Apex Legends: Two Years Later
By Max Gast
It has been more than two years since the release of Apex Legends, a free-to-play battle royale hero shooter game. When it came out, The Tides published an article on the game, predicting that it could become even more popular than Fortnite. It is time to revisit the topic.
The game has changed a lot since February 9, 2019. New weapons, new legends, new strategy. We are now in Season 9 Legacy, nine new legends later and two new maps. While there may have been multiple battle royales that have been released since Apex Legends’ launch we will be looking at changes and how the game holds up.
Since Season 0, there have been nine new legends. In Season 1 they added Octane, high speed daredevil. Octane can use stims that enhance his speed but also damage him. (Like Pathfinder’s grapple, stims can be seen in Titanfall 2, a game before Apex that we will get to when we talk about Valkyrie.) His ultimate is a jump pad to relocate swiftly. An ultimate ability is like a super ability. In most hero shooters, ultimates are either defensive or offensive. Some of the changes Octane has gone through include being able to double jump on his jump pad and more recently, taking more damage from stim.
Season 2. Wattson, static defender. Wattson’s father was the creator of the Apex Games. Wattson created the Ring that closes in on players. Wattson is kind of like Caustic. She can place down fences to stop enemies from getting to certain areas. On the other hand, enemies can destroy Wattson fences by shooting at a little circle area at the bottom of the fence’s “pylon”. Her ultimate ability is a giant pylon that can stop ordinances and certain ultimates from coming down on her team. Wattson is not in the best state currently, but the devs are trying to make her better.
Tae Joon Park. Best known in the Outlands under the alias “Crypto,” surveillance expert. Crypto was framed for corporate espionage and murder. Crypto has a drone that, you guessed it, is just a drone. Crypto’s ultimate ability is an EMP that damages your shields. Crypto is very simple. The good thing about being simple is that Crypto is pretty balanced. There are so many legends, so, for now, I’m going to keep it to two sentences about abilities and some lore.
Revenant. Synthetic nightmare. Revenant carries a lot of the story from here on out. Revenant is a simulacrum (robot that can’t die). He is esentially a murder robot who thinks he is human. Revenant killed Loba Andrade’s parents, but in the middle of the fight, he got a glass shard in his neck, and he found out that he was a simulacrum. Revenant’s abilities include something called a silence bomb. It can stop legends from using all of their abilities. His ultimate is a death totem that his teammates can use, and when they lose all of their health they return to the totem. Recently people have started using Octane and Revenant as a way to push enemies with a death totem and a jump pad.
Loba Andrade. Translocating thief. After Revenant killed her parents, she became a thief and lived off of that lifestyle. She made her bracelet into a jump drive so she could teleport around. She joined the games to kill Revenant by destroying his source code but soon found out Revenant wants to die so she keeps him alive to punish him. I know; it’s really dark. Also, during the Season 5 story, the Legends rebuild Ash, a simulacrum that Jack Cooper killed but is a fan-favorite character. Ash will be important later on. Loba can use her bracelet to teleport around. Her ultimate is the Black Market Boutique. It can steal all loot from the nearby area. Loba was in a rough patch in Seasons 7 and 8, but she is now fixed and she got buffed.
Rampart. Base of fire. Rampart was the legend of Season 6. She was (and arguably still is) the worst legend in the game. She was the best mechanic in the Outlands and some say it ain’t good unless it says “Rampart” on it. After her shop was destroyed, she joined the Apex Games. She can place down “Amped Cover” or “A-Walls.” This is also a Titanfall 2 item. If you shoot out into the wall as an ally, it increases bullet damage. If you are an enemy, it destroys the wall. Her ultimate is a giant turret. Self explanatory. The devs are trying to make her better by giving her walls more health and giving more FOV (field of view) on her turret.
Horizon. Gravitational Manipulator. During an energy crisis, Horizon found a way for unlimited energy. She promised her son, Newton, that she would be back for him. On the mission, her assistant betrayed her and left her in a black hole with her robot N.E.W.T.. When she came back to Olympus, it was 88 years later, and Newton was long gone. It was a promise to keep and she is currently trying to build a time machine to go back to her son. For now, she fights in the Apex Games. She used to be one of the best legends. Her tactical ability is a gravity lift that lifts her into the air. She used to be able to pop a shield battery while she was strafing in the air. Her ultimate ability is a black hole that sucks enemies into it.
Fuse. Bombastic explosives expert. Walter Fitzroy, better known as “Fuse” is from the planet of Salvo. This is a very dangerous planet, and when the Syndicate took Salvo under its belt for the Apex Games, Salvonians were mad. Fuse joined, and his friend Maggie was angry and “accidentally” blew off his arm. Fuse can shoot little sticky ordinances from his wrist that deal damage. His ultimate is called the Motherlode and it surrounds enemies in a ring of fire. Fuse is in a very bad state, and the devs are trying to fix him.
Valkyrie. Winged avenger. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Valkyrie is the daughter of a villain in Titanfall 2, Viper. For some reason, she is mad at Kuben Blisk, not Jack Cooper, who actually finished her dad, but anyway let’s move on. Kuben Blisk is the director of the Apex Games and was once the leader of the Apex Predators. Valkyrie as a kid rode around in Viper’s Northstar titan. Her dad had to save her as she got caught in the crossfire of a battle. When her dad went on his last mission, she began to blame Blisk for the death of her father. When she confronted Blisk, he invited her to the Apex Games to live out her dreams as a pilot. Valk can fly and that is her passive. In hero shooters, a passive ability could be something like they can climb higher or heal up faster. She can also see enemies in the air. She can fire rockets as her tactical. Her team can leave the fight with her ultimate which is basically a jump tower so her team can reposition.
