Last night, I finally encountered what top Apex Legends players are describing as a “neat trick” or an “OP strat” but for me just resulted in a newfound hatred for doors.
I hopped onto Apex Legends for a few rounds of shooty-shooty funtimes with some buddies. We’d done all right, for the most part, often hitting Apex Legends’ midgame and equipping a couple of our favourite guns before unceremoniously getting owned. It wasn’t until a couple of games in that we encountered a situation that quick reflexes and deft aiming—neither of which I boast in this game—couldn’t get us through.
We were ferreting through a cluster of buildings when we noticed another squad closing in. After some shared gunfire, two of us were downed. As combat medic Lifeline, I heroically stepped outside the building I was looting to see what was up and, if I was lucky, take revenge. Two of our opponents were low on health, so it was satisfyingly easy to injure them enough to prevent them from moving too far. The gun fight left me bloodied, too, so I ran back indoors to hide and feverishly syringe myself, unsure where the third opponent was.
This is when things became very complicated. My goal, of course, would be to make sure no opponents were around when I resurrected my guys. Then, I would try and get rid of the remaining enemy, whom I hadn’t kept track of. I had to go back outside. As I looked through the window and saw an enemy crawling slowly away, I hit “E” to open the door, step outside, and finish them. Then I hit “E” again. The door didn’t budge. Through my headphones, my teammates began yelling at me to get the hell out. I couldn’t. “E.” “E.” “E.”
In video games, doors often open whichever way you’re trying to go. That’s part of the escapist fantasy—everything is easy except for the stuff that’s fun when it’s hard. Opening this door was not easy, and that was because the third opponent was blocking it. As I spammed “E,” my opponent resurrected their teammate while my squad bled out and died. “Punch the door!” my teammate yelled. “Punch it!” I railed on the metal barrier, feeling very futile and stupid, intermittently shooting at it until my opponents barged in and ended me.
This is Apex Legends’ “door strat,” I discovered in the worst way possible. Someone blocks the door. You hit it, or frantically hit buttons that might result in hitting it, until it opens. Then you die, or don’t. My first encounter with the “door strat” was decidedly not fun. The “door strat” also falls into the category of strategies that are only fun when I use them.
In the last 12 hours, I have had numerous opportunities to replay those short, sad moments in my mind. I could have blocked the door myself. As Lifeline, I could have thrown out a healing drone, ran around back, revived my team, and then taken our opponents from behind. Or I could have played Caustic and blocked doors with traps, or tossed some poison in a room, then blocked the door with traps. Doors aren’t just barricades or body channels, or even strategic tools. They’re proof that the only way to combat a truly mean strategy is to know about it first.