Apex Legends recently released and blew up into the next big battle royale experience. What are some of the things it does right and what could Treyarch gain from learning from their example?
Apex Legends has a hefty bag of innovative new options and features that could seriously help out with Treyarch’s Blackout experience. These range from quality-of-life changes to new features entirely.
We’ll go through our six favorites from the new game (and a few Apex could use from Blackout). Please don’t hesitate to tell us anything we missed and what you would like to see Treyarch learn from Respawn’s latest release.
6 Features from Apex Legends to Blackout
Respawn System (Down But Not Out)
Apex Legends features a respawn system which allows teammates to recover “banners” from fallen comrades. These banners can then be brought to various respawn locations where teammates can be brought back via dropship.
The system adds a lot more depth to the Battle Royale experience and forces teams to finish out fights if they intend to completely keep another team out of the victory.
Call of Duty’s implementation of these feature could be quite simple for Treyarch. Make “Down But Not Out” on the main Blackout game modes as a direct competitor to Apex Legends. The mode already plays similarly and it received wide praise upon its release.
This one is a simple HUD feature. Apex Legends features a small “Squads remaining:” HUD feature directly next to the amount of players left. It’s actually a bit weird something of sort hasn’t graced battle royale sooner.
The feature is an elegant solution to players having to calculate the total through division. It saves a little time from a menial task. The game also changes the “Players remaining:” to a “?” once only a few squads survive to keep things interesting.
Apex Legends opted for an in-game, non-voice communication system based around pings (in addition to voice-chat).
Initiated with a simple R1/RB press, the pings are context-sensitive. This means if you are aiming at an enemy, the game will add a location ping to that enemy (current position). Alternatively, if you aim at a Level 3 Armor, the ping with inform teammates of the item you have found.
The ping system could go to help with random squads in Blackout. Since most players do not communicate through in-game voice chat with strangers, the pings would give a way for these teammates to let each other communicate. Button placement may differ in a Blackout implementation due to grenades/equipment.
Voice to Text
This one is a rather innovative and new feature. Apex Legends allows players to transcribe incoming audio from other players in text chat. The feature isn’t perfect as you might expect, but it gives a new layer of parental control.
Some younger players’ parents may not wish for their children to be in direct contact with strangers online, but the conversion feature allows players to get voice comms in a less personal, text format (allowing for more filtered content). It can also be a great feature for when you just don’t want to hear other players or when mic quality of teammates is sub-par.
Attachments Carry Over on Gun Switch
This one changed the battle royale landscape in terms of looting efficiency. In Apex, when you swap weapons for something new (ground loot or death boxes), all compatible attachments are transferred over to the next weapon. This means you will never have to spend time swapping out attachments, the game takes care of it for you.
Blackout could really use this feature as players have to fidget around with dropping all attachments constantly. The feature makes looting a breeze after gunfights and gets you back into the action faster. The less downtime in battle royale, the better in our opinion.
Field of View options
Apex Legends is among the first console games to allow for Field of View changes (FOV). The feature has been a mainstay in most PC titles since the 90s. It allows players to gain a wider viewing angle, meaning you gain additional peripheral vision as you increase the value.
The downside is that the FOV increase causes a bit of an “fish-eye” effect and can cause motion sickness in a subset of players. As such, the increased FOV should always remain an option rather than a mandatory increase.
2 Features from Blackout to Apex Legends
There’s also a few things that Blackout simply does better than Apex: Legends. Here’s some things the team at Respawn could learn from Treyarch:
Gun Shot Sound Radius
As of current, the combined movement speed and gun shot sound radius in Apex: Legends means that fights turn into teaming brawls. Once you’ve eliminated one team, another is bound to pop up instantly.
This is probably due to the gun shot sounds stretching over a massive amount of terrain. Along with the fast movement speed, there will nearly always be a team in ear shot. The result means that teams will constantly arrive after fights to finish off targets even when they were originally very far away.
Blackout faced similar problems, but Treyarch largely fixed it. Their solution was to decrease the overall sound travel distance and implement more audio systems to disallow sound from traveling through terrain. The changes have significantly helped reduce the “teaming” and Apex would stand to gain from the changes as well.
Separate Ammo Storage
Apex Legends puts all loot into the same category and all of it piles up in your backpack. This includes ammo, in stacks of various sizes. The mechanic is meant to provide balance on the amount of items a player can carry at one time, but ammo being tied to the system feels clunky. You are forced to make the decision between grenades, heals, ammo, etc., but usually ammo wins by default.
We believe that Apex Legends could benefit by moving the ammo to a dedicated ammo pouch with hard limits on the max ammo per type. Blackout does this and it means you can choose freely between other item types for your backpack. Having a few extra heals or more ammo is generally not a hard decision as you will always need more ammo to gunfight targets.
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