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Apex Legends’ next season increases the level cap and removes self-revive

Season 14 of Apex Legends is almost upon us, so Respawn Entertainment and EA revealed some of the major reworks coming to the game with when the Hunted season begins. Namely, the developers highlighted the redesigned Kings Canyon, increased level cap, and balance updates like the removal of self-revive.

In 2020, Loba blew up Skull Town in Kings Canyon. Now, the entire map is seeing a rework as part of Season 14 to improve the pacing and balance of matches on the map. Skull Town is now called Relic and is a bit bigger, the Cage was reworked to be a little lower and more vulnerable, Hillside’s interiors were removed, and Broken Relay is now called Basin and got new buildings. Those, along with the other visual update Kings Canyon got, should make this old Apex Legends map feel brand new again.

An bird's eye look at the reworked Kings Canyon map in Apex Legends.

Another big change is coming to account levels. Previously, there were 500 levels for players to work their way through. Starting with Season 14, players can work their way to level 500 three more times, technically increasing the level cap to 2000. This means that players will now be able to earn 544 Apex Packs and an Heirloom by leveling up. The start of Season 14 will also introduce some notable balance changes to Apex Legends, as is to be expected.

Some notable changes are that SMGs and pistols have a new laser sight attachment, the Wingman will now use sniper ammo, the Spitfire will now light ammo, the EVA-8 will see an increased fire rate, handling, and reload speed, and more. Most notably though, self-revive is getting removed. This is complicated by a change to Gold Equipment perks, including a new one for the Backpack called Deep Pockets that increases the number of medical supplies players can carry.

Apex Legends is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch. Season 14 begins on August 9. 

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Tomas Franzese
Gaming Staff Writer
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
Endless Dungeon is a shockingly fun tower defense and roguelike mash-up
Endless Dungeon's characters take a picture together.

Sega-owned developer Amplitude Studios has made a name for itself with 4X strategy games. The 4X subgenre is all about exploring, expanding, exploiting, and exterminating (hence its name) and Amplitude has become a pro at it through games like Humankind and its long-running Endless series.
However, the next Endless game, Endless Dungeon, isn't a strategy game. Rather, it's a unique mix of a twin-stick shooter, tower defense, and roguelike. Building on a formula first explored in an experimental 2014 game Dungeon of the Endless, Amplitude Studios wants to show that its 4X expertise applies to more action-heavy games with Endless Dungeon. “What we want to show is that strategy and tactics can take a lot of different forms,” Amplitude Studio head Romain de Waubert told Digital Trends in an interview. “Endless Dungeon is one of those forms where you can explore tactics with friends during intense action. If you like how we look at strategy in 4X, then I’m pretty sure you’d love how we look at strategy in action. There is a commonality between the two because it’s the same people working on both.” I went hands-on with Endless Dungeon's first OpenDev (Amplitude's in-house version of early access) build and discovered that roguelikes and tower defense games have a lot more in common than I thought. There are some clear improvements that can be made, but Amplitude Studios is definitely on track to become more than a one-genre studio with Endless Dungeon.
ENDLESS™ Dungeon Open Dev Trailer
Endless genre possibilities 
In Endless Dungeon, you play as an eclectic cast of sci-fi heroes trying to escape a space station that they are marooned on. To do this, they must guard and guide a Crystal Bot from Crystal Slot to Crystal Slot throughout the space station. If they die or the Crystal Bot is destroyed, they'll have to start the run from scratch. I only got to play this by myself with an AI companion, but the full game will let up to three players make their way through the dungeon cooperatively. Creative Director Jean-Maxime Moris tells me they settled on three players because that was the "sweet spot" where cooperative play wasn't too overwhelming or too boring. 
Endless Dungeon is a satisfying loot-based twin-stick shooter where players will have to stay on their toes as they explore the station room by room and hold back enemy waves that swarm the Crystal Bot from all directions. Each hero has special abilities that can be used to power themselves up or damage enemies, and they can also set up a variety of turrets that either damage and debuff enemies or buff your party and your turrets. The resources needed to build turrets and gain new gear aren't infinite though, and this is where some of Endless Dungeon's 4X influence can be seen.
Resource accrual is a big part of Endless Dungeon as players must manage Science, Industry, and Food resources needed to build and unlock turrets and character upgrades. Players will gain a set amount for every door opened, but Industry resources can be spent to build modules that increase the amount players get with each open door. This adds an additional layer of strategy more akin to a 4X game or traditional tower defense title on top of a twin-stick shooter that might otherwise seem pretty standard.
A lot of promise

