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How Valorant's Fracture Map Does In-Game Lore Right

By Natalie Schmidt

September 17, 2021

The release of Valorant’s Fracture map in the Episode 3 Act 2 update comes with another expansion to the game’s lore. By seamlessly incorporating story elements into the map, Valorant shows how to do in-game lore right.

After an impressive Episode 3 Act 1, Valorant released Episode 3 Act 2 to players on September 8th. The update brought along a new map, a new battle pass, and three new sets of weapon skins.

Along with these gameplay updates comes an exciting first for Valorant‘s interactive story elements. Like previous maps, Fracture features heavy tie-ins to outside game lore, but for the first time, it incorporates interactive narrative objects.

Valorant | Uncover Fracture Official Map Teaser

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Valorant | Uncover Fracture Official Map Teaser
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Additionally, these story elements are directly built into the map’s environment. By focusing on environmental storytelling and these new interactive points, Valorant successfully makes lore important to gameplay.

VALORANT‘S FRACTURE MAP TELLS ITS STORY THROUGH ENVIRONMENT

The map’s new interactive objects appear as yellow dots during the Buy Phase and appear in both Attacker and Defender spawn areas.

In Defender Side Spawn, players can find two interactive dots, both emails to previous Kingdom Industries and Kingdom Corp employees. In Attacker Side Bridge, an ID card for a Kingdom Corp employee lies atop the broken rocks. Along with the destroyed lab, the heavily-suited figure on the ID directly shows how volatile working with radianite is.

Altogether, they hint toward what may have caused the explosion at the lab, as well as the nature of the Kingdom collaborations. By showing the real danger and worry of the lab workers in a broken-down environment, Valorant heightens the stakes surrounding player interactions with radianite.

HOW VALORANT DOES LORE RIGHT

Although the narrative isn’t the main focus of Valorant, the overall effect of the environmental storytelling is seamless. It populates the maps with tangible, exciting world-building, making the game feel alive.

Along those lines, these new story elements are elegant ways to expand lore beyond character profiles and into actual gameplay. It makes lore more than just a neat extra feature so that it becomes a true part of the FPS world.

Additionally, while games like Overwatch have worked narrative into map environments, Valorant is uniquely cohesive by keeping lore mostly in-game. As vibrant as the game is, Overwatch focuses more on outside media like animations, comics, or cinematics. Valorant sets itself apart by keeping a majority of its story elements within the game, changing the way FPS games incorporate lore.

Valorant‘s Fracture map and the Episode 3 Act 2 update can currently be played on PC.

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Natalie Schmidt
@bynatalies

Natalie (She/Her) is a writer and game design enthusiast hailing from way-too-sunny Los Angeles. She loves to dissect game narrative and analyze mechanics, but she doesn’t even want to think about how many hours she’s spent playing D&D or The Witcher 3. Aside from triple-A adventures, she’s passionate about RPGs of all kinds and meaningful representation in games

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