I know this was a very long segment but there is so much to cover since Season 0. I’m now going to move on to the 2 new maps.
There have been 2 new maps that came out in the past 2 years. World’s Edge was added back in Season 3 along with Crypto. In my opinion, World’s Edge is the best map because the battles are unique and it has the least number of third parties (squads that join the fight when both of the teams that were fighting are weakened). Olympus was added in Season 7 along with Horizon. Many people in the community think it was supposed to be out in Season 6, but due to COVID-19 it was delayed. I still don’t have a source to confirm this. Olympus isn’t the best, but with the latest map revision I think the developers are trying to make it a bit more like World’s Edge. World’s Edge has been updated twice (not counting the Bloodhound town takeover), once in Season 4 and once in Season 6. In Season 4, they added the Harvester POI (Point Of Interest) and they split Capitol City into two parts, Fragment East and Fragment West. In Season six they added a rocket launch facility and some more POI’s to the map. While I will never forget Season 4 World’s Edge, I do think that Season 6 isn’t that bad.
Olympus has been changed once, and the new map is honestly pretty good. This season they added a ship called The Icarus. Inside The Icarus there are medusa vines and a thing called a bridge keycard. When you get the bridge keycard you can unlock the cockpit of the ship and get really good loot. Kind of like the World’s Edge vaults. The vaults were prized locations. There are only three vaults and these flying drones called cargo bots can sometimes drop keycards to open them. When you opened the vault you would get super loot. Other than that, Olympus really hasn’t received any changes.
Kings Canyon was the original map, and has been changed 4 times. The biggest change was when Loba literally blew off the part of the map that has the most players. Skulltown got destroyed by Loba and a bunch of new POI’s. My favorite part of Season five’s map update was probably the Capacitor location added in the middle of the map. Each map has jump towers. You can zipline up jump towers and then fly in the air to a new location. The downside is that if the enemy has really good aim, they can shoot you as you are ziplining up the jump tower. These are the basic features of every map. This is getting pretty long, so I am going to move one to changes and bug fixes.
Bug Fixes and Meta Changes
The meta of a game is very important in hero shooters. The meta basically is what is a good or bad combination. Right now, in the ranked game mode of Apex Legends, the meta is Revenant, Octane. This is because people will place down Octane jump pads and then use a death totem from Revenant and rush the enemy team. The legends have also been changed a lot. We saw Mirage go from the worst to being really good. We saw Lifeline jump into the A-Tier on most tier lists. Gibraltar (Gibby) went from really bad all the way to S-Tier, becoming the absolute best. A game can change at a moment’s notice, and that is what I am here to talk about.
Some big changes have happened to characters over the last few years. I am going to talk about those changes.
Mirage. Mirage used to be the worst legend in the game. What Mirage would do for his tactical is he would drop a decoy and it would go straight forward no matter what. If there was a wall, the decoy walked into the wall. His ultimate ability was eight decoys that would stand in a circle while the real Mirage was invisible for a couple seconds. In Season 5, the developers buffed (made better) Mirage. If you wanted to, you could make the decoys follow your movement. For a short while, his passive ability would be that he would go invisible when reviving a teammate, but now he is slightly visible. His ultimate ability is now that all eight decoys will follow his movements so the enemy can get “bamboozled” or tricked.
Lifeline. Lifeline is a combat medic. Her tactical ability is a Drone Of Compassion or D.O.C.. Her old passive ability was that when she was reviving, a shield would pop up in front of her. Her other old passive ability was that she could heal faster. Instead of downing a Phoenix Kit in 10 seconds, she would take it in seven. Her ultimate was a care package that gave you decent loot but became worthless later in the match. In Season 5 she was revamped. Her new ultimate was a care package that gave her more items. More recently they changed her ultimate to give a guaranteed upgrade. They removed fast healing, but they gave her a shield AND auto revive. You could now use your knocked out teammates as cover. Then they realized in Season 8 that she was too overpowered and they removed the shield and buffed D.O.C and her care package in Season 9.
Loba. In Season 9 they allowed her to move at full speed while throwing a bracelet, and they fixed a lot of bugs with her bracelet.
Gibraltar. Gibraltar basically turned into a super soldier and he was one of the reasons they had to change Lifeline. It was because the developers gave Gibraltar the ability to have fast healing for his team in his dome of protection. To make Lifeline less obsolete they had to change her. Gibraltar has a dome of protection, a gun shield, and an ultimate called bombardment which rains down mortars from the sky. Now a couple seasons later, the developers add fortified. Since Gibraltar has a big hit box (enemies can hit you easier) they gave him and Caustic a perk that reduced damage by 10%. But wait, there’s more! When inside the dome they gave Gibraltar the ability for his team to fast heal and fast revive, which was kind of Lifeline’s thing. Recently they have tried nerfing him (making him worse) by adding bleed through damage to his gun shield and getting rid of fast healing.
There are a lot of changes but those are probably the biggest ones that have happened to the game and I think it is time to move on.
All in all, Apex Legends has gone through ups and downs. The computer scene of the game has lots of hackers and stream snipers (people who watch an influencer’s Twitch stream with the intention of landing in the same lobby as them to eliminate them), though many other battle royales encounter this problem such as Warzone and Fortnite. The game has gone through many events. It is probably one of the most popular games in the world and is one of the most popular EA games. The ironic part is that Respawn Entertainment (the people who made Apex Legends) was founded by the ex-Call of Duty creators. Even though Apex Legends has had its bad moments, many still play it to this day and is one of the biggest games on Twitch. No, Noah, it’s not bigger than Fortnite, but through it all, Apex Legends still stands. I give it 8.5/10.