drop, so if you're playing a character with decent movement abilities you could quickly teleport or fly back up. If not, well, you're stuck in mid now. I don't fully understand why this little chute exists, but I love it. In the lore of the map it was probably used for smuggling or mining, but in a Valorant match? I will be using it purely for japes. Tactically, I suppose it works for a quick escape if you're being mullered in the corridor, but as soon as you drop out the bottom you're basically a sitting duck to anyone watching mid. It's fun to fall into though. Plop.
As far as other gimmicks go, there are no teleporters or anything huge like that, though a few ropes are dotted around for players to get up onto some of the high ground - Breeze has a nice mixture of high and low areas to explore. Truly, the biggest gimmick is the map's size, particularly from an attacker's standpoint. Breeze seems designed to stop attackers from rotating all the way back through their spawn if they want to push the other site. Before a round starts, attackers can get incredibly close to both A and B Site. Thanks to this, in the games I played, my team found that one of the best strategies was just to push a site hard, forcing the defenders to rotate quickly once we'd planted the spike. From there, the sites were so open it was fairly easy to stop them from defusing, because they'd have to expose themselves to do so while we backed off towards our spawn.
If that sort of strategy goes badly, however, attackers are pretty much forced to rotate through mid. Going back through spawn would take far too long, making the multiple routes in mid essential. But then, there are so many routes, you have to be mindful of where defenders can emerge from. All in all, it makes for some really fun and varied play, and I'm looking forward to seeing what different strats will appear after it settles into Valorant's map rotation.
It'd be remiss of me to end this post without mentioning how gorgeous Breeze is too. I can't tell you how lovely it is to load into an area full of greenery, with a diverse range of buildings and structures, and a lush seaside backdrop to boot. More of this with your next Valo maps please, Riot! I can only take so many boring-looking Dust 2 clones (I'm looking at you, Bind).
Breeze arrives in Valorant on April 27th, alongside a new battle pass and some ominous gun skins in Episode 2 Act 3.