Resource management is an important part of roguelikes, so Amplitude was smart to recognize how these elements from 4X and tower defense games could work really well in a roguelike. My two issues with Endless Dungeon do stem from the tower defense roots. I wasn’t able to deconstruct or move my turrets, which limited my strategic options when turrets were stuck in an area I no longer needed to be in. Thankfully, Amplitude confirmed that players will be able to move their turrets in the final game.
The other issue is the spawn rate of waves feels inconsistent. I was told that waves activated based on a combination of time and exploration, but I could never really predict when the countdown to their start would be or where I’d be when that happened. Once again, the random nature of these waves meant I never had enough time to fully plan the defense of my crystal during most enemy waves. I’m sure some of that stress is intentional, as it keeps players on their toes, and though Amplitude did give players the ability to teleport back to the crystal at any time, a simple countdown to when the next wave will happen would go a long way in making the tower defense part of Endless Dungeon feel more rewarding.
Outside those few issues, Endless Dungeon still has a lot of promise. And thanks to the OpenDev feedback-driven approach Sega and Amplitude are taking with Endless Dungeon, these problems will likely be solved in the full game. For the most part, Amplitude has done a fantastic job at transitioning into a new genre while still retaining some tactical elements and showing that some different genres actually have a lot more in common than you’d think.
Endless Dungeon is in development for Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

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The siblings in A Plague Tale: Requiem walk together.

A release date for A Plague Tale: Requiem was finally revealed during today's Focus Showcase stream, promising that players can finally jump into the highly anticipated sequel on October 18 on all major consoles and PC.

Focus Showcase | A Plague Tale: Requiem - Release Date & Extended Gameplay Trailer

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The cast of Lego Brawls stands together in this game's key art.

Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. series single-handedly created the platform fighter subgenre of fighting games. As such, a lot of games try to replicate its formula almost completely, especially mechanics like the wavedash from Super Smash Bros. Melee. While the makers of many Smash clones seem to feel like they need to be exactly like Nintendo’s classic series in order to entice players, Lego Brawls showed me that doesn’t have to be the case at Summer Game Fest Play Days.
Just as MultiVersus did last month, Lego Brawls demonstrates that games inspired by Super Smash Bros. can still have a unique gameplay identity. From being able to customize your characters and attacks to having unique modes not found in any other game in the genre, Lego Brawls looks like it's a fun Smash-like time for the whole family, even if it probably won’t be the top game at EVO anytime soon.
LEGO Brawls - Announcement Trailer
Building blocks 
One way that Lego Brawls is very much like Smash Bros. is that it's a crossover fighting game where players can duke it out with characters they create using classic Lego sets. Castle, Pirate, Western, and Space, as well as more modern ones like Monkie Kid, Vidiyo, Ninjago, and Jurassic World, are all represented in character customization. The developers claim that every character and weapon piece in Lego Brawls is based on a real Lego, even if some of them aren’t available to purchase anymore.
Any kid who likes Legos will probably enjoy spending hours unlocking and customizing the pieces of their Lego character. Some of these changes have gameplay implications too, as players can customize their weapons. In addition to choosing a basic weapon, players can go into battle with a jetpack that lets them fly or a saxophone that can calm other players. Those special abilities are obtained through item boxes that appear in matches, Mario Kart-style.
Speaking of Mario Kart, some stages even have vehicles to drive, and these often provide a nice way to shake up a battle. 

Lego Brawls' also has modes that players can't find in other Smash clones. A more traditional free-for-all mode lets players fight to be the last one standing on a small stage. But Lego Brawl's primary focus is actually on bigger maps that support modes like one where two teams of four try to hold capture points and another where eight players compete to defeat as many other players as possible within a time limit. These modes show just how much potential there is within the platform fighter genre outside of just competitively trying to ring out opponents. 
A new era of Smash clones
Last month, MultiVersus impressed me because of its primary 2v2 setup and abilities that made it feel really different to play from Smash. With deep customization and those varied modes, Lego Brawls does the same. It doesn't seem like that deep of a fighting game, but that also means it will be easy for players of any skill level to pick up and play. 

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