The gameplay trailer for Apex Legends’ next season, Defiance, released today, giving fans a first detailed glimpse into the upcoming Control limited-time mode. The in-universe brainchild of Duardo Silva, Control is the newest LTM to be added to the game when Defiance launches. It brings a much more traditional shooter experience to the battle royale, with infinite respawns and dedicated objective points to hold.
Control will be available for the first three weeks of Defiance. Respawn Entertainment hasn’t confirmed if the game will return in the future, so make sure to familiarize yourself with all the details to get the most out of its limited runtime.
First and foremost, team sizes are a little bigger than Apex has seen before. Two teams of nine legends will face off against one another, each made up of three individual squads. This does mean you can’t queue up with eight friends for now, but Respawn acknowledged the desire for expanded party sizes. These teams will be fighting across what appear to be various locations cut out of Apex’s battle royale maps, spanning from Hammond Labs on Olympus to Barometer on Storm Point.
A recurring pattern lies in the symmetry of each location, an important factor considering how the mode works. The trailer shows an overhead map of a match at Hammond Labs, with three capture zones and two initial spawn locations. Teams will have to hold these capture zones and fend off enemy legends to score points. The amount of points you’re scoring is based on how many zones you hold, meaning that controlling most of the map is pivotal to victory.
It’s unclear if individual kills have an impact on the score or all points are accrued through objective play, but based on similar contemporary examples, both could count for the final tally.
Control will also let players select their loadouts, according to the Defiance homepage, though the trailer goes into little detail about weapon selection. The system could work with a UI similar to Arenas or use a loadout system close to last year’s Winter Express, and both options could impact the mode’s weapon and legend meta.
Teams can also have duplicate legends, based on the trailer. Since each team of nine is broken up into three squads, those three-person squads can pick the same characters as other squads on their teams, so brace for the prospect of coming up against three Gibraltar Dome Shields in a far-too-small corridor.
For players looking to make their mark even when part of a larger team effort, the trailer shows a new ratings leaderboard for Control. This seems to be a separate, cross-match stat tracker that allows players to flex their personal achievements within the mode. The gameplay trailer teases various milestones that you can reach to upgrade to a new ratings tier, but there’s no information about what each tier means for your progress or potential rewards.
Control has been a long-requested style of gameplay for Apex, but the community’s excitement outside the game may not match the in-universe acceptance for the new mode. Control is being promoted in the lore by its creator (and antagonist of the season), Duardo Silva. Positioned as more of a crowd-pleaser than the traditional battle royale format of the Apex Games, Control is yet another piece in the philanthropist’s game of 4D chess to wrestle power away from the Syndicate and put it in his hands. How much of his influence will be present is a question for when Control releases on Feb. 8 alongside the new season.