Apex Legends continues to evolve in meaningful ways, with each new update bringing a smorgasbord of tweaks to a well balanced battle royale experience. Season 4, with a new legend and significant map changes, maintains that trend.
Developer Respawn deployed a devious campaign of misdirection in the build up to Season 4's arrival, with previously revealed hero Forge being summarily executed by final recruit Revenant in a brutal and highly effective trailer.
In fact, that is largely the theme of this latest season update, and a huge part of why it works so well; Apex Legends has managed to give players most of what they're looking for, while still finding ways to preserve the mystery and surprise.
Yes, there are still bugs that need to be squashed, and server issues to address (particularly in ranked mode) but thankfully that doesn't take anything away from the carefully tweaked meta and new points of interest.
Hammond Robotics (another nod to the Titanfall universe) have dumped a planet cracking drill into the centre of the map, creating long corridors that emphasise verticality while drawing players in with the promise of significant loot.
It's a fairly sterile environment, but adds a sense of scale and menace to what is rapidly becoming a popular chokepoint.
The impact on the environment is tangible, with pits of lava that will steal a chunk of health before up-drafting you back onto solid ground. This has created interesting paths through the more predictable urban areas, with huge potential for standoffs amid the rubble. It's a welcome change of pace, and gives everything a less parallel, structured feel.
New arrival Revenant caters to the Octane and Wraith mains out there, with a faster style of play and impressive surface scaling abilities that will open up options for traversal and allow for zippy escapes.
His faster crouch walk seems a little overpowered, but his primary and ultimate abilities (disabling other Legends' tactical options and offering a second lease of life to friendly players from his death totem) are well realised.
His design and voiceover work are both exceptional, in a game where these are uniformly excellent across the board. Crypto and Revenant feel like direct answers to the innate levity of Octane and Wattson, and it definitely skews this latest season into darker territory.
The Sentinal Rifle, which can be augmented by shield batteries for an extra kick, is deadly in the right hands, but seems at this point to be rare enough to not dominate in ranged encounters.
Everything has come together in a way that feels cohesive and polished, but outside of new additions and damage tweaks, the aforementioned server issues persistently linger. We have personally suffered through unplayable rounds and disconnects aplenty, despite owning NASA quality broadband.
For Apex Legends to truly elevate itself above the competition, their servers are in absolute dire need of an upgrade.
That being said, we're still having a blast with Apex Legends Season 4, and at this point, there's still a lot we don't know. A mid season rank reset will see the return of Kings Canyon, and there's rumours of another legend entering the arena before the next chapter arrives.
Whatever the future holds, we thoroughly recommend checking out the current state of play.
Apex Legends Season 4 is available now, for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.