Beach map! Beach map! Beach map! Apex Legends' next season, Escape, is right around the corner, and it's bringing a tropical island to fight on. It's also bringing a the new Legend Ash, the CAR SMG and more, but most importantly: beach map! I had a chance to play a little of Respawn's battle royale in this new arena, and it is delightful. Named Stormpoint, it's the FPS's fourth map, and not only is it lovely to look at, but it's full of cool locations to explore and dangerous wildlife to dodge.
Stormpoint is a long forgotten IMC base (who you might know as the corporate military faction in Titanfall) on a tropical island that's overrun with fearsome wildlife. It's the biggest map yet for Apex, and it has an excellent variation of stuff to explore - from little islets and pretty beaches, to jungles and old facilities.
Unlike the other three maps, Stormpoint doesn't have any redeploy balloons. It has something better: gravity cannons. Step inside one, and you'll be launched through the air towards another cannon. You have a little bit of air control, letting you dodge traps enemies might've laid on the other side, and you have full control of your weapons and abilities. Admittedly, I spent a lot more time than I probably should have hopping in and out of these during my hands on preview. What can I say? Zooming through the air is great! Much more fun that the usual skydiving.
Stormpoint isn't all sandy beaches and fun new gimmicks though. The island is home to the viscious dog-like aliens, prowlers, as well as some rather territorial spiders. Prowlers live in these ant nest-looking things, and will hop out when players are around. Killing them drops you smart loot (stuff that's useful to the weapon you used on them) and counts as a little bit of damage for your evo shields. Importantly, it's not so much damage that you could farm them to completely beast up your shields, but it could be the tiny percentage you need to get it to the next level.
Spiders won't attack you randomly like the prowlers, and are instead holed up inside eggs. They'll only pop out if an egg is damaged, and they again drop loot when killed. They could make an excellent distraction in the middle of a firefight, just shoot some eggs near your enemies and watch the chaos unfold.
I have to say, I'm over the moon that a couple of my favourite shooters have made beachy maps. First Valorant added Breeze, and now Apex gets Stormpoint. And like, they're not gloomy beaches either! They're gorgeous, sunny and genuinely pleasant to look at. I don't wanna see any more maps that are just dusty floors with concrete walls.
Another big addition this season is the CAR SMG. A Titanfall throwback, this gun is a full-auto SMG with a super speedy firerate, but pretty bad recoil. The unique thing about this bad boy, however, is that it can take either light or heavy ammo. It's an incredibly useful weapon if you're caught in a pinch unable to find the ammo you want - just switch modes, grab what you can find and go. There's no damage difference between using heavy or light, and it can take extended magazine for either type too.
Elsewhere in the weapons department, the Mastiff shotgun and 30-20 Repeater rifle are getting a new hop-up, the dual-shell, which let's you reload the guns two rounds at a time, rather than one. One of the main reasons I don't use the Repeater is that it's an absolute nightmare to reload during a fight, so I'm very much looking forward to this.
On top of all that, a couple more weapons will receive balance changes, Wattson is getting a much-needed buff, and there'll be a new battle pass and ranked split to boot. All this arrives in Apex's next season, Escape, on November 2nd. Check out the official patch notes for more.