Hands-On With Apex Legend's New Character: How Wattson Will Shake Up Your Team Dynamic

Hands-On With Apex Legend's New Character: How Wattson Will Shake Up Your Team Dynamic

Apex Legends has a new character coming next month, and she brings a nice spark to the defense lineup.

Playing Wattson is, dare I say it, a shocker. You see elements of her abilities in other Apex Legends characters, but in practice, she operates far differently. She can build fences as a helpful barrier, but she can also cage people in. Her Ultimate can block out other characters' projectiles, but it can also charge your team's shields so you can lay down some fire. She even makes Ultimate Accelerators worth picking up now, as her passive ability is that they charge her beefy Ult immediately.

At EA Play in Los Angeles, California, I got a round of hands-on time with the new Apex Legends character that is joining the roster alongside season two. She's a "Static Defender," according to her official description. Her tactical ability is summoning poles for an electric fence: think like Caustic's gas traps, or even Symmetra from Overwatch's micro turrets. Her Ultimate ability, the Interception Pylon, is far more threatening. It's a buffer that blocks any projectile coming the team's way if in its vicinity (from Bangalore's Rolling Thunder to a stray Arc Star trying to stun you), and simultaneously, it charges shields too. Wattson, played right, can be an intimidating defense character.

Wattson is super cute, at least. I'm excited to see what her alternate skins are. | Respawn Entertainment/EA

Wattson vs. Everyone Else

It's easy to see the sorts of characters Wattson would work well with. With Gibraltar and Lifeline, the three could combine their efforts—dome shield, healing drone, and pylon—and come back from any fight stronger and more assured. Bangalore can toss a smoke grenade in a scramble as Wattson quickly crafts a sloppy fence in the midst of it, damaging and slowing any who dare venture into the smoke to confront them. Heck, even camping might be a more viable playstyle now thanks to Wattson's Perimeter Security, where the biggest threat is unexpected height advantage from an overeager Octane.

I stumbled through figuring out her electricity-powered fences. In one combat encounter, I wondered if I could toss the fences on the roof to cave in a duo of people shooting at us, like how Caustic can angle the tosses of his gas traps. But as I was not on the roof, I found I could not. Fences must stay on the same level as you are, unless you hop around to connect them accordingly.

My round in the sweltering Los Angeles heat luckily didn't end prematurely with me fumbling with fences though; my squad even made it to the top three. Admittedly, the success was mostly thanks to them. Meanwhile, I was messing around with Wattson's abilities, including popping up her fences for the first time in some inconvenient bushes and not using her Ultimate effectively. (Sorry team!)

I don't see Wattson lighting the world of Apex Legends on fire like Octane did. Season one's introduction of the speedy character became so ingrained in the meta that he's still one of the most common Legends I see in my party queues. (The top characters, anecdotally from what I've seen, remain Lifeline and Wraith.)

Wattson I see occupying a similar space as Gibraltar and Caustic, coincidentally the other two defense characters. Where she's not essential, but when chosen is enough to spice up the more traditional team builds. She's a character about maintaining (or instilling) territory, making her feel very unique among others in the roster; and also potentially less sought after in party queues because of it.

P.S. Hey Now, Watch Out For That L-Star

The season two update for Apex Legends will also introduce a new weapon, the L-Star LMG from Titanfall 2. The gun will have its own limited exclusive ammo, similar to the Kraber sniper rifle. Like the Kraber, it will also only be available in supply drops. While I didn't loot any in my demo, I was on the receiving end of its deadly red energy shots. I'll tell you this, all that glitter really is gold.

Season two of Apex Legends will be revitalizing its battle pass, even giving it a new name: the Battle Charge. Battle Charge will offer four new legendary skins, lots of weapon skins, and other rewards. Apex Legends will also debut its long requested Ranked mode during this time. Season one was rough for the battle royale, but in the run-up to season two, Respawn is taking all the criticisms it weathered to heart in amending the battle pass and making its next season worth sticking around for. Wattson and season two will be coming to Apex Legends on July 2.

For more on season two, check out our guide for all the details to expect in Apex Legends' upcoming Battle Charge. We also have a handy E3 2019 hub, if that's more up your speed.

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Caty McCarthy

Senior Editor

Caty McCarthy is a former freelance writer whose work has appeared in Kill Screen, VICE, The AV Club, Kotaku, Polygon, and IGN. When she's not blathering into a podcast mic, reading a book, or playing a billion video games at once, she's probably watching Terrace House or something. She is currently USgamer's Senior Editor.

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