By: Elliott Garske
Valorant recently released its 4.0 update, kicking off Episode 4, Act 1, with a decent amount of changes to the meta via weapon changes and a couple map tweaks here and there. Of course, a brand new agent for players to unlock is also included.
And now a bit deeper into what the update offers. Starting off with the biggest addition, the newest agent Neon. Neon is an extremely unique agent from the Philippines who has the ability to sprint, which at first may not sound super unique but given how no other character actually has a sprint, it allows for a lot of new strategies to mess around with. The added speed that Neon has allows her to be able to flank enemies much faster than normal, which can catch them off guard allowing your team to take control of situations easier. Her other abilities include a flame wall similar to that of Phoenix’s, but creates a corridor to travel through instead of a wall to block sightlines and a unique concuss ability that bounces off a wall and hits both spots it lands.
For weapon changes, the Ares received a pretty big buff which removes the windup before firing and also boosts its fire rate, which has made it an extremely popular choice over previous weapons with similar costs like the Bulldog and Spectre. Another buff goes to the Guardian, which removes the slowdown in fire rate when aiming down sights with the weapon and makes the gun a lot more consistent. Besides those buffs, there was a slight nerf to the Spectre which makes it less effective at longer ranges.
On a less impactful note, there are small map changes to both Breeze and Bind in order to make attacking easier on both maps. Bind has a crate lowered and a small box added in order to give attackers some more ways to attack a site. Breeze however has both sites changed pretty radically. These changes include more cover on the B site, making it a bit harder for defenders to hold and retake the site, and some more cover for defenders and a slightly larger space to plant the bomb on the A site.
Overall, Episode 4, Act 1, solves a lot of problems with map design being too defense sided on the two aforementioned maps and also changes up the weapon meta a little bit for better or for worse.