Overwatch Made Me A Better Apex Legends Player - And Here's Why
Now, you may be thinking - what the hell is the correlation between a no-holds-barred battle royale and a 6v6 tactical train wreck? Well, they’re more alike than you think.
I’m a day one (and I mean that) Apex Legends player. The second I heard there was a new battle royale on the scene, it was installed. I’d had my fill of Fortnite, H1Z1, and even PUBG; it was time for a new love in my life. And boy did I love Apex. I loved it for 1196 hours, in fact. My paltry 74 hours played on Overwatch doesn’t even compare.
So, when I decided to finally take the plunge with the Blizzard title, I was naturally hesitant.
My first foray into Overwatch came only mere weeks ago; I had avoided the game like the plague after watching competitive Overwatch - convinced it was too chaotic and too far gone for me to join in now.
How wrong I was.
Obviously, Apex can be chaotic (those third parties really leave a sour taste) but not to this extent. How would I ever settle into my new Overwatch home after being a battle royale player for so long?
The abilities in Overwatch especially really helped me breathe easy. Want to see all your enemies bright and shining in red like Bloodhound? Pop a Widowmaker ult. Fancy a dome shield for protection like Gibby? Pick Winston. Want to revive fallen teammates like Lifeline? Mercy’s your gal.
I was more than surprised at the similarities between the Legends of Apex and the Heroes of Overwatch.
No sprint? No problem!
Despite the fact you can’t sprint with most characters (that took a long time to get used to and was very grating) or even ADS with most Heroes’ guns, it’s taught me so much that I’m carrying over into the Respawn title.
As a Lifeline main in Apex, I clearly gravitated towards Mercy, and her being gorgeous and able to fly didn’t hurt. How I adore flitting around Nepal as Mercy, reviving those in need, boosting their power - it all feels so delightfully Florence Nightingale.
But who do I lock when I’m feeling more of a Valkyrie vibe? You know, some light flying, a bit of rocket-power, that kind of thing. Nope, not Pharah - OW poster child and inspirer of many cosplays – D.Va! The self-destruct has netted me more POTGs than I can count, and I can only count to ten (using both hands). I’ve not quite nailed down the mech recall triple kill strat, but I’m getting there.
Might as well use those priority passes I've been hoarding, huh? How about the Rampart VA herself - Symmetra! Those Sentry Turrets really do a number on the enemy, especially when placed just right.
So, how did playing Overwatch help my frankly only slightly above average Apex gameplay?
STRATEGY OF STRATEGIES, ALL IS STRATEGY
Well, learning that you HAVE to be strategic in your approach, even with a battle royale, is something I already knew - but now felt religious about. Now I really think about my approach – do I go in all guns blazing, do I hang back and wait for the perfect moment to unleash an ultimate, or do I flank?
I mean obviously there are canon strats in Apex – maintain high ground, rotate constantly, keep healed up etc. But what about new OW techniques I’ve picked up, like distracting with the tank while the damage and support creep up on you? Or really coordinating your ability attacks to stun an enemy with McCree (or silence with Rev) while another teammate snipes.
Not being able to run in Overwatch (with most heroes) REALLY makes you think about your moves in Apex (where you can sprint indefinitely). Do you need to make sure you have something to hide behind because you can’t simply run away? Should the healer hang back and purely heal, so as not to get themselves killed?
Also learning which Legends counter each other is something OW has taught me well – for example, D.Va counter picks such as her being strong against Widowmaker or Hanzo, but weak against Mei or Junkrat can easily be translated in Apex.
Someone like Crypto is a great counter to trappers, destroying their traps with his EMP, or Mirage’s Ultimate confusing the life out of a Bloodhound scan.
Although Apex Legends characters have “classes” (such as Recon and Offensive), they aren’t exactly tank/damage/support BUT we can easily put them into these categories – and thus create a perfect team combo.
TO ADS OR NOT TO ADS, THAT IS THE QUESTION
Who needs ADS? My aim has improved tenfold, thanks to OW. Practising headshots with McCree sets you up for hitting Mozam headshots – sniping with Widowmaker makes you a beast with a Kraber.
Also, hip firing my R-99 in Apex now seems less like a last-ditch attempt to stay alive, and a real method of digital murder.
The fact that I can’t just spray ‘n’ pray with a Spitfire into someone’s torso to knock them has really made me change my ways – now I actually have to aim for the head. A wild concept, I know, but it really works.
My progress with Overwatch has turned into progress with Apex Legends. Going from only have a couple of teammates to worry about to five is probably the hardest transition, and is what made the Overwatch League look too scary for me to even consider playing the game the esport is all about.
In a way, it’s made me think Apex could survive, and even flourish, with a six-man on each team, if more characters were added (come on Respawn, only one healer?!).
But really, all you need to take away from this love-letter-cum-article is this - game is game. Getting better at any one thing will surely help you improve at another. It's all practice, with a little bit of grind sprinkled in. So get out there and try new games you never thought it was possible for you to enjoy - they may just surprise you.
Images via Blizzard Entertainment | Respawn Entertainment