EA really wants you to know that a new Apex Legends season is coming, and its ceaseless drip-feed of Season 12 details continues with a new gameplay trailer showcasing the free-to-play battle royale game’s incoming map changes and new Control mode.
To date, developer Respawn’s pre-launch promotional material for Apex Legends: Defiance (as the new season will be known) has largely focused on new hero Mad Maggie, but we’re going deeper into gameplay territory this time around, starting with Control.
Respawn has outlined the basics of Control previously, confirming it to be a new 9v9 limited-time mode that’ll run for the first three weeks of the season. Now, though, we’ve been given a significant look at the mode in action as part of a newly released Season 12 trailer – alongside some additional details via the official Apex Legends website.
Respawn calls Control its “first big team mode”, explaining that it’s all about “re-contextualising” Apex Legends’ familiar gameplay in a manner that wouldn’t ordinarily be possible in battle royal mode. To that end, the developer has served up a “faced-paced and low-pressure” experience that offers constant, quick respawns on death until the game is won or lost, with players able to change Legends and loadouts before heading back into the fray.
“The battlefield shifts quickly and you need to be able to adapt,” the developer says. “Whether you’re sniping from a distance, or you’re rushing the zone with a heavy LMG, changing your Legend or Loadout is an opportunity to adjust your strategy.
Control is, obviously, the goal here, and players earn points every second for each zone successfully controlled during play; the more zones they control, the more points they earns each second, and the first group to reach the score limit of 1,250 wins.
There are wrinkles, of course; Control points connected to a team’s Home Base can be used as respawn points, enabling that team to more quickly reach the frontlines, and if a team manages to secure all three zones at once, the match enters Lockout. When this happens a countdown begins, and if the team manages to hold onto all three zones until the clock reaches zero, they’ll automatically win the game.
Throughout all of this, occasional timed airdrops and Capture Bonuses – which award extra points to the team that controls a specific point when its timer hits zero – serve to mix the action further, and all notable feats performed during a match will contribute to a player’s personal Rating. As players rise up through blue, purple, and gold tiers, they’ll unlock powerful weapons and gain the use of their ultimates – but ratings are reset on death.
There’s a decent look at Control – which plays out in Olympus’ Hammond Labs and Tropic’s Barometer, albeit with new cover, ziplines, and skydive launchers – in the video above, alongside a tease of Mad Maggie’s new abilities, and a brief look at Olympus’ newly “sabotaged” layout. Expect more gradual teases of Apex Legends’ 12th season as its launch date next Tuesday, 8th February approaches.