The brand-new season of the first-person shooter game Apex Legends introduces exciting changes to characters, maps, weapons and game modes, making the game thrilling again for both first-time and long-time players.
Apex Legends Season 12: Defiance has officially released, and with it comes a violent new legend, a redesigned map and a limited-time game mode. The highly competitive, consistently successful and free-to-play game is entering its third year as a franchise. Over the past three years, players have seen a lot of game updates and patches, but Season 12 is establishing itself as an exciting new edition for both lovers of the gameplay and its lore.
New Legend: Margaret “Mad Maggie” Kōhere
Mad Maggie may be a new playable legend, but she is hardly new to the Apex Legends franchise. Season 8 players will remember the introduction of Walter “Fuse” Fitzroy Jr. and Maggie’s destruction of Kings Canyon. Though players did not get a visual to go with Maggie at the time, her villainous voice was heard loud and clear and is now one that players will have to get used to hearing more often.
Mad Maggie falls into the offensive category of legends, meaning that her abilities aid her and her teammates in combat. She is the ninth offensive player in the game, joining other fan favorites like Bangalore, Wraith, Mirage and — of course — Fuse. Maggie’s abilities may appear to have the same “explosive” qualities as Fuse’s, but players can rest assured that Maggie is bringing some brand-new cards to the table.
Abilities in Apex Legends
Each legend comes with three different abilities to use in battle; these are their tactical, passive and ultimate abilities. As an offensive legend, Maggie’s capabilities can cause high amounts of damage to enemy squads. Here is a look at what she can do in a fight:
Tactical: “Riot Drill” — A fire drill that attaches and burns through obstacles to damage enemies taking cover on the other side.
Passive: “Warlord’s Ire” — This skill temporarily highlights enemies if Maggie damages them in any capacity. Additionally, Maggie will move faster when using any weapon from the shotgun class.
Ultimate: “Wrecking Ball” — A throwing ball that drops speed-boosting pads for Maggie and her teammates and detonates when near enemies.
New Map: Sabotaged Olympus
The floating city of Olympus was introduced as a map back in Apex Legends Season 7: Ascension along with a new legend, Horizon. It has been in and out of rotation in both the original battle royale mode and the more newly introduced arenas mode ever since.
The Season 12 version of the map, affectionately known as Sabotaged Olympus, is much larger than the original and has randomly spawned objects in bizarre locations due to the phase runner malfunction seen in the new season’s trailer.
This malfunction introduced the new Phase Driver location on the map — a large, circular area that will be a favorite point of interest (POI) for players to explore, loot and fight in.
There is also a new interior POI known as the Terminal; this location has five points of entry and variously elevated platforms, and is expected to be the new central routing area of the map.
Lastly, players will notice entirely new sections of the map. These never-before-seen areas result from the map expansions necessary to accommodate the introduction of the latest POI, as discussed above.
Small changes such as additional zip lines, new paths and hallways, extra loot bins and blocked-off elevated areas are also present around the redesigned map.
New Apex Legends Game Mode: 9v9 Control
For the first three weeks of the new season — Feb. 8 through March 1 — players can enjoy a limited-time game mode similar to other popular first-person shooters like Call of Duty: Vanguard or EA’s very own Titanfall 2. For the first time, Apex Legends players can live, die and repeat in the brand new Control mode. In this new 9v9 mode, players can return to the battlefield after a short respawn time, rather than having to wait around for an unguaranteed revive.
The task is for players to hold three separate areas around the map as long as possible to gain points, with the ultimate goal of reaching a team score of 1250 points before the enemy team. Upon entering the game, players choose between five predetermined weapon loadouts (where weapon optics are customizable). The weapons have unlimited ammo, but this is not likely to be an issue due to the fast-paced nature of the game and the lack of repercussions for the player character’s death.
Players have unlimited syringes and medkits for health, but player shields will regenerate independently after a short cooldown time of eight seconds. As with all Apex Legends game modes, players will have access to care package drops that may contain weapon and shield upgrades.
The individual scoring system of the mode gives rewards based on inflicting damage, assisting teammates and defending or gaining a new point for the team. This scoring is described as the “ratings tier” and correlates with the blue, purple and gold color system that already exists in the game. Ratings reset upon death, making the stakes a little higher when you reach purple or gold status. Players can use points gained in the rating system to upgrade weapons and purchase a legend’s ultimate ability.
While this new “Control” mode currently has an end date set, it is expected to make a return later in the season with upcoming in-game events.
As with any new season of Apex Legends, this one brings a new battle pass along with weekly events to celebrate the 3-year anniversary of the beloved game. Players should be on the lookout during the following weeks, especially if they feature one of their favorite legends!
Week 1: Feb. 8 – February 15
- 3 Octane Thematic Packs
Week 2: Feb. 15 – Feb. 22
- 3 Wattson Thematic Packs
Week 3: Feb. 22 – March 1
- 3 Valkyrie Thematic Packs
- 1 Legendary Pack