Apex Legends leaks show intricate NPCs may be on the way (also hoverbikes)

News about Apex Legends NPCs and potential weapons/abilities is stacking up faster than deathboxes in Skulltown thanks to a recent series of leaks. Twitter user @RealApexLeaks regularly drops fresh details from the game's code base, and they've found some exciting stuff. Just because something is spotted in a game's code doesn't mean you'll ever see it in the public, playable product, but there's enough here that I'd be very surprised if we don't see more.

First off, let's talk about those NPCs. Adding computer-controlled opponents to battle royale games has been done before, with Fortnite adding zombie-like characters for some of its in-game events and the Tyrant showing up in PUBG Mobile. Looking at some of the leaked Apex Legends code, it seems that its take on NPCs may be even more fleshed out. They can reportedly belong to "fireteams", for starters - so don't expect to just pick them off one by one as they mindlessly charge toward you.

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The leaker spotted references to Goliath, Flyer, Spider, Prowler, Soldier, Spectre, Stalker, Pilot, and Pilot Elite NPC types, among others. Then there are a bunch of hooks that could allow enemies to fire weapons, reload, and perform executions (or perhaps be executed themselves) - much of the same stuff you can do as a player. Respawn Entertainment may have copied over some of this stuff from its previous work on the Titanfall games wholesale, and it may remain vestigial in the final product, but it's exciting to know the potential is there.

The second part of this next Tweet is where it gets a little weird.

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Now, @RealApexLeaks said later on that "rodeo" is the codename for hoverbikes(!), so that "set if this NPC can be rodeoed" line just means the NPC in question can ride a hoverbike. I don't have the same perspective on Apex's back end, but I'm not sure that's right. In the Titanfall games, Rodeo means jumping onto the back of a Titan and riding on it like a bucking bull. It seems odd that Respawn would reuse an existing term for something completely different (even something as cool as a hoverbike). I wonder if the rodeo line will actually dictate whether you can jump onto NPC enemies - perhaps Titans even - and mess with them. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long to find out either way!

Even if you prefer your path to Legend status to be soaked solely in the bitter tears of human-controlled opponents, there's more to get excited about. The same leaker also dug up references to night matches, Community Happy Hour (which would likely be a recurring period of extra play rewards), remote turrets, and a dang flamethrower.

With the rumored arrival of the Apex Legends battle pass looming, there's a lot to look forward to. 

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Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.