Apex Legends took the world by storm when it launched earlier this year. It broke records previously set by Epic Games’ juggernaut title Fortnite. It was even seen as the battle royale title that would take over the genre. However, Apex released with a plethora of issues, an unhealthy meta, and no content updates until months after launch. This all, alas, ruined its hot streak.
Now, nine months have passed, and we have a new map, new weapons, and new legends. But the game is still holding itself back.
It’s all aboot the loot
One of Apex‘s biggest issues is the disappointing loot that litters the map. Battle royale games are known for their randomization factor, and having useless items spread throughout the map makes it frustrating when you can’t find what you need. Most white attachments, aside from sights, do very little to enhance the weapons they are attached to. They take up spawn slots that could be freed up for blues or better.
How do you solve this? I think it’s quite easy. Make all weapons start with white attachments and all players start with white armor. This makes every weapon in the game slightly better off the drop and makes all shield healing items better off the drop. Many professional players have advocated for this update, and I truly believe it is one that will make the game better.
Useless loot isn’t just white attachments and armor, however. Some weapons also need some serious tweaks. These easily discarded weapons also take up valuable slots that could have been given to better guns. I understand that there will always be “meta” weapons, but weapons like the Mozambique have no place in the game. That said, I highly doubt we will ever see an update that removes or vaults weapons in Apex Legends.
Fortnite is easily able to vault weapons, so why not Apex? The simple answer: skins. I can only imagine the backlash Respawn would receive if it vaulted a gun when someone had a legendary skin they’d spent money on. Respawn could offer a legendary coin to unlock another skin. But what if that player doesn’t care about — or like — the other legendary skins?
The bright light
Muzzle flash is ridiculous in Apex Legends. There is no other way to put it. The flash that occurs when shooting some weapons makes it almost impossible to track or see your target. This is not a skill gap mechanic and not a “git good” mechanic, and it should be removed. I’m not sure what Respawn was going for with this, or if it was even intentional, but it’s definitely an issue that needs to be addressed.
Bright areas on the map also make some fights extremely disadvantageous. The sun is blinding in some places, making it so that players can’t see when they are fighting enemies. I understand the want to provide realistic environments, but this isn’t something players want to deal with in a competitive FPS setting. Much like muzzle flash, this is a feature that does nothing for the mechanics of the game. It is only a hindrance.
That Apex meta
The current Apex meta is undesirable. This is a result of poor weapon tuning and some guns being vastly better than others. No matter what shooter you play, there will always be some weapons that are generally better and create a meta. In Apex‘s case, though, some weapons are on another planet of viability. Since the latest update, the Peacekeeper has been busted beyond belief with the damage it can do at any range. The Wingman has the potential to do 180 damage or more in four shots to the body and offers unlimited poke in fights. The R-99 melts through you in an instant. If you don’t have at least one of these meta weapons on your person, good luck.
The Apex meta isn’t all about weapons, however. There are also characters in the game that are unusable and need an update. Caustic and Gibraltars’ hitboxes are holding them back. They are bigger characters, and you can feel it when you’re playing as them and fighting against them. Bullets hit their model so easily. Respawn tried to help them with the fortified buff, but it’s not enough. Their models need a serious rework or they will continue to be unusable.
We are almost one year into Apex Legends. And yet, we still lack permanent duo and solo modes. That’s just mind-blowing to me. This is easily the most requested feature by the community, and it’s a very reasonable one. Solos, duos, and other ways to play the game would help to retain players. I understand that the legends in the game have their core built around teamwork, but that’s no reason to not offer such modes.
Forcing players to play squads is something no other competing battle royale title does. Not only that, offering them as limited-time modes feels like a slap in the face, as it definitely shows that these modes can work in Apex. So, why not make them permanent?
Apex Legends has a hacking problem. I understand that this is an unfortunate consequence of a free-to-play model, but this is too much. Cheaters run rampant throughout every stage of the game. Apex Predator? Hackers. Silver? Hackers. Unranked? Hackers.
So, Apex needs stronger anti-cheat. I know this will never get rid of all of them, but it seems way too lax at the moment and is ruining the experience. Make the level requirement 25 to play ranked so these cheaters have more time to be discovered in unranked modes before they tarnish the player experience in ranked. Level 10 is too low for a level requirement and is obtained too quickly.
Easily, the worst part about Apex Legends is the developer silence. It’s concerning. Their silence about upcoming content is disheartening. Most of all, though, their silence on community feedback is unacceptable. I am sure that I am not alone in checking Twitter or Reddit every day hoping that Respawn will say something about the game state. Even an acknowledgment would be something the community would appreciate, but instead we are left in the dark.
These are the issues I most feel are holding Apex Legends back from true excellence. Do you agree? What else could Respawn do to improve the game further?