Apex Legends came out on February 4 and to say it was a massive success at launch would be an understatement.
Thanks to EA’s clever use of influencer campaign partnered with the fact that Fortnite: Battle Royale was experiencing some down time in between its seasons, not to mention the tight, fast-paced shooter controls of the Titanfall franchise, Apex Legends created the perfect proverbial storm for itself and appeared ready to take the battle royale throne from Fortnite: Battle Royale.
Then, reality set in.
Fortnite: Battle Royale eventually returned with its latest season, and with it, the majority of the player base.
Respawn Entertainment also didn’t do themselves any favours. Their release schedule was slow compared to Epic Games. Not to mention, once they did come out with Season 1 of Apex Legends, the response couldn’t have been any worse.
After going through a bit of a hibernation period, however, Apex Legends seems to be ready to give Fortnite: Battle Royale with a good run for its money with the release of the Season 2 Battle Pass.
Below, we highlight everything that we liked, and didn’t, from Season 2 of Apex Legends.
What we liked
1. Better, More, and Easier Rewards
The Apex Legends Season 2 Battle Pass takes one of the biggest things that went wrong from the Season 1 Battle Pass and does it a whole lot better.
What is this “thing” that we are talking about? The long tedious grind and the lack of rewards.
Respawn Entertainment definitely took notes from the community feedback and the result is now that the Season 2 Battle Pass has:
- Daily and weekly challenges
- Significantly reduced time to level up your Battle Pass to 100
- Three (3) more Legendary skins added as rewards for progress
- Three new content categories as rewards; music packs, skydiving emotes, and loading screens
- Enough Crafting Metal as a reward to craft your own Legendary item or whatever it is you want to create.
2. A Brand Spanking New Trailer
Apex Legends’ launch trailer was amazing.
In fact, everything Respawn Entertainment and EA did at launch was perfect.
Unfortunately, every decision they’ve made since have not been as good. This includes the trailer for the Apex Legends Season 1 Battle Pass.
Thankfully, the trailer for Season 2 more than makes up for that blunder.
Starting off by showcasing the game’s newest legend in Wattson, followed by what could possibly be a teaser for the next champion to come, and finally, a large scale EMP attracting the attention of the creatures that roam the edges of the map, forever changing Kings Canyon for the better.
3. Ranked Leagues
Season 2 of Apex Legends will finally feature a ranked system where players of the same rank will be matched up against each other.
There are currently six ranks available in the game, with the lowest being Bronze, followed by Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and then finally, Apex Predator.
All, except for Apex Predator, are divided into four tiers.
To rank up, players will need to earn Ranked Points from playing on Ranked Matches, based on the number of kills they make and their placement.
Depending on your rank, playing in a Ranked Match can cost you either zero RP (bronze) or 5 RP (Apex Predator).
The way that the rank system is structured is that there’s no way for a player to drop out of their rank completely. So, if you only have the basic minimum RP to meet your rank and you go on a massive losing streak, you won’t go any lower than your current rank.
Also, when playing Ranked Matches with friends, the matchmaking system will match your party against other players based on the rank of the highest-ranking player.
This is pretty reasonable and standard staff. After all, without it, it would’ve been so easy for lower-ranked players to be carried by a higher-ranking player, leading to an overall unpleasurable ranked matchmaking experience for all.
The current ranked season is set to last until September.
4. A New (and Arguably Improved) Kings Canyon
Change is good.
Really, it is.
Taking a page right off of the books of MOBAs such as Dota 2 and League of Legends, Fortnite: Battle Royale skewed the multiple-map concept of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and instead went with a forever-changing map.
Judging by how radically different the map looks in Season 2, it’s safe to say that Respawn Entertainment are taking the same approach with Apex Legends.
The launch trailer of Season 2 saw an unknown entity bring down the barriers around Kings Canyon. This left it open and at the mercy of the massive creatures outside its borders.
The result? Kings Canyon like never before.
Not only did those leviathans leave Kings Canyon in a mess, you can now literally see them walking around the map.
Kings Canyon still looks mostly the same as in Season 1, but at the same time, it also plays differently. There are now fewer areas to go to for cover and far more open fields, thanks to the destruction brought by the lumbering giants who, thankfully, are too big to care about the 60 people below them who are running around and waging all out war against each other.
Also, areas such as the Bridges and Cascada have now been changed to The Cage and Containment, respectively.
Both new areas feature maze-like structures with a blend of ruins and new buildings that seems built to help force engagements between players, making that particular map feel fresh and different from anything you could find in the past.
What We Didn’t Like
What do Gibraltar and Caustic both have in common?
They’re defense-first characters in a game where aggression is much more likely to yield you better results.
Wattson is no different.
With a primary tactical ability in Perimeter Security that allows her to slow down and do damage to enemies that walk through a set area, as well as an Interception Pylon that pretty much is an amped-up version of Gibraltar’s tactical ability, Dome of Protection, the game’s latest Legend requires players to play more defensively.
Now, Wattson’s abilities would’ve made more sense if Apex Legends wasn’t as open as it is. But, it is, and because of that, playing Wattson requires players to take on a completely different mindset.
This doesn’t mean to say that Wattson is entirely useless, or less popular compared to other characters like Gibraltar and Caustic are.
In fact, Wattson is a popular pick in high-level ranked matches because of how good her defensive abilities are. But, that’s probably just because players haven’t had much time to play against Wattson just yet, and, we believe that it’s only a matter of time before Wattson’s flaws are exposed, making her less popular as a result.
2. The L-Star
The L-Star is a powerful Legendary plasma LMG available only in supply drops with a fixed, unreplenishable ammo pool.
As is the case with other Legendary weapons in the game, the L-Star does a lot of damage.
What sets the LMG apart is that its bullet’s projectiles are much larger than other weapons in the game. This makes it a bit more accurate (or less accurate), depending on how it is used.
This would’ve been fine if the L-Star’s bullet speed wasn’t so slow.
With a slow-travelling bullet, the L-Star is one of the least desirable Legendary weapons in the game. Not to mention, you can’t really use it in a drawn-out firefight unless you want to risk overheating.
Other Notable Changes in Season 2 of Apex Legends
New things weren’t the only ones added to Apex Legends in Season 2.
Some of the game’s already-existing weapons and attachments also received updates to make them more effective and for rebalancing purposes.
For example, weapons such as the Flatline, P2020, Alternator, Triple Take, and the Arc Star all received buffs. Meanwhile, Energy weapons got a bit more love as well, with an increased stack size (from 60 to 80), among others.
Airdrop packages were also rebalanced. Going forward, the drops will change based on a loot table dependent on the current stage of the game.
This means that less powerful weapons will drop early on and in mid-game, while the more powerful ones will start dropping later on.
Apex Legends Season 2 also brought those AT-AT looking creatures found outside of Kings Canyon into the game, adding some much-needed variety into a map that was slowly starting to look dull and barren.
Season 1 was a big miss for Apex Legends, but Season 2 helps give fans who stayed true to the game hope that the future can only get brighter.
In a way, what Apex Legends Season 2 proves is that, despite being unable to keep up with Fortnite: Battle Royale’s constant, albeit unsustainable, influx of new content — it’s only a matter of time before Epic Games finds themselves unable to keep up with their player base’s constant need of new toys to play with — they’re still capable of getting their own player base excited.
That may not mean that Apex Legends will be “beating” Fortnite: Battle Royale anytime soon. But, that’s okay.
At the end of the day, Apex Legends’ whole premise has always been a more hardcore, tight, and controlled gameplay experience, which the new season fits perfectly with.
Here’s to hoping that we at least get more of the same for Season 3.