Five biggest things to know about Apex Legends' new season, Escape
With the new season on the horizon, we take a look at some of the biggest additions coming to Respawn's battle royale game.
In a few short days, Respawn Entertainment will be kicking off the latest season of Apex Legends. Coming as a free major update to the renowned battle royale, it will be adding a bunch of exciting new features, including a new map, Legend, weapon, and some other goodies. I've had the chance to check out the new season, known as Apex Legends: Escape ahead of its launch, and to get you up to speed with what will be arriving, I've compiled the five most exciting additions into this one handy article.
Stormpoint: the most expansive map in Apex Legends history
Headlining Escape is the fourth and most recent map to make it into Apex Legends. Known as Stormpoint, this map is located on the planet Gaia, and is recognised for being the former energy colony for the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation (IMC).
Unlike its predecessors, Stormpoint is the largest map to ever come to Apex Legends, and is 15% larger than Worlds Edge. It features higher-highs than any Apex map before it, and 17 named locations to explore, including the contested Barometer at its core and the Command Center, nestled in one of Stormpoint's towering mountains.
Based on a tropical island, Stormpoint does not feature any Jump Towers, but in their wake are massive Gravity Cannons that can be used to catapult you and your team huge distances across the map. On top of this, Stormpoint is also bringing the longest ziplines in Apex Legends history, making for a truly mobility-centric map.
And if all of this isn't enough to look forward to, Stormpoint also has wildlife to have to worry about. Certain areas around the map will feature canine creatures known as Prowlers, who hunt you and your team, with other areas packed with Spiders that are spawned from nests. Eliminating either will reward you with some loot and goodies, but heading into these regions is always a bit of a risk, as these animals will not hesitate to take you out.
No, a bigger map does not mean Titans are on the horizon
Stormpoint is the biggest map to ever come to Apex Legends, and is the sum of over two years of design work. It will feature various updates over future seasons, and while it's size and its Titanfall references (which we'll get to in a moment) are exciting, they do not mean that Titans will be making it into the battle royale anytime soon.
During a press briefing, Steven Ferreira, team director at Respawn told us, "We've actually designed Stormpoint with updates in the future in mind. They will less likely be destructive in nature, and more additive in nature I think, as you see those come through."
Ferreira continued, "Whether or not they are going to be big enough to support Titans, that's not actually the defining issue with Titans. We've tried Titans a few different times in building prototypes in Apex and looking at what our new features are going to look like. There are some balance issues that Titans bring to the game that we have yet to find the right solution to. It doesn't mean we're not going to find the right solution, but I don't think making the map bigger is going to be a part of that solution."
Titanfall 2's Ash is back, and she's really, really vicious
Talking about Titanfall, as was already revealed, the next Legend coming to Apex is none other than the simulacrum pilot Ash. This vicious character has already made her entrance into Apex Legends as the apathetic Apex Games Arenas commissioner, but now she's taking a more hands-on approach by getting into the bloodsport herself.
If you're unfamiliar with the backstory of Ash, behind her cold metal skeletal form is Dr. Ashleigh Reid, a brilliant scientist who after suffering a mortal injury had her brain transferred and placed into a robot body. Upon this being completed, Ash finds herself at the mercy of the robot, and is sort of trapped in a split-personality scenario where the scientist and the killer robot are fighting for control over the other.
Ash also has a history with several members of the Apex Legends cast. She was the individual who left Horizon to die in a black hole, and she also has a tight grip on Pathfinder's heart.
But, backstory aside, what can Ash do in-game? Her passive ability is called Marked for Death and allows Ash to see enemy death boxes on her map, and then use her Data Knife to hack the box to find the rest of that enemy's squad.
Her tactical ability is called Arc Tether, and is an ability that shocks the first enemy that enters its radius, and then proceeds to tether that foe to the ground, making it far easy to eliminate and defeat your opponent.
Finally, her ultimate is another nod to her Titanfall abilities, and allows Ash to open a one-way portal to anything in Ash's sightline. Known as Phase Breach, this ability can transport allies and enemies as well as Ash quickly, and for those wondering about Ash using this to sneak up on you, it is both loud and easy-to-spot, so don't worry about being caught off guard often.
If one Titanfall reference isn't enough, Escape luckily has another: the C.A.R. SMG
And, if Ash and all of her Titanfall references isn't enough to entice the Titanfall fan lurking in each and every Apex Legends fan, then the new weapon might just push you over the edge. The C.A.R. SMG is making its debut in the battle royale, and is coming as quite the special weapon.
It's designed as a heavy SMG, and boasts a fast firing rate with great hip-fire accuracy, at the cost of quite a bit of recoil. It also can use either heavy or light ammo types, regardless of the magazine that you have equipped on the weapon, making it quite the versatile tool.
You may have spotted the C.A.R. a few months back at the reveal of the Arenas mode, and as for why despite that appearance the gun is only making it into Apex in a few days, balance designer John Larson said: "There's a multitude of reasons," before continuing by stating, "Really locking down the identity of this SMG in a game where close quarter combat is important and where there's already a lot of SMGs that are viable, we wanted to make sure we were confident in reviving the C.A.R., taking it from the Titanfall universe, reviving that, and bringing it into Apex and making it feel unique in its own right."
Wattson is finally getting some love
Titanfall aside, what else do Apex Legends fans have to look forward to in Escape. Well, there's quite a few things including a new battle pass and Ranked season, as well as several changes to weapons to make the meta a little more balanced. But by far the most exciting change is coming to Wattson, who's seeing a significant amount of buffs and tweaks to make the character feel less challenging to use.
At the forefront are changes to her electrical fences, which are receiving shorter cooldowns and are becoming far more punishing when an enemy attempts to cross them. The slow on Wattson when she places fences is also being removed making it less of a hassle getting the ability down. And if all of that isn't enough to make the character more viable, her Interception Pylon will now persist after its cooldown, and will last until a new one is placed. Wattson is also getting a few other minor tweaks to bring her in-line with the other characters, but as you can see, the buffs in general are quite significant in scale.
And that about wraps up the five biggest updates and additions coming in Apex Legends: Escape. The new season will be landing as a free update on November 2, and if you haven't already, you can play Apex today on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.