Apex Legends is a popular free-to-play, multiplayer first-person shooter (or FPS) available for Xbox, Microsoft Windows, and Playstation 4. Apex was released on February 4th, 2019 by Respawn Entertainment (the same company responsible for the renowned Titanfall series). In this review, we are going to take a look at what has changed about the game since its release, as well as consider the current state of the game.
Both authors have been playing Apex Legends since its release on Xbox and were amazed by the fast-paced gameplay, stunning graphics, and vast array of characters one could play. After we started to play more, this game became one of our favorite games of all time. We were constantly captivated and never seemed to be bored or want a break from the game, which we felt was a common feeling with other games. While it was definitely clear that Apex was a relatively new game and had small issues and work to be done, the game was still enjoyable despite its constant development. Additionally, the game in its early stages gave the player a sense that they were an important part of its growth, with features of the game constantly being changed based on player feedback.
Unfortunately, as time went on, the game became less fun due to a variety of changes brought on with the release of its 10th season on August 3rd, 2021. The main change was the addition of a new character, named Seer. We were very excited for Seer to be released and we had hoped he would be healthy for the game and stay relatively balanced, unlike previous characters who fell prey to power creep. What we weren’t expecting was that Seer’s abilities would be stronger than the other characters in the game. He was so overpowered relative to the other characters that it made it very hard for us to enjoy the game. We would load into a match and then every few minutes get stomped by a Seer. We tried to just play it like normal, but it became hard to ignore. Playing the game started to feel like a chore.
Another frustration players have with the game is the map size. Players are able to land anywhere on the map and with the limited number of players in each game, players would either choose to land incredibly spread out from one another or land in crowded areas called hot-drops, where they would be quickly eliminated. Wyatt Muncy ’25, a former player who stopped playing due to this issue, described his experience as “either being eliminated in five seconds, or the game feeling like a walking simulator.”
Now that Apex Legends is in its 12th season, we decided that we should revisit the game, hoping that it’s improved and gone back to what it once was. We were hopeful because we knew that Seer’s previously overpowered ability potential had been reduced, which meant that his abilities were made less powerful. We also knew that a new game mode called “Control” had been added. This was something that the game had needed for a while, as previously it only had the battle royale mode, which many players had gotten tired of, along with another game mode called “Arenas,” which was 3 vs 3 and ultimately polarizing within the community.
This new season of the game introduced the game’s 19th character, or legend, called, “Mad Maggie.” Despite the excitement over a new character, the player base had many fears that she would be overpowered or damaging to the game. Mad Maggie has a drill that can burn through walls and other forms of protection, damaging players taking cover on the other side. Natural cover and player-made cover are an essential part of Apex and heavily impact the results of many team fights, which is part of the reason for hesitation from the player base. Her other ability allows her to deploy a wrecking ball on a path uncontrolled by the character, which releases speed boosts as it goes for the team that released it. Additionally, this wrecking ball also detonates upon proximity to enemy players.
After playing this new season of Apex, it has become clear that Respawn Entertainment has come a long way. There are a number of bugs removed and slight adjustments that were made based on player feedback, and Mad Maggie appears to have a good balance with the other characters, while at the same time giving players a further incentive to play the game and unlock her. Seer is also reasonably toned down, as we expected, and control does indeed offer a different game mode to play when battle royale or Arenas gets boring. However, the map size and the issues that come along with it can still plague the game. Some moments do still feel a bit like a “walking simulator”. Overall, Apex Legends’ 12th season may not be perfect, but it’s a very welcome change, and Respawn Entertainment is taking a big step in the right direction.