When Respawn first revealed Apex Legends to the whole world back in 2019, many simply explained it as a mashup of both Overwatch and PUBG.
Even though both Overwatch and Apex Legends feature some characteristics of a hero shooter, Apex is a gunplay first game while Overwatch has more elements of a MOBA. However, with the recent changes to the overall character meta in Apex, it is facing similar issues to Overwatch like power creep and character balance.
What is power creep?
In simple terms, power creep occurs when developers of a video game introduce new characters with more powerful abilities or items and it leads to the older items feeling underwhelming in some aspects.
Power creep is a common problem in any game with characters. Right now, Apex is facing similar issues that almost every other character-based game faces in some part of its life cycle. In a recent Reddit thread, a player commented on the similarities and differences between Overwatch and Apex in terms of counter-picking, power creep, and the overall legend meta.
On that thread, a Respawn dev responded and explained the actual differences between these two titles and how the counter pick meta is not that viable in Apex Legends.
Dev’s response to the Overwatch vs Apex debate
“I will say that Overwatch is a different game and Blizzard did do the work to make counterpicking at least viable–you CAN change your character mid-round and if you’re not at high ult charge you’re not super punished for it, but that’s only the logistics necessary to make counterpicking a viable tool; it still leaves you feeling bad about not being able to play, say, Reaper, because we need someone to counterpick their Pharah and you hate both Soldier 76 and Widowmaker (these observations are based on 2 years ago, when I last actively played Overwatch)”, DanielZKlein replied.
“I’m not saying one is necessarily better! Blizzard are very smart and know what they’re doing! I just don’t like hyper-reactive character-based games where too much other than preference drives your character selection”, DanielZKlein also added.
To put it simply, Apex and Overwatch are fundamentally different experiences. So, what worked for one title doesn’t mean that the exact same changes will translate well to the other one. And just because devs can’t balance characters like Caustic due to power creep or any other issues doesn’t mean that they need to remove legends like Caustic from the game altogether.
Respawn is experimenting with different ideas to properly deal with character balance-related issues since many players in the Apex community feel the game is slowly turning into Overwatch.