We dig deeper into Apex Legends Legacy’s new character, weapon, and more
We’re now just over a week away from the launch of Apex Legends Season 9, which actually isn’t called “Season 9” this time around. The decision to simply call it Apex Legends Legacy is no doubt in large part because this could easily be the biggest season of the game since its launch.
Part of that comes thanks to the introduction of Valk, the game’s latest playable legend. Kairi “Valkyrie” Imahara is a major addition to the game for players like me, because she brings one of the deepest connections to Titanfall lore that Apex Legends has seen yet.
EA and Respawn Entertainment recently gave me and other members of the press an early look at Apex Legends Legacy, so let’s start this rundown by looking at Valk. Also, if you haven’t checked it out yet, I also wrote about all of the details known so far about the game’s new 3v3 PVP mode, Arenas.
While the Respawn team explained that you often need to sell a character on why they’ll be fun or interesting to play, they added that you don’t need to do that with Valk thanks to one word: Jetpacks. As hinted at in the latest Stories from the Outlands video, Valk wields special equipment built from the remnants of her father’s Northstar Titan. As Titanfall 2 players will know, that particular Northstar was capable of sustained flight, and so is Valk—to a degree.
In fact, Valk’s VTOL jets aren’t even a tactical ability—they’re one of her three passives. By pressing the jump button again after jumping, her jetpack will kick in, letting her fly as long as she has fuel left. While that may seem like a huge advantage over other Legends, that ability comes with a number of limitations and downsides. In addition to the need to consider fuel, the jetpack must also cool down between uses, and using it to fly produces a lot of noise. Any enemies in a decently-sized area around you will be able to hear it kicking on, and Valk is also an easy target when in the air due to having no cover to hide behind.
Valk’s second passive is the same as all members of the Recon class: the ability to scout the next ring location. Her third and final passive, however, is where things get really interesting. Whenever Valk is in a skydive—and more on that in a moment—she wears a helmet, one whose origins I’m sure some of us can guess. While wearing said helmet, she gets extra on-screen information, such as callouts for any enemy directly in her line of sight. And, not only does Valk get those callouts, but so do her teammates.
Valk’s tactical is Missile Swarm, which again gives a nod to Northstar Titans. When used, she unleashes a swarm of 12 missiles in a rectangular grid on the ground. As soon as you use the tactical, all of the missiles will target that location, even if Valk turns to look in another direction. The team said you can think of it as a “mini Bangalore Ult,” doing decent but not huge damage. However, any enemy hit by the barrage gets stunned, similar to the results of an Arc Star, just with a shorter duration.
Finally, Valk’s Ultimate is Skyward Dive. Once triggered, Valk will fly up into the air, and will also take her teammates with her if they’re closed enough when activated. Once a maximum height is reached, all players along for the ride will go into a skydive, with the player playing as Valk acting as the jumpmaster.
Along with a new Legend, we’re also getting a new weapon: the Bocek Bow. While it’s not a totally stealth weapon like bows in many other games, the Bocek will definitely be quieter than the other firearms in Apex Legends. The reduction in sound means it may take longer for your enemies to figure out where you’re firing from, but they will be able to look at where the arrow landed to get an idea of your location. And yes, arrows will be a new ammo type in the game, one that will be far scarcer than all of the other current ammo types. The good news is that arrows stick into walls, trees, the ground, even enemies, and you (or someone else) can recover any shot arrows. There will be a catch to getting them back from a foe: you’ll need to kill them first, and then snag the arrows from their death box.
Especially exciting is that the Bocek will bring two new hop-ups along with it. The first, Shatter Caps, turns arrows into shotgun-like shots, as one arrow breaks up into multiple projectiles. The idea for the hop-up was that the Bocek may be ineffectual at anything but long range, so this will give players an option when needing to fight up closer. Shatter Caps isn’t just for the Bocek, by the way, as it’s also attachable on the 30-30 Repeater. The second is Deadeye’s Tempo, an especially interesting hop-up that gives the Bocek faster drawback and shooting speed if you’re firing your arrows on the natural beat of using the bow. While the team said mastering the hop-up could certainly take a while, it’ll be a big help for those who can get into the rhythm—not only on the Bocek, but also the Sentinel.
Oh, and one other thing about hop-ups: the Bocek will be the first weapon in Apex Legends that can run two at once.
The last big point to cover for Apex Legends Legacy’s launch is the changes coming to the game’s newest map, Olympus. After an unmanned spacecraft named The Icarus docked with Olympus, a mysterious—and very aggressive—parasitic plant started to take over the area. In addition to the havoc the plant is now wrecking, The Icarus itself will serve as a new location to explore. Docked between Bonsai Plaza, Solar Array, and Orbital Cannon, The Icarus not only offers some new gameplay situations, but also a secret hidden amongst the corpses of dead scientists that now litter the area. On one of the bodies is a keycard, which will open the bridge on The Icarus, where the best loot in that area is stored.
One smaller change coming to Olympus is the removal of two redeploy balloons. The one outside Golden Gardens was taken out due to the “third partying problems” it was causing, and the one outside Orbital Cannon due to issues with The Icarus now being docked nearby.
Finally, to wrap things up, a few smaller things coming in the new season of Apex Legends. There are improvements being made to Clubs, such as how invites work, which will feel familiar to anyone who has used Titanfall 2’s Networks. You can now favorite and track challenges, and Battle Pass progression can also be made through the new Arenas-focused challenges that will be introduced. To help balance things out for players who don’t play both modes of the game, you’ll get one free challenge reroll daily, and when you use it, you’ll be able to pick if you want a standard or Arenas challenge.
The Respawn team said that bringing vehicles to the game’s other maps “is in the cards,” but there’s nothing concrete to announce just yet. They also revealed one nerf that’ll be coming in Legacy: Octane will pay a higher health cost the more he stims, but I’m not sure if that means that every stim will drain more health, or if there will be an increased penalty for multiple stims used in a short amount of time.
Oh, and yes: Low Profile is indeed being removed, so rejoice Lifeline, Wraith, and Wattson players.
Mollie got her start in games media via the crazy world of gaming fanzines, and now works at EGM with the goal of covering all of the weird Japanese and niche releases that nobody else on staff cares about. She’s active in the gaming community on a personal level, and an outspoken voice on topics such as equality in gaming, consumer rights, and good UI. Check her out on Twitter and Mastodon.