Apex Legends Season 12 - Defiance makes changes to Olympus and introduces players to the latest Legend in Maggie. However, its biggest piece of new content comes with the release of Control, a 9v9 mode in which teams fight to control different points on a map. I had the chance to go hands-on with Control ahead of its official launch and was really excited by my experience.
Big team mayhem
There are a couple of ways that Control sets itself apart from the standard Battle Royale and Arena modes in Apex Legends. Teams consist of nine players each, and players can respawn infinitely. When a match starts, you’ll pick your Legend, and then select a from a selection of preset loadouts. Some loadouts are damage-oriented, with heavy weapons and plenty of explosives, while others are tailored towards mobility or attack at long-distance. Luckily players aren’t forced to commit to their decision, free to change Legends and class whenever they die.
In Control, the two teams fight over a series of different points on the map, similar to Call of Duty’s Domination mode. Players take a point by standing on the objective, with more teammates increasing the speed at which the point is captured. Teams will score points based on how many points they have control of. The first team to reach 1250 points wins.
What I really enjoyed about Control is that it delivers all-out chaos without the frustrations that come with battle royale. Typically, if you find yourself in a shootout with 4-5 players, there’s likely a pesky third party going on. In Control, engagements are much more streamlined and easier to read. With the game’s roster now sitting at 20 characters, it’s neat to see the variety of abilities and traits clashing and/or working together.
A more rounded Apex experience
The fact that you can infinitely respawn also alleviates a lot of the stress from Battle Royale and Arena mode. It works in a similar sense to the Battlefield games, where players can select their respawn point, able to load in at their home base or any of their captured points. This screen also shows you the location of your teammates and currently engaged enemies. It allows you to quickly make an educated decision on where to land in order to best support your squad.
The maps themselves are much larger than what we get in Arenas, but still significantly scaled-down in comparison to the Battle Royale maps. However, they still feel familiar as they’re essentially slices of locations that are found in other maps.
Apex Legends’ Control mode will appeal to both casual and hardcore players alike. The more avid players will see it as a place to test out new weapons or Legends without putting their K/D or record on the line, and average players will have a mode that’s still competitive, but 100 percent less punishing than the other two core modes. Control is a welcomed addition to Respawn Entertainment’s first-person shooter and makes Apex Legends feel like an overall more rounded experience. Control will be available for all Apex Legends players when Season 12 - Defiance begins on February 8, 2022.