Upon launch, Apex Legends quickly gained an impressive reputation, and some even considered it to be a genuine Fortnite challenger. With innovative new features that other Battle Royale games were sorely lacking, and a significantly better aesthetic, it delivers on a lot of promises. Unfortunately, Apex Legends landed at the peak of the genre’s hype, and it’s tough to maintain that level of interest. So, even though the game was barely released five months ago, fans have been frustrated with the lack of content. But now, the Season 2 update has finally dropped, with all kinds of changes - so here’s the rundown on some great improvements, and a few problems that have stuck like an Arc Star.
10 Got It Right: Pistols Work Now
Having two weapons to swap between during a firefight has always been critical, but a pistol like the P2020 was basically a total waste of a weapon slot. Unless you’re a total try-hard, those things just didn’t carry enough value. But now there’s Hammerpoint Rounds, that deal extra damage to anyone without a shield. This could do wonders at the onset of a match, and especially if you just about one-clipped someone during a shootout. Alternatively, the RE-45 received Disruptor rounds, which delivers extra damage to those with shields. Ultimately, they actually found a way to make pistols relevant without making them imbalanced, and that’s a welcome addition.
9 Still An Issue: Emphasis on Luck
In case you might not have noticed, Apex Legends is still a Battle Royale game. That means every round is the lever of a slot machine, and the majority of your time will be spent looting desperately, rather than engaging in actual gunplay. One false step, and you start all over again for the chance to become champion. After all, you always run the risk of pairing up with pathetic teammates. But it’s just inherent to the genre that skill isn’t everything, and that can be more than enough to deter many kinds of gamers. Also, Apex Packs are unfortunately randomized, rather than offering something like progression-based rewards.
8 Got It Right: Wattson
So, your success in this game is frequently determined by position. It’s a matter of strategy, so it’s great to have a new legend that emphasizes it. Wattson is sort of like Caustic, and we don’t look forward to anyone who might try some camper tactics by combining them. Still, her electrified fences are really creative, even signaling your team where an intruder has trespassed. Wattson’s design is certainly unique enough for callouts, but the same can’t be said for her frustrating puns. Her ultimate slowly charges shields, and basically gives Gibraltar the middle finger. However, she’s actually more balanced with the other legends than she seems, and it’s fun that she’s tied into the origin of Kings Canyon.
7 Still An Issue: Randoms Are Terrible
One of the most crucial components of any relationship, certainly amongst teammates in any regard, is communication. Unfortunately, the majority of your games can be over before they’ve even begun, if the entire team fails to decide on a proper drop until you all realize that you’ve passed up every decent landing.
Players just don’t communicate enough. For example, the Jumpmaster shouldn’t throw you into a hotspot that the team isn’t skilled enough to handle. Because no matter that a Ranking system has been implemented, you can still find yourself amongst poor company. It will take time for people to settle into their appropriate class, and until then, it’s extremely damaging to the gameplay.
6 Got It Right: Ranking
Finally, they've included a Ranking system. We all know how irritating it can be to drop onto the island with senseless teammates, but when the enemy squads are full of TTVs, it doesn’t make things any easier. The game is often determined by the strongest players. It just never made sense to have complete noobs in the same match as pros that have thousands of kills. Although, the truth is, highly experienced players make just as many bad decisions as beginners. However, the former could absolutely carry a game, allowing low-level players into Elite; and once enough teams were eliminated, those remaining would hide out in hopes of a Top-5 position. Elite just never worked out the way this system can.
5 Still An Issue: Lackluster Lore
The mythology of the Titanfall universe hasn’t been especially rewarding, overall. Let alone on Kings Canyon. Now there are areas with caged Flyers, and their alerting shrieks just don’t feel as practical as those soaring overhead. It’s actually a fun addition that their dropped boxes will use your friends’ gamertags. It is neat to have two Leviathans in the middle of the island, but they don’t feel quite as interactive as promised. Our other new addition, Wattson, has a backstory that’s equally paper-thin as any other legend. Her involvement in the island’s creation should also make more sense. The lore just needs elaboration, and more creativity. It would add a lot to a game this repetitive.
4 Got It Right: Ring Damage
Experienced players quickly developed the means and skills to fight within the orange, once the Ring had long enveloped their team. Utilizing Lifeline’s DOC heal drone, medkits, and balloons, there were often full-fledged shootouts miles away from safety. In fact, it was an essential tool to survive, becoming used to operating within the orange.
Now, Lifeline’s drone is destroyed after just two ticks behind the Ring—and with the heavily increased damage per tick, people who used to camp and take advantage will no longer have that option. This successfully helps increase the pace of the game, and instills actual risk from the Ring.
3 Still An Issue: In-Game Pricing
Admittedly, yes, it is absolutely a free game. So, of course, there will need to be microtransactions - that’s how Apex Legends survives. However, we can probably all agree that the price range should be more proportionate. With costs that fall just out of reach, the developers are trying to convince you to purchase more than you need. The prices should all be even, and if they were actually a little less, you might see more sales. It’s definitely good that everything is strictly cosmetic, but a feature like the Battle Pass should be more inviting.
2 Got It Right: Challenges
There’s no question that the game has been rather short on content, but again, we should always keep in mind that it’s been free. Still, it’s equally undeniable that the game functions by the might of the gambler’s mindset, and can quickly begin to feel redundant when you have slim chances of being the champion in any given match. At least fifty-seven people have to lose. One ambush, and it can all go wrong, especially if your teammates aren’t supportive enough. Given the few map changes we ended up with, it’s actually nice to have challenges that will direct people to converge upon specific areas of Kings Canyon at once, or encourage them to try out a new legend or two.
1 Still An Issue: Server Problems
If there’s one thing all EA games have in common, it’s that they haven’t exactly invested a fortune in their servers. Regardless if you’re playing Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, or Star Wars Battlefront II, chances are you’re going to get booted a lot more often than you think. Unfortunately, Apex Legends functions solely by multiplayer, and three-person teams are critical to success. Terrible lagging aside, if your teammate is booted, you stand a severely smaller chance of surviving any encounter with a functioning enemy squad that’s got good loot and communication. The new update has gone out of its way to deter players from leaving early by charging RP. Now, if only they weren’t gone unwillingly.