Some say that Avengers: Infinity War was the most ambitious crossover event of all time, but now we have something a little more exciting. Junkrat from Overwatch has joined the ranks of the Apex Legends!
Never mind, Turns out this robo-legged short-wearing lunatic is actually some dude called Octane, and is a brand new character dropped into Respawn’s wildly successful Battle Royale – Bringing some Hispanic flair and a design that arguably draws from both Junkrat and the Psychos from Borderlands, the new boy has been described as a “High Speed Daredevil”, and hoo boy is that accurate. Octane comes with a slew of new abilities with a passive that allows him to slowly regain health over time, which is clearly there to counteract his skill that lets him dramatically increase his movement speed for a few seconds in exchange for about an eighth of his health – This speed-boost pushes him faster than anyone else in the game, and even outstrips Bangalore with her Underfire passive skill… And as I discovered with a little experiment, Octane’s ability actually makes you faster than a character using a zip line! That’s handy in a pinch! Lastly is of course his Ultimate skill where the skinny little ragamuffin throws out a jump-pad which launches you into the air with reckless abandon! This Sonic the Hedgehog-like spring board is useable by absolutely anyone who comes across it, including your teammates and enemies, so you best be sure about where you’re placing it. The biggest advantage for this ultimate skill is its incredibly short recharge time as you can toss a pad out then have another ready to go in just 90 seconds, which gives Octane the fastest charging ult in game; fitting really.
Since his release earlier this week, I’ve been sure to start using the speedy boy as often as possible to see if maybe I could add him to my roster of mains, starting with a down payment of 12,000 apex credits (And completely glossing over the shit tier Caustic who remains locked behind a pay wall), I got underway and took to Kings Canyon with my robo legs! First thing I discovered was that Octane’s speed boost is incredibly handy when the ring starts closing, and you’re running from its orange light and death hum – Sure, you can out run the Shield when running normally, but the boost allows you to briefly enter the shield to grab any loot too good to pass up without having to risk the usual amount of health loss. I used this frequently during firefights at the edge of the ring as well so I could take a dangerous trip through the death zone to flank the enemies who felt safe with their backs to the transparent ring – Seeing as my usual main is the holographic decoy king Mirage, you can tell that surprise attacks and flanks are my thing, I will always avoid a head-on fight because that’s fair and honourable, and I’m anything but! Octane seems to be designed to confuse and flank your enemies since all of his skills are movement-based, but with an emphasis on speed rather than distance; his boost ends after only a few seconds and the jump pad launches you high but not particularly far. If you want a legend to get you out of a snafu, you’re better off with Wraith and her portals, or Pathfinder’s zip line.
Speaking of the Jump pad, as ultimates go, it’s really more fun than it is actually useful. Sure it’s great for gaining some height on your foes, and hell, if you’re clever enough, you could use it to lure the bad guys to their deaths in some kind of rooftop crossfire – It only really becomes useful during the later stages of the match when the ring has shrunk down and you’re forced to deal with your opponents in a far smaller area where having a height advantage and hopping all over the place could make it all the harder for Johnny McEvil to lay any rounds into you.
All in all, Octane is all he was advertised to be; all about speed and movement, but doesn’t bring much real substance unless you play the round like myself, and use him to flank entire teams with a high-risk high-reward strategy. Other than this though, playing Octane is really more for a laugh than any real teamwork or victory focused gameplay; that being said, in the 10 games I played as him before writing this piece, I won 6 of them… So I don’t know. Maybe I’m just a liar?