Players participating in Valorant’s closed beta have consistently been complaining about the three available maps and their designs.
For more experienced players coming over from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the three Valorant maps feel simple and uncomplicated. They feel all three maps use the same formula, including one major issue: the amount of corners.
Many fans are in agreement that there are way too many corners to check. One fan said it felt like “hallways from site to site,” while a video on the top said it seemed like they just simply put a wall in the middle of a path if it seemed too strong to hold the enemy team off. Because of this, many Valorant players feel the maps are “low effort” and don’t have the same depth as CSGO maps, making them wonder if the game will ultimately have much longevity.
But it’s not just how many corners there are. It’s how deep they thoes corners are, too.
“It’s insane how deep the corners are. I’ve died multiple times because I’ve reasonably checked a corner, but somehow an enemy still found a way to hide in it, and having to full commit check a corner just feels awful because then I’m just gambling on which corner to check before getting shot,” one player said.
As the complaints continued, Riot Games’ senior game designer Sal “Volcano” Garozza decided to address the ongoing concerns on a recent stream. He explained that the corners and cover were added to the maps to balance the maximum effectiveness of the agents’ abilities. If there was less cover, attackers would effortlessly flush defenders from sites with abilities.
There are a number of abilities that scout out enemy positions, forcing them out of angles and corners. Once players understand how to utilize these abilities a bit more efficiently, the deep corners shouldn’t pose as much of a problem.
“There is a reason for it being that way, given how much flush utility and recon utility is in the game,” Volcano explained. “Once teams get really proficient at using that on attacker’s side, it ends up being really helpful having those corners.”
While this makes sense, it does bring into question if abilities really are needed in a highly mechanical and tacitcal FPS.
In April, a data miner leaked a new map called Ascent, allegedly designed by Volcano. With canals and gondolas, it appears to take inspiration from Venetian architecture. The medium-sized map has two bombsites. The focus appears to be the middle of the map, which seems to favor offensive rushes.
Of course, this is only a leak and Valorant hasn’t officially announced the map, but on the “whiteboard test,” this map would be Valorant’s fourth map that falls under the same category, supporting player’s fears that all of the maps are similary designed.
On the “whiteboard test” explanation below, all four Valorant maps fall into the “intermediate” category, described as a basic understanding of design theory but “applied very literally.” It’s categorized by boxy floor plans with “unimaginative breaks” in your line of site. This results in a “room-hallway-room” feel that doesn’t create a lot of challenge for competitive players.
To compare, here is Cache, another map designed by Volcano when he was creating maps for CSGO. It’s considered one of the best CSGO maps because of its relative simplicity, balance, and angles. Yet even as it’s considered simple among CSGO maps, it still falls under the “advanced” category for Valorant.