Video Game Reviews

Apex Legends: Ascension–to Olympus

The seventh season of Apex is here, bringing with it a veritable cornucopia of new content, including a new map, a vehicle for that map, and a new character. While all of this was expected, it was amazing to see it drop all at once. 

About like this…

I have to say, now that the holiday event is in full swing, this is probably my favorite season so far. I played a fair amount of Boosted, but as the season progressed, I ended up playing less and less, until I was only playing the occasional match on the weekends. Ascension has managed to reinvigorate my love of Apex in a way that I really didn’t think was possible.

I figured I would end up doing what I did last season, but I’m still enthralled several weeks after launch, and I don’t seem to show any signs of slowing down. While I’m still not the best player, I have my fair share of great moments–and this season is all about great moments.

Home of the Gods

Olympus is the most recent map to grace Apex Legends, and boy-howdy is it amazing. The city of Olympus is a massive utopia floating above the planet Psamathe. It’s bright, vibrant, and unapologetically cool.

Approximately THIS cool.

Unlike Kings Canyon and Worlds Edge, everything on Olympus is manmade. Gone are the large stone walls that divided the previous maps. Instead, Olympus is segmented by open sky or the occasional colossal metal tube.

I can’t begin to describe how much I love this map. I’ve never been a huge fan of Worlds Edge. When it launched, I thought it was a bit meh, but it is growing on me… slowly. 

Olympus, on the other hand, hits every note just right, and is a blast to play. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but I’ll give you a quick rundown on some of my favorite aspects of the map, as well as some things I find irksome.


  • It’s beautiful. Like… just incredible to behold at times
  • There are large sections of the map that are inside, or under, other sections of the map 
  • The locations are incredibly varied, making each match flow well
  • Somehow it’s big and small at the same time… not sure how they did that. 
  • The locations are dynamic compared to the previous maps where locations often felt like clones of one another.
  • The grow towers spin
  • There’s a lot of open space, so sniping is front and center
  • Did I mention how pretty it was? I probably did…


  • The grow towers spin (I both like and dislike this depending on how a fight is going)
  • You can’t tell where enemy footsteps are coming from because the enemy could be below you or way above you. 
  • There’s a lot of open space, so it’s easy to get sniped
  • There are a lot of places to fall off the map–watch your step!
  • Seriously. I’ve fallen off the map too many times to not make this two bullet points. 

Three Pronged Spear

The Trident is Apex’s first vehicle and, honestly, I’m underwhelmed. It’s fine. It can get you from place to place, but I didn’t really see the need for it. It can be fun to barrel into another team and catch them with their pants down…

…but, unfortunately, these moments are few and far between

My main issue with the Trident is how loud it is. I feel like everyone on the map can hear you the moment you start it up. Admittedly, most of the time people tend to leave you alone if you speed by on a Trident (usually they’ll take a couple of pot shots at you, but it’s rarely that bad), but getting ambushed when you have to slow down–and dying before you get a chance to fight back–is more than mildly infuriating.

While I think it was a neat idea, and actually pretty well executed, I’ll stick to moving on foot, thank you…

Unless the circle is, like, really far away.

On the Prowler for an R-99

This season has seen the return of the R-99 to the regular lineup of weapons available on the map, for which I am eternally grateful. It’s one of my favorite weapons, and I missed it dearly. There is nothing quite like having a fully-kitted ’99 and mowing down everyone and everything that moves. 

The Prowler, on the other hand, has been elevated to the position of care package weapon, and is a force to be reckoned with. Much like the R-99, its accuracy and rapid fire when fully kitted cannot be underestimated. While I’ve only gotten to use it a handful of times, it has always been a deciding factor in those matches. 

Horizon: Zero G

Horizon (AKA: Mary Somers) is the most recent addition to the Apex pantheon. She’s a Scottish astrophysicist who was sucked into a black hole but managed to escape at the last second.

…everyone assumed she was dead

Though she seems a wee bit scatterbrained, she is a formidable combatant.

