Revenant has already proven he’s a deadly threat in Apex Legends after his bait-and-switch arrival in Season 4, but according to Respawn director Jason McCord, the simulacrum could have been even more “overpowered.”
The arrival of Apex’s new simulacrum — a lot more sinister than the cheerful robot Pathfinder — was one of the biggest moments in the battle royale’s history.
After teasing the arrival of the undefeated five-time hyper-fighting champ James ‘The Forge’ McCormick, Respawn had him unceremoniously murdered by the lethal assassin Revenant. The robot took his place in the Apex Games.
Once Revenant arrived in the battle royale proper, players soon realized he was an interesting addition, but wasn’t too special. His much-hyped lifesaving ultimate had little impact, and Rev got shunted out of the meta pool.
According to Respawn’s McCord, however, the simulacrum may have been “unfair” if he had arrived in World’s Edge armed with his original abilities. The Season 4 arrival may have even been the most “overpowered” legend to grace the game.
Respawn wanted to find the right balance between the new terror Revenant would bring to the table, and still have him release with the “right gameplay kit” to make sure he didn’t just overshadow other legends.
Foremost among the binned abilities deemed too strong to launch in the game’s live version was an old tactical power dubbed “Marked for Death,” McCord told Dot as he broke down key features about the newest legend.
Hunting seems to be a major forte for Revenant, and so the “Marked for Death” tactical does make sense for his lore — the simulacrum did get his mark in his release video, after all, and killed Forge live on Outlands Television too.
The ability, which marked enemies with a skillshot, would allow Revenant and his teammates to “see [the marked opponent] at all times.” Basically, it granted an icon that worked similarly to a wallhack “for the rest of the match.”
Eventually, it was deemed both “very overpowered” and “unfair” for the players who then had an angry robot and his squad breathing down their necks for the rest of the match — which sometimes last up to 20 minutes — and it was hooked.
That wasn’t the only part of Revenant’s eventual live kit which looked different behind the scenes either. According to McCord, the Season 4 legend originally had a “scurrying spider” animation whenever he crouched.
“When he crouched, he dislocated his shoulders and walked on all fours,” McCord said. “It was very disturbing and so amazingly creepy.”
While this would have added to the horror of seeing Revenant approaching, and may have been pretty cool, apparently having to run through the graphic animation every single time the player wanted to crouch didn’t work.
In particular, his Stalker Passive suffered. It’s supposed to be seamless between his walk and crouch speeds, but Revenant testers were finding themselves slowed down by having to become a spider-like machine for a moment.
Respawn also battled with ways to make Revenant’s crouched hitbox work. While crouched he was near impossible to hit, which compounded issues the devs were already having with the royale’s hitboxes. They binned the animation.
Considering the fact Revenant has struggled to find his place in Apex’s all-powerful roster of legends in Season 4, maybe Respawn should consider dipping back into the bin to give the simulacrum a power boost.
Until the devs decide to push the panic button, however, players may just have to imagine the robot assassin speeding across World’s Edge or King’s Canyon like Star Wars’ asthmatic bad guy General Grievous — at least for now.