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Apex Legends Gun Run is a sensational sweatfest

(Image credit: EA)

Apex Legends Gun Run is the battle royale's take on gun game and it's a bombastic blast. It's also the easiest way to get frustrated at your lack of skill, as there's very little room for anything other than rock-solid gunplay and clever map movement. And boy, am I getting my ass kicked. Choosing the right Legend may not be as important as in the battle royale, but choosing the wrong one can be catastrophic. Gun Run is yet another example of Respawn's ability to drop a fantastic limited-time mode that capitalizes on Apex Legend's strengths: guns, movement, and its cast of characters.

Running guns

(Image credit: EA)

Like any other gun game, Apex Legends Gun Run starts every player off with the same weapon. The weapon you get differs every match, but you always start off with the "easier" ones like ARs and move up until you're in the final rounds wielding a pistol. Every kill you get with that weapon swaps you to the next one on the list until you make it to 25. The ultimate goal? Get a kill with the new throwing knife weapon – which isn't easy.

But unlike other gun games, which are often played solo, Gun Run is all about the squad. Your teammate's success is your own – if one of them is further ahead on the gun track, you'll leapfrog past the other levels on your next kill so that you end up in the same spot as them. 

Combine that with an ability to drop enemy teams down a level with melee kills, and you've got a wickedly fast-paced mode that may be Apex Legends' hardest yet. That's why the few times I get a squadmate with a mic, I make sure that we move together as a unit – they can sweep up any kills I don't finish off, or cheekily punch out an enemy who may have just pulled ahead of us. Playing without your teammates can be brutal, especially if you aren't as well-versed in every weapon as others may be. One match is particularly brutal, as I spend it stuck on the third weapon for almost the entire time, cursed by my inability to effectively wield a Devotion.

Sweatfest 

(Image credit: EA)

Gun Run is, as the kids say, a sweatfest. Nearly every match is full of players who know movement and weapons better than I could ever hope to, which makes for rather punishing matches. And it can certainly get frustrating – the aforementioned match where I stayed stuck on a Devotion had me grunting in anger as I watched enemy squadmates get the last potshot on someone whose shield I had cracked multiple times. And not every Legend is a good fit for this mode, which is detrimental to those of us who have favorites. 

Since Legends can use their abilities and charge up their ultimates during Gun Run gameplay, you'll want to choose carefully at the start of every match. Lifeline is virtually useless since we're all equipped with unlimited med kits and there's no downing, just eliminations. Crypto's surveillance is unnecessary on such a small map where you can easily seek out enemies thanks to incessant gunfire. I've yet to see a single person play Revenant, and that may be because his totem ultimate isn't useful on smaller maps either. 

Legends like Bangalore, Horizon, Valkyrie, Octane, Wattson, and Caustic are popular choices in Gun Run – Bangalore for her smoke and Rolling Thunder ultimate; Horizon, Valkyrie, and Octane for their mobility; and Wattson and Caustic for their traps. Wattson is particularly lethal, as she can snake her traps through one of only a few small spaces and catch players in her electric webs. While much of the Gun Run experience is about your skills with Apex Legends' gunplay, the other half is about smart Legend choices and knowing how to make the most of their kits. 

Respawn is flexing into Apex Legends' best features with Gun Run, so, naturally, players are already asking that it become a permanent mode and not an LTM. While you may jump into a match and find you can barely make it past the R301, you can't deny that Gun Run condenses down the Apex formula into a potent shot of shooter excellence. 

Check out our interview with Respawn on how it's making Apex Legends "a forever game" and what that means for Season 14.

Alyssa Mercante is an editor and features writer at GamesRadar based out of Brooklyn, NY. Prior to entering the industry, she got her Masters's degree in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Newcastle University with a dissertation focusing on contemporary indie games. She spends most of her time playing competitive shooters and in-depth RPGs and was recently on a PAX Panel about the best bars in video games. In her spare time Alyssa rescues cats, practices her Italian, and plays soccer.