The season-long quest system Apex Legends introduced in Season 5 has so far been equal parts great and underwhelming. The narrative itself is engrossing. I look forward to each chapter with excitement, partly to see where the story goes, but really just to find out more about the Legends’ personalities and group dynamics. And week after week, these short stories do not disappoint. The PvE Hunt missions, on the other hand…
Listen, I know. We are not owed anything, and the fact that Respawn is even considering PvE content for Apex Legends is a blessing. That said, it really feels like they had all the pieces to make something excellent, and then just decided not to.
To make the first ever PvE missions in Apex Legends neither long enough nor hard enough to be memorable or fun seems like a missed opportunity.
It’s not lost on me that the weekly Hunts are supposed to ramp up, each one getting more complex and difficult. However, we are halfway through them, and they all very much still play and feel the same. They are linear, short, not at all challenging, and give players no reason to revisit. They act as a semi-passive delivery system for each new chapter of the Broken Ghost narrative – which, again, is itself excellent.
Apex Legends PvE missions, but better
There are a number of things that could have been done to make the missions objectively better. A variety in enemies and obstacles that are already in the game could have been added to these missions to spice them up. We know Apex Legends has a rudimentary AI for human enemies, but the PvE Hunts so far only pit players against Prowlers.
The difficulty of these missions should be turned way up, too. In their current form, they are as challenging as a cutscene. You can just beeline from objective to objective, pick up loot at random, not even try to play well, and you will still beat them on your first attempt.
Really, the main and only thing that Respawn needed to do to make the Apex Legends PvE missions actually worthwhile, is make them longer and harder by having more enemy waves. The extraction portion in each of these missions is always a single, short wave – why?
A series of increasingly more difficult waves, with short breaks in the middle to replenish and reset, could turn the weekly Hunts from mediocre to amazing with minimal effort on Respawn’s part. PvE games like Killing Floor and Vermintide have been using this formula for years. Hell, forget dedicated PvE games – Call of Duty Zombies anyone?
All of that – higher difficulty, more variety, waves – could still be coming in the remaining Hunts. I am just wondering why it couldn’t be there from the start. All the systems are already in place, and there really doesn’t seem to be a reason for these PvE missions to not be a legitimate Apex Legends game mode.
I am still holding onto the hope that the upcoming chapters of the Broken Ghost quest come with more worthwhile PvE missions.
Just, like, add waves. That’s all it would take.