In the immortal words of Devo, “It’s not too late, to whip it – whip it good.” It’s a weird sentiment in a weird song with a weird music video, but it’s also weirdly prophetic when talking about live service battle royale game Apex Legends.
There hasn’t been a combat-oriented character in all 11 seasons of Apex Legends, and it’s understandable why. It would be a huge order to balance a character whose abilities worked well up close, when most of the gameplay is handled from afar. Sure, movement characters can get up close and personal and unleash a charged-up Peacekeeper shot into your face, but it’s not the same as actually having combat abilities.
As fun as it is to clock someone’s jaw with Bloodhound’s axe or Wraith’s kunai, or annihilate an opponent with a swing of Caustic’s mighty hammer (that’s if you’re lucky enough to have unlocked an heirloom – I’m not jealous, honest), it does the same damage as a regular punch and only offers a cosmetic bonus. That’s a good thing! There’s already discussions around pay-to-win skins, and giving heirlooms bonus damage would epitomise paying lots of money into loot boxes in order to gain an in-game bonus.
But in Season 12, it looks like we might be getting our first combat-oriented character. Mad Maggie has been revealed, and this is not only the perfect opportunity to weave Apex’s deep lore back into the gameplay, but she’s shown wielding an electric whip and dustbin lid shield. Basically, she’s a badass freedom fighter and she’s gonna bash you good. Personally, I’d welcome a whipping from Apex’s newest recruit, but I appreciate some of you less horny people just want to win games, so her abilities need to actually be good too.
We obviously don’t know what her abilities are just yet, but her whip could have an ability similar to Ash’s tactical – stunning opponents and holding them in place while you empty a clip into their immobile body. The shield, too, is reminiscent of Gibraltar’s passive; perhaps Maggie will have a similar armour buff, but instead of being when she aims down sights, it’s only active when she isn’t holding her weapon out? Either way, I can’t wait to whip an enemy towards me Pathfinder grapple-style and unload a Mastiff into their helpless head.
Despite fans largely hating her after some annoying appearances in previous LTMs, Maggie’s reveal has got me more excited than any character in a long time – purely because she looks so different to anything we already have in the game. The last truly different character was probably Valkyrie with her jetpack, but even then she combined the movement and recon abilities of other Legends into something that had been done before, but never together. Maybe Respawn will double back and make Maggie’s whip into a wallhacking device or turn her shield into a beacon scanner, but it doesn’t seem likely.
So far we’ve ignored the murdered elephant in the room: Forge. Remember him? In what was Apex Legends’ biggest fake out to date, Forge and his massive metal punching arm were set to join the games in Season 4, only for him to be brutally assassinated by Revenant who took his place. Forge had a talk show, a voice actor, and everything, only to be booted last minute, and fans have never forgiven Respawn.
Forge’s big metal arm would have surely made him Apex’s first combat character, but rumours in the community suggested that he was killed off because Respawn found his abilities too difficult to balance. This has never been confirmed by the developer, and seems like a stretch due to the long lead times on character designs – if the devs had realised that a combat character wouldn’t work, that would be a long time before the trailers had been made.
But Mad Maggie is stepping out of Forge’s shadow to take the mantle of the first combat-based Legend in the game – or so we think. Maybe I’m completely wrong and maybe the whip and shield are just for the promotional art. But I sincerely hope I’m right, because I just want to bash people with a shield, zap them with a whip, and laugh raucously in their faces. Mad Maggie is here to whip it, whip it good.
Next: Mad Maggie Is The Perfect Character To Get Apex Legends Back On Track
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