Apex Legends is courting traditional FPS fans with an all-new control mode

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Apex Legends Control will feel familiar if you’ve played multiplayer shooters before – but it will feel very different if you’re expecting a traditional Apex Legends experience. It’s a Call of Duty multiplayer match meets a competitive control match in Overwatch. It’s frenetic, chaotic and always well balanced.

Apex Legends’ control mode takes Respawn to another step in asserting itself as the FPS Developer at EA. Control pushes the boundaries of battle royale (much like Arenas mode did last year), making Apex Legends a much more attractive sell for players who love arena shooters but avoid big battles royal. It’s currently only slated to run for three weeks, but don’t be surprised if Respawn brings it back soon – especially if it’s as popular as I think it is.

Take back control

Apex Legends control

(Image credit: EA)

Apex Legends Control is pretty simple: 9v9 (three squads of three) go head-to-head in a fight to control three areas spread across one of two maps excised from sections of the battle royale maps. Controlling areas earns you points and the first team to 1,250 points wins. Like more traditional multiplayer PvP modes, you have endless respawns and your shields regenerate after a fairly brief period of time. You can swap out your legends and loadouts each time you respawn, and choose where you go based on what areas your team currently controls.

The loadouts you choose are your prototypical matchmaking options: Close Range, Heavy, Assault, Marksman, and Marksman. You can swap your range for your preferred playstyle and improve your loadout by earning points for your ranking. Increase your rating score by assisting teammates and capturing areas. The higher the rating, the better your gear will be and the faster your ultimate charge will be. You can also search Care Package drops to secure an even more powerful weapon, but Care Package weapons have a limited amount of ammo while your loadout weapons are infinite.

This is where Control shows off Respawn’s brilliant understanding of balance: higher performing players will get ultimates and upgrades faster through the rating system, but others can nab OP weapons from care packs to help level the playing field. And since these weapons have a limited amount of ammo, those who grab care pack weapons (which are often gold alternators, Krabers, and G7) won’t dominate the whole match with them.

Control will also have timed events like capture bonuses, which give teams a chance to earn extra points by capping a specific highlighted point on the map. These timed events increase the level of mayhem even further, as 18 players converge on one point, throwing ultimates and grenades with reckless abandon. If your team manages to cap all three points, the game enters lockdown mode – if the enemy team can’t regain control before time runs out, the team holding the three points automatically wins. Again, this timed event is like a shot of adrenaline, with players racing to beat the clock so they don’t lose the whole match.

Everything about Control is fast-paced, as Respawn took the essence of late-game combat in a traditional Apex Legends match, bottled it up, and lit it on fire. This Molotov cocktail of legendary abilities, explosions, shots, and quick moves makes this a mode that will put a smile on your face, even when your character gets shot.

Controlled chaos

Apex Legends control

(Image credit: EA)

Control is absolute chaos from the moment a match begins. Not only can there be multiples of the same legends in a team (but not in a team, so only three of the same legend max), but the ultimates load quickly. In every game I play, there’s an almost constant barrage of explosions from Gibraltar and black holes from Horizon. New legend Maggie’s wrecking ball bounces across the point on a semi-regular schedule. I frequently lose sight of enemies, accidentally firing shells at a friendly red-skinned player more often than I care to admit. There are several times where I’ve been chased by two of the same Legend in a bizarre chase unlike any Apex Legends match I’ve ever played.

It’s especially fitting that Apex Legends introduces Maggie and the new Control Mode at the same time, as Maori muscle is built for this mode. Maggie’s kit is incredibly Aggressive, from her passive that allows her to see the outline of enemies after damaging them to her active that can pierce through enemy cover, Maggie is the kind of legend that aggressive and confident players will flock to. There’s an army of Maggies in every Control match I play during my lab, her blue speed boosts falling behind her wrecking ball littering the playing field. Maggie and Control go hand in hand, and you won’t find no better way to get used to the new legend than in this mode.

Despite the chaos and frequent deaths, Control isn’t frustrating – in fact, quite the opposite. With so little time between deaths and such a fast rate of fire when you’re alive, it’s like doing a full sprint for 10 minutes without getting out of breath. I can easily see this mode becoming a fan favorite for Apex players looking to test out weapons and legends in a mode that better recreates endgame BR battles. But Control should also be hugely popular for new players, as it can introduce them to the game’s movement mechanics, gun-toting feel, and lore without forcing them to fall into the punishing ruleset that governs battle. royal. Respawn has said it wants to create space for casual Apex players, and Control is precisely that.

Apex Legends Control has the potential to change the game forever. While Arenas will allow you to play with weapons, there is still far too much downtime between rounds and very little opportunity to work on your movement due to the small size of the maps. The size of control maps and the tactics needed to secure points create opportunities for clever flanks and well-placed ultimates, mimicking the final round of a battle royale match in a way that no other alternate Apex mode can. could accomplish.

This new mode has widespread appeal and the potential to further expand Apex Legends’ player base, invigorate the mood of lapsed players, and hone the skills of seasoned veterans. The control is unlike anything we’ve seen in Apex Legends so far – keep an eye out for it, as it will most definitely return to permanent mode. It’s too good not to.

Apex Legends Control mode drops with Season 12 Defiance this February 8 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch.


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