Apex Legends recently announced Legacy, their all-new season update bringing new game types, a new yet familiar face as well as new maps to the game. We got a special hands on thanks to EA to see what’s new in the popular trio-based Battle Royale, along with some commentary by the developers of the game about the new features.
Enter The Arena
The by-and-large star of the new season is the new permanent game mode, Arena. This eschews Apex’s Battle Royale roots for what’s basically a team Deathmatch. Rather than have an all-out war between 20 squads, these will be strictly 3v3 matches, where players will compete to get a two-point lead on the enemies. The game can go up to 9 rounds, with the 9th round being a winner-take-all situation.
What’s really cool about this is that the matches reset every round, and players will get to buy new upgrades for their guns to carry them from regular grey loot all the way up to purple.
Additionally, skills will be reworked for the arena mode as well. Ultimate and Tactical skills will have limited charges for you to use, and you’ll have to buy more charges in between rounds if you want more out of them.
Naturally, not every Legend’s skills are going to make the jump to Arena perfectly. Robert West, Senior Designer for the Arenas mode admitted that balancing out characters abilities for the new mode would be a bit of a challenge
“Different game modes and different abilities are gonna come into play and be better or worse in Battle Royale vs Arena”, Robert says. We didn’t really wanna make the abilities different at all, that what we ended up doing was using the store as the way to balance it by adding different costs. So its like Bloodhound’s scan ability is pretty strong, and it might cost some amount whereas Pathfinder’s grapples will a little bit cheaper to get more uses out of it, and we end up going that route for balance”.
Thankfully, the team also said it wouldn’t be public matches only. For tournament purposes they’ve added private matches, although the features aren’t available for general players yet. That being said, they plan to add them in future, though they declined to give a timeline of when you’d be able to set up your own Arena matches with friends.
Arena would use largely old maps, although the mode is getting two bespoke maps as well. These are obviously not as big as their Battle Royale counterparts, to get players into the fight much sooner. Some of the returning maps are Artillery from Kings Canyon, Thermal Station from World’s Edge and Golden Gardens from Olympus. Meanwhile, the new maps are called Party Crasher, as well as Phase Runner.
Flight of the Valkyrie
The other big piece of news from the new update is the new Legend, Valkyrie. Valkyrie is particularly special as a Legend because she’s a reminder that Apex Legends takes place in the same universe as Respawn’s Titanfall series. While she can’t call down a Titan her kit is made from the remnants of one, with a moveset very similar to Northstar from Titanfall 2.
Similar to Northstar, mobility is the name of the game and as Valkyrie can fly around with her jetpack, and her ultimate even allows for players to grapple on to her to give the whole team a ride. On top of that she can even fire a barrage of missiles, making sure anything with the misfortune of being in your line of sight stays dead.
Sadly, the team also had some bad news for players hoping that giant mechs would be coming to the game that many viewed as being responsible for the lack of Titanfall 3. Daniel Klein, Lead Game Designer had the following to say:
“No. There will not be titans in Apex Legends. Our combat, our abilities or weapons, everything is designed for human skill or combat. Im sorry”, he says.
That being said, they also toyed with the idea of future cosmetics that are more than just Titanfall references. Ashley Reed, the game’s senior writer, said the following regarding the idea of a nordic skin for Valkyrie:
“Our characters go through a lot of different iterations as we’re thinking about them. I wasn’t around when the initial concept of Valkyrie was created but she very well may have been an actual Norse Valkyrie, who knows? But we definitely thought about how can we incorporate that into possible cosmetics in the future, who knows? Not promising anything in particular, but definitely our minds are turning and how we can apply that stuff, but yeah it’s a constant moving process. “
While you may not have any giant robots, the new season of Apex Legends does bring a new weapon, the Bocek Bow. This medium-range weapon has two hop-up slots, letting you truly become a beast on the battlefield as it rewards your tempo with faster draw speed, as well as terrorize people at close range with the Shatter Caps creating shotgun-like spreads.
Revisiting Olympus And Other Things
One surprise announcement for Apex Legends Legacy was a slight revamp to the Olympus map. A new ship, The Icarus, has pulled into port, and onboard it is a foreign plant. The plant’s influence brings an altered line of sight across the map as it grows, and adventurous Legends can also pick up keycards off the corpses of scientists on the Icarus to go looking for the high-value loot that will bring.
They also announced how Ranked play would work for the season. For this next season, the first half would see players duking it out on World’s Edge, before moving over to Olympus for the back half of the competitive season. According to Respawn the game wouldn’t be going through any changes to its RP system, since players were placing quite high with it.
Apex Legends Legacy drops May 4th on all versions of the game, so don’t forget to check it out for high flying new legends as well as dominating the game’s Arena mode.