Season nine of Apex Legends recently dropped. There are a ton of new quests, new loot, battle pass perks and to top it all off: a new permanent game mode called Arena. I’ll let Respawn and EA take it from here:
“Arenas features a new set of custom maps, tailor-made for close-quarters combat (with more to come in the future). Squads start each round in a spawn room, where they can get weapons, gear, and abilities, and adjust their loadout as their strategy changes. The first team to win three rounds with at least a two-point lead will be crowned the victor —unless they battle to a four-four tie. Then they’ll have the honor of participating in Ash’s favorite part of the game: Sudden Death.”
Sounds fun right? Well of course it is.
Arena mode is so much fun. I think my favorite thing about it is that you are put right into the action. No more scavenging for loot and maybe getting into a firefight every five minutes or so. You are thrown right into the thick of things and it’s your team versus their team. In the battle royale mode, my friend and I would go most of the matches without ever seeing or fighting another squad. It would get pretty boring. I think that’s my main issue with battle royale mode: it’s very inconsistent on the fun. Some games are super intense and sweaty while others are flat and put me to sleep. That does not exist with arena mode. With arena mode you are still outrunning a smaller and faster ring but the ring is secondary to killing the other team. And there are three rounds that create this burst of intensity instead of the slow burn of the battle royale.
Probably the next best thing about arena mode is the gear shop. Before each round you are given a certain amount of money in order to pick and choose your preferred loadout. Do you want to max out your favorite gun? Or maybe you want to stock up on ability uses? Maybe you want to grab as many grenades as you can. I can remember countless times I would choose a certain loadout, get destroyed that round then completely change my strategy for the next round. It feels like such a perfect way to play into the round system setup for arena mode.
The map rotation is also handled pretty well for arena mode. I believe the three maps, Phase Runner, Party Crasher, and the third, a battle royale map , rotate every ten minutes. Allowing for some nice variety in the gameplay.
With something like arena mode, some sort of meta is bound to emerge. And that is definitely the case here. Certain characters do really well in arena mode and some not so much. Characters like Bloodhound Gibraltar, and Lifeline have the skill sets to really thrive in arena mode. I personally stick with Bloodhound or Fuse. Bloodhound’s ability to scan the area to pinpoint enemy players is priceless and Lifeline’s ability to just drop a revive on a downed character is insanely useful. But other heroes such as Wattson and Horizon seem to be picked way less often and are not equipped as well as other characters to dominate in arena mode.
Respawn has really pushed Apex Legends up on my games list with arena mode. Me and my friend have already created super fun moments and have really enjoyed our time with the new game mode. I hope Respawn puts more resources into this new addition and I am excited to see where they take it next.