Broken Moon, the new Apex Legends map dropping on November 1, looks like an absolute blast. Not only is it visually stunning, with a unique mix of rocky lunar terrain and lush interiors of human settlement buildings, but it has a network of zip rails zig-zagging across its surface.
Yes, you read that right, zip rails, not zip lines. Zip rails are a new Apex Legends feature that increases your momentum when traveling along them, making them great for both attacking and escaping on the fly. They started as a fun little idea amongst the Respawn devs, lead level designer Jeff Shaw tells me during an interview. "Then we started to look more into just their usability and their versatility and stuff like that...these zip rails really help with fast rotations and interesting getaways," he explains.
Oh and the zip rails mean you can now joust in Apex Legends. Sort of. Shaw tells me that the dev team frequently jousted with each other while QA testing Broken Moon. "The jousting is where you have two teams at either end, and they kind of both decide to get on at the same time and clash with each other. So it kind of becomes, 'can I down you before I collide with you? Because once I collide with you, we're both knocking off this thing'."
Broken Moon doesn't just have a network of zip rails, but it also has larger-scale POIs to help shake up the flow of every match. "Our objective was to reduce or soften up the hot drop dog piles that we see at the early game," Shaw explained during a preview. When I asked him later if hot drops were something the team can't quite figure out, he was quick to correct me. "It's not like it's something that we're trying to remove from the game. It's just something that we're we've actively been looking at how we can shake this up or balance it because we do think that hot-dropping is still a really, really valid strategy."
But with larger POIs, players will have a better chance to loot and get their bearings before getting into firefights. Shaw also told me that the team "cherry-picked" features from all of their past maps, looking at what worked and what players gravitated towards when designing Broken Moon. We haven't seen a fully detailed depiction of the new map yet, but expect this to be a wild ride.
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