Apex Legends’ kicked off its new ‘Legacy’ season earlier, and while the new bow is great fun and Valkyrie’s aerial antics are fun (if potentially troublesome in late game scenarios), in the first few hours of Respawn’s latest update to the battle royals, I’ve been spending my time… outside of battle royale.
With a series of bespoke maps and a more immediate take on firefights, Arena might just be my favourite Apex Legends addition in quite some time.
Apex Legends’ New Arena Mode Is The Real Star Of ‘Legacy’
I wrote a little while ago about how Apex Legends’ less crowded, more squad-based brand of battle royale was a perfect fit for my trio of friends, and I stand by that.
Before that, we’d played Rainbow Six: Siege, and before that, they’d carried me through Valorant (because I’m absolutely terrible at it). While I lacked the skill to hold my own, I love the economy system in Riot’s FPS (and CS:GO before it), something that Apex’s new Arena apes considerably.
Loading up on my favourite weapons (Spitfire, FTW), picking up abilities, and other helpful items and jumping into a 3v3 death match still leads to some tense matches, but Apex’s shield-heavy combat (with progressively more protection round-to-round) means that unlike Valorant’s low-TTK combat, you’re always in with a chance of turning the tables.
The game’s Arena mode also adds the battle royale’s crafting materials as its currency to buy such luxuries as weapons and attachments. With various crafting materials dotted around the map, smart teams can prep for the next round by covering more ground.
Care packages drop in each round, too, but they’re telegraphed by the usual beam of light. Play your cards right and you’ll snag a decent weapon. Hold out for a few seconds, and you can bait the enemy team.
The mode’s maps are impressively varied, too. One offers portals to traverse quickly with the caveat of bumping into the enemy team emerging from their own portal. Another offers a series of small buildings and plenty of cover, but with enough verticality to make sniping a viable strategy.
Whichever map you play on, the play area is continually shrinking, as you’d expect in a battle royale.
Arena feels like a microcosm of the best parts of Apex Legends. It’s got the squad-based combat and ping system, solid shooting mechanics, and all the battle royale accoutrements you’d expect, but in a smaller, bite-sized, and no less thrilling package.