Apex Legends

Apex Legends Assimilation: everything we loved (and hated) in the trailer

Respawn just dropped the trailer for Apex Legends Season 4: Assimilation, which begins tomorrow. As usual, the new season will bring on map changes, new game features, a new gun, and a new legend -- all of which were amply featured in the trailer. A few things stood out in a big way, and we thought we’d share our thoughts and feelings on them!

Loved the map changes

When a shady corporation sticks a massive “mining” machine in a planet, you just know things are going to work out great. Hammond’s Planet Harvester looks a lot like UAC’s Argent Tower in Doom, and its addition to the map has had the immediate effect of ripping a Hell-canyon at its center.

Apex Legends Assimilation Argent tower

While that’s pretty cool, it’s also a deliberate change by Respawn’s design team. The tower, as well as a number of other map changes, are part of their effort to reduce third-partying, and make fights across the sprawling World’s Edge more self-contained.

Another awesome change in Apex Legends Assimilation is the addition of gun racks, which guarantee players will find the hardware they need to murder their way to victory.

Loved all the Doomsy stuff

Obviously Respawn are treading familiar territory with their narrative for Apex Legends Assimilation. Many of the awesome themes we see in sci-fi games have been in circulation since the 80s and 90s, and this trailer seemed to show a lot of inspiration coming from the recent Doom games.

Besides the Planet Harvester, Hammond Robotics shares more than a few similarities with the UAC. We couldn’t help hearing Samuel Hayden’s disembodied voice every time Revenant spoke. And then of course, there’s the awesome demonic skin glimpsed right at the end of the trailer. While the similarities may have been accidental, we still appreciated them.

Apex Legends demonic skin

Loved the Mozambique kill

It wouldn’t be an Apex Legends trailer without two things: Gibraltar dying, and some crunchy Mozambique action. Respawn never fails to include a glory kill with the shotgun-pistol, if only to remind us that it’s actually possible to down players with it now. Thanks, we’ll think about it.

Loved Revenant in action

Revenant’s abilities have been hyped for so long now, and we actually got to give some of them a test drive in last year’s Apex Legends Halloween event. Much like in the Shadowfall mode, Revenant’s ultimate will give him and his squadmates temporary mobility, and most likely additional melee damage.

In Shadow form, players can move faster, climb infinitely high, and resist death -- in a way. After taking a certain amount of damage -- 30, if the rules are the same as in Shadowfall -- players lose the Shadow buffs and teleport back to Revenant’s resurrection totem. The biggest take-away here, is that Revenant is a team player, despite his moody disposition.

Apex Legends Season 4 – Assimilation Gameplay Trailer

And if you want to be really freaked out by the specter of death, look at how he launches his Shadow grenade at 1:28. We strongly suggest you slow the video down to get the full impact.

Hated Kraber Jr.

The only thing that stood out in a negative way in the Apex Legends Assimilation trailer was the new Sentinel rifle. We understand that game design is complex, and that Respawn may be working with internal data that suggests adding yet another sniper rifle makes sense, but it still bummed us out to see it.

The Sentinel appears to be a high powered DMR with extreme effective range, as evidenced by its scope’s magnification, and the official description. On the surface it is difficult to imagine a way in which this new weapon will play differently from the Kraber, unless it spawns as a regular map pick-up, which would make it much worse. We do know there is one crucial difference, however: players will have the option to consume a shield battery to charge up the Sentinel and fire a much more powerful shot.

The Sentinel is another extreme range, extreme burst damage gun like the Kraber, or the Season 1 Longbow. Weapons like that create fun moments for a few players at the expense of everyone else in the match. They have an inverse-ratio effect on the overall enjoyment of players in any given game. For every one player who finds a Kraber and has a lot of fun with it, there are a number of others who have a frustrating time.

Apex Legends new weapon teaser Sentinel
Respawn teased the Sentinel at the start of Season 3. The rifle is visible in one of Crypto’s finisher animations.

Apex Legends already has 5 sniper rifles: more than any other weapon class in the game. And last season already introduced a new sniper rifle, which proved extremely controversial at the start. Not only was the Charge Rifle overpowered in its design, it was functionally similar to the Selectfire Havoc, albeit much more powerful. The Apex community’s feedback on the Charge Rifle was unanimous: the weapon is unimaginative, and a pointless addition to a bloated weapon class.

And yet, here we are again, on the cusp of Apex Legends Assimilation, and Respawn is adding another redundant sniper rifle to the game. It’s hard not to be puzzled by this. We are holding onto the hope that there is something else coming in the next season -- maybe a hop-up? -- which would justify the Sentinel’s existence.

The Apex Legends Assimilation update drops Feb. 4. Stick around with SQUAD for our Apex Legends coverage in the new season!

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Asen Aleksandrov

I write about games here and at Daily Esports. Send questions/rants to asen@northernarena.ca
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