Apex Legends’ ShadowFall Shows How Great Battle Royale Can Be with a few Tweaks

But why no Team Deathmatch mode?

I adored Apex Legends when it first came out, and I even frequently defended a lot of Respawn’s intentional but controversial choices, like not having a solo queue in favor of getting folks to team up with strangers. Unfortunately after many matches with mic-less team members who immediately dove into the water, others who repeatedly tried to shoot me and gave away our position, and more than one terrible dad who had set up a separate account for their child who was too young to speak poly-syllabic words let alone effectively play an FPS, I’d had my fill. The Shadowfall event has really shown how to do a Hallowen-themed event in a multiplayer game, and I hope some variation of it will stick around for the future.

In spooky mode, the massive beasts fit in even better

The oft-maligned solo-mode is here, but now instead of expecting everyone will drop from the game immediately when killed, there is a new mechanic where dying causes you to immediately come back as a zombie; the fast-moving World War Z kind, not your slow lumbering type. In this mode you can only use melee kills, but believe me it’s still very satisfying to find and kill the jerk who just barely outplayed you, and the game makes this easy by putting a marker on the screen where you just perished. And you can respawn (no pun intended) as a zombie basically an infinite number of times.

Meanwhile, once the number of survivors dwindles to just 10, they are all lumped into one big team who are given the task of surviving while all moving toward an escape ship. This sounds like it might be easy, but the window of escape is short enough that you have to be inside the circles early on. Plus, as the number of living characters dwindles but the zombie count stays high, you really have to either be a very skilled gunner, or very strategic to make your break for the evac jet at just the right moment, approaching from just the right angle and height and making use of obstacles and zip-lines to stay hidden or avoid zombie players’ attacks.

The best part of the process is some of the loot rewards you get including a cool bony-themed R301 and a very stylish red skin for the Devotion machine gun. And these arent random chance rewards either, it’s as simple as killing some of the ‘loot bin spiders’ that appear in the distinct large metal containers throughout the map, or simply winning a game as either the survivor team or the zombies (killing all survivors before they can get on the evac ship).

These guys are easy prey, though they can scare you if you’re not paying attention.

But Team Deathmatch mode(s) would still be an amazing addition.

While this new mode has rekindled my enthusiasm for Apex and Battle Royales in general for a time, I am stuck wondering why there is no full on team deathmatch mode, something which I think could really give Overwatch a run for its money (especially since its sequel is being rumored). i find the characters in Apex much more interesting than in Blizzard’s shooter, and it seems like Respawn could think of any number of interesting objectives to help give the game even more of an edge. We’ve seen Fortnite experiment with new game modes and even deprive their players of being able to play the game to generate ‘buzz’, and it would be nice to have some alternatives to this sort of nonsense.

This doesn’t detract from the Shadowfall event though, and I hope we continue to have interesting seasonal events like this regardless, as I think this time Respawn really hit it out of the park again, and I look forward to what they do next.

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