Sometimes, there's nothing better than an old fashioned fist to the face.
The melee of Apex Legends, by and large, is not something you want to be relying upon. Much like pan battles in PUBG and pickaxe encounters of the Fortnite kind, the armoured fist of a legend is definitely the last, last resort possible. While it does 30 damage a hit to the body, there's basically no reason you want to be close enough - unless you absolutely have to.
That said, if you have to be that close? Goddamn does it feel good.
Case in point from a match yesterday evening. My squad had dropped around Artillery, but we arrived after another squad. They were the only ones in the area, and two members of our squad having a height advantage (but our third, my partner, more isolated on the ground) we were sprawling for a fight.
Lo and behold, we weren't the only squads - the team we spotted on the ground had already annihilated two members of another squad. The third member of that team somehow escaped into the same building as my partner, got past her (probably amongst the firefight), came up the stairs and knocked me down. Our squad redoubled, finished them off, and prepared for the other squad, who were rapidly approaching.
But everyone was running out of ammo, and as the rest of my squad began to bleed out, only one option remained.
Finishing off a squad with a fist to the face is hands down one of the most satisfying things in the game. There's a good amount of screenshake, with a well timed thud, that gives the illusion of landing a solid blow.
You can see the left hand swinging over the right side of the body before the punch, indicating good form. It's a motion that helps get the power of your body's rotation into the blow, rather than just relying solely on the weight of your right fist, arm and shoulder. The model then swings across, with the punch landing on the index and middle knuckles - the best part of your fist to weather the impact of a punch, and how any good punch should be aimed.
Even more satisfying is the flying kick, especially when it's boosted with the extra bit of speed you get from jumping out of a slide. The left arm sticks out, the knee lifts up, and then the model shifts slightly to the left before the foot extends sideways into the opponent. Unlike the punch, you don't get the camera shake until after the foot lands, whereas the camera shake with the punch begins while the punch is in motion.
It's rad as hell, especially if you get enough momentum to kick someone off a ledge (or the supply ship!). Even better is when the final kill of the game is sealed with a foot to the face, as displayed by streamer shroud.
It's a small element of Apex Legends' movement system that just gives it a freshness over the current crop of battle royale games. More importantly, it's something that happens more frequently than you'd think. Knocking someone out with a pan in PUBG was rare: unless you were already in immediate close quarters, the style of gunplay and the general distance at which fights take place meant there were few instances where you would want to, or could, reduce the gap between you and your opponent.
Movement in Apex is much faster, helped in no small part by the sliding, vaulting and certain abilities. That means you're more likely to put fist (or foot) to face than you would in other games - and hot damn does it feel good.