Apex Legends

EA’s smash battle royale hit from Respawn Entertainment, Apex Legends, is still going strong after four seasons of gameplay, balance, map, and character changes. The game’s fifth season update just dropped, featuring a brand new playable character and a myriad of tweaks and improvements. Players can now jump into battle as the fashionable and charming Loba, who enters the Apex games seeking vengeance against her family’s killer, Revenant.

The usual seasonal staples are all here: a new battle pass, featuring 100 tiers of cosmetic rewards, is available for players to start progressing through. There is one notable difference for Season 5 compared to its predecessors, however: the update contains no new weapon for players to try out, with Respawn saying this was a conscious decision to not bloat the weapon pool too much.

In all other ways, the meta has been shaken up by a multitude of changes, as per usual. This includes tweaks to the rare weapon pool, as well as the return of the original map, King’s Canyon (with new areas added, present ones modified, and some removed entirely). Of course, no patch is complete without changes to the game’s existing roster; Mirage received several major buffs to his kit, including the ability to make his decoy mimic the player’s movements. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Pathfinder got hit with a single, though heavily impactful, nerf. His grappling hook ability, the bane of many opponents thanks to the mobility it affords him in combat, had its cooldown increased from 15 to 35 seconds. This massive downgrade is seen by some as excessive, while others see it as a necessary and even well-deserved reduction in power to the cheerful robot, who’s win-rate was disproportionately higher than most other characters.

However, it’s not all business as usual – Season 5 treads new ground with the addition of a new seasonal quest system. Players can find loot packs during gameplay to access special rewards and add progress to the duplicitous Loba’s treasure hunt questline, unlocking new missions, cosmetics, and story chapters along the way. While Apex Legends might not be able to beat the likes of Call of Duty: Warzone or Fortnite in player count, it still holds a respectable place in the battle royale genre, surprising many with both its overnight hit status at launch and its popularity and longevity in the face of tough competition.