Apex Legends

Apex Legends already teased Titanfall 2 villain Ash back in Season 4

Published: 6/Jul/2020 6:29 Updated: 6/Jul/2020 6:39

by Isaac McIntyre

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Four months ago, the Apex Legends developers promised a “pleasant surprise” for Titanfall 2 fans coming in Season 5. As it turns out, however, there may have already been a surprise debut hidden in early Season 4 for eagle-eyed fans.

The hype machine surrounding Ash’s potential debut in Respawn’s popular battle royale has already hit top gear, after a new clue in the Broken Ghost quests seemed to point to the evil simulacrum returning to the Outlands in Season 5.

She’s already been in Apex Legends for though, as it turns out, and no we don’t mean as the artifact pieces in the recent hunts. The Titanfall 2 villain actually made her debut in the future world of Apex all the way back in Season 4.

Fittingly enough, her shorter teaser appearance came at the same time Respawn was in the middle of officially unveiling their new killing machine, Revenant. A cinematic trailer released on June 30 dropped the simulacrum assassin right into Apex’s world in a pretty bloody debut.

Revenant wasn’t the only murderous robot to pop up in the teaser, however. As Revenant ⁠— who at this stage still believes he’s a man ⁠— prepares to hunt down Loba’s parents, he flicks on the newsreels.

Ash actually appeared in the Revenant cinematic reveal trailer back in Apex Legends Season 4.
Respawn Entertainment
Ash actually appeared in the Revenant reveal trailer back in Apex Legends Season 4.

There, 10 seconds into the teaser, Ash makes her appearance. The former Apex Predator lieutenant’s image appears alongside news that Hammond Robotics, who design the robots, is facing “backlash for its controversial work.”

Now, there are a few things to note here. Apex Legends takes place 30 years after the fiery conclusion to Titanfall 2, when [spoilers] Ash was killed by Cooper and BT on Typhon. That means she likely isn’t a figurehead for Hammond Robotics ⁠— she’s still buried underground after all… for now.

Instead, it looks like it’s a reused image template from the Titanfall series. In the multiplayer mode, players can equip customizable banners. One is called “Ashes to Ashes,” and depicts Ash directing Blisk’s Apex Predators in battle. It’s the same image that appears on Revenant’s screen in his reveal trailer.

Respawn appear to have re-used the Titanfall 2 player card
Respawn Entertainment
Respawn appear to have re-used the Titanfall 2 player card “Ashes to Ashes” in their Apex Legends teaser.

This title card on the newsreel doesn’t exactly specify it’s Ash. In fact, Respawn could have just grabbed whatever file marked “simulacrum” they could get their hands on to slap into the TV animation, but that’s not how these devs work.

In the build-up to Season 4’s Revenant reveal, they set up an elaborate storyline around Forge as the new Legend. He was then unceremoniously killed off in a cinematic soon after to fans on their toes. There’s also the whole hidden Crypto storyline happening in-game right now.

There’s no reason to think they’d get sloppy just for this one specific thing. If they put the Ash image, it wasn’t by accident. The same reasoning applies to the “Ash” word found marked on the latest Broken Ghost quest reward.

So, does this mean Ash is coming to Apex? Well, it certainly feels like it, though whether she’ll be a playable character or not is another question entirely.

Then there’s what Apex writer Tom Casiello admitted earlier this week. “The end of Season 5 sets up stories for Season 6,” he said. Could that mean Ash plays a bigger role next season following her reconstruction at the end of the Broken Ghost quests?

Unfortunately, only time will tell. For now, Apex fans will just have to keep playing through the hunts each week. The next one, called “Air Support,” should give us a few more clues on the ever-evolving story. The final weeks of the Season 5 hunts may confirm Ash’s possible involvement too.

Apex Legends

Apex Legends dev responds to complaints about “recycled” LTMs

Published: 2/Dec/2020 15:49

by Alex Garton

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An Apex Legends developer has responded to players’ complaints about bringing back old LTMs (limited-time modes), rather than adding new ones. His candid response shed some light on why Respawn continues to “recycle” LTMs and the effort that goes into perfecting them.

The debate surrounding Respawn’s continued use of recycled LTMs is not a new one. Certain members of the Apex community continue to voice their issue with the lack of all-new LTMs being added to the game.

Although there are have been numerous different limited-time modes since Apex released in 2019, Respawn brings back fan-favorites such as Armed & Dangerous and Always be Closing on a regular basis.

Although these modes are generally well-liked, some have assumed that they are recycled as a low effort means of adding ‘new’ content. However, senior game designer Daniel Klien has explained the team’s thinking.

Respawn Entertainment
‘Winter Express’ is the LTM returning with the Holo-Day Bash event.

Apex dev responds to complaints of “recycled” LTMs

Complaints surrounding LTMs on the Holo-Day Bash announcement thread led to a response from the dev. A number of players had expressed their disappointment that ‘Winter Express’ was just another “recycled” mode.

But, the game designer outlined the amount of effort that had gone into perfecting and reworking the ‘Winter Express’ mode: “between the supply ships and the new stations and a LOT of behind the scenes changes to reduce downtime it feels so much better to me.”

Despite the response, this only led to comments stating that ‘Winter Express’ was still a recycled LTM and that no new content had been added.

This led to an extremely candid statement from the developer that revealed the exact reason Respawn choose to bring back fan-favorite LTMs: “Real talk… everyone ASKS for game modes but looking at our numbers, it doesn’t seem like people play them nearly enough for us to put in the amount of effort required to make a new mode.”

This certainly offers some context to the debate surrounding “recycled” LTMs. If the player numbers don’t justify the resources needed to make a new LTM,  then why would Respawn continue to produce them?

Respawn Entertainment
LTMs are popular for a short period of time before players head back to the main modes.

It’s often difficult for developers to grasp what content a player base is looking for. Although social media can be a good indicator, it often only represents those who shout loudest, rather than the entire community.

Respawn devs remain very active and engage with players about issues, so feedback should always be encouraged.