This week, I had my first Apex Legends boxing match. If you're a fan of the battle royale, you may have seen clips of this phenomenon on social media. It's when squads of total strangers manage to make peace, drop all their guns and armour, and settle their final standoff by throwing hands (and occasionally feet). This will never happen to me, I thought, I'm far too distrustful of enemy players just to drop all my loot. That was, until the other night, where I had my favourite match of Apex I've ever played.
It was late game, a mere four squads left, when my pal "Fishhy" and I spotted another duo inside the building we were sat on. It was clear they were playing the same game as us: waiting for the other two squads to finish their skirmish before deciding whether or not to jump in on the victor. And so I did what many do in multiplayer games when they're trying to get an enemy's attention: I spammed the crouch button.
It only took a few moments for this enemy Wraith and Bloodhound to cotton on to what I was doing. A few randomly fired shots into the sky and some mouse wiggling later, they left the building cautiously and approached us, using the very same crouch-dancing mating call to signify that, yes, we were all friends now.
My squadmate and I were unsure of what this meant for the rest of the game. There were three teams left at this point and we felt a bit bad with the idea of ganging up on the final squad. Turns out, there wasn't even a chance for much ganging up in the end, because our new pals decimated them before we could properly jump in (admittedly, I tried to jump in and got knocked down almost immediately).
"Now what? Do we do some sort of Hunger Games thing now?" Fishhy pondered. Alas, in the Apex arena there are no poison blueberries to be eaten. But I'd seen the videos. I knew exactly how this could be settled.
We ran to find our pals again, who put away their guns and had another little crouch at us - we reciprocated the greeting in turn. Then I went into my inventory and dumped all of my items - guns, armour, shield cells - all of it chucked on the floor before them, and they knew exactly what I was suggesting.
This part is a crucial moment. Being so trusting with two strangers that could quite easily look at this idiot disarming herself and shoot her in the head was scary. Much to my relief, however, they followed suit. It was time to end the match, with nowt but the clothes on our backs.
And we only bloody won! I fought my doppelganger Wraith, managing to get in an early hit that cemented my victory. As she dropped to the ground I turned just in time to watch Fishhy absolutely wailing on the Bloodhound on the floor. And just like that, it was over.
I had forgotten the joy that can be had from making friends with players you should be shooting. It is the opposite of what the game wants you to do, usually, but can often be more fun than what you're supposed to be doing anyway.
There is no moral to this story. Except maybe always make sure you have ShadowPlay (or some sort of equivalent) on, you never know what shenanigans you might get into in games.
If you find yourself hopping into Apex Legends over the next couple of weeks, don't forget that the Halloween Fight Or Fright event is on right now. I would advise against having boxing matches with the undead shadow players, they can hit considerably harder than the living Legends.