We analyse the gameplay of the Bomb Defusal mode

18:00, 10 Mar 2020

Riot Games upcoming 5v5 tactical shooter Valorant has no shortage of gameplay footage available of the main game mode; a version of Bomb Defusal. With one team attacking, in a bid to plant the bomb (called the Spike) and one defending or defusing, the mode appears to be strategy heavy, and not based on purely gunplay.

Based on gameplay videos from Blink and Hitscan, we see all eight revealed characters in action, using their abilities in coordination to secure position and track enemies. An Agent’s ultimate ability is earned by getting eliminations or planting or defusing the Spike. You could gain your ultimate once every three rounds. Two abilities are bought at the start of the game, like the weapons, and can be carried over to the next round if unused (like grenades in CS:GO). Grenades won’t be available for purchase at the start of a round, along with weapons and abilities, but are part of some of the characters’ loadouts.

Strategy and careful planning are going to be key to a victory in Valorant, along with working with your teammates and structuring your usage of abilities at opportune moments in the match. Holding or locking down specific areas of the map and blocking lines of sight seems to be fundamental to playing this type of mode. So far, we aren’t privy to any other modes that will be available, where other abilities may become less useful.  

SIGHT-BLOCKING

Several agents possess sight-blocking abilities, helping their team push to the objective unseen by the enemy team, or use as a distraction to flank. One of these such abilities is from Phoenix, named ‘Blaze’, it creates a wall of fire, blocking sightlines and causing damage to those who get too close.

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Viper’s ‘Toxic Screen’ does the same, but emits a green caustic glow, whereas Jett’s ‘Cloudburst’ sends out a spherical tornado that does not cause damage but covers a large area. Little-seen in the gameplay videos is Omen, but we do know a little about the mysterious character's skills. His signature ability ‘Dark Cover’ casts out an orb that bursts into a sphere of shadow, obscuring vision.

AREA-CONTROLLING

Controlling the areas of movement, when defending the area of the Spike plant especially, is going to be essential to winning rounds in the Valorant bomb defusal mode. Floor fills of fire, water, and cloud will reduce paths for the enemy team to infiltrate. Viper appears to be the best character for this strategy, as her ‘Snake Bite’ ability throws down a pool of acid, blocking enemy pushes, and her ultimate ability ‘Vipers Pit’ will release a large toxic cloud that highlights and damages enemies.  American commander Brimstone is the military expert, and his ‘Incendiary’ ability deploys a damaging field of fire.

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TRACKING

Whether attacking or defending, intel is going to be important, and several Agents possess the skills to infiltrate the opposition. Cypher is described as the “perfect character for intel” and his signature ability ‘Spycam’ does the trick. Placing a remote camera, Cypher can reactive to view the video feed, or enter the camera to fire a tracking dart, perfect to keep an eye on the Spike plant site. His ultimate is a dark interrogation. ‘Neutral Theft’ extracts information from an enemy corpse upon elimination and reveals the locations of their living allies. Russian Agent Sova can deploy a pilotable drone that reveals enemies when hit by a dart.

Based on the gameplay we’ve seen so far - only for the Bomb Defusal mode - these are our key points for winning rounds on Valorant’s release. As more exclusive footage is revealed, we’ll bring you more of our predictions for the best strategies for victory.

Images via Riot Games

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