While I still prefer Rampart as my main, I quite enjoy the occasional sojourn with this gravity-defying legend. 

Her kit includes:

Gravity Lift: She throws a device that reverses gravity in a small area, lifting any legends up to thirty meters into the air and giving them a boost as they leave the area of effect. While it does make some noise, it’s pretty quiet compared to other abilities, making it perfect for ambushing enemies who thought they were safe on the high ground. 

Black Hole (N.E.W.T): Deploys a localized black hole that pulls in nearby legends and hits them with a gravitation blast at the end. What’s nice about this is that it even works through walls, allowing you to box enemies out or in depending on how you want to use it. Be careful, though, as it does take time to warm up once it hits the ground… oh, and it can also be destroyed by enemy fire. 

Spacewalk: Removes the movement penalty for falling. This allows you to move more quickly after falling a great distance. Perfect for getting the drop on someone instead of being riddled with bullets while you reel from a fall. 

These abilities allow Horizon a level of vertical map traversal that other legends just can’t compare to. She’s basically the Octane of verticality. This makes her very powerful on maps like Worlds Edge and Olympus where there are plenty of ups and downs. While her Black Hole isn’t at Caustic-levels of area control, it does give her a distinct advantage during indoor encounters. Even her gravity lift can be used as a semi-effective means of crowd control if you place it in front of a doorway. 

Overall, she is a great addition to the relentlessly quirky legends we’ve come to know and love.

Final Round

Ascension is a bold step forward for Apex Legends. It brought forth an entire new map, it dabbled in vehicular manslaughter, and brought us a new legend straight outta a black hole. While there is definitely room for more growth this season, I’m pleased with what I’m seeing. Hopefully the team at respawn can continue to bring us amazing new content with every consecutive season. 

I’m giving Ascension two thumbs way, way up… as I once again fall off the map to the thunderous laughter of my enemies and the consternation of my allies. 


Video Game Reviews

Apex Legends: Boosted (to New Heights)

A New Season

Apex has been on the scene for almost two years now, and is entering its sixth season with a bang… or, more accurately, a hail of bullets.

Like so…

Veterans of the Legend Centric Battle Royal are no doubt enjoying–or absolutely hating–all of the new changes. I’m right there with them, trying not to die a humiliating death as I figure out exactly what’s changed.

I mean, I guess I could read the patch-notes, but what fun is that? 

Renewed Devotion

The previous season saw the Devotion relegated, or promoted, to, a Dropbox-only item (though it came fully kitted). Boosted has reintroduced the Devotion into the lineup of regular guns. While some cry foul, as this LMG is the scourge of late game, seeing the Devotion back on the map is a welcome addition to others and fits with the overall theme of Season Six. 

Just pray you find a Turbo-charger before it’s too late. 

There are R-99 reasons and this gun is one. 

As a trade-off to the Devotion’s return, The R-99 (a favorite of streamers everywhere) has been stuffed into this season’s care packages as a fully kitted monster from which there is no escape. While it can be sad to no longer find one on the map, it almost brings a tear to my eyes to find one dressed to kill. 

A Crafty Little Addition 

One of the biggest new features for Boosted is the crafting system. This system allows you to gather materials, mostly through containers you find strewn across the map, and build specific items using a Replicator.

This addition, while simplistic, makes for some do-or-die decision making. Yeah, you could really use a purple backpack, but is it worth alerting everyone in the area while you wait for the replicator to finish crafting it? 

The use of crafted items on rotation has also been a highlight for me. The idea that some items are on a weekly rotation while others are rotated on a daily basis shakes up the available weapons in an interesting way. Oh, you wanted a fully kitted longbow today? Well too bad, you have to craft not only the longbow, but also the skull-piercer and the x4-x6 scope.

If you’re lucky enough to not get caught while crafting, this is a powerful addition to any team’s strategic maneuvering.

Have a Blast (Wall)

Across the Worlds Edge map are some new additions that took over some previously unimpressive locations. Drill Site has been replaced by a newer, shinier version, with two similar additions; one just south of the sorting station, and the other nestled in the hillside behind the train yard. 

