This Tuesday, Respawn launched its new season of Apex Legends, Defiance. This season brings an all-new battle pass, a new Legend, and a new Limited Time Mode (LTM). In addition, the season introduces Control, as well as various balance tweaks and map changes. Respawn revealed that they are already working on the next five Legends coming to Apex. The game boasts 30% more active active players from last year. Therefore, Respawn will likely continue to release new content for Apex for years to come. Apex Legends Control is only available for the first three weeks of Season 12. Players looking to try it out should look to play during the next two weeks.
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Control represents a huge shift in gameplay style to the standard battle-royal or even Arena game mode types. In Control, teams of 9 players face off over three control points. These award points to the team that controls them. Set on Barometer on Storm Point and Hammond Labs on Olympus, Control offers new gameplay based on objectives instead of simply trying to be the last player standing. Players familiar with BR will notice several key differences. Most importantly, death is not permanent in Control. After dying, players are able to respawn. In fact, they can even pick their spawn location or change legends mid-match. Another key difference is competitors are able to select from a rotation of loadouts that change every few hours instead having to find a weapon each life.
Instead of naming a traditional “kill-leader,” Control instead awards players “ratings” for capturing zones as well as defeating other players. Earning ratings allows for players to automatically upgrade their loadout’s rarity (think better attachments) as well as their armor. However, these earnings are reset on death. This makes players start with the base tier of blue weapons and armor on each spawn. Care packages will also drop during the matching, letting players unleash a Kraber or Spitfire if they are able to secure the loot.
New Apex Legend players can find standard BR game mode overwhelming. But Control gives players a chances to familiarize themselves with the game without brutal finality that BR sometimes has. Apex Legends now has four large maps, Kings Canyon, World’s Edge, Olympus and since Season 11, Storm Point. On top of having to learning positioning and while trying to control their recoil, each ring close in BR can bring players to an unfamiliar map location. Control gives players the opportunity to familiarize themselves with a much smaller section of a map while engaging in constant fights. In a BR match, a player could win an entire 25 minute match only seeing the one or two players in the final rings. However, Control gives players the opportunity to have many chances to work on their positioning, aim, and movement it fights through ought the entire match.
With the frantic search for a weapon gone, players are able to reliably have the same weapons every fight over an extended match. The variety in weapons in Apex can make finding a weapon that works well for an individual playstyle daunting, but Control allows for players to try out new loadouts or weapons in situations that may not happen in a regular BR match. The chaos of a 9 v 9 game mode does create fights that would never happen in BR, but constant action is unlike anything else in Apex currently. At least while the mode remains in game, Control can scratch that itch for players to have a run and gun mode or simply a way to warm up before heading into regular BR.
Respawn announced at the beginning of the season that Control would be around for the first three weeks. But based on the positive reception, there is the possibility that it could return at a later date as an Apex Legends third permanent game mode alongside BR and Arenas. While there is a chunk of players that prefer Arenas over the unfettered mayhem that can happen in BR, many Apex players were disappointed with the repetitiveness and ultimately much slower pace these Arena matches lead to. With 18 total players and constant respawns in Control, each fight in Control feels like a new wave of exciting action.
The Control LTM ends in 15 days. The soonest players will likely see it return is Season 13, but there is no guarantee. It is possible that Respawn could look to add some dedicated maps to rotation before Control returns. Just like for Control, when Arenas launched, all of the maps were taken from existing map locations. Some locations worked better than others. Respawn has created maps specifically for Arenas. If Control returns, Respawn will most likely look to add new locations to fight over.
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