Yesterday marked the beginning of a new Battle Pass in Apex Legends! I came into the game with only a few weeks left in Season 4, so I’m excited for my first brand-new season of content. There are some major shake-ups in Season 5 that I can’t wait to dig into!
The most important aspect of a new season in Apex is, of course, the addition of a new playable character. In Season 5 (which is called “Fortune’s Favor”), that new character is Loba Andrade. Fans of the game’s lore will recognize Loba as the daughter of Marcos and Alanza Andrade–the folks Revenant assassinated in last season’s story trailer. That’s really cool! I like that this game is establishing a deeper narrative, and I look forward to seeing how the story expands in the future.
But hey, story stuff is just gravy–the real value of a new character lies in their gameplay! Unfortunately, I’ve only had time to play a couple matches since the new pass launched, and both times other players nabbed Loba before I had a chance to pick her. While I haven’t had a chance to play as her yet, I have looked at her kit, and it’s got me very excited to try her out. Her basic ability is a teleport; she throws her bracelet and teleports to wherever it lands. That’s a fantastic power to have–anyone who’s played Pathfinder knows that increased mobility is extremely useful in Apex, and for my money, teleportation is going to beat Path’s grappling hook every time.
Her passive skill seems decent, too, allowing her to see high-tier loot through walls. Again, we can look at another legend to gauge the usefulness of this power. In this case, it’s Bloodhound, who also has a passive focused on increased senses. Personally, I don’t think seeing rare loot quite stacks up to Bloodhound’s ability to see tracks and traps, but it’ll be handy even so. In particular, it’ll give Loba players a leg up in those chaotic start-of-match scrambles, directing them straight to the best gear while everyone else is running around desperately seeking weapons and armor. It could definitely make or break things in the early game, I’m just not convinced it’ll maintain that level of utility throughout the whole match.
Finally, there’s her ultimate ability, Black Market Boutique, to consider. This is one of the more interesting ults in the game so far: it snags all loot in a given radius, and allows Loba and her teammates to access this loot pool via Loba’s staff. Everyone can take up to two pieces of gear from the pool. This is really, really cool; it can let your team get kitted out very fast, on top of potentially stealing loot from under other players’ noses. To compensate, it’s got a long charge time, and it can be accessed by enemies as well as friends. Still, these are minor drawbacks considering the utility of the power.
While Loba is the most exciting part of the new season and its accompanying game update, there’s plenty more great stuff included. Another major aspect of the new season is the total revamp of the King’s Canyon map. Apex currently has two maps: King’s Canyon and World’s Edge. Up to this point, I’ve greatly preferred World’s Edge; it’s simply more varied and interesting than King’s Canyon. This update might change that, though.
A huge chunk of the map has fallen into the sea, and some new laboratory-style areas have been unearthed. This makes the map feel a lot more dynamic and interesting–still not quite as weird as World’s Edge with its lava flows and meteors, but certainly a lot more engaging than the ‘big desert with some towns’ that the map used to be. I’m excited to explore more of this new version of King’s Canyon as I keep playing this season. Of particular interest are the new Charge Towers, which are large pillars that can be activated to fully charge the ult of nearby characters. That could be extremely useful for characters with long ult charge times, such as Loba and Lifeline.
Speaking of Lifeline, she’s one of a handful of legends to get some tweaks in this update. Her tweaks aren’t massive, nor are the modifications made to Bloodhound or Crypto. Receiving slightly bigger changes are Caustic (Nox gas no longer slows allies), Octane (his ult now charges significantly faster), Gibraltar (whose bubble shield was nerfed hard), and Pathfinder (that grappling hook now takes much longer to recharge). The biggest changes by far were to Mirage, though, who got a total rework. I haven’t actually unlocked Mirage yet, so I can’t comment much on his changes, but they seem aimed toward giving the player more control over, and utility from, his decoys. Time will tell if they’ve overtuned him a bit with these changes, but they all sound good to me.
There are some loot changes, too, but nothing that feels major. Some weapon damage values were tweaked; the Mastiff shotgun will join the regular loot pool, while the Peacekeeper will replace it as a rare care package drop; and gold armor will now double recovery from shield cells and syringes instead of allowing you to use items faster. Otherwise, nothing terribly interesting.
There are also a few neat quality-of-life changes that I’m excited about. Players who are dropped from games will have the ability to rejoin the game they were booted from; as this has happened to my friends and I a few times, I’m happy to see this feature implemented. Weekly Battle Pass Challenges will no longer be based on location (for instance, no more challenges like “Deal 200 damage at The Dome”), which is a blessing; some areas were just tough to complete challenges in, and it made it tougher to agree on a dropzone with your teammates. This update also adds conditional chatter between specific legends (the example given is that Revenant and Loba have some unique dialogue when they interact to reflect their backstory), which is great! I love seeing the narrative integrated more in this way. It should be fun to figure out which characters have unique lines with each other.
On the topic of narrative integration, there’s one more major change in this update that I haven’t touched on yet: the introduction of a Quest. Quests are new to Apex, but they look like a fun way to bring a bit more story to the game. This first quest is called “The Broken Ghost,” and revolves around Loba recruiting the other legends to help her find a mysterious artifact. The way the Quest works is this: when looting containers, players may find a new item called a treasure pack. The treasure pack takes up no inventory space and has no effect on the match; it simply rewards the player with something at the end of the game (this reward could be Battle Pass experience, crafting materials, or something else entirely). A player can only find one treasure pack per day. Once they’ve accumulated five treasure packs, the player can access a Hunt–a short PvE event that can be played solo or with a group. There is one new hunt per week. When the player completes the hunt, they’ll receive a special reward (it sounds like it’ll usually be a weapon charm), as well as a piece of the artifact Loba is seeking. Once the player completes all nine hunts, they’ll have the complete artifact, and they’ll gain a super-special, ultra-secret reward.
The Quest sounds very cool, as it will encourage players to hop on consistently to earn treasure packs every day. I also love the inclusion of a PvE mode; to be honest, though I do love this game, I’m not a hyper-competitive person by nature, so PvE is a lot more appealing to me than the regular Battle Royale mode. And hey, bonus rewards? Who could say no to that?
Speaking of rewards, this Battle Pass has the usual bevy of character and weapon skins, this time featuring a lot of fancy gilded looks that just scream “ancient treasure recovered by Indiana Jones.” It’s a fun aesthetic that results in some cool new looks for the characters, though it’s not quite as appealing to me as last season’s cyberpunk feel. Definitely worth checking out, though!
All in all, this is a great Battle Pass. We’ve got a cool new character, a major map overhaul, and an exciting new way to play in the form of Quests. What more could you want?