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Published: 9/Feb/2021 12:41 Updated: 9/Feb/2021 12:42by David Purcell
Call of Duty is a much bigger franchise than Apex Legends, of that there is no doubt. Activision’s games are the best-selling in the first-person shooter genre and Infinity Ward turned Warzone into a huge success with Modern Warfare, but there’s probably no better time to jump ship.
2020 was a landmark year for CoD. Warzone released in March and undoubtedly increased the franchise’s appeal to casual gamers, people who may not have bothered to buy the last few Call of Duty titles. Every big streamer in the world was jumping into Verdansk – from Dr Disrespect to NICKMERCS – and the hype around the game was off the charts.
Successes were recorded and will go down in history for the developers, with over 75 million downloads reported by Statista in August of that year.
In the months that have proceeded the Black Ops Cold War integration, which kicked off in December 2020, it’s taken a tumble to say the least. Just when you thought cheating problems would be over, it’s rife. Just when you thought hit registration issues were gone, they’re back.
This begs the question, really, and that’s why do players keep coming back to a broken experience?
Now, some players might tell you that there isn’t anything out there like Warzone, in terms of a big map experience and 150 people jumping in each time. That’s true. The Gulag was a unique creation that no other battle royale game had experimented with, and people loved it at first.
The loadouts aspect of the game was classic Call of Duty as well, building your own class to take into battle. It would be easy to list the unique features the game has for days on end, but there are some glaring issues that you just don’t have to live with in other games – like Apex Legends.
Activision has had its time now to implement an anti-cheat that is capable of protecting the integrity of matches, but they’re still coming up short. The developers have blasted away cheaters in rounds of tens, hundreds, and thousands, but it’s almost turning into a game of Zombies. These hackers make new accounts and come piling back into the game, in greater numbers. There’s been no definitive win with the current system, and there might never be.
Put the cheating to the side – which is a massive issue, yet one everybody is aware of nonetheless – there’s a few things in Respawn Entertainment’s game that are unrivaled.
You will see a constant flurry of map changes in the game, whether that be on a season-by-season basis, or packaged in with the Town Takeovers that occur routinely. On a monthly basis, we have seen constant additions of in-game events for the community to enjoy. Next up is the Season 8 Anniversary Collection event – for example.
These usually include the aforementioned Town Takeover – where one Legend is given a themed section of the map – and limited-time modes (LTMs) that are always fun to play. When you consider all of that, on top of the in-game daily challenges and new quests, Warzone looks stale in comparison.
There’s unique playing styles based on the Legend you pick, three equally popular maps to be in rotation (Kings Canyon, World’s Edge, Olympus), and also different skill levels needed for certain guns. Aside from that, there’s some more basic upgrades to highlight.
First of all, Apex Legends has an advantage in one of the most basic features, and that’s diving into the action when a game starts. Nobody knows where the final circle will end up before hitting the floor. This is a highly requested feature for Warzone players, and certainly would improve how players are spread across the map in the early stages of a game.
On top of that, the team also has the option to land together. This is useful for a number of reasons, as it can keep your teammates closer together, avoid the need for all three players to be aware of where’s been marked on the map, and gives the leader of your squad more influence.
This might not be as highly requested a feature as changes to the first ring, but is certainly a useful tool for ensuring the less skilled teammates – shall we say – don’t go missing.
Secondly, the looting system is on another level. Apex Legends is onto a serious winner with this, as the color-coding method for weapons, ammo types, and rarities of other items make building your loadout a very easy process.
You’re also not having to press the same button multiple times to pick something up, which is a clunky issue Warzone players have to deal with. Looting can be done at a fast pace on the floor or from loot bins, and the frustrating spillage of loot when a player dies in Warzone is non-existent here. Everything is tucked away in a Death Box, which has the contents of everything the slain enemy had on their person before elimination. Again, it cuts out the annoying process of clicking things multiple times to pick up the item you want.
The last point to make is that there’s a dedicated Ranked mode. In Ranked, players can grind their way through the different competitive tiers, ranging from Bronze to Apex Predator. This is something that fans of Warzone have sought after for a long period of time now.
There’s also higher skill ceiling in Apex Legends. Much of the weapons inside the game have distinct features that set them apart from others in the loot pool.
In Warzone, you could pick up a number of SMGs and ARs and not realize their differences, as they’re so minor. With the quirks of each gun in the Outlands comes a different way to play, meaning you might become a medium/high skilled player with one of the older guns like the Flatline, but then struggle with a new 30-30 Repeater Rifle.
There aren’t many weapons that are overpowered in Apex, so in that sense, there is also more balance. It’s never had a DMR or Mac-10 problem, for example, where everybody runs around with the same gun because it’s better than the rest.
Players in this game need to hone their abilities with the one weapon or Legend to get better, rather than build a ready-to-go class, call in a loadout and guarantee your gun is better (potentially) than your opponent. In that hypothetical scenario, we’re also not factoring in that the enemy could well be a hacker, which is all the more likely given the lack of a serious anti-cheat.
To conclude, there’s a slim possibility that Activision does get it right and make a few changes in the coming seasons to improve the experience. But in the meantime, Apex Legends is certainly a step up. What’s not to love about Legends with different abilities, new content routinely with fresh characters and map changes, not to mention the upgrades on features already found in Warzone.
If you’re tired of Warzone or thinking it’s becoming a bit stale, like many others, now is a perfect time to make the switch.