New Apex Legends character Vantage brings a cute companion and a big sniper rifle

Apex Legends continues to attract the attention of its players even after several years on the market, and next week, the battle royale shooter will bring things back to where they started with a new season that revisits the game’s original map. This year, the game has already added two new characters (plus two more in the new mobile version), brought updates for next-gen consoles, rotated to a well-received Control game mode, and, according to EA’s earnings call this week, it marked double-digit income growth in the last quarter once again. On the other hand, player complaints for glitches, ranked mode scoring, matchmaking, and just about any other small detail continue to grow.

The last season was particularly troubled, with issues affecting one of the game’s best features – its responsive controls – and enough bugs that popped up even during a professional game Apex Legends tournament last month.

I can’t judge the game’s stability until we start playing it, but on a call with reporters, the team confirmed they are listening to players of all skill levels on how to tweak the gameplay. Design Director Evan Nikolich called the leaderboard “a work in progress,” saying we should expect to see more changes in the full patch notes as the developers try to emphasize being a good team player. Other long-awaited features, such as gifts and cross-progression, are still on the way, but it is not known when they will be available yet. When it becomes available, players can expect cross progression that allows you to switch platforms so that PC players can take on daily challenges on the go on Switch, for example.

Other changes that will be important to longtime players include a revamped progression system that allows you to re-grind from zero to 500 levels and earn more packs. Players can repeat the process up to four times, earning new badges and unlocking more rewards. If you start from scratch, the process would produce enough packets to warrant receiving an in-game “heirloom” item at some point, but if you’re already at max level, it won’t be enough on your own.

In the real game, there are almost too many changes to notice. The controversial knockdown gold shield that allowed downed players to revive and occasionally win the game without even reviving, eliminated that trait. Many professional and high-level players had complained that it was unfair, but the team says they are making changes based on what they see at all levels of the game. Now, that same item has the features that were attached to the gold backpack, allowing players to revive teammates with extra shields and health, while the gold backpack now has a “deep pockets” perk that allows it to contain extra healing items.

Many of the game’s guns present since launch are changing, as the Wingman pistol suddenly takes sniper ammo and the Spitfire machine gun uses light rather than heavy ammo. We won’t have a new weapon for this season’s Apex Legendsbut sweeping changes in how they work may be enough to make up for that: the only question is whether everything will stay in balance or whether a sniper / shotgun load will reign.

“Relic.”
Image: Respawn Entertainment

This brings us to the new character, Vantage, and the old map, Kings Canyon. A recent seasonal division ranked on the OG Apex map revealed how much players have grown since the game’s launch, on a map that didn’t quite fit the way things are played now. For the Kicked season, the reforged Kings Canyon looks very different. It’s bigger, many chokepoints have been expanded, the iconic Skulltown section is back as a new area dubbed “Relic”, and there are other map changes intended to help fights progress faster instead of the extended confrontations that usually attracted the third party attention before one team could defeat another. The loot on the map is now placed differently and a new skybox should make things brighter than its shabby original which could wear you down after a while.

Vantage is yet another legend with reconnaissance capabilities, armed with a sniper rifle for her ultimate. She can zoom in on enemies with her target to see squad size, shield rarity and Legend names, as well as getting additional calculations on bullet drop when using sniper sights. He can place his cute winged companion, a bat named Echo (which can’t be harmed or killed), and then double jump at it to quickly reposition himself.

The maximum of his sniper rifle is the first in the game that works without being fully charged. For her, the charge increases over time, adding extra ammo for Sniper’s Mark hits. The scope can reveal enemies and successfully highlight the enemy team for 10 seconds with a diamond marker, with 100 damage per shot and extra damage received by Vantage’s team.

Adding another legend with tracking capabilities seems a bit risky. How Watch over ran into problems once too many characters could stun each other, Apex Legends it is turning into a game in which no one can hide. However, the problems we have seen Apex This year, the new Legends have been fairly well balanced, although player stats suggest the new additions aren’t getting much use. The player protests like “No Apex August ā€¯doesn’t seem to have caught on and the gameplay is as compelling as ever. But for the new season, I just hope everything works out as it should.

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