has been out for two weeks now and it’s taken the Valorant community by storm. Players have been loving the more CSGO inspired layout, with larger, open areas and all those fabulous angles. We’ve already covered our first impression
of its palm trees and metal.
Since we’ve all gotten a chance to play the map out a bit more, though, let’s take a more in-depth, critical look at the pros and cons of (almost) everyone’s new favorite map.
There’s a lot to like about Breeze. In aesthetics alone, it is easily one of the most beautiful maps that Valorant has to offer. So what else about Breeze is winning over the players?
If you think Breeze’s style and design won’t change the gameplay much, you are sorely mistaken. Breeze is filled with long distance corridors, open spaces, and unique movement opportunities. More than ever, players will have more room to make their own pathways to try to flank the enemy. This includes fun plays like dropping into mid through the trash chute and dashing over half-walls.
Also, a big change with Breeze is how much it encourages those long-range shootouts. In all of the other maps, they were small enough for shotguns and other close quarters weapons
to become very popular. In Breeze, however, those high-skill headshots are all the rage. The Operator
and the Marshal
will become very popular for this map.
One of the things Breeze has going for it is that it takes a lot of inspiration from CS:GO map design. As many of Valorant’s fans have a CS:GO background, it’s a comfortable style form them and a positive sign for the future of Valorant’s maps. Icebox
was the first step toward larger maps, and Breeze seems to be Riot Games’ masterpiece showcase of what they can really do with design.
As the largest map with a new style, Breeze really shakes up the current map meta. Where the game was starting to feel a tad stale with players constantly playing only a handful of top-tier agents, Breeze changed the game. Speaking of...
Breeze is possibly the best map for sneak potential. With all the different access points leading into three different larger arenas, agents made for recon and sneak (see Sova
, etc.) are absolute powerhouses.
For months, the newly released agents (not including Killjoy
) have struggled so much to make their mark and find a place in the meta. The map’s sneak-friendly nature may be the first place where a Yoru
main can really thrive.
Breeze is the kind of map that’s happy to give players and agents the space to let their creativity thrive.
Though there’s been a lot of praise for Breeze, not everything about the map is positive. There’s been some reasonable critique about the new arena that all fans should consider before they play.
Where all the different angles are great for sneak attacks and quick scopes, they also can be just as deadly. After all, every single player in the game gets access to all these clever corners and openings. They can hurt just as much as they help. So, players do have to be careful and try to keep tabs on as many angles as possible to survive, which can be pretty difficult.
Moreover, even though points A and B look like they’d be a simple left and right choice, they aren’t. The middle of the map is far more important. Whoever controls mid has the best shot to plant or protect in A and B. That can get somewhat messy and unorganized, especially when both teams are just racing to mid to try to knock each other out while also trying to keep tabs on the points.
There are some problems with Breeze’s largeness that concerns players. For example, on all the other maps you could hear the spike plant anywhere (even on the opposite side). In Breeze, though, the planting audio may be particularly quiet and easy to miss or you might not hear it at all. That could ruin any chances for a counterplay.
Another noisy downside to Breeze is that one of the best ways to get to mid is the very loud chute. But depending on personal opinion, that could be the fair trade for the quick, fairly safe ride to mid.
Hard on Newbies
The greatest flaw of Breeze isn’t the map itself, per se. The hard truth is that, unlike the other maps, Breeze is a lot harder for new players. With all the different angles and work-arounds, the map is more difficult to mentally map out than others. Also, with all the long corridors, map control will rely a lot more on highly-skilled headshot hits.
If any new player struggles against that open air, scoped headshot style, Breeze might be a really bad time for them. And if this style of map continues, will that turn into an awkward situation of catering to veterans, but leaving newbies in the dust?
Ultimately, like most people have concluded, Breeze is a great addition to the Valorant line-up right now. It encourages more diversity in agent picks, fun gameplay change-ups, and refreshes the game like the nice, warm breeze it is.
However, problems hit in some minor size concerns and the way that new players might interact with the map. Getting downed from across the map isn’t fun when you’re just learning, after all. They’ve had this problem before, considering a lot of new players getting into League of Legends. Many newbies call LoL a difficult game to get into with all the different abilities, items, passives and actives, map changes, and buff rules.
As long as Riot Games stays mindful of the entire player base and doesn’t just start turning Valorant into a pretty CS:GO reskin, though, Breeze is a welcome step forward.