While there’s no classic-style looting, there are still equipment bins around the map that contain consumables, as well as currency pickups that will allow you to buy better gear in the next round. Additionally, a supply drop will land halfway through a round containing three weapons, the rarity of which will increase round by round.
Map design is much closer to traditional Apex Legends than the lanes of Counter-Strike; while much smaller than battle royale maps, they have stretches of open ground and named locations to fight over. The classic battle royale circle is also part of the mode, and staying inside it is a major part of a round’s momentum.When Arenas launches it will have two bespoke maps: Party Crasher, set on a ship that’s crashed into a downtown plaza, and Phaserunner, a more rural, open map with long sightlines. More maps are in development, but since they will take a while three more maps have been made using segments of the battle royale maps. These will be Artillery from Kings Canyon, Thermal Station from Worlds End, and Golden Garden from Olympus. The mode will launch with its two bespoke maps and Artillery, and add the other two maps in the following weeks.
Arenas could be the start of Apex Legends being a platform for other game modes beyond battle royal, too. “We’re pretty good shooter makers, so how can we offer that in other ways?” said Game Director Chad Grenier in an Q&A session with press. “So our first step has been in Arenas. We’ve got these other things we’re doing in playtests, where we’re trying to expand even further than that, so I think you’ll continue to see some innovations and some limited time modes, and us try a few things here and there. We do hope that Apex can be more than just a battle royale game.”
Apex Legends Legacy launches May 4, and adds a new character, Valkyrie, and a new weapon, the Bochek bow and arrow, too. Both this new character and weapon will be available in Arenas as well as the main battle royale mode.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Entertainment Writer.