The five year anniversary of Apex Legends is coming up, and the latest season, dubbed Breakout, will be adding all sorts of changes to the game bringing an all new feel to both the Battle Royale and all others modes across the game.
The first of many, many things to present is a change that the console Apex Legends players have been asking after for a while. In Breakout, Xbox Series S|X, and the PlayStation 5 versions will be able to run the game at 120fps, a long overdue change for the console platforms.
Moving on to the actual core gameplay, so much is to change about the game in the upcoming season, that it is arguably the biggest gameplay overhaul the game has seen thus far. Firstly, Shields are no longer a ground loot item, removing all possible RNG to finding or not finding a decent or an upgraded Evo Shield. Instead it scales on both damage and the new Evo harvester and Evo Cache. These can give charge to your Evo Shield, just like dealing damage does. The Evo Harvester actually gives your whole team an Evo boost upon using it. Additionally, because Shields are no longer a loot item, the traditional “shield swapping” isn’t possible. To get around this, when looting death boxes you take the charge of the Evo Shield inside the death box, which can lead to overhealth. To be clear: you cannot swap a lower level Evo for a higher one, only gain its charge.
A second overhaul on the core of the game are Legend Upgrades. Legend Upgrades are in-game upgrades which happen as you progress your Evo Shield. There are only two possible upgrades so as you hit the higher levels (Red Evo), and levelling your shield is only for health purposes. However, they are extremely useful. For example, you may have the choice of upgrade between being able to resurrect a teammate with extra health or auto reload your weapon upon getting a knock, both of which are powerful in their own way. In total there are 100 ways to differ legends so you never know which upgrades the person you’re facing off against has. Both changes so far are in all Battle Royale modes, which really do shake up the game and make it play differently. Continuing on the theme of the core game being altered, crafting points are no longer in the game. In place, Replicators still exist but players get one use per match, with a smaller set of items available of which are more focused on healing. Additionally, all classes can now craft banners, which are not affected by crafting another item, so you should be able to always craft your teammates banner.
Coming in season 20 we’re even being given a ranked overhaul. Moving back to RP (ranked points) rather than LP (ladder points) seems a small detail, but the change is made to facilitate other, larger ones. Rather than using a SBMM/MMR matchmaking method to create ranked games, Apex Legends is making the move to just use RP to group players up with others closest to their RP. While on first look this looks like a good change it does raise issues with better players playing in lower ranked games on alternative accounts, with there being no MMR value, causing concern.. However, there are always going to be people who play on lower ranked accounts to facilitate friends, so it isn’t all that different to any other game in that respect. Additionally every single player is going to be reset to 1RP, so expect early season ranked gameplay to be extremely hectic.
Furthermore, the way RP is given is changing, moving to reward eliminations more once again. However, it is a bit more complex than just kills being worth more. Each elimination you earn in game is worth a different amount depending on what your final placement is, which feels like a change that should’ve happened a long time ago, and like a perfect way to combat players looking to rank up through camping around the map and playing for placement. Still, the entry cost into a ranked game in higher ranks does scale. On top of this, you are also rewarded for multiple top five finishes in a row, with the extra RP gain capping at a streak of five then resetting.
Capping off the Battle Royale section is some news about weapons. Although I wasn’t told what the nerfs may be, you can look forward to expecting a nerf to the 30-30 Repeater and the Hemlock. Actions have been taken to combat smokes, with SMGs no longer being permitted to use the Digital Threat sight.
A new game mode, something that keeps Apex Legends fresh outside of the Battle Royal, is called “Straight Shot “. However, it isn’t exactly aside from the BR. Straight Shot is essentially a sped-up match, with more fights, and more drops. With only 30 participants and a ten-minute countdown until the final circle hits, quick fights and fast-paced gameplay is its aim. You don’t even have to worry about where to drop, with you just dropping into a random point of interest with another team. All loot is fully kitted, with varying rarity, and thankfully you can swap sights if you have another which you prefer. On top of this you do not have to go back to the lobby just to queue up again as there is an option to immediately requeue, something I feel Apex Legends has needed for quite some time. All this aiding to its goal of more games in less time.
All in all it seems as though once again Respawn is setting out an action-packed season for all players and proving the game can still be improved on even 5 years on.
Apex Legends: Breakout launches on February 13th.