Apex Legends actor reveals just how secretive Respawn was before release - Dexerto
Apex Legends

Apex Legends actor reveals just how secretive Respawn was before release

Published: 30/Dec/2019 5:51 Updated: 14/Oct/2020 16:50

by Isaac McIntyre


Apex Legends voice actor Erica Luttrell, who plays veteran soldier Bangalore in Respawn’s battle royale, has revealed just how much secrecy went into the game’s development ahead of its surprise release in February this year.

Luttrell was one of the original voice actors brought into the development of Respawn’s first-ever battle royale release, and saw first-hand how closely guarded the secrets of the game were by both the developers, and publisher EA.

Luttrell, who recounted her experiences with creating the character of Anita “Banglore” Williams to fellow Apex voice actor Chris Edgerly in his Edgevoice podcast, revealed she would get “coded messages” from Respawn.

Respawn EntertainmentErica Luttrell gave life to Anita “Banglore” Williams, Apex Legends’ veteran soldier character.

After auditioning for the role, and successfully being brought on board, Luttrell soon discovered just how quiet the whole game was being kept—a decision Respawn and EA stuck to all the way to their shock February, 2019 release.

Not only was the Bangalore actor asked to record all of her early voice lines in her own studio, which for a time consisted of “a closet studio with a phone recorder,” and send them back through audio transfers, she was also given most of Bangalore’s information in secret codes and jumbled messages.

“All of the information was sent to us in packages with coded names, the names of the characters were jumbled and different, and I basically just knew that I was playing a military character, so I had to choose a voice off a few clues,” she said.

“Recently I got a studio-quality mic and I do lines on that now, but for a time it was just off the phone and with a small setup. I was using an Apogee MiC, before upgrading after the Apex recordings. I’m not a sound engineer.”

Twitter: Erica LuttrellLuttrell’s first engagement with Apex Legends was with packages from Respawn and coded messages.

Despite not hearing many details about the game itself, or how her voice lines would eventually be used, Luttrell admitted she “had a feeling” the game was going to be big: a premonition that has clearly come true 10 months down the line.

“I still don’t really understand the scope of the game, because I didn’t really have much exposure to it when I was learning the character and recording, but I did think that it was going to be this big,” she said.

“I don’t think there’s really a way to know [when you’re working]. You don’t ever really know, you have no sense. With video games especially, you sign NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) and you can’t talk about it with people.

“There were a few stages where I didn’t even know what I was really doing, on a grand scale, I had a half-page for my character and that was really all I had to go off for what it was going to be like. Even that wasn’t much to go off.”

Respawn EntertainmentLuttrell said she didn’t have much to go on when she created Bangalore’s battle-hardened voice and personality.

Despite not playing the game itself—Luttrell admits she doesn’t have time for competitive gaming—the voice behind Bangalore revealed she’s had a “great response” from those who have become involved with the battle royale.

“People are always pretty keen to tell me that they’re happy I look the same as Bangalore, though I hope I’m a little bit more chipper than her,” she said.

“Like I said though, there was no idea of how big the game was going to be, and I feel like even the developers and creators really had an idea of what they had on their hands. Now it’s this bigger thing than I think any really expected.”

Read: Incredible Bangalore skin idea works perfectly with her military roots

And, although she’s never really stepped foot in the blood-soaked virtual worlds of King’s Canyon or World’s Edge, and has no interest in connecting to Apex’s full lore, Luttrell admits she does have a “deep connection” with Bangalore herself.

“I don’t want to be too invested in the world, I want to be invested in the character I’m playing,” she said. “Knowing too much impedes your ability to do the work, I think. I don’t want to be a fan of the game, I want to be a fan of Bangalore.”

Respawn EntertainmentLuttrell said she had a gut feeling about Apex’s eventual explosion in popularity.

Like Luttrell said though, Apex has already exploded in popularity, perhaps more than even Respawn expected. The title is already preparing for its fourth season, another new Legend, and many more LTMs and events on the horizon.

Now, it seems, it may take a little push for Luttrell to jump into a game with Edgerly and the rest of her fellow voice actors. Maybe that would be a great spectacle for Respawn to organize now that they’re being a little less secretive about the voice stars at the core of the game.

Apex Legends

Wattson set for buff in Apex Legends Season 7 update

Published: 28/Oct/2020 11:38 Updated: 28/Oct/2020 13:13

by James Busby


Apex Legends’ Wattson continues to struggle in the current meta, but an upcoming patch could see the Static Defender receive the buff she deserves. 

Apex Legends is home to a lot of colorful characters and each one of them offers unique abilities that drastically impact the game. However, there are a few Legends that sometimes fail to make a splash. Whether it’s down to their weaker abilities or extremely situational ultimates, it can be difficult to tell how well a character will do in the current meta.

Respawn are constantly rolling out patches to ensure gameplay remains smooth, but sometimes certain characters can end up underperforming.

One legend that continues to polarize the Apex Legends community is none other than Wattson, the Static Defender. This electrifying Legend was added to Respwan’s Battle Royale back in Season 2 and since then, she has struggled to compete against the game’s more popular picks. Fortunately, it looks like Respawn could be giving Wattson a helping hand in a future update. 

Possible Wattson buff

Wattson Apex Legends screenshot
Respawn Entertainment
A possible buff could help ease Wattson’s current woes.

Many Apex Legends fans have been wondering whether Wattson will ever see a buff in the future, but a recent developer update discussion has players hopeful. “Pretty much every character we released post-launch was either weak on release or underappreciated by the community at large,” says Respawn game designer, Daniel Zenon Klein. 

 “I’m thinking Wattson here; she was always strong, but mostly played competitive only.” This certainly rings true for many of the game’s new additions. It’s often a coin flip between releasing a highly overpowered Legend that needs to receive a steady wave of nerfs or releasing a weaker Legend that requires a few buffs. It’s a job that often requires tremendous amounts of meticulous planning and fine-tuning to get right. 

Reddit screenshot

Of course, it can be difficult to get this balance correct and some Legends need a little more attention than others. However, when asked whether Wattson would be receiving a buff the Respawn Designer stated “I can’t say anything because I don’t wanna spoil the patch notes, but let’s say I concur with your analysis that she’s particularly useful only in high skill and could do with a little more power low skill. One would have to find a way to give her targeted power…”

The problem with Wattson

Wattson Apex Legends
Respawn Entertainment
Wattson continues to find her place within lower tiers of play.

While Wattson is often a strong pick in the highest brackets of pro play, she continues to prove ineffective in the casual scene. Unlike most Legends, Wattson’s Tactical (Perimeter Security) requires a lot of setup and forward-thinking in order to use it to its fullest potential. Not only this, but the ability also requires players to constantly lookout for opportunities where they can potentially trap their opponents. 

To make matters even worse, these shocking traps can often leave you exposed. Unless the enemy squad has to pass through that specific area, they’ll often bypass your traps entirely or effortlessly destroy them if you’ve not placed them in hard to reach areas. Wattson also requires decent squad communication and excels when her traps can be synergized with other abilities. For example, placing Caustic’s noxious traps and Gibraltor’s shield can make for an impenetrable defense. 

Of course, all these points have led to her being one of the most underused Legends in the current game. However, this could soon change. 

When is the Wattson update?

While it certainly seems like Respawn is eager to address the current problems surrounding Wattson, they have yet to give an official release date. We will likely hear more from the dev team in the coming months. For now, it looks like fans of the Static Defender will need to wait patiently before she gets the update she deserves.

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