Apex Legends Doesn't Need PvE Elements In Its Battle Royale
Apex Legends' new Storm Point map includes PvE elements, which unfortunately don't add much value to the battle royale shooter.
Apex Legends Season 11: Escape is well underway, bringing with it some new gameplay changes and elements. Season 11 adds playable legend Ash, the C.A.R. SMG, and a new map, Storm Point. Storm Point boasts a tropical environment and brings with it more PvE elements, which unfortunately don't add much value to the primarily PvP-driven battle royale.
Apex Legends has dabbled with PvE elements in the past, with the Bloodhound's Trials point of interest on World's Edge and Season 5's Quest missions, however, Storm Point features multiple areas across the map with mobs to fight, the first map to ever do so. The problem with these PvE encounters is that the rewards are not worth the time required nor are they challenging enough to actually be meaningfully engaging. In its current state, Apex Legends doesn't need more PvE elements.
Across Storm Point, you can encounter packs of prowlers or spider nests, where a group of either enemy can attack you. Prowlers pursue you and attempt to bite you, while spiders only partially close the distance before shooting you with webs. As neither of these enemy groups ever changes up their strategy, it results in repetitive encounters that aren't much more than a boring shooting gallery. The spiders die quick enough, but the prowlers can be bullet sponges, wasting full clips of ammo if you don't have a magazine attachment. And the rewards you get for fending them off don't exactly make up for it.
Each dead enemy drops two items. One is a pack of ammo, catered to whatever weapon types your squad has equipped at the time. The other item will be either shield cells, syringes, or an attachment for one of your or your squadmates' weapons. The weapon attachments can come in any rarity up to epic and while getting a purple attachment can be a nice get, it doesn't make fighting these encounters worth the time and resources. It takes enough ammo to kill each enemy that you will probably break even with the ammo you earn back. And although an argument can be made that prowlers and spiders represent a rewarding risk for those who are desperate for meds or certain attachments, Storm Point is so large, your time is better spent moving into the next ring and exploring a point of interest. With 15% more playable space than World's Edge, Storm Point is big enough that you can almost always find an area that hasn't been touched and has loot even after several rounds have passed.
With how Apex Legends' game loop currently works, the battle royale game shouldn't add more PvE elements. If Respawn intends on adding these elements to the other maps in future updates, the rewards will need to feel more worthwhile and the enemies need to be more engaging to fight against. Perhaps future map designs and changes could be built with the PvE elements in mind. On World's Edge, the Bloodhound Trials are kept to a single specific location, with loot rewards that are usually worth the effort. Ultimately though, Apex Legends doesn't need PvE elements to keep the game fresh. Ignoring the PvE elements on Storm Point, the map provides fresh environments and far more enjoyable new gameplay elements like the gravity cannons. In addition to every season bringing a new legend with different abilities, there are plenty of avenues to add fresh elements to the game without getting away from the core PvP action.
The only area where PvE makes sense for Apex Legends would be Quest, like Season 5's Broken Ghosts questline. The Quest missions took place on modified versions of the map, with hordes of prowlers to fight off while completing specific tasks. These missions were ultimately not a ton of fun to play, since those prowlers also had predictable and easy to counter attack patterns. But, with some improvement to enemies, Quest's missions could be fun and also an engaging way to deliver more lore within the context of the game.
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