What makes these areas interesting, aside from an updated, more dynamic layout, is the ability to move whole sections of these locations via Hammond terminals. Just press a button and you lift a series of Blast Walls to make a bridge.

While this is convenient when looting or planning an escape route, it makes more noise than a garbage disposal filled with metal spoons. 

So, you know… choose wisely. 

A VOLT of lightning

The VOLT SMG is the most recent addition to the Apex arsenal. This SMG is similar to the Alternator in rate of fire, but it uses Energy Ammo instead of Light. My favorite part of the VOLT is that it is able to hold upgrades ranging from barrel stabilizers to extended energy magazines.

While it does nothing to awe, the VOLT gives you some options if you happen to pick up a ton of energy ammo and are not a fan of the L-STAR or the Devotion. 

The iron sights are also pretty great compared to a lot of other Apex guns, so there’s that. 

Base of Fire: Rampart 

Rampart is the latest Legend to join the Apex pantheon, and boy howdy am I glad to see her.

You might be less excited to see her

I was a little underwhelmed with Loba. Revenant, while admittedly an asset to any team, does not suit my play-style very well. And I’m not even going to talk about how terrible I am with Crypto.

Rampart has quickly become my favorite legend. Her play style is amazing for someone like me, who prefers to pick strategic positions and hold them instead of barging into a situation that could go belly up very quickly.

Her kit includes:

Amped Cover: She can drop up to five small barriers that amount to crouch cover. However, these charge up and become full cover after four seconds. The top portion of this cover is like a one-way mirror. Bullets can go through from one side, but not the other. Though the cover does eventually break from enemy fire, it is a powerful tool while in use.

Just be careful while they’re setting up as a single shot obliterates the cover before it’s ready.

Emplaced Minigun “Sheila”:  Sheila is a double edged sword. On the one hand, she can be set up lightning fast and ready to drop some “Plonkers” (read enemies) in mere seconds. On the other hand, she is completely stationary and only has a roughly 90-degree turning radius. While this can leave you open to attack, it is also a powerful way to overwhelm another team, or simply get them to disburse while your team escapes. To add to all this, you can deploy three of her at a time.

If you don’t see the potential between this and her Amped Cover, then you can just go back to playing Caustic.

Modded Loader: While using LMG’s, Rampart gains 15% magazine size, and a reduction of 25% on her reload times. This makes grabbing an LMG with her a no-brainer. 

All of these abilities add up to a character who can hold a location almost singlehandedly. However I will impart a couple of tips to increase your odds of survival. 

  • Instead of using just one amped cover, try creating a V shape using two, with the pointy end toward your enemies. This will give you increased cover from the sides and longer to shoot your foes when they try and rush you. 
  • When you hear an enemy approaching, try backing up and setting up a couple of barriers. You can only shoot through one amped cover at a time, but your enemy will have to vault or go around the others, buying you some time. 
  • Always recover your amped covers, and Sheilas, just to make sure you’re not helping an enemy somewhere down the line.
  • Blocking a doorway with amped cover is great, but leaves the enemy unable to enter, and causes them to back away. If you place the cover somewhat away from the door (preferably in the V shape) they will come rushing in, allowing you to dispatch them. 
  • You can have up to five amped covers at a time, and they recharge very quickly. Use this to your advantage. Don’t be afraid to drop some cover if you’re feeling vulnerable or if you think a fight might break out. You can always pick them up later.
  • Lastly, Sheila and Amped Cover make a lot of noise when you use them, so decide if it’s worth it to set them up if the enemy is unaware of your presence. 

Final Round

Overall, Apex Legends Season Six: Boosted, is a few good steps forward without taking any steps back. They diversified one of their maps, added a layer of complexity to item acquisition, and introduced a solid addition to the lineup of Legends. If the first week or two is any indication, this is going to be a phenomenal season, and I can’t wait to see what else it has to offer.