3rd September 2021 – 7pm
After a few months without new content updates, Valorant developers are about to release a brand new map: Fracture ! We were lucky enough to be invited by Riot Games to test it! And we can tell you that players are going to have a hard time with it before they get the hang of it.
On paper, Fracture is a classic map, with two Spike sites. In reality, it's not. The main feature of the map is the original placement of Attackers and Defenders. Defenders start at the centre of the map and have access to the entire central corridor. From there, they have very quick access to the sites.
Attackers are spread out on the flanks. At the beginning of the round, they are very restricted in their movements. They can only decide whether they want to start their attack on the high or low side of the map.
The two starting points of the Attackers are connected by two zip lines that pass under the starting point of the Defenders. When using them, our character automatically advances from one point to another (it's impossible to stop in the middle of the path or to influence the speed). Defenders can't hear the movement of the zip lines under their feet.
Fracture's sites are extremely vulnerable. On other Valorant maps, Defenders can usually arrive from the back of a site, while Attackers arrive from the front. This is not the case here, as all paths lead directly to both sites. This makes them very exposed areas.
Both sites are accessible via four entry points, two belonging to Defenders and two to Attackers. As Attackers' accesses are from the flanks, it's almost impossible for a Defender to guard both entrances alone. Instead, the work should be divided into three or four groups to cover each opening.
Attackers therefore have a clear advantage until the Spike is placed, but once it is planted, they must now cover the four entrances to the site. In this sense, we imagine that Fracture will be a retake map, where the Spike will be planted more often than usual.
Another important point to consider is that even though there are four accesses to each site, they are all through small closed corridors that have almost no interconnections.
For Attackers, this means that they cannot be caught off guard, but also that once they have started down a path, the only way to change their entry point is to return to their spawn point and potentially use the zip lines to change sides. This is a very time consuming process. In addition, some of the accesses are almost one-way, like Icebox ramps that are difficult to climb back up once you've jumped down.
There are 4 orbs on Fracture. They benefit Attackers, as Defenders would have to put themselves very dangerously out of position to get them. On the other hand, once Attackers have launched an assault, Defenders are free to pick up orbs on paths not chosen by their opponents. In any case, expect to see many ultimates on this map.
Fracture has a few passages of note. Around site A, there is a heavy door that connects an Attacker corridor to a Defender corridor. This door is opened by pressing one of the pressures plates on either side. However, opening the door makes a lot of noise and will immediately indicate the presence of an enemy. This noise can however be used to sow doubt in the minds of opponents.
Around Site B, there is an underground which connects the two Attacker access roads. It's almost impassable for Defenders due to the position of the entry and exit points, but it's rather long to cross for Attackers. It also offers no cover.
The very structure of Fracture makes it a map that is played solely on line control. As you progress through the map, there is almost no 50/50 situation where you will get killed inspecting a corner while an opponent was hiding in the opposite one. If the battle moves beyond the sites, the players' progress will be slow with meticulous inspection of every corner.
Due to its closed and narrow nature, Fracture offers very few open lines for scoped rifles enthusiasts. Similarly, various long-range projectiles, such as Sova's arrows, will have difficulty finding useful trajectories and areas of effect. On the other hand, short and medium range weapons will be very effective.
We guess that Sentinels like Cypher and Killjoy will prove indispensable on Fracture. The various traps will allow you to lock down an area without having to put a player in danger. Sage's Barrier Orb will also prove particularly useful for blocking one of the accesses and limiting the opponent's options, as will Brimstone and Omen's smokes.
According to its designers, Fracture is a key map to understand the lore of Valorant. In addition to all the architectural details that Riot Games is known for, there are also interactive elements for the first time. During the buy phase, attackers can find an access card belonging to a Kingdom eployee. Defenders can read emails on both sides of the rift.
But the most important thing about Fracture... is that the two parallel zip lines will allow for some real medieval jousting! No more coming and going on Site A of Icebox, now it's time for real sport!
Fracture will be deployed in Valorant Patch 3.05 on the night of Tuesday 7th September to Wednesday 8th September.