“Control is very good and very healthy for the game and everyone is enjoying and it’s fun and I really like it and everyone wants you to make it a perm game mode @PlayApex,” Resultuh tweeted.
Control is very good and very healthy for the game and everyone is enjoying and it’s fun and I really like it and everyone wants you to make it a perm game mode 🙏 @PlayApex
— Resultuh (@Resultuh_) February 17, 2022
Honestly, I understand why people feel this way. The grind of battle royale can get boring, despite all the random elements each match can entail. Same goes for my latest obsession, Arenas. Having limited-time modes to keep things fresh between battle royale matches is one of Apex’s underrated strengths. But Control has left me feeling rather cold and, unlike the game’s other special events, I’m glad it’s not sticking around permanently.
The thing that makes Apex appealing, despite all the bugs and gripes about game balance, is that it continuously puts forward its own unique takes on popular FPS styles. When the battle royale rose to prominence, Apex Legends took the scene by storm with its own version; one that emphasized the characters you’re playing as more like Overwatch. Similarly, when VALORANT made a splash, Apex introduced its own way to compete in a more tactical manner with Arenas. But, despite emulating mechanics and modes found in other games, Apex has always found a way to make its versions unique through both gameplay and lore tie-ins. The same can’t be said for Control.
While it may offer something new for Apex itself, Control is not new or interesting. There’s no special Respawn twist on this mode. As the name suggests, it’s just about taking control of three points and defending them until a meter fully fills up. Sure, it involves Apex’s maps, weapons and Legends. But, beyond that, there’s not much to make it stand out from similar modes you can find in other shooters. That’s a bummer coming from the game that introduces a festive train mode every winter for the holiday season.
Apex’s titular Legends are a huge draw for many players, whether because of their gameplay abilities or their own ties to the game’s larger lore. It’s these Legends that made Apex stand out in a genre that Fortnite, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds before it, had already cornered the market on. Similarly, when Arenas debuted, it featured a team vs. team approach and economy system with smaller, more cover-based maps — in a similar vein to VALORANT.
But Respawn didn’t make this mode a clone. Instead, it used its own mechanics within the game to create its own take on what a more tactical mode in Apex Legends could be. For example, implementing the game’s crafting materials into the economy and including the death ring from the battle royale mode as another threat players have to contend with.
A welcome distraction
Arenas’ introduction not only created a new way to play; it built the foundations for both Seer and Ash. Maggie’s participation in the Apex games even created mechanical changes for Kings Canyon and now Olympus. Control does … none of that. There are no lore or Legend ties beyond the general connection that Olympus is involved in whatever Octane’s father is up to. It’s another way to play on this now classic map — which, I guess if you’re a long-time player, may be appealing since it’s been out of the rotation for a while now. But, beyond that and a simple desire for a return to more classic shooter mechanics, I don’t really see the appeal as someone who came into Apex specifically to play and focus on it.
There are several other games I could play to find a similar experience to what Control offers. There’s no other game I can play that feels quite the same as Arenas, or even battle royale, honestly. As a way to break up the routine of only two game modes, I think Control is probably a welcome distraction for many. But personally, its sort of basic sensibilities don’t warrant a longer stay, despite what more experienced or varied FPS players might think.